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It is no secret that we are on the frontlines of the next marketing landscape revolution. Recapping this morning’s sessions with Brian Solice, an author, digital anthropologist and Altimeter Group’s principal analyst and Paul Petermen, the head of industry technology and connectivity at Facebook, there was one main focus: the human element.

The consumerization of B2B technology is dramatically changing how decision-makers research, discover and engage with peers in their journey. It’s no longer about traditional one-way marketing funnels but it’s about how to an evolving landscape that engages and re-engages your audiences.

“One of the main problems with B2B marketing is that it assumes that there are no humans in business.”

Understanding the human element of your customer’s journey is the key to innovating your marketing strategies. This includes learning to speak like they do, and not like marketers.

“If you talked to people the way content markers talk to people they’d punch you in the face.” – Brian Solice

It is time to start thinking about people-to-people marketing. All of our marketing conversations need to start with empathy. We need to understand what our customers are feeling, thinking and need. As marketers, it is our job to understand our customers and give them what they need, when they need it, in the most efficient (and valuable) way possible.

“60% of Business Decision Makers report mobile played a significant role in recent business purchases, and they spend 75% more time per day on Facebook than the average user and are 1.52x more likely to be consuming product demos on Facebook than other platforms.”

We Won’t Even Wait 5 Minutes For An Uber without Checking The Lyft App. 

We are an incredibly impatient generation to market to. The new generation of customers, both B2B and B2C, want more from the brands that they purchase from and interact with, more than ever before. We want to have our packages delivered overnight, our groceries to show up at our house or shopped for us, our gas tanks filled for us without us even having to go out to our car… all of which we can get quickly through apps. And, efficiency is just one part of the puzzle.

mobile apps

Personalization in The Customer Journey

Technology has made it possible to be hyper-personalized in our marketing efforts. As marketers and brands, we must be relatable, relevant and personable, all while providing the value of what we offer to our audiences. As customers are raising the bar for brands, it is pushing us as marketers to do better and the technology available is giving us the tools to do it.  Traditionally speaking, marketing was not in charge of the entire customer journey, but it has to be now. We have to define every aspect of the experience from the first impression to advocacy. And the journey requires personalized strategies and seamless integration with the sales teams. You have to invest in researching your customers, understanding your audiences, developing strategic and niche buyer personas. Traditional loud disruptive efforts are just not cutting it. Relevancy, value and personalization are what’s working.

Here are some quick tips to help you start human-centric marketing initiatives:

  • Research who your customers are… in-depth, understand what they care about and who they are as people, invest in understanding them. It will be the most beneficial to gaining an ROI on your marketing efforts.
  • Think outside the box; don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Flip up your messaging; change your messaging to be human-centric, talk the way your customers talk.
  • Content and paid media strategies; implement programmatic and individual buyer personas to scale personalized messages to your audiences.
  • Focus on efficiency and speed; review your website. What’s the site speed? More than 4 seconds? How about your landing pages? This is a great place to start with increasing your results.
  • Don’t discount the need for mobile and social media in B2B marketing. It is a critical component in your B2B buyer’s journey.

In conclusion, stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like a person, and you’re marketing will start to speak to how your customers are engaging in the digital landscape.

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