Human-To-Human Marketing (H2H) | 5 minute guide

Cedric Potvin

Marketing automation has no doubt changed the game of marketing. At first, the results were incredible. You could blast email to thousands of people at once with minimal effort and drive sales with marketing on autopilot. 

But now it’s hard to get the same results we used to get because everyone knows about it, and few people actually like getting automated emails. 

If you type "marketing automation software" on your preferred search engine you'll see that there are millions of different results and it's actually a very competitive market. Some of these companies have even lowered their prices to make it affordable for any business. This is really when/how Bot-To-Human marketing started.

But now, in a world where there's so much noise online and potential buyers are constantly receiving marketing and sales emails, you really need to stand out and personalize your approach if you want to grab your prospect’s attention.

What is Human-To-Human Marketing (H2HM)?

The idea behind human-to-human marketing is putting a human touch on an otherwise cold platform. At the end of the day, what is on the other side of the screen? Humans! It is always a human buying from other humans. So it doesn't matter if you're in B2B or B2C, you always want to feel like you are interacting with another human.

As technology evolves, a lot of companies have been unknowingly stepping away from the human-to-human aspect and letting outdated bots, and automated email blasts take over their marketing efforts. This has left the general population annoyed with marketing.

Why marketing needs to be more human

In today’s new economy and in light of the global pandemic, more companies are realizing that they need a better online presence. But this doesn’t mean to just show up on people’s news feed and blast marketing emails and hope for sales. 

Qualities of humanizing a brand starts with a personal touch. Reaching out to customers in a more meaningful, and personalized way. 

For example, a popular tactic brands use is offering discounts for their customers loyalty. Instead of simply blasting an email to all those on the loyalty list, you can create a personalized video that thanks them for their business, and what they’re receiving in exchange. Although it’s the same video for everyone, being able to see a face on the other end of the screen shows the customer that you are not simply a brand, but humans that represent a brand.

The human connection vs. automation

With everything going digital and the increase in automation, it’s no wonder we feel more disconnected than ever before. But humans are social beings and we need meaningful social interactions in order to survive. 

There is a certain degree of personalization that cannot be achieved by a computer, however new softwares are coming out that allows automation to be done in a more human-like way. 

This is what human-to-human marketing is. With more human-like marketing, you are adding personalization which shows the person on the other end that you are a real human being, talking to another real human being. 

6 ways to be more human online

Now, automation definitely has its perks but it should always be utilized in a way that creates a human-like experience across a digital platform. Here are some simple things you can do across your brand to sound more human: 

1. Talk Like a Human

Perfection and high professionalism has been ingrained in many of our work ethics as business people. But the truth is, no one is perfect! Social acceptance is becoming more normalized and it’s important to follow the trends of millennials, Gen X and Gen Z. There will be a shift in tone, and you must adhere to their needs. Stop trying to be always perfect and start talking like a human when you’re interacting with your customers. 

2. Make your emails truly personal

If part of your business consists of reaching out to someone using email, you can send them a personalized video that was made especially for them. Use automation to create the workflows and sequences to follow up and track the journey, but what’s key here is actually taking the time to make the video, show your face, and maybe even say their name.

When sending out a newsletter or even a single email of course it’s important to stay professional. But ask yourself this: "Do I really talk like that in real life?” The more real you are with someone across a digital platform, the more human-like you can make it, and the trust you will gain by creating yourself as an equal.

3. Do social media the human way

Social media is a great way to present your brand in a way that creates a personal connection with your audience. But, there are ways to enhance this feeling.

  • Use real photos

Don’t just post infographics or stock photos. Use real images of you and your team or your office. Let your audience see your face in your posts and stories! This is important because as a brand, your audience wants to see who is on the other end. 

  • Write human captions

Write captions that actually sound like a friend or family chatting with you on their timeline. Because after all, your biggest competitor is not other brands.. But your own friends and family. So you have to blend in with the platform you’re using and this starts with being more human. 

  • Use voice messages

If you get a new follower, send them a voice message to say thanks for the follow. Use the platform to show your audience who you truly are and your values as a person and a business.

4. Humanize your website

Be fun! A great example of this is on our about us page. Instead of having a boring introduction to our team, we like to say REAL things about ourselves so they can relate and see that we’re other humans just like them.

5. Create a human story for your brand

Creating a more human-like experience goes beyond personalizing content, acquiring the right lingo on social media, and updating your about us page. Although those are very important, it also requires an authentic story to be delivered consistently through an inspiring experience. It honestly requires hard work. Marketing is no longer just about the stuff that you sell, but about the stories you tell.

For as long as history can date back, our ancestors have told stories through various forms as a way to survive, and to feel a sense of community. Stories evoke emotion. Strong emotion towards a service or product evokes buying behaviour. ”That’s why successful content marketing utilises storytelling techniques: to engage with audiences at a deep, almost subconscious level.”

6. Solve real, human problems

Finally, in order to be more human in your marketing efforts, you need to provide a solution for a problem that many people have. Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot says “Humans don’t buy from companies; humans buy from humans, so solving for humans is every smart company’s primary goal. 

Virtually everyone has some sort of problem, and they will for as long as the earth keeps spinning. As a marketer or business owner, your objective is to solve problems for your ideal customers.

Providing value by giving actionable advice can go a long way. Show that you are knowledgeable in your field and have the answer to the problems your ideal customers are facing. 

Write blogs with a title that matches the exact keywords they are searching for on Google. Create social media posts directed at your ideal customers. Be the source of information when they have a problem, and they will begin to trust you more and more. Just like in real life.

Wrapping up

Human-to-Human marketing is slowly making its way back into the digital world. First, online tools were created to automate things as quickly as possible. Now, more tools are being created to create a more personalized experience for their users. 

Just as humans have evolved as species, humans need to evolve digitally and cater to the needs of their users. The main takeaway here is to focus more on the quality of the relationship, not the quantity.


Article contributed by:

Cedric Potvin, Digital Marketing Specialist - connect with him on Linkedin

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Cedric Potvin
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