H2H Marketing

Human-to-human marketing or H2H marketing is a new technique introduced in the marketing world. It is a marketing model that revolves around a shift in focus from customer-centeredness to human-centeredness in business by focusing on the problems of humans and their needs rather than only the customer base.
Author: Jamal Talha
Published In: 2022/02/ 19

Human-to-human marketing or H2H marketing is a new technique introduced in the marketing world.

It is a marketing model that revolves around a shift in focus from customer-centeredness to human-centeredness in business by focusing on the problems of humans and their needs rather than only the customer base.

It fixates working on introducing current concepts and dealing with recent changes in the business industry by humanizing the marketing process and management approaches.

All in all, H2H marketing changes how we view marketing as a whole. It dictates the marketers and the brand to get face-to-face time with all the people involved, including the customers, the employees, and the partners.

Only by observing and recognizing the customer will a business ever be able to create a successful product. This will help the brand understand the customer’s mindset truly, interpret their behaviours, wants, and needs. Not only will this be beneficial to the marketers themselves, but also the customers and the employees.

In simple words, H2H marketing is the idea that humans want to connect with humans, not the business. A brand can’t connect with every person personally, but there is a way to humanize a brand. The business one does, and even automated marketing strategies can be humanized. Being intentionally imperfect is one way to do it.

A brand builds trust by being relatable and aligning oneself with the customer. This marketing technique revolves around putting people first and prioritizing their needs and wants. By doing so, the customer will develop an emotional connection to the brand, hence increasing customer loyalty. Adding a human touch to your customer connection platforms is another way to accomplish that.

The Perception of Traditional Marketing

The core of marketing should be creating a meaningful value proposition, but marketing techniques have drifted away from this. Only by adopting it back again can a business flourish and satisfy customers.

Companies need to realize that marketing is about the customer as much as the product. Having a connection with the customer is always beneficial.

In recent years, people have begun to doubt marketing techniques. The marketing industry is seen as ‘evil’ by the public, which is why customer trust in it is decreasing by the day.

The audiences see these techniques as a ‘psychological play’ to make customers buy something unnecessary, and this kind of negativity has badly impacted businesses.

Customers feel like impersonal marketing is insensitive and manipulative. This increasing mistrust towards a brand’s credibility has caused a decline in its effectiveness. Customers see them as aggressive ploys or empty promises, nothing more.

At the end of the day, this mistrust in marketing is harmful to businesses, as well as the customers. And these opinions are getting more and more common. Marketing in this form cannot continue when there are no positive outcomes to it.

This implies the need to introduce a new marketing model, a technique that increases customer trust and breaks all the stereotypes around marketing that have been built in recent years. This is what the human-to-human marketing model brings. It is a connected and interactive marketing model that will earn the trust of customers and will align with recent times.

Factors influencing the H2H Business Model

The factors that influence this marketing model are:

  • Design thinking
  • Service dominant logic
  • Digitalization.

These factors fuel the H2H model to become a new way of thinking and a new and successful marketing approach.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a strategy-making process that applies tools from the design world and shifts the focus of a business to human behaviour. It’s a technique where a future is invented, and a few theories are formed of what customers might want and don’t have by immersing in their lives. Instead of pulling them into buying a specific product using traditional marketing, a business can question the customer’s behaviour and patterns, analyze their necessities, and wants to deliver a product of their liking.

Design thinking is a mechanism where iterative prototyping methods with good enough products and services can be used to see how the consumers respond and adjust the product accordingly. This process will help produce a successful item.

Service-Dominant Logic

The foundational proposition of service-dominant logic is that the organization or the market is fundamentally concerned with the exchange of service, which is nothing but the implication of competency of knowledge or skills for the benefit of another party. It is the shift from selling or producing goods to offering services, and the products are just used as the means to perform that service.


Digitalization has changed the way a business works, and it has the power to reshape a business model. Due to digitalization, customers and marketers both have new opportunities in the business world. It has widened the market for the customers, given new opportunities to the marketer, and much more. Not only that, it has opened doors to new opportunities, not just for the marketer and employee, but for all participants of the marketing interactions. This way, everyone involved is impacted by it.

A modern business can’t run if they don’t consider digitalization as a factor.

The Two Layers of H2H Marketing

H2H marketing is a new marketing framework that is compatible with the modern world, recent developments, and challenges of this time. This marketing model consists of two layers, and the first one provides the model’s basic groundwork, integrated with design thinking, service-dominant logic, and digitalization. These three can be called the three impact concepts or the determining factors of human-to-human marketing.

The second layer is more about the implementation of this concept in the marketing and business world. The three parts of this second layer consist of:

  • The H2H mindsets
  • H2H management
  • The H2H process
H2H Mindset A necessary condition to the implementation of the H2H marketing technique
H2H Management Includes planning the implementation of the marketing techniques and a perfect strategy for it
H2H Process This is the final step, where the H2H marketing model is put into practice

Due to digitalization, the business world is being remodelled. This has resulted in a much-needed remoulding of the marketing strategies as well. Customer behaviours have changed, and marketing techniques have altered, making it essential to change business ways accordingly.

There is a paradigm shift in the understanding of markets and business itself, which has led to the creation of the H2H marketing model.

Jamal is a Content Marketing Specialist based in Hamburg, Germany. Jamal does journalistic coverages for the World Marketing Forum. In his spare time he's a horse photographer.

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