By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter
When it comes to B2B communication, sometimes we get a little too caught up in the 2 Bs (business and business) that we forget about the Hs, Humans. Your organization is made up of human beings and the businesses that make up your target audience are also made up of human beings.
When you recognize that your audience is made up of humans, you’re already one step toward more effective communications. Communicating with humans means you need to take into account emotions as well as logic and make an effort to connect on a personal level.
Mike McDougall gave a presentation at the PRSA International Conference on using the HUMAN method to connect with B2B audiences. Here’s the model:
I’ve adapted his model to fit more specific B2T communication needs, here’s how you can apply it:
Heart – Care about your customer’s industry and work. Take on the causes that they take on. For example, our industry faces a huge hurdle when it comes to finding skilled workers. Be a part of that solution, whether it’s supporting local vocational programs or helping connect your customers to resources to find and/or train talent.
Understanding – Make sure you know what the challenges are for decision makers and communicate ways to help with them. Are your customers dealing with tighter budgets or needing long-lasting solutions? When people feel like you understand their issues, they feel more connected with you.
Metrics – Share new information that will impact your customers’ outcomes. Are there trends that you can share or new research you can conduct that will serve your customers and their industry?
Analysis – Closely linked to the previous point, providing meaningful insights that can help them do their jobs better.
Natural – Be a human being. Have a personality and a sense of humor in your communication.
We regularly encourage B2T marketers to be a resource, these steps can help you do just that.
What can you do to be more human in your communication in 2017?