Beyond personalisation: humanised marketing is the future

Niko Rowe

Posted on: March 25, 2022

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Category: B2B marketing

Beyond personalisation: humanised marketing is the future

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For many years personalisation has been seen as the be all and end all of marketing – and the range of new digital channels ensures that it has never been easier to personalise marketing communications.

But increasingly this personal touch is no longer enough.

Forward thinking brands are looking to a new approach to help them nurture leads, create lasting customer relationships, and build trust.

This is called humanised marketing and in this brief overview we’ll explain what it s and show you how you can use it.

Humanised marketing relies on detailed customer data and the ability to convert into actionable insights. 

In this it resembles personalised marketing.

But we will show you how it is actually based on a very different set of strategies and tactics.

First, a quick refresher on personalised marketing.

Personalised marketing

Personalised marketing starts with data. 

This will include behavioural data as well as, say, demographic data. This allows to chart your prospect or customer as your relationship develops.

This data is used to include personal elements in your comms.

But, here’s the thing.

As powerful as such personalisation can be, it’s never really personal. It is essentially simply lumping each person into a defined box by an analysis of the data you hold them. 

Prospects and customers are treated as pieces of data, not actual human beings. 

However, within this data lie the seeds of a different approach…

Why humanised marketing?

Humanisation goes beyond data and requires you to get to know your customers on an individual level by interacting with them one-on-one and taking the time and energy to understand their pain points and goals.

The potential wins from a humanised approach are huge – and long-lasting.

  • Better customer experience

Increasingly buying decision are made based on a perceived synergy between a brand’s proposition and its values and a customer’s own values and goals.

Which is why, according to Deloitte’s review, those who adopt a customer-centric mindset and deliver a humanised customer experience are 60% more profitable than those who do not.

  • Increased brand loyalty

This brand/customer alignment also leads to stronger loyalty. 

These customers tend to do more than just remain with you, they also become brand advocates.

PWC, for instance, notes that nearly three-quarters of all buyers list the customer experience as a more important factor than traditional swaying factors such as product quality and price. 

  • Customer retention

Satisfied customers stay with you for longer. 

And they will spend more with you, too. Deloitte reports that customers reporting a positive customer experience spent 140% more with a company than they do with those they had a negative experience with. 

Essential steps for successful humanised marketing

Step 1: Know thy customers

To humanise your marketing, you must be able to create strong, personal relationships with your prospects and customers. 

The most effective way to do this at scale is through collecting personal data to gain deep insights into your contacts and using these to inform every communication.

Step 2: Ensure a feedback loop is firmly in place

One of the main differences between a personalised and a humanised approach is that the latter must be grounded in constantly seeking, receiving and responding to feedback.

To gain trust and loyalty your customers must know they are being heard and responded to as well as spoken to.

Of course, such feedback has wider application than for each individual customer – it provides insight into your performance across the board and highlights friction points.

Whether it’s through satisfaction surveys, customer-only forums or developing a customer advisory board to represent others, ensuring feedback is always present helps cement your relationships.

That is, as long as you act – and are seen to act – on it, of course.

Step 3: Get social (as a human not a logo)

Social media is a great platform for humanising your brand.

The most effective way to do this is to use the profiles of your employees to engage your audience on a human level.

When employees interact with customers and prospects they do so as a human being not a corporate entity. This inevitably leads to more engagement and stronger relationships.

The end goal of such engagements is to create customers who are brand advocates and help promote positive views about your company.

Humanised marketing and relationship selling

So, there you have it – a brief overview of the reasons to – and philosophy behind – humanise your marketing.

In many ways you may have come across these ideas before.

Many of the core ideas, principles and approaches of humanised marketing closely mirror those that have long-informed the sales concept of relationship (or consultative) selling

This is a process in which the sales person aims to become a partner to the buyer. 

Rather than emphasizing their product and pricing, they will seek to understand the buyer’s perspective, figure out their pain points and work with them to determine how the product can help solve it.

Sound familiar? 

It sure does!

Humanised marketing is simply relationship selling at scale.

But as Shakespeare’s Juliet exclaimed from her balcony: 

‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’.


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