When was the last time you heard something like this?

“Don’t just speak human. Be human.”

It doesn’t have to be word for word but you’d normally expect this kind of rhetoric from the NGO or self-help guru crowd. You might think that it’s not all that connected to the practice of B2B marketing and lead generation right?

Well, what then is the point of speaking human to a very human audience?

Seriously, if you’re really still just ‘strictly business’ in your marketing mindset then your campaign’s messaging and practices won’t be as human as you’d like them to be. You’re still limited to a very narrow, technical set of problems. You’re still only answering the questions you’ve got on the script that is your company’s daily M.O.

Your head’s still in the box when getting your marketers to speak human demands that there should be no such box.

Here’s something adding to the irony. Certain Silicon Valley giants are still accused of being out-of-touch with the concerns of their customers. Sure, they’ve managed to win contests of impressive innovation but it seems the opposite when it comes to impressive, ethical behavior.

So it seems that despite their seemingly great marketing strategies and equally great products, they are still set to lose the popularity contest. Do you want to take the same bet? If not, review your marketing strategy to see if you’re still holding yourself back instead of truly being human towards your customers:

  • Do you measure emotional satisfaction? – It’s not enough to say that emotion still plays in B2B buying decisions. It also affects their satisfaction. How do your customers feel about working with you? You might have delivered on time or given them what they asked but if that doesn’t so much as make them sigh in relief or even just smile, you should be concerned.
  • Do you see their environment as personal and professional? – People think that it seems trivial or even counterproductive to do any personal small-talk. The opposite extreme is no more beneficial. Focusing purely on the professional side of numbers, ROI, and cost-cutting won’t tell you other things that contribute to customer dissatisfaction and prospect hesitation. Why do you think services like wellness and motivational tools have just as much a share of the B2B market as you?
  • What do you see your business doing with itself? – Imagine the question “What are you doing with your life?” but this time, applied to the life of an entire business. Your Do you see your company lasting the next ten or twenty years doing what it’s doing now? Do you want it relegated to the same status as corporate office supplier or do you see it that it could be something bigger? Questions like that actually help you create a vision that can share itself through your marketing campaigns and create the humanizing impression that keeps it from getting stagnant.

All of these things could use a good deal of personal reflection. But the strangest thing here is that you can’t separate it real, genuine results on the professional side. In other words, you can’t speak human without being human.

KSSF