I was brought up in media sales with B2B and B2C marketing strategies. With the introduction of social media, the People-to-People or better: Human-to-Human (in short: H2H) is becoming increasingly popular as marketing trend. Weird, as this kind of communication has been around for as long as human beings started communicating. But ok.
For many purchase decisions, we all like to check with our peers or relatives. Also checking out the manufacturers directly online (do they exist at all?). Do your friends have experience with this product or that particular destination? How much did they pay and are they still happy with it? Increasingly, thanks to social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, we can now get a personal product analyses from our friends. In stead of through a well-thought-of B2C campaign, for which a complete strategy and marketing execution has been worked out, tested with A and B advertising plans etc. Taking time and big communication investments, but often using a polished language.
The B2C tactics will no doubt continue to play a role, using linear TV as prime advertising channel, in order to hit a large batch of consumers at once. The viewing numbers for this medium are starting to crumble, though. And more and more consumers are online, doing their own research, using critical notes from other consumers to shorten the list of brands before they purchase. People are also more concerned about the environment and want to know how things are being produced and at what costs. They don’t take the boxed advertising for granted anymore. And they follow other people with experience, with a solid tech view on products or just funny articles on daily life.
Consumer manufacturers have taken notice and are starting to get a stake of this new communication channel. They are hiring people to influence us as consumers in a different way. It started years ago in the US with big TV and sports stars (the so-called ‘macro-influencers’ with sometimes 1mln+ followers) who were wearing sponsored shoes or paid to promote a skin cream. And the masses followed, because they trust these stars and want to be like them.
The new trend is to start using less of the macro influencer, but rather mimic H2H and use a set of ‘micro-influencers’ (with max 10k social media followers) and spread the word in more consumer corners and niches. It will not only reduce the costs and help a brand to reach more consumers with different flavors, but also requires a normal language, like H2H language. People will be paid to continue tell their story online, how they cook, how they sport, how they travel etc. So beware of certain messages that might come across as very ‘human’ but are still orchestrated by a brand you might consider buying and using yourself.