Some real smart marketing folks have started to say, Its not B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) its H2H! I want to agree. Really. Im all about conversation and making your brand more than a faceless entity by imbuing some real personality in to everything you do. But, heres why I think H2H has to go.
PS you might have read my recent post on OverGos website about what was missing at HubSpots Inbound 2014 and start to conclude that Im just grumpy because my trip to Maine didnt include quite enough lobster. Not so! Perhaps my brushes with greatness there just gave me the confidence to go out on a limb a bit more. Hows that for human?
Human to Human is Over Simplified
Sure, companies are made of humans and consumers are humans, but the behavior of a human acting as a business and a human acting as a consumer is different enough to warrant the basic persona differentiation of B2B or B2C. Buying patterns and motivations are different for each. Effective social media channels will be different for each. Obviously within those subsets of B2B or B2C youll need to break it down much, much more, but I find that initial category a good place to start when creating a marketing plan.
I certainly understand the backlash though. Its almost as if using B2B and B2C gives marketers license to forget that everyone involved is a human. And perhaps that is why H2H was coined to remind people to be human. So,
Can we Just Implement Human to Business and Human to Consumer and Be Done With the Extra Jargon? Oh, Wait
Marketing jargon is necessary to a point, I suppose. It condenses complex ideas and ensures that were all on the same page when discussing common marketing topics. So, Im OK with keeping B2B and B2C. What isnt OK is the way so many companies are acting as the first B. So many social accounts, and even blog posts sound like they are written by a business, not an actual human. Perhaps that is the problem with B it gives people the false impression that they must speak as a business.
Its one thing to sound professional and knowledgeable. But, you dont need to sound like a robot. Ever. And no, it doesnt matter what business you are in, or if you are speaking to C-Suite big wigs, artists, parents of toddlers, athletes, or anyone else! Be a human, but always keep in mind the humans you are speaking with. Are they concerned about their jobs? Their personal brand? Their families? Their fitness goals? Thats how you start to figure out how to give people what they want. And that is how you start to get what you need.
The Way to Brand Loyalty Lies in Your Humanity
When was the last time you fell in love with a brand? I have a crazy loyal attachment to Canva. Partly because of my pal Peg, who was their social strategist. Partly because of their awesome tool which makes my blog posts look good, but in no small part because of their amazing support and social presence. I have never once felt like I was speaking to a part of a machine that viewed me as a Business or Consumer client. I was just a fellow human and they always wanted to help. Theyre also super about promoting my content when I mention them. Reciprocity its part of being human!
Video hosting company Wistia also does a fabulous job of putting the personality of their company and their employees in to everything they do. Totally lovable and human. BUT, they know who theyre speaking to businesses looking to marketing their companies with great video hosting and top-notch analytics.
So tell me, what do you think of H2H? Does it deserve a place in marketing jargon-land, or can we just remember that businesses are made of people, too? Oh, and if you have a business crush of your own, tell me about it!