In our articles, “The Customer Journey – How Consumers Become Customers”, and “Customer Lifecycle Marketing – Send A Message That Influences Behavior”, we spoke about the importance of direct and personal messaging that influences a behavior or action.
Last week I had a great chat with Caleb Edwards, Founder, and CEO of GreenHouse Agency in Orlando, FL, about these same topics, and he brought up the term, Human To Human Marketing. Now I have not heard that term in a while but it really hit home. In today’s marketing automation world, we forget sometimes that there is a human on the other end and it is vital that we embrace this human-to-human connection. Your consumers belong to a community, and these communities are now your new target markets. So despite the abundance of software tools, it is time for a shift back to the days of personalization at a “human-to-human” level, and that is the focus of this article.
What Is Human To Human Marketing (H2H)
Human to Human Marketing (H2H) is a marketing strategy that focuses on building personal relationships with consumers and customers. This differs from traditional B2B or B2C methodologies in that we are breaking down the sales message and replacing it with a message that enables consumers to actually feel “connected” to the business or brand on a more human-level than before.
The days of big business saturating consumers with messages of dominance and confusion are long gone. Marketers of today need to individualize messaging and build authentic connections to thrive because out of necessity, consumers have learned to be selective due to the information overload that has been thrown at them.
It’s Quality Not Quantity
I spent 13 years in enterprise sales before jumping into the marketing world, and the smile-and-dial mantra still haunts me to this day. Activity requirements were based on the number of dials I made, not the number of valued connections I made. Remember, meaningful conversations are much more important than the number of cold calls or emails blasts you do each week.
Cultivating personalized messages take time and determination. The silver lining is that there are tons of marketing technology solutions out there that were built to solve this exact problem. Doing the research can be tedious but it is worth it. LinkedIn, Blogs, and Social Media are great ways to find out important details about your target consumers. And since H2H is all about personalization, and more importantly Human-to-Human connections, what better way to deliver that message than through video. Some great video solutions that I have been experimenting with are Wistia, Vidyard, and Knovio. It is always nice to put a face to a name, and that is just what these solutions do.
Tell A Story That Solves A Problem
Creating a compelling narrative that people care about is the foundation for Human To Human Marketing. It is important that your narrative tells a story that solves a problem. Solution-based selling is my favorite selling style, and although this takes the most time to implement, it has by far the highest conversion rates than any other selling style.
For sales reps to make a truly human connection, they must silence all the noise and take on the role of consultant. As marketers, it is important that we equip our sales teams with collateral that speaks the same language. E-books, webinars, blogs, and testimonials are great, but if their language is not speaking “human” than they will be heard as nothing more than noise by consumers.
Consumer Engagement Is Key
Did you know that less than 1% of leads that come from an online form or content download actually turn into revenue-generating customers? That sounds crazy, yet we still see forms and downloads on almost every website we come across.
So what are the alternatives? I mentioned a few video-hosting solutions, but let’s not forget about the grass-roots marketing tactics that gave birth to gorilla marketing. Get out there, attend events, speak with consumers, give them a message to believe in, and give back more than you take. Consumers are not fools, they can read between the lines and you must give back the power to them because without consumers, there is no commerce.
Information overload, whether it be from TV, Radio, or Social Media, has created a sea of confusion that speaks an archaic language to consumers. As humans, we crave simplicity, and marketers need to tap into the language and learn to speak human again. This is what the market is craving, this is what your consumers are craving, and ultimately, Human To Human Marketing is what needs to be delivered.