For a few days now, on social networks of marketing agencies and other people who work in these environments, we have seen the flourishing of an image that reads:
“There’s no more B2C or B2B, only H2H: human to human”.
Is this a revolution? The idea behind this H2H is to show that, through social networks, the internet, and all the evolutions of marketing during the last twenty years, we arrived at a point where only a human individual is important. This is no longer a brand that caters to a consumer, but a person aimed at someone else. Okay, but where is the revolution in this H2H? The question is legitimate as the meaning behind this expression is problematic.
If the H2H is reduced to its simplest expression, then this is true. A relationship has always been between two humans. Whether it’s a Director of Marketing and their client or a consumer and a seller, this is a relationship between two individuals, a direct relationship. Nothing new, no revolution.
Above all, the “human to human” theory forgets a sizeable detail: decision making. In B2B, decision-making isn’t based only on a “human”. On the contrary, decision-making in B2B is an investment. The decision is made by humans within an organization, and to grow the organization. A decision in B2B, such as buying a product or service, is a complex, long and thoughtful choice where the benefit of the company exceeds relations between humans. It’s difficult to speak of H2H under these conditions.
In B2C as well, the concept is problematic. Is a trademark a human? Sales arguments remain today’s brand and business arguments. Quality certifications, services, warranties… all of these are sales arguments offered by carriers. Even on social networks, these are the brands that cater to consumers.
So yes, of course, human beings like you and I are necessary behind this brand or decision. Before we replace executives and consumers by robots, there will always be a “H2H” contact in the beginning, except that this “H2H” relationship forgets all the data that revolves around the purchasing decision. Is this a new standard? Certainly not. Just a concept that sounds good, but is rather hollow.