MindFire Communications, Inc.
Be more human
April 6, 2016 | Inga Rundquist

Be more human MindFire

One of the things I’ve always found curious about communications is when marketers give themselves – and by extension their marketing programs – the b-to-b label.

We’ve all heard the line “Well, it’s different for us. We’re a b-to-b company.” Maybe you’ve even muttered it yourself?

To be frank, I’m not a huge fan of these types of b-to-b and b-to-c labels. It implies that marketing towards a company requires some kind of different mindset or framework than marketing to a consumer. Even in b-to-b companies there are ultimately people making the decisions on the other end. And aren’t these people consumers, too?

When it comes down to it, all marketing programs are ultimately geared towards people, or consumers, or target audiences…or whatever you want to call them. And in today’s marketing landscape, it pays off to keep that in mind.

As marketers, we’re all talking to people. Real, living, breathing people. We have to ask ourselves: what gets these people going? What makes them tick? What will make them connect with my brand and choose my company over the competitor?

Here at MindFire, we are strong believers that being “more human” is a big part of the answer to the question above. When your brand comes across as a stoic, untouchable entity, it doesn’t exactly invoke warm, fuzzy feelings among your target audience.

But pulling back the curtain and sharing with your audience who is behind the brand, does. People connect with other people. Being “more human” will help you foster that connection.

Some examples:

Be funny. Share stories. Show behind-the-scenes pictures. Find ways to incorporate your people into your brand message. Laugh at yourself. Be honest. If you messed up, take responsibility. Be human!

Ready to “be more human” in your marketing? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Think about what your business would sound like if it was a person. What conversations do you have in person about your business and how they can be translated into content and messaging for your brand?
  • Go through everything your brand disseminates to your external audience – from your site to print pieces. Does it sound like the humanized brand you want? Or does it sound like it’s coming from a faceless entity that doesn’t encourage interaction?
  • Think about a brand you like and figure out what it is that made you connect with them. Don’t tune out commercials or ads – become an active listener and take note of what you think works and what doesn’t.
  • Don’t try to fake it. You can be human in terms of image, but it’s also about what you do in real life.

Throw away the corporate guidelines that you’ve been sticking to. Give yourself the freedom to become more human. It’ll be worth it!

True confessions

Congrats – you made it to the bottom of the article. As a reward – and in the spirit of “being more human” – I’m pulling back the curtain and sharing some little tidbits with you.

I missed the deadline on this post. It was supposed to be live on our blog three days ago. Oops. We sometimes have a hard time treating MindFire marketing pieces (like this blog) with the same deadline-driven intensity as client projects. What’s the saying? “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” (<-- I had to Skype Jamie to get this saying…tried Google, no luck.)

I am a remote employee for MindFire, meaning that I work full-time out of my home in Ames…which is also where I wrote this article. Most of the rest of the team is in the office in Le Claire, but I have a few remote-working cohorts: MindFire Co-Founder Lynn, and our programmer, Tony. This is my workspace. As you can see, I have an obsession with jade plants. I’m not ashamed.

Inga's desk

Wanna know one of the hardest parts about working from home? There’s no one there to judge your snack choices when you’re “at work.” This is no joke. The Easter candy is literally steps away and NO ONE will know if I go to town on the kids’ chocolate…. Side note – this may also be why at my last dentist visit I was told I have six (six!) cavities. :(

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