Stop using MarTech as a crutch and start humanizing your B2B marketing

As a marketer, your MarTech stack is one of your most powerful and most used tools. With all the advances in machine learning and AI, it’s easy to forget that MarTech is just that: a tool. It’s easy to forget the human side of our business. But humans will always be the most important piece of the B2B marketing puzzle – as both buyers and sellers.

What is humanized marketing?

Humanized marketing treats prospects as people instead of transactions. It seeks to create meaningful relationships instead of just making the sale. It focuses on each person’s unique needs, challenges and goals. And it does so in a way that feels authentic and relatable. No complicated jargon. No “sell, sell, sell” mentality. Humanized marketing is just one human empathetically talking to another human, helping them solve their problems.

Humanized marketing goes hand-in-hand with account-based marketing (ABM), our specialty here at BOL. Many ABM tools aim to strike that perfect balance between tech and the human touch

Why is humanized marketing important?

Today’s customers – especially B2B customers – are sick of being sold to. They know every trick in the book, and most marketing tactics are old news. At the same time, we have more MarTech and AI than ever before, automating nearly every task. We don’t just need to humanize marketing to connect with customers. We need to humanize the technology that helps us personalize content and make that connection. 

Humanizing B2B marketing

We’re not saying you should ditch your MarTech. It plays an essential role. But by choosing the right technology and complementing it with human knowledge, you can not only win new business, but retain, upsell and cross-sell customers. Here’s how. 

Tech intelligence vs. human intelligence

MarTech tools are built on data and artificial intelligence, which provide valuable insights. They can tell you who is interacting with your brand, what they’re doing, how often, and what they might do next. According to McKinsey, 55% of B2B companies are implementing advanced sales tools like automatic opportunity scoring and pipeline forecasting, machine-learning-based recommendations and dynamic pricing. But don’t forget that behind every MarTech tool is a team that knows how to use it. 

For example, an account identified as a high-value opportunity based on intent signals may turn out to be a fellow marketer doing research or a job-seeker engaging with your company. Tech doesn’t have the ability to catch those nuances the same way human instinct and experience can.

Tech engagement vs. human engagement

While the digital transformation is accelerating, many B2B buyers are still used to real, human interaction. They don’t want to feel like they are being engaged by a machine. Yet on the business side, automating marketing outreach and engagement is great for efficiency and resource allocation. 

Ideally, your MarTech should automate the busy work and free up your team to engage in more valuable interactions. In fact, 63% of B2B sales leaders say e-commerce has freed their teams from the logistics of order processing and allowed them to become strategic advisors – the type of human engagement that can’t be done by technology and that provides real value to customers.

Tech enabled vs. tech reliant

If we’ve learned one thing over the past few years, it’s that change is the only constant. Becoming too reliant on one strategy, one tool or one type of data (looking at you, third-party data) can have unintended consequences. Marketers want to be tech-enabled, not tech-reliant. So take a human approach to your tech. Think strategically about how it can enhance your efforts, provide more efficiency and help you reach the right audience at the right time.

Perform a tech gap analysis to understand where you might have redundant tools, as well as gaps. Determine where you can gain the most value and efficiency from technology, then put your human resources toward building out that area. 

Most of all, use your tech when and where it makes the most sense, but don’t let it become the crutch that gets in the way of humanizing your marketing. Need some help? BOL specializes in advanced analytics solutions, creating personalized content and creative and building your new, humanized marketing strategy. Contact us today to get started.