I was talking to somebody in the industry this week and they said that there seemed to be a move to "automation".  I agreed, buy the sellers.  I pointed out that if you look at the research from buyers, they don't want more automation.  In quite the opposite, what we want in B2B are relationships, conversations, people, we know' like and trust.

You won't get that by a chatbot or automating the sales and marketing process.

This article points out that "By improving the human connection in an increasingly digital world, brands can strengthen the emotional connection they have with their customers."

It went onto say

"A Gallup report from 2019 on humanizing CX stated that “customers will experience less brick and more click,” and they couldn’t have been more correct. Little did brands know what was soon to come down the pike. The COVID-19 pandemic drove many customers to shop exclusively online. Social interactions became mostly limited to social media, chat windows, and Zoom meetings."

"After months of isolation, the need for human interaction became obvious, and brands were no exception. Customers craved to hear a real voice, to make a connection with a real person on the other end of the chat window, to interact with a brand’s representatives via social media, or otherwise make an emotional connection with a real human being. The pandemic is/was a shared experience, albeit one that was shared through mutual isolation. Human contact became even more important."

"A recent customer experience and communications report was released by Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. in which they surveyed 3,000 North American consumers. Not surprisingly, 56% said that the pandemic has fundamentally changed how they communicate and engage with businesses. 54% indicated that they have also seen an increase in humanity in the communications they've received from brands."

A recent article by Catherine Coale, from Telstra Purple caught my eye, partly because it's based on data and not some "gurus" opinion.

Before we get started, I'm going to share two of Catherine's conclusions.

This article and it's conclusions MUST impact your digital marketing strategy and your budget priorities. 

These are direct quotes, from her article ....

3. Traditional B2B Marketing is Screwed

Forget product centric messages. Forget gated content on social platforms. Stop broadcasting branded messages in the hope that some of it will stick. Our pilot tells us that hardly anyone is listening anymore.   

4. If you’re doing structured Employee Advocacy today, consider reviewing your scope.

Edicts to share company content without putting your people in the narrative is just another form of broadcast marketing. It is not well received on this platform. Attempting to create a single brand voice is also a mistake.

How do we connect to customers on a human basis and create revenue?

There is nothing wrong in contacting people you have been connected to for over six months and suggesting you have a conversation.  As long as you DON"T sell and pitch over social.  But let's understand how a social selling expert like Eric Doyle sees like and comments as the bedrock for his sales ..... not vanity metrics. 

This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up.  We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically.  You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away.  Let's talk about this post. 

 Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 18,000 views and 165 likes, which is great.

But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post?  

Let's stop and think about this for a second.  

This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?

Because, all of Eric's post are strategic.  He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.

You cannot get 6 C-Level meetings from 10 minutes work from cold calling, emailing or from advertising.  This is the transformation that has taken place with social.

Oh and Eric won a sales from this post. 

He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example.  

But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business.  Especially if you scaled this across your sales team and your employees. 

The pandemic has shifted digital selling from being a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have”.

How can you get 6 C-Level meetings and 1 sales from a post on LinkedIn that took 10 minutes? 

How does Eric do this?  He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage.  Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out.  If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time?  Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?

In a recent article, Nick Dangles, co-founder of Kinetic, was asked for his best advice on social selling and he said

“The best advice I can give about social selling is that it’s not about selling. It’s about creating meaningful and engaging content that will resonate with your audience. Approaching social selling with the intent of providing something of value will give much better results than simply pitching your company on social media,”  

And finally ...

Late last year McKinsey and Co reported that its corporate clients experienced on average 7 years of digital transformation in the first six months of 2020 as they hustled to adjust to the global economic COVID disruption. 

Another way to think of that statistic is that if you didn't start transforming your business in those months you are now 7 years behind your competitors!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing in the form of case studies, what we are doing for other businesses to transform them to digital.  No hard sell, just practical examples.

DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities.  Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector. 

For more information contact me here, visit our website, or visit our Linkedin company page and contact one of the DLA Ignite team members.