H2H human to human

Successful Sales Processes: H2H Strategies Versus B2C and B2B

Advertising and marketing consultants often have multiple definitions of “success” when evaluating sales strategies. Terms like “cost per click” (CPC) and “cost per thousand” (CPM) impressions are familiar examples used in internet marketing discussions involving business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales processes. However, some observers (and I am one of them) would argue that the popular applications of B2C and B2B overlook the all-important human element in favor of depersonalized marketing segmentation.

H2H human to human

 

Bottom Line Improvements

One time-tested standard for success deserves regular consideration — The Bottom Line. For anyone unfamiliar with the accounting origins of this term, the bottom line on financial statements displays net profits after expenses are subtracted from the top line (gross revenues). How can the bottom line be improved? Here is the short answer: By reducing expenses and increasing income.

Of course, improving the bottom line is far from easy. Nevertheless, there are straightforward strategies for advancing any organization in the right direction. The SlideShare presentation shown below summarizes strategic solutions that include the following five examples:

  • Avoid recurring business problems (I refer to these as Zombie Business Problems)
  • Improve the use of business proposals
  • Add or improve inbound marketing sales processes
  • Optimize the Power of No
  • Emphasize contingency planning (Always Have a Plan B)

Human-to-Human (H2H) Sales Processes

Change in any form can entail difficult transitions. This observation goes a long way to explain why so many marketing “experts” are still focused on the aging concepts of business to consumer and business to business to describe sales campaigns. To replace these concepts, one viable solution is to adopt H2H strategies — human to human. Three illustrations of this evolution are inbound marketing, business proposals and Thinking Outside of the Blog.

Inbound Marketing — A sales process with a foundation of inbound marketing replaces depersonalized B2B and B2C strategies such as advertising and cold calling with a personalized customer-centric approach like H2H educational content that is geared toward niche audiences — for example, white papers and case studies.

Business Proposals — An example of adding the H2H element to this marketing approach is to initiate or increase the use of unsolicited business proposals that are directed to an individual and not a company.

Think Outside of the Blog — I have written extensively about this concept. It builds upon the foundations of inbound marketing. The goal that I am advancing with “Thinking Outside the Blog” is to persuade managers and decision-makers for organizations of all sizes to abandon the over-dependence on blogs and instead use a different solution — one that instead depends heavily on the more human approach to communication embodied by H2H processes.

Common Themes in the H2H Evolution

The Bottom Line:

I consistently see several common themes in a successful transition to human to human strategies and sales processes. Here are two of them:

  1. A Plan B (also Plan C and Plan D) mentality
  2. Preventing recurring mistakes and problems

H2H sales strategy

The next step:

If you would like to talk before starting a business writing, consulting or career training project with Steve Bush, you can arrange a no-cost preliminary call (15-30 minutes) here:

Schedule a Call with Steve Bush

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PlanBush inbound marketing

Press Releases and Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing continues to gain attention and momentum among both large and small organizations. While some would say it took too long to get to this point, it is nevertheless refreshing to celebrate the growing popularity of marketing processes that truly emphasize the customer instead of the marketer. Press releases are among the chief examples of what has changed in the world of internet content as a result of inbound marketing strategies.

Content writing has also changed for other key inbound marketing services — case studies, extended articles, white papers and content research are four primary illustrations. Such changes are not always noticed and adopted quickly by business owners and managers. This resistance to change seems especially noticeable with press releases.

PlanBush inbound marketing

Here is a SlideShare presentation that focuses on business writing strategies involving case studies:

For a comprehensive overview of press releases, please refer to The Art and Science of Writing Press Releases. This one-page summary includes the following:

  • 10 Suggested Press Release “Rules”
  • Link to a Press Release Example That Follows the 10 Rules
  • 8 Common Reasons Why Organizations Overlook Business Writing
  • 8 Business Writing Questions That Need to Be Asked

The “Lessons to Be Learned” about press releases and inbound marketing are likely to help with all forms of content writing and business communication. For example, the press release referred to in the above list includes nine common business writing mistakes that can be reduced or avoided by paying more attention to effective content research and writing practices.

 

How Has Promoting Blogs and Websites Changed?

Should we just keep on doing things the same way? Is everything working how it should on your websites and blogs?

It is always appropriate to remember some of the advice provided by Albert Einstein. His observations have proven to be timeless and universal. Here is one piece of wisdom which he offered: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

In terms of updating and revising elements which will provide the best possible promotion of your blog and website, a combination of the following should do the trick:

  • Webpages with original information that is not duplicate or spun content.
  • Content ranging from a bare minimum of 700 words to 1500 words or more per page.
  • Original (not stock) images.
  • Video content.
  • Appropriate keyword density.

In the latest version of Build It and They Will Come, the five business writing elements listed above will be found and valued by the search engines and they will do your promoting for you.

What you don’t do in promoting your website can be as important as what you do. In the evolving world of search engine optimization, it is very easy to to use the “flavor of the month” and keep on using it until it has been overdone.

promoting websites and blogs

Article marketing is a very prominent example of running an SEO strategy into the ground. This happened in several steps. The first was to offer authors two to half a dozen or more self-serving links. Squidoo and HubPages got their start in part by appealing to link-hungry bloggers. I have used Squidoo since 2006, but in the past ten months they have lost virtually 100% of their value for promoting websites. In my view, Squidoo is on the “do not do” list for website promotion, and HubPages also appears to have lost search engine appeal for marketing benefits. (Update: Squidoo was sold to HubPages and no longer exists as a separate entity.)

The next step was to offer article distribution services with hundreds of variations built upon one article. While search engines did not initially count each of these versions as duplicate content, they eventually caught on to the trick being played upon them. Search engine results have now severely penalized article spinning, so you should definitely avoid that in your efforts for website promotion.

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I also think that virtually all versions of article marketing are effectively dead even when you write one original article and submit it to a quality article directory like EzineArticles. I have also used this site since 2006, and I think that they did everything right, but I stopped using them several months ago. The value of promotional links from an article directory is so minimal (and even possibly negative in value) that it is not a cost-effective marketing strategy for 2013 and beyond.

Eliminating ClickBank links could also be a winning strategy. In other words, by avoiding the use of affiliate links to the myriad ClickBank marketing opportunities, your website is likely to improve in search engine rankings. Google (and the rest of the internet) have reached a point of no return and seem to be penalizing links to affiliate promotions of all kinds. ClickBank is simply the biggest of the targets at this point.

What would Albert Einstein do?