Analysing Human Factors

25 January 2023
By Alice Jordan

Humans aren't robots, how do we define human factors?


We often reflect on marketing and advertising campaigns, analysing what made the work great or why it didn’t quite hit the mark. Whether it be the quality of the creative work, campaign delivery or the overall message. Even on a successful campaign, we’re told we must look back and define what worked and how it could have been even better. 

The questions are constant …

Was the brief great? The data substantiated? The insight meaningful? Did the idea resonate? Was the campaign set up correctly? Did the tent-pole program we sponsored deliver the TARPs? Was the final ad inline with the initial idea, or frankensteined along the way? Did sales go up? Did awareness grow? Did we win an award? 

So much analysis can be overwhelming, and while the data can be meaningful, we can’t lose track of the fact that, in the end, it’s always about the people. The client relationship, the happiness of staff and the true “humanness” in the creative is what truly drives good results. 

We can often worry so much about the insight, the Roy Morgan data; what “most 25–54-year old’s” would do, that we lose sight of the actual goal. They say beware of the survey of one, but a consumer often makes a purchase decision (and I apply purchase here to be actual transaction or any brand related action/thought) alone. A single individual standing in a supermarket aisle or scrolling looking for an answer. They are unique and human – and can’t be forgotten. As are our colleagues, our suppliers and our clients. Many a great ad campaign never gets produced, great media execution never trialled, great tech never built, because clients weren’t onboard, staff weren’t inspired, or supplier relationships were lacking. Humans aren’t robots and the importance of understanding their nuances can’t be underestimated. 

Our job as marketers is to communicate a message and implore an action as efficiently and effectively as possible. So of course, we make use of data, segments, and neuro short cuts to do so. We keep abreast of news headlines, the latest content, where it’s being consumed, new ad formats, the next social platform, the effect of algorithm tweaks, who’s cancelled and the holy grail of first party data. But sometimes to be effective, we need to slow down to speed up, take the time to truly understand a client’s business, the true decision maker and their motivations. We must assess the human factors; check in with our team and really listen to what they need to do a great job, have honest conversations with suppliers about what will work for the client and strip the brief back, giving creative people the space to come up with an idea that warrants attention. 

So, at the end of a campaign, alongside the delivered TARPs and brand awareness lift, add in a human measure to the report.

With clients this may be a section for feedback, an open discussion for everyone of what worked well and what was frustrating. Reflecting on the creative, did it truly resonate with the intended audience? Did they enjoy consuming the content?

And internally asking colleagues how their work could have been made better or easier.

These intangibles can sometimes be the biggest factor in moving the needle. 



Alice Jordan

Integrated Team Lead // kwpx 

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