Marketing 101 teaches us that there are two types of customers: Business To Business (B2B) and Business To Consumer (B2C).
While elements of this still hold true, the world has changed. People now expect a far more personalised experience and a deeper connection from brands than ever before.
Meeting this expectation is called Human-To-Human (H2H) Marketing.
So, how is your brand connecting with humans?
Access to an abundance of information, wherever and whenever we want, has changed us all.
People have become empowered with a lot of control when it comes to decision-making due to an excess of choice delivered through digital technology, and this has drastically shifted the way an individual responds to marketing.
We can all find what we’re looking for with a few touches of a screen and in-depth answers to all of our questions by simply asking our Smart devices. It’s, therefore, no wonder why we don’t take forceful advertising simply at its word.
Gone are the days when a voiceover on TV said, “Corney Flakes are delicious and healthy for your children,” or “The new electronic tablet is amazing,” and we just bought them with no questions asked.
No no no.
Sure, we may be time poor - but we certainly don’t believe adverts at face value any more. In fact, we can’t wait to hit “SKIP” on anything that even slightly disinterests us.
Why? Because today, people are savvy about the choices we make and their trust needs to be nurtured and earned, rather than forced.
This takes work and brands need to step up to the challenge.
The era of Human-To-Human (H2H) Marketing is here and businesses need to adjust their strategies to accommodate this, or risk losing their precious audience to brands who do.
What is Human To Human (H2H) marketing?
H2H Marketing is taking inbound content marketing to the next level by focusing on creating genuine, emotional connections with the real humans within our audience.
In a world of opportunity, people are searching for purpose more than ever before, which is why businesses need to be considering a more holistic, societal and empathetic approach to marketing today to earn precious trust.
Look at this menu of Grill’d.
They offer more than just healthy burgers. They offer good will and purpose. They give to charity and even give you the choice with the bottle cap voting system (genius!). They undertake sustainable practise. They care, and this care connects with humans.
People feel good about being associated with their brand, making them relevant.
The reality of today is that people respond well to brands that treat them as real people and not a number or a means to an end. They prefer businesses which demonstrate their dedication to them and the world around us.
For example, Suzy Mac from Optus shared a recent campaign where the telecommunications giant was struggling to attract the Australian Rural audience, despite several failed attempts in the past.
However, during a recent fire which swept the town of Tathra in NSW, they took the opportunity to set up a Disaster Response team, offering free phone services to all evacuees who needed assistance getting in contact with family and support services.
Eric Albina (Optus’ Network Category Manager) said, “The feedback from the community was heart-warming during the time we were on the ground. One particular lady stood out for me; she was so humble and grateful that Optus provided her with a phone. It’s times like these when I am so proud to work for such an organisation”.
This gesture demonstrates H2H marketing. Optus employed an innovative way of blending their product offering with their audience’s greater need, immediately establishing an emotional resonance with them on a deeper level than just saying, “switch to Optus, we’re better.”
When they ran targeted local ads and content marketing to share the story, it was the best response they had ever received from a rural audience.
This is a fantastic example of where H2H marketing can get cut through due to its approach at a human level.
Why is H2H Marketing important?
If we take off our “business hat” and put our customer hats on, how do you make decisions?
We naturally consider a whole list of options and do quite a bit of research; but there are always brands which are top-of-mind, that we feel a connection with.
Why? Because they’ve joined the world that we live in through H2H marketing.
Bunnings offer more than hardware. They offer DIY potential for parents wanting to make their home a little bit special, all by themselves.
Who Gives A Crap, the business that makes super-soft recycled toilet paper, not only communicates in a real, human way to people – they also donate profits and take the pressure off our precious forests.
The majority of people tend to be far more loyal to brands that care about them and society. We consider them relevant to us, because they are.
Brands must demonstrate this commitment across every consumer touch point
In a recent study conducted by Wunderman, 79% of consumers said that brands have to actually demonstrate that they understand and care about them before they consider purchasing.
While it’s nice to be humble, customers are bombarded every single day. So it’s worth sharpening your marketing to communicate a more holistic picture of your brand and let them know how much you care, rather than pushing your products all of the time.
This is the essence of H2H marketing, and it’s only going to become more prominent as time moves on.
Just don’t fake it
H2H Marketing only works when the purpose and passion behind caring about people is real.
It’s not a ‘warm and fuzzy’, or a nice to have. It’s a genuine need that people are looking for now.
So, just before businesses think that they can fake H2H and just put on a good show for the public – it’s not going to work. Or not for long, anyway. People find out, and when they do, the fallout can be devastating.
There have been countless examples, such as H&M, which has been called out recently for its hypocrisy over labour wages around the globe, despite their promises to the contrary.
The world is too small today for businesses to hide, and people are too well connected to not find out.
Besides – customers are quite savvy and will quickly decide which brands they get the right caring vibe from and which they don’t.
How do you do H2H Marketing?
Start with the customer – you always start with the customer.
After this, ‘content is king’. But in a whole new way than before.
Yep! We’re back to that over-used saying, but while the definition of these three words has changed, it’s still relevant if you bring it into today’s standard.
Originally, content creation was about generating loads of materials and hoping something sticks.
However, today when aligned with H2H, it’s about considering executions that will bring yourself into your customer’s vision because your product is relevant to them. But it’s more than this – it’s also about earning their respect and trust by engaging them on a human level.
The most relevant brands today are becoming those which people can see actually care, and it’s a beautifully refreshing era.
Do we ditch all other forms of marketing?
But it’s not about thinking H2H is “one form of marketing amongst many others.” It’s about integrating the principles of connecting deeply with people that should start to permeate everything a brand does.
The real way to keep in touch with your audience is to be omnipresent across many channels so that you’re top of mind when their ‘moment of inspiration’ hits them.
And if you can hit them with a message, an image or a video which connects with them emotionally and demonstrates your brand’s genuine empathy, you’ve won.
How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need quality copywriting and consistent content. However, we understand that this is easier said than done.
You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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