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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, May 14, 2014 5 min read

Forget B2B Or B2C: How Inbound Marketing Is H2H (And Why It Matters)

Why Inbound Marketing Is H2HWhen is the last time you bought a product or service as a business?

The answer is never. You bought the product or service as a person at a business. And whether you were at a business or you were a consumer, you’ve never bought a product or service from a business – you bought from people at that business (whether you knew them or not).

So, when it comes to marketing your business, regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, it’s time to look at your marketing strategy differently. You need to stop thinking about B2B or B2C approaches and focus more on H2H: human-to-human marketing.

Fortunately, inbound marketing helps your business become more human-to-human focused. Here’s how:

How Inbound Marketing Focuses On H2H

Inbound marketing capitalizes on the human-to-human relationships that surround business transactions in the following ways:

  • Pain-focusedEvery human buying purchase is based on pain, whether it’s a pain of being left out of a fashion trend or a pain of an inventory management system that no longer fits your business. Once people’s pain becomes acute, they're ready to buy from you.
  • Persona-based Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer, but you should use them for more than just your targeting strategy. Use your buyer personas to remind you that your customers have particular human needs and pains just like you – then optimize your sales process to relieve those pains.
  • SearchInbound marketing optimizes your webpages for people first and search engines second, because even if your website is on the first page of Google, no one buys from a website built for robots. Soon enough, even Google won’t rank your site well if it isn’t answering searchers’ questions.
  • User experience ­– Your company’s website design should first focus on providing a remarkable user (i.e., human) experience to each of your visitors. Even if you’re an enterprise-level B2B brand, each of your visitors is still a single human looking for a complete website experience.
  • Social mediaAn H2H approach keeps in mind that social media strategy is about a prospect or client conversation and not just another publishing tool. Inbound marketing then leverages that conversation to generate more leads for your business.
  • AnalyticsIt’s easy to get lost in the numbers and quantifiable results of inbound marketing, but remember what your marketing metrics are for: Website traffic, page conversion and social reach data exist to help you better connect with your (human) customers and deliver a remarkable experience.
  • Sales guidingHumans don’t want to be sold to, they want to be guided to the decision that best solves their current pains, and your sales process should reflect that shift in buyer behavior. Stop selling just to meet your quota, and start guiding to develop more long-term relationships with customers.

Why H2H Matters For Your Business

An H2H marketing approach isn’t just for gushy feelings or sappy stories. It also delivers the following benefits to your company’s bottom line:

  • H2H marketing communicates trust and safety to your prospects.
  • H2H marketing develops long-term customer relationships.
  • H2H marketing has more potential to spread via word of mouth (both online and offline).
  • H2H marketing helps you listen (and respond) to changes in customer demand.
  • H2H marketing connects you to your prospects through multimedia storytelling, which is far more effective than mere facts, figures and product descriptions.

While your business might need to optimize for a longer purchase decision cycle (B2B) or a very short one (B2C), you must focus first on the human-to-human relationship in both your marketing and your sales efforts. Harnessing the power of an inbound marketing strategy ensures your communications are more H2H, and that’s a change in business we're all able to appreciate – even your bottom line.

Start Today Tip: Stop pretending that another business purchases your products or services and start focusing on human relationships. Craft content that solves your prospects’ pains and answers their questions instead of just talking all about yourself. Treat your prospect like you would want to be treated, and watch your business grow accordingly.

 How B2B Companies Use Inbound Marketing To Drive Traffic And Leads.

Square 2 Marketing  Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!

Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.