For years businesses have identified themselves as B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer). Some even identify as B2G (business-to-government) or B2M (business-to-many). The commonality among all of these B2s is who makes the purchasing decisions in each of these cases, and it’s always a human.
Of course your strategy needs to dictate who or what your business is targeting, but in the end you are still talking to the person on the other end of your website, hold message, social media, TV, etc. If you start thinking of your prospects as the individuals making the decisions—especially if you have been identifying as B2B—you can (and should) adapt your current communications so it reaches them in a personal and engaging manner.
Transition to Human-to-Human
Start by identifying individuals within companies you are targeting rather than just the companies. If you are a high-dollar B2B service provider, maybe you only have an interest in speaking with decision makers (i.e. human resource directors, vice presidents or C-Suite members). Create personas for the people you want to speak with, and keep in mind what these people are like outside of the office, what their interests and needs might be, and how you can identify with them on a human level. Pinpoint words, phrases and benefits that would trigger them to have an emotional response and to take action. Talk about what’s in it for them personally rather than focusing on what’s in it for their company.
We talked about the second H in H2H (the human receiving the communication), but what about the first H (the human delivering the communication)? Unless you are selling a commodity, humanizing your brand and positioning your business with a focus on your employees (your humans) can help you gain great advantage in 2016. It is only natural for us—as humans—to feel a sense of loyalty and commitment to those people with whom we have established relationships. When tailoring your company communications to humans, think of this message like it is coming from you, not your company, and use it as the first step in the relationship-building/sales process.