If you’ve been in marketing for a long time you’ve often heard the terms B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer). These terms were coined a long time ago to differentiate marketing techniques, communications tools, inventory planning, etc. Even today, if you look at Marketing Job Postings you will see B2B and B2C experience required for different jobs.
But the thing is, times are changing. Well, maybe not so much changing as just waking up to what was there all along…
It’s not B2B and it’s not B2C – it’s H2H – Human-to-Human – when it comes to marketing today.
What is H2H Marketing?
Think about your workday – when you get to work do you really change all that much?
Do you suddenly find yourself much more discerning when it comes to the quality of products or the types of people with whom you want to do business?
When you’re in a grocery store or department store, are you making your purchasing choices based on you being a “Consumer” or a “Human Being”?
The notion of H2H Marketing is what Inbound Marketing is all about.
It’s about not only knowing the “stats” of your customers, but intimately knowing what makes them tick – the things that keep them up at night and the things that make them smile.
H2H Marketing is about building trust – it’s about working together with your customers to make them successful – because when your customers are successful, you are too. Bottom line – it’s all about empathy – really understanding what it’s like in the daily life of your customer – whether they’re working in a business or coming into your store.
How to start H2H Marketing in your organization.
1) Really Get To Know Your Customers
H2H Marketing is all about listening – listening to what your customers are asking for and then providing it to them – not selling them what you have and expecting them to make it work.
2) Solving Pain Points
Know what will help ease a problem that your customers are experiencing.
Are they bogged down with inbound phone inquiries? Work with them on a call center solution.
Is their development team always behind on new software updates? Work with them on the best agile solution for project planning.
Are they worried they won’t find the most fashionable prom dress in their price range? Be their hero.
The interesting thing about solving pain points in the H2H Marketing world is that your company may not always have the solution for the pain point that’s happening right now – but if you truly build a relationship with your customer, and you’re empathetic, you will feel good about recommending a product that may not be your own to solve the first problem – and then they will buy from you to solve their next problem.
3) Build Out Your Social Media Presence
In the world of H2H Marketing, it’s not just about you helping your customers – it’s about them helping you too.
This help usually comes in the form of praises sung in testimonials both on your website and the various social media platforms you have in place.
Make it easy for your customers to find you on social media – and make sure you always respond quickly and decisively when any negative press comes along. In fact, if you do H2H Marketing right, your happy customers will quickly come to your defense.
4) Create a user-friendly website
Sure Google needs to be appeased, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your online customer experience.
Your first goal should be to create a user-friendly website with your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) clearly presented and your site visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Watch your conversion analytics closely – they will give you an understanding of what is most useful and effective.
In the future, job postings will no longer require “B2B experience” or “B2C experience” – as the web evolves and inbound marketing techniques mature, the only thing you will need to worry about is H2H.