Customers appreciate when brands engage with them; however, there’s a fine line that marketers must walk when it comes to B2C interaction.


To stay up to date on the latest marketing trends, I frequently type in “marketing” on Google and click the “News” tab. When I did this on Saturday, one of the first results was a TechCrunch article titled “The Future of Consumer Marketing is Personal.” This is not the first I’ve seen of articles on the personal side of marketing. In fact, this topic has been a heavily discussed on the Internet just this week. Last Thursday, VentureBeat hosted a webinar on personalization in marketing, available for your viewing and listening here.

A specific topic of discussion when it comes to marketing personalization is that of Twitter marketing. Like many other marketing news sites, Marketing Land shared an article on personalization, this one focused specifically on the micro blogging social media network. Writer Martin Beck noted that in some cases, brands take the advice too far and end up sounding like teenagers, referencing the Brands Saying Bae Twitter account. Indeed, there is a fine line between keeping your brand authentic and “humanizing” it, as this PR Daily article explains.

If we take these views into consideration, it can be argued that my previous Virtanza post about Twitter marketing praised these “humanized” brands a bit too much. There is a downside to using slang terms that needs to be taken into account. While a youthful voice may draw members of a digitally active younger generation, it can also cause a company to lose members of an older audience. This “humanization,” rather than helping a company develop a meaningful connection with its audience, can actually have the opposite effect.

As I mentioned previously, however, it’s crucial to note the difference between brand humanization and simply being authentic and real with your customers. Marketing Land cites a survey of 14,000 people who engaged with brands’ customer service Twitter accounts. “When brands created personal interactions — defined as conversations that included the customer’s name and the customer service rep’s signature in tweets — 77 percent of those customers were likely to recommend the brand,” the writer tells us.

The lesson to be learned here is simple: be real with your customers! Avoid trying to make your brand something it is not just to appeal to certain audiences.