If you’ve been reading blogs or books, listening to podcasts, or attending conferences in the sales, marketing, or customer success space, you well know that characterizing marketing efforts as B2B or B2C bypasses a more important characterization: H2H or human to human.
On this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, I talk with a marketer who is very clear about one thing as a B2B marketer: we need to connect with, understand, speak to, empower, and celebrate the individual with whom we’re working.
When asked how he thinks about customer experience, Brett offers a familiar theme (every single touchpoint) and a topical theme (the human factor). Here it is …
A native of Australia, Brett was on track to be the youngest barrister in his nation’s history. As chance would have it, one day Brett found himself on a little beach in Camp Cove. There, he was introduced to a person looking for someone who was smart and able to solve marketing challenges. This led to his first career in demand gen marketing for online casinos. Though his parents thought it was a gamble, this change in direction challenged him to be more creative and enter a field of work he would grow to love.
Fast forward to today and Brett has done online marketing and demand gen work for a variety of businesses – very often creating global campaigns. His company, Sitetracker is a project asset and management platform that helps companies like Verizon, Google, and others plan major infrastructure developments.
Every day, he thinks about the outcome his customers are trying to achieve by focusing on who they are and what they need. And often, they don’t know or acknowledge they have a problem that Sitetracker can solve.
We get into his philosophy and his practice in this customer experience conversation. Enjoy!
Making B2B Marketing More Personal
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You can also listen to the episode with Brett Chester right here…
Anticipating Customer Needs (Before They Have Them)
Brett suggests reframing your priority from creating something for your company to focusing on the person on the receiving end of what you’re creating. Acknowledging how this affects your marketing strategies and tactics puts you in touch with what your customers really need and want.
In this short clip, he explains why this approach helps you connect with and serve people more effectively, especially in a B2B context …
We discuss how we can shift the conversation from B2B or B2C and reframe it as H2H – or human to human. The intended outcome of any campaign or desired result of any marketing effort is making that human connection in a more meaningful way.
By looking at how these touches are made and predicting what issues can be found, you’re able to better service your customers. This can be as simple as streamlining internal communication or as complex as Verizon’s plan to build 800,000 small cells in five years, which Brett describes in this video clip …
The customer experience is comprised of the entire lifecycle of a person engaging with your brand. As Brett’s experience suggests, many B2B buyers won’t intentionally engage with you because they don’t even know that they can or should. So we must be creative and we must focus on people.
Making Marketing More Meaningful
One of the tips that Brett shared with us is that creating awareness can be done by empowering people to make a change. Products only help people if it can change an aspect of their life. One way that he has helped customer’s to recognize this is by creating an actionable reflection process after events. That way their insights aren’t lost after they leave.
“Activating people to think,” Brett explains, is the true challenge of marketing. His goal is placing his customers in the role of the hero and helping them champion his software empowering them to do more. He examples a blog Sitetracker hosts called “Projects of Life” which look at fearless project managers who are changing the game.
Everyone experiences problems and challenges on a universal level. He acknowledges that culture can separate us between markets, but we all still have basic problems that can be solved if recognized.
Helping customers to feel at home in the client journey by thinking about their problems as problems that need a solution is an essential step in making them want to engage with your company.
In this video clip, Brett shares some thoughts on global marketing and explains why problems and opportunities transcend borders …
This is important for marketers to remember as they seek to humanize the experience. Marketers need to cut to the root of the problem, so that the focus can be on the solution – and your company can be the one that guides the hero to that solution (hat tip to StoryBrand).
On the flipside, Brett also warns of the danger in overinforming your customers and future customers. Though we might be able to provide a wealth of information, truly great customer experience and smart B2B marketing is created with a clear understanding what they need and targeting those specific needs.
“We are selling to people who are looking to buy products, but if we don’t know the paradigm that they are operating in, we won’t ask the right questions and we won’t know how to sell to them,” Brett explains. “We can diagnose what they need by asking smart questions.”
Ultimately, it’s that human element that we’re driving and marketing toward. And though it feels forgotten, customer experience is about the customer, as industry leaders such as Brett stay mindful of.
Stay connected with this growing customer experience conversation by subscribing to The Customer Experience Podcast. If you’re up for it, please take a moment to rate or review the podcast – it’s extremely helpful.
More from The Customer Experience Podcast
Marketers You Can Hear Right Now:
- “The Holy Grail of Connecting with Your Customers” with Ann Handley (Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs)
- “Balancing Automation, AI, and Human Relationships” with Samantha Stone (founder and CMO, Marketing Advisory Network)
- “Why Friction Is A Customer Experience Killer” with Brian Gilman (VP of Product Marketing, Vonage)
- Explore more listening options by clicking here
Great Guests Coming Soon:
- Customer success leader Mike Redbord (HubSpot)
- Co-author of Customer Centricity and Executive Director of Wharton Interactive Sarah Toms (The Wharton School of Business)
- Venture investor and startup advisor Dave Knox (Predicting The Turn)
Send an email to Ethan(at)BombBomb(dot)com to send me podcast feedback or guest recommendations.
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