As marketers we sometimes get all hot and bothered when we start thinking about B2B and B2C marketing but, maybe, we should be thinking more about people marketing.
It’s an interesting thought and one that I believe is becoming more important as the marketing landscape continues to change at a dizzying pace.
I was given reason to think about it in more detail this week when I was invited to join a panel of marketing experts at the Go Social Go Media Conference in Manchester.
One astute marketing professional asked the question to the panel: “Is it not time that we stopped differentiating between B2B and B2C marketing and just think about human to human marketing?”
It’s a subject that’s been debated a lot over the last few years in marketing circles and Bryan Kramer’s ground-breaking book on the ‘H2H Movement’ goes a long way to successfully arguing that there is a much better way of marketing.
When you really drill into the subject, it makes perfect sense. Corporations and organisations don’t make decisions or judge what’s right for customers. The people behind those organisations do. So, why as marketers do we feel the need to segment into B2B and B2C marketing?
Content marketing, I believe, is one of the best-placed methods to take advantage of the swing away from B2B and B2C marketing, because its specific purpose is to talk to people and build trust. So, if you’re engaged in content marketing with your company or organisation, you’re already more than halfway to becoming a H2H marketer. Perhaps even more than that.
I truly believe that one of the biggest factors in marketing campaigns that fail is the lack of a personal touch. We all love to talk about the importance of engagement in content marketing and social media but yet too many organisations still churn out soulless content that neither excites or engages in any meaningful way.
We can all start to reverse this trend by firstly stopping thinking about B2B and B2C marketing for a second and start thinking about what you want the person you are marketing to, to feel when they see your content.
There are three key questions that you have to ask yourself with any content you produce in your content marketing:
These are also central questions in the theory behind H2H marketing. When was the last time you asked yourself any of these during content production?
It’s important not to discount the importance of brand when thinking about a lessened focus on B2B and B2C marketing. A strong brand and first-class people marketing are not mutually exclusive but I believe that the brand is the house number on your front door and your marketing efforts are the connections you create once people have come inside. Make sense?
Don’t let your brand do all the talking just because you see yourself as a B2B company. Make it personal. Make it H2H and let me know the results.