You're a B2B marketer. But that does not mean you should treat your customers like an address in a spreadsheet.
A business might be paying for your product, but a human is making the decision to buy it. Humanizing your marketing approach will help you connect to the right people, in the right way, and get a better long-term result for your business.
1) Use Engagement, Not Just Lead-gen Forms
We all hate filling out forms. But what is the first thing we often ask potential customers to do? "Here. Fill out this form!"
Nobody likes jumping through hoops but, for some reason, we keep making our potential customers do it.
We dislike filling out forms for white papers and e-books so much that many people will even fill out false information. This actually slows down and hampers your sales team instead of helping them.
The fact that most of us hate doing it should be an indicator that it's an idea whose time is passing. Just because something is common practice does not mean that it is a best practice.
Lead-gen forms have their place, but a more human-centered strategy is to measure engagement on your site and then engage with those users directly. Reaching out to these people is natural, more personal, and you know that they are interested in what you are offering.
Many tools will let you see who is reading and looking at your content. Use technology (like Terminus) to see who to contact, and use chat services (like Drift) to chat with them instead of making them fill out a form.
Another strategy is personalized videos sent to key people with an offer to discuss how your product can help them. Videos are the next best thing to sitting down in person with someone and can be easily personalized and shared.
2) Build a Community, Not Just a List of Leads
It's great that many companies are focusing on customers. Everywhere you look, you see slogans and vision statements that include ideas like being "customer-centered" or "customer obsessed."
But a focus on just customers is too narrow. A part of being focused on customers should include widening our vision to focus on what they gather around.
People naturally gather in communities, rallying around causes they care about and working to solve problems that they find in common. Building a community is closely tied to understanding the problems you want to solve.
If you have a good handle on the problems you care about solving, then not only can you build a solution, you can build a community of people who are also looking for the answer.
If your business correctly identifies a problem and gathers a community of people around it, when you present a solution, they'll not only buy it, they will feel like they are on your team and a part of that solution.
People can and should be a part of your community whether or not they purchase your service or product. It's the commonality of the problem that unites the best communities.
3) Create Magical Moments Instead of Focusing Solely on Metrics
On the other end of the stats and data and graphs and research and feature lists is a human person.
People buy from people. They don't care about how big your company is. They don't care about your cool building. They don't care about how cool your logo looks on the roof.
If you trust the person--if you like them--you will be more likely to buy from them than from someone else. Magical moments can make this happen.
A magical moment is a moment in which you make someone realize that you care about them. Magical moments happen when people see you want them to succeed and have what they need to solve their problem. They need to see you care about them, not as a "prospect" but a person.
When people experience these kinds of moments, they see you as an ally, as a partner. They'll give you a pass on a product feature that isn't fully developed. They'll let a mistake slide. They'll pay more than the other company charges.
They'll do all of this because they believe in you and you believe in them, and they see you are working with them not working on them.
No one has a perfect product. No one has a perfect sales process. But when you work to create magical moments in your interactions with customers and exceed their expectations you convert contacts from potential customers into brand ambassadors.
What are your magical moments? What have you done for someone that has made them realize how much you care for them and what they are doing?
Humanizing Brings Meaning and Purpose to Sales
Humanizing marketing makes your sales process meaningful and helpful. You are not looking to exploit your customers. You are looking to help them. You are not looking to fool them. You are looking to educate them.
Treating your customers more like humans than accounts not only humanizes your customers, it humanizes your sales team members and every other aspect of your company.
Doing these three things to humanize your marketing helps you make more than customers, you'll also make ambassadors and partners.