As a marketer who came out of high-tech, I’ve always believed that marketing is at its best when technology isn’t front and center. Technology empowers people. It enables them to live better lives, to connect more fully, to take advantage of opportunities, to bring people closer together, to innovate more freely, you name it.

Tell the Human Story Behind the Technology

The most important story any technology can tell is the story of you and how you are better off because of it. It’s why I loved Intuit’s TurboTax ad and why I think Microsoft had one of the best ads during the Superbowl on February 2nd.

Source: YouTube Screen Shot

Source: YouTube Screen Shot

Human Companies Put the Focus on People, not Technology

In this video, Microsoft talks about how technology has shaped and changed the course of human history and how today Microsoft is empowering people by giving voice to the voiceless, vision to the sightless, and hearing to the deaf and hearing impaired. The video is narrated, in part (using text to speech software) by Steve Gleason, fomer NFL player, living with ALS who opens the video and closes it. In the last frame, we see Steve with his child sitting on his lap.

I think this is a fresh and different approach for Microsoft and a step in the right direction and putting people at the center of its message. The company has struggled with created a human image because technology has always been front and center in its messages. This time the company got it right – the technology isn’t front and center and it shouldn’t be. People have lives to live and the story they want is how your technology empowers them.  It’s never about the technology; it’s about what technology can do for people. That’s the story every tech company needs to tell.

It’s not the ‘internet of things’ that matters. It’s how the internet of things makes peoples’ lives better that counts.

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