Marketing Terms Math: H2H = B2B + B2C
Written by Kimberly MacArthur Graham on July 15, 2014
As a technical writer, I believe that details and fine lines matter. Usually. But not always and rarely forever. People and technologies change, and sometimes even a sharp distinction quietly becomes irrelevant. I’d argue that this is the case with the terms “B2B” (business-to-business) marketing and “B2C” (business-to-consumer) marketing. For a long time, agencies and clients both held fast to this differentiator, drawing a line in the sand and acting as if applying techniques, messaging, or vehicles from one to the other would invoke Armageddon. Of course, we all know that savvy parties on both sides have done just that – with great success. As the digital landscape alters the way in which we learn about, make decisions, and engage with vendors and service partners, this “cultural exchange” will only escalate.
Recently, I’ve seen a new term, “H2H marketing,” meaning “human-to-human” (which I misread initially as “H2O” – the molecular formula of water). The thought behind H2H is that no matter what you’re selling, you’re selling to other human beings with emotions, needs, and experiences. Maybe I will sprinkle in an “H2H” when talking about our approach to marketing, but I definitely think the idea is right.
H2H may be a newer term, but it captures what we as service marketers have been telling our clients forever. Your company is not getting hired to provide a service so much as to provide the people who will provide the service. Sounds confusing, but it’s pretty simple: they want to know that your team is qualified, respectful, conscientious, responsive; that you will be a good partner.
No matter your line of business, you have a lot of competition. Here are a few ways to demonstrate that you’re H2H savvy:
1 – Be social. Go live and get active, posting valuable content on relevant social media channels and your blog. Make sure all of it is just a click away from your website and email signature.
2 – Be efficient. Whether it’s your website, a brochure, a proposal, or a blog post, curate and direct. Respect the reviewer’s time by using only the most useful information, and making it easy to find.
3 – Be human. During face-to-face meetings, interviews, conferences, and industry events, smile, keep things friendly, appropriately brief and professional, but be HUMAN! Gaffes happen, and may be forgotten, but a genuine interest in the people that you meet will never be forgotten.