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Inbound Marketing | News

B2B Humanization: Putting People Back into B2B

If you sell your products B2B rather than B2C, you’re one business selling your products to another business. You’re not selling to a consumer, a person.

But aren’t you? There’s always one or more people involved any B2B sale: a buyer, a CEO, a procurement officer, an office manager, and so on.

Real. Live. People.

Let’s talk about B2B humanization.

Why is your B2B marketing so complicated and technical if you’re selling one widget (and all its technical specifications) to another widget? What does your highly technical and specific widget do?

 

It ultimately makes a human being’s work life easier:

  •      It makes a machine go, thus ensuring that a widget is built or product delivered on a human-made deadline. Usually, an engineer or maintenance mechanic. Possibly even the company’s president, who probably has to report that the widget or product was made/delivered on time – or not – to another set of humans, their board of directors.
  •      It adds up many numbers quickly and exactly thus making a human who works in accounting much more efficient and accurate. Making them look great in the eyes of their boss.
  •      Your law firm helps a business beat a lawsuit, thus helping keep it in business, meaning its president/CEO and other executives – to whom you are selling your law services – don’t have to lay off employees, thus affecting many more people.

 

Doesn’t Matter If You Sell B2B; You’re Really Selling to People!

Your marketing thus needs to show how your products/services solve their problems/helps them reach their goals.

In fact, B2B marketing really isn’t that much different from business-to-customer marketing: it’s all about how your product or service makes your prospects’ lives better!

Forget the over-technical and – yes, we’ll say it — boring techno-drivel. Write to people. Create content for people. Be engaging. Be interesting. Help them solve their problems and reach their goals with B2B humanization.

 

Embrace the storyteller in you.

All of us, whether, we’re the CEO of a national corporation or a five-year-old waiting for Dad to come in to read a fairytale before tucking us in, we all love stories! What stories do your business-to-business prospects love to hear? Success stories!

Your content marketing – your blog posts, ebooks, videos, landing pages, etc. – all need to tell a story of success. As an example, let’s say you offer an enterprise software platform for utilities. Some of the stories you might want to tell could include:

  •      A case study on how your platform integrated seamlessly with a huge California gas and electric utility.
  •      A blog post that provides reasons why a utility might want to integrate its geographic integration system with its customer information system.
  •      Another blog post on how the utility can ensure a successful platform integration (even if the prospect decides to use one of your competitor’s).
  •      A free white paper on the top four challenges a utility may experience as it integrates an enterprise software platform and how to overcome them.
  •      And so on.

 

Personalize. Personalize. Personalize.

In order to personalize your B2B marketing, you’re going to have to know who your prospects are.  As in, who they really are: their age, their title, their challenges/goals, their hobbies. If you haven’t yet created buyer personas, you should do so now. (Here’s a short primer on what a buyer persona is and how to create a great one.)

Now that you know to whom you’ll tell these stories, it’s time to create your content. Don’t stop at just blog posts and case studies: consider creating quizzes, webinars and videos. Take your geek-out technical information/specifications and make them understandable to a layperson: infographics work well for this method of B2B humanization.

Give away a ton of free stuff in the form of the content mentioned above, but don’t be afraid to get goofy with it. MailChimp, for example, has held away giveaway campaigns that feature coloring books and themed knit hats for cats, all prominently using the email marketing software’s mascot, Fredde.

In short: have fun! You’re a marketer, for cryin’ out loud! You’re the creative type. You have ideas. You’re not afraid to try new things and experiment to reinstate some B2B humanization in your marketing strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about how really be successful with your B2B marketing efforts, have a talk with our director of client services, Jeff Hays. If you’d prefer, you also can contact the business to business marketing experts at Ingenex Digital Marketing.

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