How to humanise your marketing in an automated world
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The concepts of B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing are well established and for good a reason. B2C marketing refers to the targeting of wants and needs of an individual that will make a decision to purchase for themselves, in comparison to B2B, which refers to a marketing strategy aimed at marketing to decision makers within an organisation, who will purchase on behalf of the company as a customer. Using this terminology helps marketers to define their audience and develop their marketing strategies accordingly.
But are we becoming too familiar with these terms and forgetting that all purchases are made by a human regardless?
The rise of H2H (Human-to-Human) Marketing
With the rapid increase in popularity of automation and artificial intelligence, the human aspect of marketing is often forgotten about, especially when it comes to businesses selling to other businesses. Brands need to remember that behind every business there is a person!
In the current climate empathy and trust are vital, so now more than ever a brand that ‘humanises’ their marketing and taps into their customers’ emotions will find themselves ahead of the game.
How do I humanise my business marketing?
1. Don’t over-personalise automation
The benefits of automating marketing are clear; increasing productivity and efficiency, generating better leads, and achieving multichannel views of customer behaviour. So, by all means use automation, but make sure you are being transparent and don’t try to disguise the communications as personalised to them only. Despite the fact that it is very difficult to write a personal email to a go out en masse, it’s also pretty obvious when you receive an email that is attempting to disguise itself as a personal email, and this can actually reduce trust and eliminate interest before you’ve begun!
More broadly it can certainly be beneficial to use automation to communicate a certain message with a particular audience, but when it comes to really personal communication, don’t try and fool a human.
2. Compliment personalisation with automation
Instead of trying to over-personalise automation, it can be effective to compliment automated communication channels with personalisation. A good example is using online chat; the chat bot on your website automatically opens to ask a customer if they require help, or to welcome them back to the site. Once connected though the customer gets to speak directly to a representative of an employee.
3. Review your language
Tone of voice can play a major part in how your business communicates with customers. If your website or other forms of communication use robotic language with over complicated technical jargon that no person would use in conversation with another person, then consider whether this could be a barrier for communicating to your audience. This will of course depend on your industry but using a language that is easy to digest and resonates with your audience will help to show the human side to your business.
It could be a good time to consider your overall messaging and run a messaging workshop to ensure your messaging, the language you use and the tone of voice are appropriate for reaching the people behind the businesses you are selling to.
4. Engage on social media
Social media was designed for communicating human-to-human yet many businesses are still using this channel only to push their products on to customers and hard sell. Use social media to tell a story and help the customer realise how you can make their life better. In B2B terms this could be selling the customer something that will make their personal work life better, or improve their team’s productivity, or even just give them a sense of pride in finding something they believe can benefit their company for the better.
Use real case studies and reviews of how you have helped make other customers happy. Use content generated from your current customers if possible, such as reviews from third party review sites, or encourage them to post on their own social media platforms so that you can share.
Make sure to engage with your followers, reply to questions and comments and sign off as an employee rather than just as the brand.
Post content that shows the human side of your business such as your employees, your office life, your values, and activities. The decision-maker at another business will want to see that there are people behind your company, and this will help resonate with their personal experiences and build trust.
You can read more tips for engaging on a personal level in our recent blog on tips for B2B marketing on Instagram.
If you’d like to chat about your current marketing approach then please don’t hesitate to give us a call, we are happy to chat through any obstacles you might have and offer advice on how to humanise your brand.