Why H2H Marketing is the New Black in the Business World
Explore a marketing approach that's all about real human connections, going beyond the usual business-to-business and business-to-customer models. Get to know H2H (human-to-human) marketing, where building real relationships and understanding emotions are key, offering not just better sales, but also true growth and lasting connections.
- What Is H2H Marketing?
- Why Does H2H Marketing Matter?
- Benefits of Human-to-Human Marketing
- How to Adopt a H2H Marketing Strategy?
- 1. Talk to Consumers Like You Talk to Friends
- 2. Showcase Your Team
- 3. Be Sincere and Genuine
- 4. Personalization
- 5. The Power of Storytelling
- 6. User-Generated Content
- 7. Talk to Your Audience
I'll risk saying everyone who had anything to do with business knows what B2B and B2C stand for. The acronym soup doesn't stop there, though. If you're a business enthusiast, you might also have crossed paths with lesser-known marketing models like P2P (peer-to-peer) or B2G (business-to-government).
But there's one more interesting way to go about marketing. It’s something that is said to be warmer, more personal, and authentic (at least in theory). It's an approach that includes all the other models when you think about it.
Since you've already glimpsed the title, no drumroll needed! We’re diving into the world of H2H marketing.
What Is H2H Marketing?
H2H (human-to-human) marketing emphasizes creating genuine connections and interactions between humans, as they're the end receiver of any marketing communication, even in a business-to-business model. H2H marketing focuses on building real relationships. It's about understanding human emotions and needs and shaping your marketing strategies to connect on a personal level.
Human-to-human marketing is a reminder that no matter the nature of your business, you are still interacting with human beings at the end of the day.
Why Does H2H Marketing Matter?
We live in a world buzzing with gadgets, yet our craving for real interactions hasn't faded. By injecting a human touch into your marketing, showcasing the real people behind your brand, you're not just shooting for better sales numbers. You're inviting growth and connections.
H2H (human-to-human) marketing isn't about seeing customers as mere stats or leads. It's about recognizing them as individuals, each with their own tales and needs.
This way of marketing is catching on for a good reason. It's in tune with the customer experience people are after today. They yearn for authenticity and a sense of being valued rather than just being seen as another sale. They're on the hunt for experiences that strike a chord personally, and naturally, they're drawn to brands that extend a human touch.
Benefits of Human-to-Human Marketing
But injecting a dose of “human touch” in your marketing now could really set you apart in the online arena, which often feels like a bustling, impersonal marketplace.
When you add a human-centric approach to your marketing efforts, you're building trust. You're reaching out to people's emotions — and it turns out, this emotional connection is a big deal when people are deciding whether to go with your brand. It's a crucial part of the customer journey, as studies have pointed out.
Top benefits of a human-to-human marketing strategy:
- Showing the real people behind your brand helps build trust, which is key in business.
- Making an emotional connection with your audience helps make your brand feel more real and memorable.
- When customers feel a personal touch, they're more likely to stay loyal and make repeat purchases.
- Showing a human side can help people see your brand in a positive light.
- People often prefer buying from other people, not faceless companies. This approach can help increase sales.
- Talking with customers on a personal level helps understand and meet consumer needs.
- In a world full of online tricks, a human touch shows your brand is genuine, which customers value.
- A human-focused experience can make customers happier with your brand.
How to Adopt a H2H Marketing Strategy?
Human-to-human marketing really boils down to getting where your customers are coming from. It's about slipping into their shoes to get a feel of their needs, the hurdles they face, and what they hope to achieve.
Beyond that, it's about showing them there's an actual person on the other side who gets them and values them, not just someone after their cash. When customers feel seen and appreciated, they are more likely to trust your brand, engage with it, and stick around for the long haul.
1. Talk to Consumers Like You Talk to Friends
Embrace a laid-back and chatty style in your business communications, just like chatting with a good friend over coffee. This sprinkles a human touch on your brand, making it more relatable and welcoming. Remember, people love authenticity and a no-nonsense approach. So, keep the jargon to a minimum and let your brand’s personality shine through.
Let them see that beyond the professional exterior, there’s a bunch of friendly and accessible people. Ensure your customers feel they're engaged in a human-to-human interaction, not with a cold machine. This not only makes exchanges enjoyable but also lays down a path of trust and understanding between you and your audience.
Invite consumers into a friendly conversation, not a sales pitch (an approach called consultative selling). And who knows? This friendly chit-chat could be the start of a long-term relationship blossoming with loyalty and trust.
If you're employing generative AI models, like ChatGPT, ensure it complements your H2H approach. Don't merely post generated text; edit it to add a human touch, and always verify its accuracy. AI can be a great tool to handle routine tasks, but the human element in interactions should always take precedence.
2. Showcase Your Team
If you want genuine human interaction with your customers, show them you're human too.
Introduce your team to your customers. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your workspace, celebrate team milestones, or spotlight employees on your social channels. This helps in building a human connection and shows the faces behind the brand.
Beyond this, consider hosting casual Q&A sessions to share your team's expertise, making your team accessible and engaging to customers. In H2H marketing, such efforts are crucial as they showcase the real people behind your brand, making interactions more personal and authentic.
3. Be Sincere and Genuine
Acknowledge when something didn’t go as planned and share what you learned and how you intend to prevent similar occurrences in the future. This transparency shows that you’re committed to improving and valuing your customers’ feedback.
Share real stories about your journey, the challenges faced, and how your team overcame them. People appreciate being able to see the human side of your business. It also paints a picture of resilience, dedication, and a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
Being genuine also means avoiding over-promising and under-delivering. Set realistic expectations and meet them. For example, when we promise our customers a callback in less than 28 seconds with their CallPage widget, we make sure that 99.9% of calls do happen in that time. This consistency in keeping your word builds confidence and trust among your clientele.
Personalization is a significant aspect of building strong connections with your audience. It all starts with a deep understanding of your audience's preferences, behaviors, and needs. This understanding allows you to tailor messages, offers, and even services to resonate better with them.
Simple gestures like using a customer's name can go a long way in making interactions feel more attentive and personal. Moreover, segmenting your audience based on various criteria like demographics or engagement levels enables more targeted and effective communication.
Technological tools like AI and data analytics can be smartly employed to automate and enhance personalization efforts. They can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, aiding in crafting personalized offers or messages. However, it's crucial that the human element remains predominant in customer interactions. For instance, while AI can help sort data, the actual engagement should be managed by human teams to ensure a genuine connection.
Lastly, encouraging feedback, celebrating milestones together, and being easily accessible for interactions are practices that nurture a personal connection.
READ ALSO: How to Improve Online Customer Experience?
5. The Power of Storytelling
Stories have been at the heart of human communication and cultural expression for thousands of years. They offer a way for individuals to navigate the complexities of the world around them by organizing information into a meaningful narrative.
In ancient times, when literacy was a rare commodity, stories were passed along verbally and often remembered through rhythmic patterns or rhymes. They were the prevailing medium for transmitting information, a role they excelled at due to their inherent emotional resonance. This emotional connection made stories memorable and impactful, characteristics that remain just as potent today.
In the realm of marketing, storytelling emerges as a powerful tool. It humanizes your message, making it relatable and easy to digest. This is particularly relevant in H2H (human-to-human) marketing, where building authentic relationships is at the core of successful engagements.
So, how can you leverage storytelling in your H2H marketing strategy?
As always, understanding your audience is key. Know their challenges, desires, and the journey they are on. Craft stories that resonate with their experiences, and position your product or service as a helpful companion on their path.
Secondly, be authentic. Authentic storytelling fosters trust and establishes a genuine connection between you and your audience. Share real experiences, testimonials, or case studies that reflect the value and the solutions your product or service can offer.
Lastly, don’t shy away from emotions. Getting the hang of storytelling is mostly about finding the emotional core of your message. Like Peter Guber, a big deal at Mandalay Entertainment, says: when you mix feelings with facts, people remember it (source). Need an example? Recall where you were when you heard about 9/11. You likely remember that moment well, but the day before is probably fuzzy. It's the emotions tied to facts that make some memories stick. That's the essence of great storytelling.
Incorporating storytelling into your H2H marketing is not just about telling tales. It's about sharing relevant, meaningful narratives that help your audience see the value in your offering, and inspire them to take action. By doing so, you are not only promoting your product, but you are also building a community of engaged and loyal customers.
6. User-Generated Content
We, humans, are social creatures. We value the opinions of others, especially when making purchasing decisions. H2H marketing capitalizes on this through testimonials, reviews, and user-generated content. When potential customers see real people vouching for your product or service, it boosts credibility and nudges them closer to conversion.
And, of course, there are community forums like Reddit where discussions around your brand happen in a more informal setting. It’s all about people engaging with your brand on different platforms in their own way.
How to obtain user-generated content:
- Encourage sharing. Prompt customers to share their experiences, photos, or reviews online. A simple nudge or an incentive like a discount on future purchases can work wonders.
- Create hashtags. Develop unique, brand-centric hashtags and encourage customers to use them when posting about your brand.
- Hold contests and giveaways. Engage your audience by organizing contests or giveaways where the entry requirement is to share content related to your product or experience.
- Feature UGC. Show that you value UGC by featuring it on your platforms. This could motivate others to share their own content in hopes of being featured.
7. Talk to Your Audience
In H2H (human-to-human) marketing, talking to your audience is key. It's not about one-way chats. It's a two-way street. This means not just sharing your message but also listening to what your audience has to say. Encourage feedback, reply to comments on social media, and join in on discussions. This shows that real people, not just a logo, run your brand.
This friendly chat should happen wherever your customers contact you. This includes through chats or when they reach out to customer support. Sure, some replies will be automated. But it's important to mix in replies from real people too. This human touch helps build a real connection. It makes your brand feel more friendly and trustworthy.
Human-to-human marketing isn't a passing fad but a reminder of the fundamental essence of marketing: fostering genuine connections. In a digital age, where automation and algorithms often take center stage, H2H marketing brings us back to the basics, emphasizing the human element in business interactions.
And what makes human-to-human marketing important to adopt? No matter if you're targeting businesses or are a business-to-consumer company, more human service will benefit both you and your target audience. This approach doesn't just add a warm, personal touch but goes a long way in building trust, understanding, and long-term relationships with your audience.
In wrapping up, H2H marketing isn't merely a strategy; it's a philosophy that resonates with the inherent human desire for genuine connections and trust.