Marketing is all about human connections, isn’t it? In a world full of technological innovation, bots, artificial intelligence, efficiency, and automation, it's easy to relegate human touch to the back-burner. However, human touch and connection are of utmost relevance. Sample this - customers that establish a strong connect with B2B brands are more likely to pay premium prices.
That said, generic emails and messaging are definitely a thing of the past. While automation helps us overcome that, it remains a double-edged sword. The reason is that the outcome of automation often spam-like and robotic, where one is just going through motions without adding any value. Today’s customers are fickle and can easily pick up on this “automation”. This is why as marketers it is our responsibility to go beyond technology and deliver an experience.
Enter Humanistic Automation.
It enables automation to be personable and deliver a unique experience that establishes an emotional connection. The following points explain what is humanistic automation, how it fits into marketing, and why it is extremely crucial that your marketing team and business are onboard with this trend.
According to Forbes, “humanistic automation (HA) is an automation process that establishes a human touch by the means of automated but personalized tools focused on building trust and providing value.” Simply put, you do not just use automation to save time and increase efficiency (even though that is a big plus). You continue to personalise and deliver value to each persona - just like your local shop owner and how he or she builds a personal connection with everyone that walks in via unique and meaningful conversations.
Marketing automation is big, with almost 51% of companies using some form of automation. This figure is only expected to increase as automation saves time, builds efficiency, and improves customer experiences. In a world that demands fast and almost hyper-personalised services, customers do know when marketing automation has “kicked in” versus when a company is utilising marketing to address their needs. And let’s not forget the fact that human connection is key to converting more business and referrals.
So, how does humanistic automation apply to marketing? In several ways actually.
Here is why you should be paying attention to it.
Humanistic automation boosts several marketing touchpoints through personalisation. It enables companies to reach their customers exactly when they need them, providing a magical experience akin to being Cinderella's fairy godmother.
Now even though one does recognise the importance of personalisation, how can it be achieved through automation? The trick is to find a happy balance between automation and human interaction.
Here are some techniques, which you can implement to increase the humanistic automation of your marketing.
The basis of powerful marketing is knowing your customers.
It sounds simple, and most businesses say, “Of course, I know my customer.” While they might have a fair generic idea of who their customer is, the important details which are needed for conversion and establishing loyalty are often missing.
Each buyer persona has a unique journey and it needs to be addressed at the most essential touchpoints. The journey and touchpoints would vary from persona to persona.
Therefore, go beyond the surface and understand not only who your customers are, but also where they are - in emails, SERPs, and online communities and platforms (Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.). Additionally, you need to know at what stage do these customers need specific value-added information that your business can provide? Considerations like this will give you a kickstart.
There is something that makes each one of us distinctive, and businesses need to hone and communicate the same through their messaging. Your brand and organisation will stand out when processes, bots, and AI, etc., are developed well to provide humanistic experiences to each customer.
The key is to integrate a natural conversation flow to your processes and messaging.
How can you achieve this personalisation and natural flow?
Well, it goes back to our previous point of knowing your customer and asking “how would a real person address this?” Don’t be afraid of adding some humour (like Apple does with Siri) if that is in line with your brand’s image. This will make sure that your touchpoints add true value and remain meaningful and memorable to your customer.
A recent report by Calabrio found that three out of four consumers in the US and UK are more loyal to businesses that give them the option to interact with a human as opposed to only chatbots or digital channels.
Chatbots have made it easier for businesses to connect with their customers in real-time. For instance, getting real-time updates on apps such as WhatsApp is more convenient than speaking to someone on a call that requires people to wait in queues sometimes.
However, studies, like the one by Calabrio, have found that humans prefer speaking with someone when it comes to more technical, specific issues. Therefore, in certain instances, throwing your customers on a loop of automated chat messages without an option to interact with a human will lead to a loss of opportunity.
Another way to humanise automation is to integrate empathy into your process. Empathy often goes missing in marketing automation and it is essential to bring it into the experience because it establishes connect that leads to a complete win-win situation. Consistently ask your team, whether they truly understand the emotional concern of your concern? Review your AI calibrations to see whether it incorporates the nuances of empathetic marketing. Tailor your messaging, emails, and processes as doing so will help you resonate and empathise with your customers.
From hunting in troops for survival to the current day network of meet-ups and social gatherings, humans are and have always been social creatures. Therefore, in the quest for automation, efficiency, and speed, marketers shouldn’t neglect the fundamentals of being “human.” Remember, successful marketing automation is not stagnant and continues to evolve to meet current demands.
It is critical to weave human interaction back into our systems, and humanistic automation is the process to achieve just that and paves the way for the future of marketing. Are you onboard?
To integrate more humanistic automation in your marketing automation, reach out to the consultants at Transfunnel.