It is really easy to get confused by the vast amount of data available to us and to stop thinking about the human at the other end of an experience.
There is a truism in sales that "people buy from people" and that is especially true if the product involves the knowledge of experts. It's the reason why having those experts active online is so important. It keeps a relationship alive in a way that few other channels can over the long-term.
There is, of course, a huge amount that can and should be done with automation but at the end of the day, if your end-user is buying from a human, that human should be part of your marketing mix.
Marketo's Group VP of Marketing Chandar Pattabhiram put it simply: "Marketing isn't just B2B or B2C... marketing is 'Business to Human,' that's what it's about." ... ... "Big data is tactical and it offers consumers guidance, but big data doesn’t create a vision that gets the consumer excited and say, 'this brand offers a lifestyle that I want,'" Coughlin said. "We've gotten to a point where we believe, 'I crunch therefore I am,' but I'd argue we need to go back to marketing's roots, thinking about good ideas."