Humanizing the B2B Experience
All marketing communications are human-to-human. That rule should be the foundation of any decent marketing plan, but many B2B firms seem to forget it. The good news is that there’s no secret code to crack when it comes to humanizing the B2B experience for your clients. Imagine yourself trying to win over a new acquaintance and keep these tips in mind:
Speak their language: It’s a common impulse for writers of B2B content to rely on technical language. It makes sense — if you want to showcase your expertise, what better way than to demonstrate mastery of the jargon? Here’s the thing, though: Jargon can be exhausting. Have you ever had to reread a sentence half a dozen times before you could understand it? Do you want to put your audience through that?
Save the arcane language for technical manuals; customers should be approached in a way that anyone can easily understand. In the age of social media, you no longer have to choose between “casual” and “professional.”
Learn their interests: Did you ever play with one of those shape-learning toys when you were a kid? You’d have a bunch of wood pieces in different shapes, and the idea was to place them into the correctly shaped holes. Did you ever think you’d be applying the same principles to your marketing all these years later?
Consider this: Just like every shape has its own specific hole, every customer has their own specific needs. They are most likely very aware of what those needs are, and you’re only going to turn them off if you insist that you know better. Spamming them with the same solution over and over won’t change that; your time is much better spent working to find a more appropriate answer for them.
Feel free to offer your expert opinion if you think you can help them drill down to their root of their pain points, but also know when to recognize that not every product or service you offer is going to be a good fit for every problem. You learned this before you could walk, but here’s a refresher — don’t waste energy trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Earn their trust: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by trying to hide your flaws. Again, buyers are all people, and people are more likely to forgive a mistake if you’re transparent about it.
With that in mind, don’t be afraid to connect prospective buyers to others who have actually used your services. It doesn’t matter how big your industry is — people know each other, and word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool. If your offerings are as good as you suggest, then any small complaints should be overshadowed by praise from your happy clients. (If there’s more bad than good chatter surrounding your business, then marketing might not be your biggest problem.)
It’s natural to want to bury the most negative reviews while shining a spotlight on the incredible ones. Don’t forget, though, that “incredible” actually just means “not credible.” And a company without credibility is a company ignored.
Flaunt your best assets: In this case, we’re not talking about your winning smile or baby blue eyes. A business’s best assets are its people. Celebrate your people! If you have an account executive who went above and beyond for a client, show that person off! Let everyone know how appreciative you are of the employee who just marked their 10th year working with the company.
You might be surprised at how interested your audience is in your successes. (It’s not a bad way to foster company loyalty, either.)
In short, humanizing the B2B experience means giving your audience a reason to want to get to know you. We’re all aware that we’re being marketed to at all times, but no one likes to feel like someone is selling them something. Make yourself interesting and give your audience a chance to discover what you’re about. Connections are more powerful than leads.