In today’s technology and data-driven environment, it’s easy to create your sales and marketing strategy based on a Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer approach that’s been run through countless analytics programs and databases. It’s incredibly common. But, there’s another approach to sales that might benefit your business.
H2H – What is it?
In a H2H, or human to human marketing concept, your goal is to take a step back from the typical business approach to sales and focus on human interaction. Consider this. When you introduce yourself at a function, you don’t introduce yourself as your business, but as the person (human) behind it.
Humans are in fact the ones who do the research and make the buying decisions, not the business. One digital strategist sums it up succinctly, saying, “When people are buying from small businesses, like ours or yours, they are making a human connection; they aren’t just buying from a faceless entity. This is why I believe it’s important to incorporate a new, uncommon, and creative type of marketing: Human to Human (H2H).”
Why H2H Marketing Makes Sense
The H2H marketing approach personally tailors your message to your ideal buyer (this is where your existing buyer persona comes into play).
So how can you accomplish that? Think small. Personalize your strategy to individuals, as opposed to a large blanket approach, and have conversations with your buyers. Are there materials your buyer persona desires during the sales process? Is there content that would encourage them to continue looking to you as the thought leader and expert on your services?
Another small, but mighty, point to focus on is the pain points of your buyer persona. H2H marketing focuses on these pain points and how they can be solved with your product and connect the buyer to your brand.
It runs off of relationships.
Become a listener, get to know your buyer and build relationships. Ask questions that give you insight into their buying habits and decision-making processes. The better you know your buyers, the more you can personalize the message you send. Allow your buyers to be the influential part of your business conversation. It’s been said that “business customers don’t leave the personal side of themselves at home when they go to work.” They are human, and they desire personalized content and communication.
With relationships comes conversation and H2H marketing focuses on this process to build relationships and continue the conversation. This allows for trust to be built before the conversation to open doors for a more meaningful, and hopefully, successful conversation!
6 Ways to Utilize H2H
When adopting a human to human marketing strategy, one of the first things you should do is focus on your customer’s pain points. Every consumer has a problem or a challenge they seek solutions for, which leads them to browse the marketplace. What is their issue? What is giving them grief? By knowing their pain points, you can carefully craft your message to show how your product relieves their stresses.
Here are some tips for utilizing H2H:
- Identify your target persona (buyer persona) – Focus your attention on that particular group of potential buyers. Remember the human element here and take into account their needs and pains.
- Optimize your website for people – In the past, the focus had been on optimizing for search engines. While that’s still important, it should be a dual focus combined with user experience in a H2H marketing strategy. Remember, your content should be designed to answer questions, which is exactly the way consumers search for something online. A great option is to provide testimonials from people who have used your product. One study shows that having feedback and testimonials on your website increases sales conversions by 74%.
- Emphasize the User Experience – Focus your website aesthetic to please people. Don’t make it complicated or too busy. It should be easy to navigate and easy for the consumer to quickly find what they are looking for. There should also be CTAs that funnel consumers where you want them to go.
- Utilize social media for communication. Part of your marketing strategy should focus on social media, whether your business uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube. Your goal is to encourage conversation and communication. Interact with your social followers, answer questions they may have, and get them talking.
- Review metrics and analytics – Use these to strategize and re-strategize to ensure your plan is engaging your buyer persona and your efforts are converting. Metrics, such as website traffic, page conversion, and social reach, give you the tools necessary to connect with your customers and see how they want to be connected with. The more you focus on their needs, the better their overall experience will be with your brand.
- Guide. Don’t sell. – We caution you about “selling” to your potential customers. You’ve heard the saying before, “customers don’t like to be sold to.” In the H2H marketing approach, your goal is to guide your customers through the buying process. Show them how your product or service can solve their pain or need. By guiding them through the decision-making process, and not stuffing a sales pitch down their throats, you’ll create a long-lasting relationship which leads to trust and conversions.
Why does all of this matter?
As the way consumers shop and go about their daily lives continues to change, we, as business owners or decision makers, need to adapt the way we think and operate along with them. By following a H2H marketing approach, you’ll further position your brand toward embracing the human element of the sales process. Remember, in this human-first approach, your focus is on building relationships which lead to trust.
The H2H approach will help your business build trust, encourage your buyers to talk about your business, increase word of mouth recommendations, and connect you with your prospects through multimedia storytelling. Quality content is key here. Now more than ever, buyers are relying on content to fuel their purchase decisions. With this approach, your company will be doing more listening, allowing you to adapt to customer demands.
Remember that we are all human. The sales process is a human interaction that requires trust, insight, and solutions. By incorporating these changes into your sales strategy, you’ll build the long-lasting, profitable relationships you desire.
Get Started With H2H Marketing Today
Now that you’ve learned about the H2H marketing approach, it’s time to put these tips to good use. Review your sales strategy and compare it to an H2H approach. Have you identified your buyer persona and do you truly know this person? Have you taken the time to “interview” your customers or potential consumers? Be an active listener and take the time to learn more about your buyers and what they have to offer. Review your web presence and social media strategies to see if they are user-friendly and engaging.
If you find that your business is not where it needs to be and you need help developing the perfect plan to implement H2H marketing into your repertoire, contact the Valpak marketing team, and we’ll help you get where you need to be.