What’s the next big thing?

I was asked this question by one of our junior account people the other day. “What’s the next big thing? What should we be focusing on to create successful campaigns for our clients?”

Tempted as I was to talk about the evolution of the customer journey or the impact of a digital world, after a brief pause I replied … “A better understanding of human nature”.

Throughout my career I’ve strived to understand the customer’s basic human motivation. Many marketers think consumer motivations are continually changing. I believe they haven’t changed through the ages.

Shakespeare’s plays prove that, despite language and technological advancements, our basic human nature hasn’t altered. Mercutio’s antics, Kate’s feistiness and Macbeth’s ambition are testament to the fact we’ve changed very little in the last few hundred years.

In fact, any study of history shows that although our customs, manners, dress and habits may have changed, we’re swayed by the same passions and aspirations as the men and women of yesteryear.

The continuing “big thing” for marketing is still the study of human nature. People who really ‘get’ human nature will be successful in whatever their endeavour. And there are very few of them out there.

At the top of my list would be Steve Jobs, Seinfeld and perhaps Calvin and Hobbs creator Bill Watterson.

So pull out the Calvin and Hobbs comics, re-watch the complete series of Seinfeld and read more Shakespeare. I think you’ll find that the study of human nature can be very entertaining.

Author: Stuart Hinds, Creative Director