There is No B2B or B2C Anymore: It’s Human to Human

“As marketers, we’ve been trained to speak “business to business” (B2B) or “business to consumer” (B2C). But instead of this creating a simple framework for dialogue between humans, it set forth an unnatural language for marketers, using words like “synergy” and “speeds and feeds” to tell the stories of products and services to their buyers and partners. The fact is that businesses do not have emotion. Products do not have emotion. Humans do.
Humans want to feel something. And humans make mistakes”.

Kramer 2014

This quote is from Bryan Kramer’s new book, There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H. The book is based on the premise that B2B and B2C can no longer be so easily defined. Now, Kramer argues that to survive, marketers must appeal to humans’ emotional needs on top of the original need or desire for a product.

Simple creatures?

Aptly, a human on Linkedin actually recommended that I read Bryan Kramer’s perspective on why marketers must evolve their strategies to focus more on building a customer experience relevant to each individual customer. Sound familiar? Though Kramer’s theory sheds light on how to do this via social, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be considered across all channels.

As a life coach, self-help author and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, specializes in understanding and reacting to human needs. He clearly defines these needs into 6 categories, as outlined below and, as all consumers are human, understanding these needs is imperative to tapping into, and satisfying, the consumer psyche.

Understanding the Six Basic Human Needs

  1. Connection/Love
  2. Significance
  3. Variety/Uncertainty
  4. Certainty
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

On first glance, these seem challenging to include in your marketing goals, but why can’t we? Shouldn’t customers feel a connection to the products they’re going to buy? Shouldn’t they feel appreciated by the companies they financially support? Shouldn’t they feel like they’re getting special treatment from you?

“Customers are ready to move on unless they have one thing- an undying relationship with a person or people at your brand who made them feel uniquely special”

Kramer 2014

For us, Human to Human marketing is far more than connecting emotionally to another human being; it’s about a consumer feeling as if you are talking to them and them alone. Everybody likes to feel special and we think this should come across in your marketing activities as well as how your customers experience your brand.

What happens when we don’t appeal to customer emotional needs?

On Facebook, 52% of consumers stop following a business’ page because the content is boring and repetitive. With open rates for email newsletters on average at 20%, consumers are screaming for some excitement!

How can we ensure we hit these emotional needs?

Have a look at your content over social, web email campaigns and blogs, and then ask yourself:

  • How will my customers feel when they see this content?
  • What do I want my customers to do as a result of this content?
  • How will our customers feel about our business when they see this content?

At Emarsys, one of our aims is to help our clients with Revenue Recovery, a strategy to win revenue back from disengaged customers. If you identify customers at the right stage of their life cycle, and engage them with relevant messaging specific to them as an individual, you’ll achieve a Human to Human relationship where customers are naturally much more likely to feel an attachment to your brand.

To learn more about the importance of personalization in digital marketing, get in touch with one of Emarsys’ marketing platform experts today.