Creating a human connection is critical when it comes to building a long-term relationship. Think about it, the best relationships are built on honesty, mutual respect, and understanding.
Before you think we are going all Dr. Phil, take a minute to see how this applies to B2B marketing. When it comes to B2B relationships, the best, long-term relationships are built over time and founded on trust. As such, it’s important to remember that you are selling your products or services to another human being.
Here, we take a closer look at a few ways to evaluate your B2B marketing strategy to ensure you are focusing on creating a human connection with your prospects and clients, not just making a sale.
Don’t think about your goals, think about your prospect’s needs
The best marketing campaigns don’t start with a statement about “us.” It starts with a statement about the end-user or buyer. Instead of thinking about meeting your MQLs for the month or getting more visitors to your B2B website, consider what your prospect needs. They don’t need to be your next MQL or whitepaper download, that’s for sure.
Put yourself in their shoes. Read questions on an industry forum or check out comments on industry publications. You may discover things your target market is saying like:
- I need a tool that will help my firm do X, Y, and Z
- My current software only does this, but I need it to really do this
- Our existing accounting service doesn’t provide this, which is critical to getting our bills paid
These are just vague examples, but often you’ll find when a person says, “I need,” they really need it to make their life or job easier. Look for where they are saying it and pay attention.
Consider varying needs by job, seniority, functionality
For many organizations that operate in the B2B space, products and services aren’t only used by one member of a company. Often the product or service is used by multiple employees, departments, or even business units. The needs of the end-user can then vary widely from usage to application to complexity.
In order to think about your prospect’s needs, you need to know who they are, what they do, and who they report to. If you aren’t sure what they use your products or services for, ask them. Turn to your valued customers and ask them questions. In many cases, you won’t just get valuable info from the end-user of your products or services, you’ll find ways you can better serve your clients or improve your products.
Artificial intelligence is getting better and better these days, but it’s still not a replacement for a real human being. The best B2B marketing campaigns address the audience as humans, coming from humans. How appealing is it to get a generic email from firstname.lastname@example.org? Not very. But if you receive a personalized email from Jeremy at Bop Design, you may be more likely to look and see what Jeremy says in the email.
Also, when it comes to messaging in emails, ads, blogs, or guides, don’t overcomplicate it. You want your messaging to be relevant and relatable. In other words, human. If you work with an experienced copywriter, you can create messaging that is conversational and relatable, but still polished. We aren’t saying to write “LOL” in a marketing email, but it’s best to use messaging that is easy to digest and resonates with the recipient.
Personalization is a popular topic in the B2B marketing world these days and for good reason. Prospects want to know that you understand their needs and can help them. They don’t, however, want you to know their dog’s name, what kind of car they drive, and where their kids go to school before they have ever spoken to your team. That is creepy.
It’s OK to personalize messaging and marketing campaigns according to the person’s:
- Job Title/Responsibility
- General Location (like a city)
- Area of Interest
Most people understand this information is all readily available and many of them have it all in their public LinkedIn profile. But stay away from the personal stuff, unless they volunteer it when you are chatting with them on the phone.
Read more: How to determine your B2B website objectives.
Have a personality
We have a product and you should buy it. Thanks.
You may laugh at how silly and bland that statement sounds, but that is the core of many marketing campaigns, whether it’s a social post, blog, email, or ad. Every brand has a personality and it’s OK to put that personality into your B2B marketing. I’m not talking about your individual personality, I’m talking about your brand personality.
For example, at Bop Design, our brand personality is polished but direct and relatable. This is evident in all our marketing. If your brand prizes customer service, that should be front and center in any piece of advertising or communication. If your brand personality centers on your technical expertise, lean into that in your marketing communication.
Having a personality sets your brand apart from a competitor and helps you to create a connection with your prospect or client.
The takeaway for this blog is: don’t get caught up in MQLs, SQLs, funnels, lead attribution, open rates, website visitor data, etc. That stuff should all be tracked and measured, but when crafting a B2B marketing campaign, just focus on being human and connecting with another human.
Read more: B2B marketing trends for 2021.