Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer/Customer (B2C) are familiar marketing terms but have you heard of Human to Human (H2H) marketing? An alternate strategy that reenvisions marketing and focuses on the actual people behind your customers and the human element behind your business. It’s marketing that’s personable; it doesn’t focus on businesses or customers as things or non-descript entities, but as the people, they really are, as humans! The concept may seem simple, but it is an approach that creates high-quality marketing that drastically improves loyalty for those few businesses’ using this novel approach.
It can feel a little silly explaining what human-to-human (H2H) marketing is. H2H is an alternative to the popular business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) segments. Both strategies are important for understanding your marketing audience(s) and operating large-scale strategies. However, that breadth can create a disconnect and overemphasize the commercial aspect of your business’ relationship with its customers or clients. Instead, H2H prioritizes the fact that business and its audience are made up of people. It focuses on personalization and interacting with your customers to create strong, human connections.
Why H2H Marketing is Important
In many ways this might seem straightforward or simple, but H2H marketing is one of most effective ways to help your business stand out and be remembered. Today, there is a wealth of marketing strategies and tools. These provide extremely helpful data for determining, finding, and reaching your business sector, audiences, segments, etc. Similarly, too much automation will harm your business’ authenticity and negatively impact people’s trust. This information can also dehumanize your customers and your business. H2H marketing complements these marketing strategies by focusing on the humanity of your business, customers, and clients. All of this builds trust and closer relationships with customers or clients, which improves your ability to influence them. We’ll show you how to create those H2H connections through empathetic marketing.
Voice and Tone
One of the primary ways people recognize humanity is tone, how your business and its employees communicate. Anyone can easily recognize when someone is giving a rehearsed spiel rather than saying something sincere. You want to make sure your voice is authentic, empathetic, and personal to build real, human connections with your audience.
Humans are Emotional
One of the first steps for effective H2H marketing is using a candid tone with emotions. A neutral, unemotional tone immediately creates a feeling of detachment and disconnect. Showing only one emotion can feel similarly insincere. Having a range of happiness, excitement, empathy, and even sadness helps give your business personality and feel genuine.
Honesty and Transparency in Marketing
A major factor in how you communicate is what you communicate. H2H marketing aims at building trust with simple honesty and transparency. Be authentic. People hate being deceived. Tell your customers what they need to know or hear. Be open about any policies or any issues that are affecting production or delivery. When a customer has a complaint or issue, listen to and address their concerns. Explain why your business is making certain decisions, when and why customer data is collected or tracked, and when they are dealing with automation or a human being.
To create real, human-to-human relationships, communication and marketing need to be personal. Use customers’ and clients’ names. Address and recognize their wants or interests. Empathize with their emotions, their excitement, and even disappointment. These simple methods of communicating resonate on a human level. Certain automation can even help you personalize emails or other communications to add that human touch.
Human relationships and connections are two-way. Engage with your customers one-on-one and directly on social media. This helps show your business is human by interacting with its audience. These engagements are also great opportunities to show empathy, authenticity, and provide personalized communications. Don’t just leave the communication one-directional; be proactive and reach out to your community. It will build more rapport and establish relationships with your company before a client or customer comes to you with a problem.
A simple and direct way to demonstrate the human element of your business is to show the humans behind it. Marketing that shows the people who create your business, including you, shows its humanity and helps people create more personal connections. Behind-the-scenes content displays both this human element along with increasing authenticity through an insider perspective. Even customer service responses that name the person communicating or putting cards in packages with a card from the packer help show your business’ humanity.
Where does H2H marketing fall with other marketing strategies?
Many marketing tools allow for determining and communicating with your wider audience and segments. B2B and B2C strategies are essential for determining those large-scale marketing plans that operate frequently. H2H marketing complements either strategy because it focuses on high quality and impact in more focused opportunities of communication. The effort and time needed for H2H marketing make it infeasible as your only marketing strategy as your business scales, but it is the perfect high-impact strategy that will always set your business apart!
Creating a Strategy
It’s funny how a lot of thought and effort can go into helping your business be human. A lot of these tips are the same good practices for your own personal relationships. Do you still have questions about how and where to practice H2H marketing? Want to create and implement an H2H strategy? Our strategic consultants can help design a marketing blueprint to help your business start making these human connections.