Being human in your approach to marketing is important. People don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to and they don’t want to feel like they’re just another marketing metric.
When we humanise our marketing, people respond to it, people engage with it and people remember it
But what does human marketing really look like?
If you don't have time to read right now, why not listen instead…
Guidelines for being more human
First, we have to start with the question ‘What does it mean to be human?
And whilst there are lots of definitions out there about what it means to be human, there’s one that resonates with us as marketers.
Communication. The way we communicate can be very personalised and human or it can be the complete opposite.
The way we talk with our family and friends, either in person or virtually, is human. It’s human in the message, the tone of voice and the speed of the reply. And whilst the subject of the conversation might be different when chatting to prospects or clients, you shouldn’t be losing all the components that make the conversation human.
After all, ‘customer’ is just another word for a human being.
Your conversation also needs to be easy to understand and take in. One way to measure this is the ‘Mum Test’. If you were to communicate to your Mum in this way would she understand and engage positively with you?
Be ‘real’ in your marketing
People like character. And the wrinkles, faults and differences everyone possesses are what give people character. No one’s perfect and no one wants you to be perfect. So don’t hide behind a polished version of yourself or cover-up in your marketing.
If you do this you can end trying to be something you’re not. If your tone is usually casual and unpolished and you suddenly become more formal, people will know it’s not real and not genuine. Think about how you would talk to your target audience and channel that voice through your marketing. Because marketing is the way you communicate with your prospects.
Use your marketing to show your diversity as a company. With most start-ups, the first people that join are employed in the image of the founder. Whether this is conscious or not, people are initially drawn to similarities and familiarity. But as the business starts to grow and mature, they start to bring in people to build up diversity and cognitive diversity. You can use this in your marketing to show how real you really are. Because different opinions, cultures and ideas are the most human things of all.
This is important when it comes to hiring. You can’t expect people to come in and adopt your culture. You should be bringing people in that are going to add to, develop and even challenge your culture because shifts and changes show progress.
Wear your values on your sleeve
Despite differences being key to being human in your marketing, there are some things that have to align. Values.
The values of the company need to resonate with your employees to be a true driving force of success.
Your values help you attract the people you want to attract from new hires to prospects and clients.
Communication & Speed
We’ve already touched on the importance of communication when it comes to being human in your marketing but it’s so important we thought we’d cover it in a bit more detail.
It’s 2020. No one wants to go to a landing page, download a guide, wait 24 hours and then speak to someone. People want speed. People want to find the information they want when they want it.
Why? Because it’s human. If you were to ask your friend for a restaurant recommendation, they’d most likely reply instantly with helpful information in a friendly way.
This is the experience that people want to emulate with brands. They want a natural, fast-flowing conversation where they can get the information they need alongside a personalised tone.
But with so many communication channels out there, which do you use? The answer is all of them. Let your target audience choose what they want to use and make yourself available on it. And then adapt. Use chat and more casual platforms for short-form ideas or advice. Use email or video for long-form explainers or more complex topics.
Another option for communication is Chatbots. Chatbots give you the ability to create human conversations 24/7. During your working hours, chatbots can route people to the right salesperson instantly. And when your team is away, the chatbot can still provide top-level information and create the human experience.
Bots can do the things that don’t require a human such as sending across information or signing someone up for a webinar. But they can also emulate your brand voice. For example, The Six & Flow bot is sarcastic, uses memes and gifs and is representative of our overall brand
This doesn’t mean pretending they are a human or using them as a replacement for a human, but it does provide the human element that you can’t get with a form.