Be Human in Your Marketing

by Andrew Schulkind

B2B marketing continues to evolve from the stuffy, inward-facing efforts of yesteryear to the more modern approach that puts the client front and center. Along with that change comes a change in voice, too. Less formal, more friendly and much more cognizant of the idea that any buying and selling that happens, even in a B2B relationship, still happens between two human beings.

Couple at sunset -

Change Your Mindset

You may or may not feel that buyer persona development is a worthwhile exercise. I’ll argue that it is. Either way, have a person, as shadowy and vaguely-defined as he or she may be, in mind when you create your marketing. Companies don’t buy from you. People do.

Drop the Jargon

Yes, you need to make it clear you know what you’re talking about. You have to speak the language. But too often companies use jargon like a cudgel, trying to beat prospects into being impressed.

Try this instead: what’s the bare minimum of industry jargon you can use and not sound like you’ve never actually worked in the industry? That’s probably the appropriate way to use specialized language. Because your audience really doesn’t care about the jargon. They care about whether you can provide them with a solution to their problem. (And a good portion of your audience may be new to the jargon themselves. Making them feel stupid isn’t going to win you any good will.)

Balance Automation and Humanization

People love eliminating unnecessary friction in transactions. Do all you can to aid that process and let people self-serve wherever possible.

At the same time, be sure you give them a way to easily make contact when what they need can’t easily be defined by a phone tree or online form.

Stress the Story

Put your product in your prospect’s life. Use examples. Narrative connects your prospect and your product on an emotional level. That’s where marketing is most effective. And that’s where the sale happens.

You might also want to check out  colleague Darcy Flanders’ take on this same subject. We partner with her team at Baseline Group frequently on projects for financial services firms. She knows her stuff!