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Archive: @NiveaUK and the power of human-to-human marketing
Human to human (H2H) is an increasingly popular buzz-phrase in modern marketing. The aim is not to distinguish customers by their category (B2B or B2C) or by some generic demographics, but by developing a relationship with their personality, not their bank account. Social media is where H2H marketing can really shine.
I've recently been following @NiveaUK on Twitter and their level of engagement and effort is truly astonishing.
Life can stress out our skin @jaymiie1992, would you like a soothing tip?
— NiveaUK (@niveauk) May 13, 2015
When I first saw these tweets (and they're on the ball so there's a lot!), I initially thought it was as a result of mentions of @NiveaUK or even a specific campaign hashtag. I was wrong, massively. Why? Well let's take a look at Jamie's original tweet:
Why is it my lips and hands also go dry when I'm on an early shift :/ think it's the 3am wake up call!!!! — Jamie Gilliver (@jaymiie1992) May 13, 2015
As we've seen, Nivea responded with a statement we can all relate to and also a direct question: 'would you like a soothing tip?' That is a exceptionally clever tactic. Rather than move in immediately and offer the advice, their warm, friendly response encourages an intrigued Jamie to only respond one way, positively.
Ensure you're eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish and walnuts. That's great for healthy and nourished skin @jaymiie1992!
— NiveaUK (@niveauk) May 13, 2015
Informative and friendly, with my little knowledge of beauty regimes, it sounds useful. Jamie was clearly impressed as he retweeted the message.
So, why was I massively wrong?
Simply, the majority of their tips are sourced from random tweets not linked with Nivea at all. Nivea's tweets indicate they're using Sprinklr, a powerful social media platform, to search and source. Naturally, the user-curated tweets focus on areas of Nivea's expertise: dry skin, chapped/dry lips and oily skin. This indicates a concerted effort from Nivea's social team to find this content and respond accordingly. Cleverly, they make sure all responses show up in their main timeline so they can be viewed by their 12,000+ followers.
This tactic yields greater awareness amongst your target audience. You're talking to them in real terms - human to human. Even today, too many brands aren't embracing this attitude. Their marketing remains cold and disengaged, forgetting consumers are people who think, feel, talk... and sometimes shout. Offering a product or service that 'does the job' is simple, offering something that delivers a positive experience is a significant step up.
Remember, this isn't a one time thing either. In the same way you might nurture and develop a friendship, brand marketers need to develop that thinking into their work. The more you engage with customers on a natural, personal level, the more likely they are to move further along the life cycle, becoming brand advocates and referrers. These customers promote and sell your brand to their friends and colleagues, effectively doing your work for you.
Remembering your audience are real, thinking people gives you the scope to become more humanised yourself. A brand that takes the time to get to know its customers will benefit more in the long-term.
Kudos Nivea. Everyone else is playing catch up.