Applying a human-to-human ethos to business-to-business

Posted on 18th October 2018 by Rob

page down

Alex gives his take on how B2B brands can take a leaf out of the consumer marketing book and become more human.

 

When you think about businesses with a successful humanised brand, chances are you’ll think of those in the consumer sphere. Putting a face to the brand, whether that’s through celebrity endorsements or regular CEO profiles, is an approach taken by many businesses from Nike to Virgin in a bid to appeal to customers on a personal level. But the amount of B2B brands that have a similar personal feel is a bit thin on the ground.

 

87% of B2B marketers say that they struggle to create humanised content. As B2B marketing is about appealing to people in their professional lives, it’s easy to see why marketers might think about communicating to a business before an individual. For example, a typical B2B PR plan will include activity such as articles and case studies that showcase the business’ knowledge, expertise and experience in the sector, with the intention of demonstrating how they can achieve similar objectives for the reader’s business. But less likely to appear in the plan is activity that aims to achieve an emotional connection. Ultimately, it’s a human that will make the buying decision, and that’s who a marketer needs to appeal to.

 

Our friends at Upp B2B define a human brand:

“A human brand is one that really understands both what their customers believe in and why their employees are motivated to work for the company, and then makes these human elements the basis for everything else.”

A typical B2B organisation will have a whole eco-system of stakeholders, including directors, junior staff, partners, suppliers and customers. They’re the people that businesses should use when creating these human elements for a marketing campaign.

 

The question is then how should businesses use their people? Chances are that many are already using the tactics that can showcase the human aspect of their business; they just need to tailor it slightly. Instead of only creating case studies showing their successful customer projects, businesses should produce content showing the internal workings of the company, e.g. employee engagement initiatives. Instead of only profiling the director, businesses should do the same for junior members of staff that have an interesting story to tell, e.g. they began their working life as an apprentice and have progressed through the ranks. Seeing the personalities that make up the business is how potential customers can engage with the brand on a human level.

 

Establishing a mission statement, values and messaging are areas of a brand that many businesses have well established. But defining how they want the business’ people and culture to come across is perhaps lower down in the list of priorities. Potential customers aren’t just driven by logic – their emotions are what also drive them to making a buying decision, and that’s why a business’ people can be a valuable marketing asset.

BROWSE MORE CONTENT

The only way is… B2B PR

I love a good behind the scenes documentary – prison life, five-star hotels, on board a cruise ship –  there’s an endless supply of warts ‘n’ all documentaries on what life’s like if you’re a resident of one of the UK’s toughest prisons or work at one of London’s top hotels. Although there’s been a […]

Read more...

Posted on
From Googling it, to letting Google do it: how we give away our privacy in exchange for convenience

When you ‘own’ most of the internet or at least own most of our access to it, it’s a constant surprise that Google’s approach to privacy of its users isn’t under more scrutiny. Given the current technology and privacy backlash against the likes of Facebook, Insta and WhatsApp, it is baffling how Google – the […]

Read more...

Posted on
Mental Health Awareness Week: how small changes can make a big difference in the workplace

This week (13th-19th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem, and while we’re becoming better at talking about it as a society, knowing how to cope, where to turn, or how to help somebody who is struggling […]

Read more...

Posted on

Get in touch?

Sign up for our Newsletter for...

Please enter your details below to subscribe.

Your name*:

Your company name*:

Your work email address*: