How Tech-Enabled H2H Can Boost Hyperlocal Marketing

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Digital marketing holds a privileged place in brand strategies. Technology has allowed for faster, farther reach, and no marketing strategy can run without data. 

But after over 15 months under Covid restrictions, consumers are craving personalized human interaction, not just outreach. To attempt personalization, many marketers use retargeting and data-driven automation to drive engagement and connections. While these methods work, customers are savvy and can spot the difference between automated targeting and genuine local human connections. 

Marketers know first hand that employing one-on-one tactics that allow for a personalized human connection can supercharge a brand connection. But the historic inefficiency of human-to-human (H2H) outreach and the difficulty of translating it into data has marginalized it in marketing strategy. 

Fortunately, marketers do not need to see H2H as at odds with data-driven advertising. Marketers can leverage tech to activate brand ambassadors in target communities, foster local connections, scale to multiple trade areas, and collect data on the back end that allows for customer relationship management and marketing measurement. This is H2H marketing for the digital world, and it’s better than retargeting without a human touch and human touch with no data to back it up.

Restoring the human connection in marketing strategies

We’re connected to technology more than ever before, but we are also more selective about the information we consume. As a result, brands that rely solely on digital marketing may struggle to reach prospective customers. But by combining digital with H2H marketing, brands can produce both local and national results. H2H marketing prioritizes customers as people first while engaging them with your brand and making them feel connected to your business.

H2H marketing shines among impersonal automated text messages and templated emails by creating real, human-to-human connections where a brand’s message is shared and discussed. This should not be confused with phoning in a sales pitch or making a cold call. H2H marketing drives honest, empathetic conversations between local community members empowered to speak on behalf of a brand and their neighbors. It builds a positive brand impression focused on cultivating trials, purchases, brand advocacy, and, ultimately, trust.

The opportunity you may be missing out on

Consumers are inundated with ads. It’s estimated that the average person now encounters between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.  

Many marketers are over-leveraged into digital, resulting in consumer fatigue. Marketers are facing diminishing returns as they vie for limited consumer attention. 

But consumers are desperate for real-world engagement. To reach specific communities, adding a layer of programmatic H2H can help round out your marketing stack, allowing a brand to reach consumers outside of an app or email. The great news is that H2H is more scalable than ever before with new tech-driven methods that allow quick deployment, accurate segmentation, and measurable results.

The power of human-to-human marketing

H2H marketing engages consumers with interaction and conversation: it’s two-way communication IRL with the following capabilities:

  • Marketers can tailor messages to an individual’s situation 
  • Programs happen in person or over the phone with email and social media follow-up 
  • By connecting to individuals in your community, you transform from a national brand identity to a consumer’s local favorite 
  • Brands cultivate community and build local relationships by connecting with people on multiple levels that help keep them top of mind
  • Brands can target a specific local or geographical footprint and develop national reach

Data supports the understanding that consumers value the power of a human connection over advertising:

  • According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising 
  • According to Ad Age research, 96% of consumers don’t trust ads for purchase decisions

H2H is a more effective way to tell your story, going beyond corporate branding to help differentiate, engage, and excite at a local level. 

Tapping into the local market opportunity 

While H2H marketing can uncover great local opportunities, the challenge is in the execution. If you own a retail store or restaurant, you are surrounded by potential customers in the form of businesses and individual consumers. However, relying on owners, operators, or franchisees to find time to go into the community and actively engage while also running a business is problematic. And those who do venture out can struggle with how to best execute community outreach. Let’s be honest: Cold solicitation is not everyone’s soup du jour.

Thankfully, the challenges of orchestrating local outreach at scale and measuring its results birthed entire companies. Companies like Field Day target consumers at a hyper-local level and assign skilled teams to engage the community on your behalf. Field Day’s proprietary targeting technology can identify all local schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and businesses within a few miles of your location and nationally across all your locations. Field Day Brand Ambassadors, skilled local gig workers who are experts in one-on-one conversations, execute H2H engagement over the phone, in person, or in combination. They can also lead a sampling experience so operators aren’t put in uncomfortable situations. 

H2H marketing can be directed programmatically and systematically measured. That allows brands to reach the right targets and successfully deliver their message locally and nationally, all with data to demonstrate program performance. 

H2H marketing is particularly relevant to marketers facing the following challenges:

  • You have multiple units across different regions that need marketing or sales support
  • You have a service or product offered in multiple markets and need to drive purchases
  • You consider B2B a key target but are struggling to reach local businesses

By adding local marketing tactics like H2H to your digital campaigns, you can deliver a national message while capitalizing on consumers’ desire for genuine human interaction. That is the cutting edge of marketing to local communities — not another automated Facebook ad.

Alex Nocifera is the Founder & CEO at Field Day.