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  • Writer's pictureVedran Soric

10. No more B2B - H2H is here (to stay)!

When was the last time you purchased a product or service as a business?

The answer is never. You purchased a product or service as a person or employee of a company. And whether you worked at a company or were a consumer, you never bought a product or service from a company—you bought from the people at that company (whether you knew them or not).

So when it comes to marketing your business, whether you're a B2B or B2C brand, it's time to look at your marketing strategy differently. You need to stop thinking about B2B or B2C approaches and focus more on H2H (Human to Human)

-> human to human marketing

Fortunately, inbound marketing helps your business become more human-centric. Here's how.

Inbound marketing focuses on H2H

Inbound marketing capitalizes on the human-to-human relationships that surround business transactions in the following ways:

  1. Focused on pain – Every purchase people make is based on pain, whether it's the pain of being left out of a fashion trend or the pain of an inventory management system that no longer fits your business. Once people's pain becomes acute, they are ready to buy from you.

  2. Persona-based – Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer, but you should use them for more than just targeting strategy. Use your buyer personas to remind you that your customers have special human needs and pains just like you – and then optimize your sales process to alleviate those pains.

  3. Search – Inbound marketing optimizes your websites for humans first and search engines second, because even if your website is on the first page of Google, no one buys from a website made for robots. Soon even Google won't rank your site well if it doesn't answer user questions.

  4. User Experience – Your business website design should first focus on providing an outstanding user (ie human) experience to each of your visitors. Even if you're an enterprise-level B2B brand, each of your visitors is still just one human looking for a full website experience.

  5. Social Media – The H2H approach keeps in mind that a social media strategy is about a prospect or client's conversation, not just another publishing tool. Inbound marketing then uses that conversation to generate more leads for your business.

  6. Analytics – It's easy to get lost in the numbers and measurables of inbound marketing, but remember what your marketing data is for: data about website traffic, page conversions, and social reach exists to help you better connect with your (human) customers and provide an outstanding experience.

  7. Sales guidance – People don't want to be sold to, they want to be guided to the decision that best solves their current problems, and your sales process should reflect this change in customer behavior. Stop selling just to meet your quota and start directing the development of longer-term customer relationships.

Why H2H is important for your business

The H2H marketing approach isn't just for sentimental sentiments or sweet stories. It also brings the following benefits to your company's bottom line:

  1. H2H marketing conveys trust and confidence to your potential clients.

  2. H2H marketing develops long-term relationships with customers.

  3. H2H marketing has a greater potential to spread through word of mouth (online and offline).

  4. H2H marketing helps you listen (and respond) to changes in customer demand.

  5. H2H marketing connects you with your potential customers through multimedia storytelling, which is far more effective than mere facts, figures and product descriptions.

While your business may need to optimize for a longer (B2B) or very short (B2C) buying decision cycle, you need to focus on the human-to-human relationship first in both your marketing and sales efforts. Harnessing the power of an inbound marketing strategy ensures your communications are more H2H, and that's a business change we can all appreciate – even your bottom line

Tip for getting started:

Stop pretending that another company is buying your products or services and start focusing on people-to-people relationships. Create content that solves your prospects' pain points and answers their questions instead of just talking about yourself. Treat your prospect as you would like to be treated and watch your business grow accordingly.

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