There are four basic types of consumers, and knowing how to market to each of them can lead to incredible results. In this series (click here to read the overview), we’ll take a deep dive into each type. We started with methodical and today, we explore the humanistic buyer type.
HUMANISTIC buyers are looking for more than just a product. They’re looking for a connection.
They need to believe not only in what you’re selling, but they need to believe in YOU.
Humanistic buyers think and feel deeply about their purchases, so they’re very deliberate in their decision-making process. However, it’s filled with emotion.
Humanistic buyers are all about values, and we aren’t talking about good deals. They’re focused on their personal values and beliefs, and they want products or services that support them.
These are the people who go out of their way to shop locally. They recognize the positive impact they can have on their local industry, economy, and environment just by supporting a particular business.
“They want to know what you stand for and they want to be able to believe with you,” FCM President Kyle Chowning said. “They want to be able to stand with you. So when they say yes to a product or an opportunity or a course, they want to be able to stand behind it, not just purchase it.”
Humanistic buyers also value creativity, and they desire to purchase a product that’s unique, so it’s essential to have a good story. But once you make that connection, these shoppers are very loyal.
However, only 5% to 15% of the population are humanistic buyers.
“In our experience, some organizations–especially nonprofits–overemphasize humanistic buyer types,” Chowning said. “The reality is that so few people need to have a story to say yes, but it’s always good support.”
Here are eight ways to provide content that will connect with humanistic buyers and compel them to action.
1. Stand for Something.
Humanistic buyers don’t want to take. They want to give, and they want their purchases to have a positive effect. If you support a charity through your proceeds or your business is eco-friendly, let them know.
2. Show Real People.
If humanistic buyers are going to spend money, they would prefer that it doesn’t go to a faceless corporation. Include photos of the people behind your company and satisfied customers. If they see you and your audience and can relate, it’ll only strengthen your bond.
3. Be Transparent.
The currency of marketing is trust. To build it successfully, be willing to be transparent. This means owning up to a mistake when you make it, and show how you’ll do things differently next time. Whether in a customer service email or a public post, transparency will show you are human, and as you can imagine, that appeals to humanistic buyer types.
4. Use Emotion.
Make people feel something, and they’ll talk about you without prompting. “Research on advertising shows that the emotional response to an ad influences consumers’ intention to buy much greater than the ad’s content itself,” writes Shayna Smilovitz on Instapage.com.
5. Provide Social Proof.
Community is a cornerstone for humanistic buyers. If you have testimonials from other clients or you can show how others have been positively affected by your company, it’s a big win. Humanistic buyers don’t see your product as just another product. It’s a gateway to a new community.
6. Be Creative.
The last thing you want to do is come off as dull and formulaic. Your website, your content and all of your communications need to be creative, unique and memorable. That includes intentional use of color. Each color has a function and can help elicit a certain reaction.
“Nearly every academic study on colors and branding will tell you that it’s far more important for colors to support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations,” Geoffrey Ciotti writes in “The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding” on HelpScout.com.
7. Build in Reciprocity.
When you do, give or provide something of value to your potential customer, there is a desire to reciprocate. When writing an automated introduction email series to new clients, include a download, tip, promo code or other element of value as a free, no-strings-attached gift.
8. Incorporate Share-ability.
We naturally want to share experiences, especially when they make us feel a certain way. Marketing should include ways that feed off this urge. Make social sharing buttons easily accessible. Create a page of quote cards and shareable images on your website and promoted through social media.
The more opportunity a humanistic buyer has to connect with your brand, content and community, the greater the chances they’ll buy when the time is right.