Human-to-Human Marketing: Tapping into the Human Experience with Personalization and Emotion

human to human marketingIf you’ve heard of human-to-human marketing in the last year, perhaps you instantly equated it to the standard forms of marketing used for years. In the realm of B2C marketing, your tangential understanding of human-to-human marketing perhaps related it to bringing a better sense of customer service. For B2B marketing, maybe you equated the concept to increasing more personal contact with businesses.

While human-to-human marketing does incorporate some of those aspects, it goes far beyond basic concepts. With those who work in marketing finally understanding that connections with consumers is becoming more personal, it requires companies acting like human beings.

As a Hubspot blog pointed out late this last year, far too many businesses and companies still look like they’re being run by robots. Try as they might in bringing a more personalized feel to their business, it sometimes doesn’t feel right to the consumer without a little more to tap into human emotion.

Keep in mind that human-to-human marketing means what it says: It’s one human buying from another. In this regard, your marketing should tap into the human psyche, which we all know is complex. By incorporating authenticity and connecting to the human mind, you’ll help form a broader and more complete form of marketing that could exceed any other form ever done.

How Personal Should You Be?

As personalization increases in marketing, you have to ask just how personal you should get in order to make yourself look human. The answer to that is staying within moderation when getting too personal easily resembles spam and even appears creepy to some consumers. When you make it appear as if you know everything about a consumer, marketing to them in this manner might look too invasive.

The best way is to tap solely into the problems of the consumer and show that you at least understand what they want without knowing everything. Even if you’ve done research and know your customers to the core (including personal information about their backgrounds), keeping it honed to what could help make their life better works on a different level.

Much of this comes through the power of storytelling and a conversational approach. No matter what form of marketing you use, whether it’s through video, or email marketing, talking to consumers like a good friend is essential. Behind wanting to solving a problem for them lies the backbone of human-to-human marketing: Emotion.

Tapping into Stories Consumers Relate To

Good storytelling continues as a strong marketing method, especially in connecting more personally. This could come from you or a company employee as a method of putting a more human face on how you run things. The key is finding a story the consumer relates to that taps into their emotions.

Much of this comes from having empathy toward your customers. We all understand what empathy is, yet we don’t always practice it in a culture sometimes looking out for our own welfare. If you think empathy only applies to the medical field toward patients, it should never be limited. A consumer has as many problems to solve as someone seeking medical care, and your products always have an emotional connection if you take time to explore it.

Again, if you have an emotional story from your background that connects to the products you created, you have a great start for marketing content. It doesn’t necessarily have to come directly from you, though. An empathetic story could come from one of your employees, or even a customer. Customer testimonials are one of the most effective methods of incorporating marketing in how your product solved a problem for them.

Whatever that problem is, showing complete understanding of why it needs solving is your ticket to bringing empathy and emotion. This doesn’t necessarily mean being serious every time.

The Human Connection of Humor

There isn’t anything more human than sharing humor with one another. Being personal and acting like a true friend means telling jokes or sharing funny stories, just as you would in a real personal relationship. It’s why using humor is important in marketing, even though you need to know your audience so they understand your humorous approach.

Companies once deemed too stuffy are already using humor now to make themselves look more likeable and human. Chevy, for instance, recently started using offbeat humor in their new ad campaigns. Their intention is targeting more youthful drivers, even if all age groups appreciate more sophisticated humor nowadays.

The soul of humor in marketing comes in the understanding that all of us have human foibles. Showing comedic imperfection is a new trend in marketing because it shows that we’re all human and make mistakes. Ultimately, this sets your company up to show how human you are if you make any real mistakes. An apology to consumers is more readily accepted thanks to the audience realization that you’re more human than your competitors.

Being Genuine

Another crucial human-to-human marketing attribute is the act of being genuine or authentic in your marketing. While empathy typically gets shown more through visuals and speaking, think about being genuine in how you present textual information as well. Not that you should ignore genuineness in your videos either.

You want your consumers to truly realize you mean what you say and not putting on. In today’s times, consumers can weed out inauthentic advertising in a second. They see through the veneer and see whether the emotion you display is truly heartfelt or just acting.

Put your heart into your human-to-human marketing, because showing your heart is what people expect today as products become a strong part of so many lives.

Mike Templeman

About Mike Templeman

Mike Templeman is the CEO and Founder of Foxtail Marketing. He is passionate about tech, marketing and startups. When not tapping away at his keyboard, he can be found spending time with his wife and kids. He is also Canadian... or more importantly, he is Canadian.

Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.

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