Human Values: How to Use Them to Create a Magnetic Podcast and Exponentially Grow Your Business

Dec 7, 2022

We’re in a new economy… not the Gig nor the Sharing Economy but in the Values Economy. What is it all about?

Speaker, human values expert and The Death of Demographics author David Allison stops by the show to talk about what human values are all about and why they’re key for both podcasters and small business owners.

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What’s Human Values and Why Do They Matter to Podcasters?

  • If you’re trying to connect with people, you need to understand what’s in their heart.
  • Values are something that have been discussed in the marketing and business world for quite some time but they have been covered using very unscientific ways of determining the values of our customers.
  • Now, we have data. You can use reliable data to see what drives your customers, why they’re your customers, and the values they share – without having to guess anymore.
  • Your emotions and behaviors come from your values.
  • When someone listens to a podcast for the first time, like with every decision in human life, there’s something happening without them noticing. Their prefrontal cortex sifts and sorts the world looking at what aligns with your values.


David’s Predictions for the New Year

  • David believes that in 2023 we’re going to see enormous evidence of the mainstreaming of values.
  • David shares two opposing examples of values: Patagonia – with an entire company focused on saving the planet – and Twitter, with Elon Musk firing people and making users leave the platform.


Introducing… the Values Economy

  • We’ve all heard about the Experience Economy, the Sharing Economy and the Gig Economy. David firmly sees evidence of a new economy we’ve entered:

The Values Economy. You can’t think of a single thing happening in the world right now that doesn’t trace back to values, be it empathetic leadership, Black Lives Matters, the Great Resignation or something else.

  • Values used to be in the news, now values are the news. This means that companies, podcasters and anyone really aren’t values-washing because that’s going to get called out.
  • For David, even though avatars are useful they’re still made up and stereotyped representations of the actual people we’re trying to reach and sell to. 
  • He suggests focusing on creating personas or avatars around what’s going to make people say yes. Start with the values and, if needed, get a little story to make it more memorable.
  • David and his team have built a giant database featuring 750,000 surveys in 152 languages, shared in 180 countries – and they did so to track everybody’s values.
  • Through his research and analysis, David has found that, regardless of age, gender, education level, and income status, people tend to agree on something for about 10.5% of the time.
  • Demographics don’t work anymore, says David (and that’s why he called his book The Death of Demographics). Nobody behaves like their demographics anymore.


3 Questions to Figure Out Values

  • There are different ways to figure out values: you can hire David’s company, purchase his book and the 15-question quiz it includes or address the so-called three telltale questions. 
  • The key is to ask the three questions and listen. Answers may differ but you’re going to hear patterns in the noise.
  • The three questions that will help you figure out value are ‘Why do you go to work?’, ‘Why would you give away half of your lottery winnings?’, and ‘If you were writing a letter to yourself from 10 years ago, what would you say, and why?’.
  • There are 56 values that drive us.


Tips for Podcasters

  • David believes that podcasters need to find ways to allow their audience to be expressing themselves through the show.
  • Interactivity on your podcast is and is going to be very important.

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  • Get your audience involved, be it through a survey, a live poll or something else.
  • When surveying people who stated to be more likely to be influenced by a podcaster than a brand – through advertising – David has found that the three values that seem to be the most influential for them are compassion, personal responsibility, and self-expression.
  • To connect with these people, you need to show compassion, talk about it, recognize it and you need to find ways to manifest that.
  • Personal responsibility is a value that drives people toward anything that lets them feel as if they’re making a difference. In this case, you would want to make your messaging about ‘me’ the individual listener, not about ‘us’ the audience.
  • As for self-expression, David suggests podcasters think about adding polls to their episodes as a way to let the audience talk.


“I’ve been described as a human values expert, a global researcher, and a best-selling author. I’m definitely a keynote speaker. Someone once called me a values activist, and suppose that’s true too. I know one thing for certain: I’m values-driven. Because we all are. It’s what unites us, and makes us human.”

David Allison is a human values expert, global researcher, and best-selling author. He is focused on changing the way we understand ourselves, the people around us, and those we hope to engage with in our work. He is the founder of the Value graphics Project, the first global inventory of core human values. He has made values into a measurable business metric; a new

kind of insight that helps organizations succeed in today’s Values Economy. David speaks internationally and helps big brands connect with people by honoring their values. INC Magazine named his last book one of the ten best leadership books of the year, and his new book The Death of Demographics: Valuegraphic Marketing for a Values-Driven World will be published in November 2022.

Resources mentioned:

David on LinkedIn

David’s book The Death of Demographics: Valuegraphic Marketing for a Values-Driven World


The United Nations Foundation’s United to Beat Malaria

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