H2H (Human to Human) – Discovery or Another Marketing Hype?

It seems that in the era of chatbots and marketing automation we have forgotten that we are talking to people

Both B2B and B2C are relationships in which we make certain purchase decisions. A truism for some, the first abbreviation stands for working with companies, and second for working with individual clients. But this is not the sole distinction.

Below you can find a list of the most commonly known differences:

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  • the value of the product/service
  • different criteria of the decision
  • mean of payment
  • length of the marketing funnel
  • legal procedures

How can you compare B2B and B2C?

Criteria of decision

In B2B the purchase is not based on impulses. Decision-making process (marketing funnel) is time-consuming. The purchase is also based on certain business criteria and there is not a place for emotions or intuition. Usually, the B2B buyer’s decision is a complicated process including internal negotiations and arrangements.

The reason is simple. Every ill-judged decision could significantly jeopardize the buyer’s business. Furthermore, it can also drastically influence someone’s career. Decision makers are also looking for the trustworthy pedigree partner to mitigate its own risk. That’s why the proposal from the selling side must be consistent and very specified.

Length of the marketing funnel

In B2B more people are involved in a purchase decision. Most B2C consumers navigate the marketing funnel alone or with help of trusted influencer, while B2B consumers typically have a larger, cross-departmental buying group. Usually, people involved in the decision process occupy various positions and functions.

Each of them generally has its own point of few. Decision-makers from the financial department will care about the costs of the transaction while people from operation department will focus on e.g. scalability and security.

In most cases, onboarding clients include also legal actions such as:

  • anti-money laundering procedure
  • know your customer procedure
  • numerous legal adjustments in the contract

In the B2B market, the legal and business environments are constantly changing. Every promising negotiation could eventually end up as a fiasco.

Fixed prices offer versus dedicated proposal

Generally, in the B2C segment, the same prices apply to all buyers. However, in the case of B2B, the scenario is different. The price offer in the B2B segment is not standardized and may depend on the business relations, negotiated terms, history of previous transactions etc. B2B clients usually expect discounts tailored to their needs. Conditions are in the most cases based on the price value of the contract.

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Does this distinction make sense? 

Despite the many differences in both marketing approaches, there is also a variety of similarities. Regardless of whether the client is an individual or a company, decisions are made by people, so knowing their needs, goals, and motivations will be useful in both cases.

And furthermore, taking care of the marketing and brand awareness is, in my opinion, an area where B2C companies take the lead. Especially if we analyze small and medium-sized B2B organizations. Usually, in the B2B companies, there is a lack of brand strategy, which forces sellers to compete on price and reduce profitability.

But what about H2H? Is this next “big thing” in the world of marketing?

We are all the people. Sometimes it seems that in the era of chatbots and marketing automation we have forgotten that we are talking to people. In the end, even business professionals ultimately choose to do business with people they like and trust.

Nowadays, thanks to social media like LinkedIn we have endless possibilities to create a positive impact. You can share valuable industry articles, comment on the work of others, get involved in the discussion on the boards of your friends or answer questions in the groups relating to a particular line of business.

The more and more popular “Social Selling” fits neatly into the category of human-to-human online marketing. Of course, it cannot entirely replace meeting on the International Expos and networking, but it can help you to build solid ground before the meetings.

We are also solution-focused. Every human buying purchase is based on solving problems, whether it’s a pain of being left out of a fashion trend or a pain of an inventory management system that no longer fits your business. Once people’s pain becomes acute, they’re ready to buy from you.

Of course, there is not a possibility to know personally all of your clients and be informed about everybody’s problems. The first most important step is to create a buyer’s personas. The persona is a virtual representation of our clients’ needs, habits, and problems they are facing. Our role as marketing managers is to determinate this pain points and be first on the spot and be ready to help.

To automate such actions, we can use a well-implemented content marketing strategy. Having well-described buyer’s persona will help you with:

  • preparing content which is properly segmented into the marketing funnel stages
  • determining and preparing solutions to problems are real people facing
  • choosing an adequate platform for content distribution
  • fixing a leaking conversion funnel and decreasing churn ration

Things to consider

Wishful thinking: Don’t create your ideal client. Make sure that your models are supported by data and well-conducted interviews. The evolution of the person: As your business develops, your model client may be subject to modifications.

Constant testing: Don’t stick to one idea. Test your ideas – Conduct campaign verifications – Draw thoughtful conclusions.

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