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Scrap B2B and B2C, you need B2H.

We often hear about business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) ... but what about B2H (business to human)?



Companies spend a lot of money trying to market to and stay better engaged with customers, but what they’re often missing is how customers feel when they interact with a product or service.


Feeling is a fundamental element that impacts whether we like or dislike, trust or distrust, and buy or don’t buy.


Companies tend to market to a generic person — not an actual human who thinks, feels and interacts with the world.


B2H is a form of marketing that targets the human behind the screen and focuses on what each individual needs rather than marketing just to a specific consumer or business. It’s about being focused on the person rather than the pocketbook and building long-lasting relationships.


People have written about the B2H theme for a while, but I believe it’s even more critical given the post-pandemic landscape we operate in today.


Here’s what marketers should be considering when it comes to B2H:


Walk A Mile In Their Shoes


The first step toward driving B2H marketing and getting to the root of what consumers actually want is uncovering their pain points.


Marketers should understand consumers’ purpose, needs and wants and start by taking a step back to focus on the emotional aspect of marketing.


It’s not just about “here’s how great my product is” — it’s also about asking “how does this product help the person using the technology?”


Engage Authentically


When you talk to any customer, start with empathy and show them you authentically care about making their lives easier. It helps to paint a picture with specifics.


For example, what if you said to a customer: “We understand your workday is only a certain number of hours, and many of those are spent updating the systems — what if you could do that in five minutes? What would you do with that extra time?”


That simple acknowledgment of the busyness of their day through a lens that resonates can build a strong bond and the trust that customers need to make a sound purchase decision.


Recognize The Impact Of B2H On Employee And Customer Satisfaction


Prioritize building a marketing team that puts B2H first to enhance customer relationships and create a stronger, united internal team that does better work together.


While many people typically think of Gen Z and millennials as the generations that care most about purpose at work, I believe the desire for purpose-driven work has been present for all generations all along.


For some, it just became diluted by the onset of technology-driven work that can mask human interactions. It’s important to stay “human” at work and explore how B2H relationships can be the basis for a purposeful work environment.


Putting human customer relationships first can create a more purpose-filled work environment instead of a transactional one that focuses just on numbers.


A team that really cares about connecting with others and building deep, strong relationships is a team that will probably find more satisfaction in the day-to-day management of a customer relationship.



B2H has been in the spotlight recently because Covid-19 caused every brand to rethink its digital experience.


All of the new collaboration tools that came out during the pandemic show that relationship-building is emerging as a critically important pillar of productive and satisfying work in a digital-first world.


Leaders who focus on B2H can ultimately build strong relationships both with internal teams and external customers, partners and other stakeholders.