Move over B2B: Why it’s all about Human-to-Human marketing

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We all know the truism ‘people buy from people’. It’s a mantra that’s kept good salespeople busy for millennia.

And yet, in today’s world of drone deliveries and far-flung call centres, it sometimes feels quite the opposite – that we’re buying from a faceless robot or from a ‘John’, who we all know isn’t really called John.

But things are changing: Corporations are moving away from distant call centres, while an increasing number of businesses now use live chat software to help customers engage in real time with another human (albeit, one they can’t see).

From B2B to H2H

So what does this mean for marketing? Readers of this blog already know that we advocate a joined-up approach to sales and marketing (smarketing) at Nutcracker, so it should come as no surprise that marketing, like sales, is becoming increasingly humanized too. So much so that marketers are looking beyond the traditional labels of B2B, B2C and B2M and settling on H2H instead.

If this sounds like a crazy one-size-fits-all approach for many types of businesses, it’s not. It’s the complete opposite in fact; H2H is about talking to your clients and customers as humans, rather than as a business. In its simplest form, H2H is about harnessing the unique relationship that people in one business have with the people in the business it supplies.

Your business is Human

It’s very possible that you’re already doing some form of H2H marketing. From global software providers to mumpreneur cake-makers and luxury watch brands, it’s become standard practice for any business to have its ‘story’ as part of its marketing strategy.

Hopefully, your business has its ‘story’ mapped out too.

For the cup-cake-mum this is the story of Sally who began selling cakes from her kitchen only to discover that her fierce talent for baking was matched by her expert ability to judge the changing needs of her community. Thus, a booming business was born. We all know a Sally.

For the global software biz, we learn the story of the entrepreneur’s struggle to solve an every day problem. We learn the story via TED, Forbes and the business pages of The Sunday Times. The entrepreneur becomes the face of that business.

Not every business story stems from just one person, of course. There are companies started by old school friends, family-run businesses, and inspirational ‘top companies to work for’ businesses that bloomed overnight, their incredible success becoming part of their story.

Your clients are Human too

It’s one thing identifying yourself as Human, now you have to communicate as one. Finding and pitching this tone of voice takes time and practice and only works when it comes across as natural. We’ve all seen and read cringe-inducing marketing spiel where the tone-of-voice is totally off-key – something we talk about in this recent post on tone-of-voice.

Today’s market leading companies are the ones that have developed an authentic tone of voice that enables them to speak to their customers as peers, earning their trust along the way. Key to this is data analytics – a central ingredient to any H2H marketing strategy. Customer data gives invaluable insight into your customers that should be critical to your humanized marketing strategy – and helped fuel the recent comeback of Waterstones that we blogged about last week.

Ready to embrace H2H marketing but not really sure how? Call us on 0203 637 1346, or email jenny.knighting@nutcrackeragency.com. Even if it’s just for a chat.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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