Heart to Heart H2H not Business to Business B2B or Business to Consumer B2C could be the next big thing in marketing and there are many reasons why this makes perfect sense.
We have used B2B and B2C in our commercial conversations for decades and in the past they perfectly summarised the differences in approach we would take in conversing with our consumers and diverse ranges of business decision makers.
The B2B decision making process was considered rather complex. You would need to talk to and market very differently to a finance director than a sales director, or a CEO than a human resources director. And the buying department? Well that’s a whole different conversation again.
In the B2C decision making process, the naive marketer would think solely about their customer, the end user of their product or service. But here, the savvy marketer understood that there were influencers (peers, family, friends, celebrity, media) who would contribute in no small part to the consumers decisions.
What do both B2B and B2C marketing approaches have in common? They are both concerned with the effectiveness of communication and customer journey plotted for human beings.
These human beings, whether in work or leisure mindset, are human beings. They engage with us, or don’t, on the basis of both logical and emotional considerations. We completely miss the point if we think we can market to ‘a job title’ or to a ‘broad consumer demographic’. Today it is all about personalisation.
Personalisation. There, I said it again. This is such a crucial word in our marketing lexicon, because it reminds us constantly that it’s about the perceived experience we are choreographing for our customer rather than what’s in it for us. Personalisation, as a focus of our marketing and sales planning, allows us to delve deeply into the motivations, needs, desires and wishes of our target human being, the persona behind the mask, so to speak.
And herein lies the clue to why Heart to Heart (H2H) will be the future of marketing. Let’s not confuse things here. H2H is Heart to Heart, not Human to Human. It could be, but we can do better…
B2B was too restrictive in its view of who we are dealing with. We expected people to fit perfectly into a role and make logical, non-emotive decisions about whether or not we were relevant and would add value to their world. B2C was too restrictive in that the market segmentation, even if we took it to the level of describing them as a customer persona, rather than a consumer, only really appealed to their logical decision making and left out the all important emotional engagement, from their heart.
No manner of features and benefits, stories and testimonials, case studies and sexy high budget advertising and promotion, will convince a human being to engage with us if we don’t appeal to their heart as well as their head.
So welcome to your marketing mix the concept of H2H. What can you do today to really understand and then work with, your customers’ heart?
– this article was inspired by a conversation with business development guru Paul Skuse, founder of OakField Design + Creation