Human-to-human marketing: what is it and why is it important?
Too often businesses today think about customers in terms of their segment – are they B2B or B2C? But is this really the way forward if we want to create interactions that drive results?
Human-to-human marketing (H2H) is the best way to stand out in the competitive market today.
Modern marketing can sometimes feel like a big contradiction; people want the latest tech and experiences that marketing automation can create, but they also crave personalization and human interaction. How are you supposed to meet both these demands?
To create strong relationships with your audience it’s vital you remember your audience is human first and a customer second. People want to interact with people. People will engage with real people. Especially when you’re operating within the B2B sector, never forget that companies are made up of humans. Yes, you want to fulfill the business need, but the buying and selling process is human.
What is human-to-human marketing?
Human-to-human (H2H) marketing is a human-centric approach to marketing. This is the model on which responsible marketing is based.
It’s about meeting the customer’s needs while demonstrating that you’re human and trustworthy. Relationships between businesses, customers, and prospects should be based on long-term trust and respect.
Why is human-to-human marketing important?
The benefit of this marketing tactic is clear: it ensures that your marketing strategy delivers the best possible results.
It’s simpler than it seems and requires next to no investment. How? Because it simply requires one human to connect with another. Since you have a team of them working behind your marketing, it should be easy enough.
When you focus on building human-to-human connections with your audience, they’re much more forgiving when you make mistakes. Testing is allowed and encouraged when there is a clear benefit to them.
By humanizing your marketing, you’re able to build stronger relationships with your target audience and have more influence over their decision to buy.
How to adopt a human-to-human marketing strategy?
1. Tone of voice
The way you speak to your audience is essential. It’s how you communicate your brand’s humanity. To effectively communicate your H2H strategy you need to:
- Be real: authenticity is about saying what the reader needs to hear, not what they want to hear.
- Be empathic: let your audience know that you understand them, that you’ve been in their shoes.
- Be personal: get to know your customer, know their names, likes and dislikes. It all does a long way.
2. Simplify your communication
Stuffiness, formality, and overly-complicated use of jargon can be a barrier between you and your audience. Build rapport by simplifying your language and talking to audiences as equals.
3. Be honest and transparent
Being open and honest is the only way you’ll be able to build solid relations based on trust. You need to be honest with your audience about the decisions you make. Why are you collecting their data, what do you intend to do with it? Will you be using automation or AI? Why should they allow machines to track their behavior and what’s the benefit for them?
4. Blend personalization and automation
Use your data wisely and only use data that will improve the user’s experience. Automated experiences via email, SMS, and live chat will significantly improve their journey, but personalizing it will make it unforgettable.
5. Humanize customer service
Know when and how to connect directly with your audience. Two-way communication channels are a necessity; they’re the only way people will be able to connect with the humans behind your brand. Chat, social media, and messaging apps empower them to talk and be heard directly by the real people behind your brand.
6. Engage on social media
Social media is designed for human-to-human interaction; casual and friendly conversations. Answer questions, respond to comments, post light-hearted and meaningful content, share user-generated content, go live. These are all great ways to get to know your audience and engage with them directly.
Jenna Paton, Content Marketing Manager
Jenna expertly writes thought-leadership content about cross-channel marketing and customer engagement and manages the creation and execution of Dotdigital's content marketing strategy.