It’s time to humanise your marketing approach: why the H2H marketing trend is the key to better customer relationships

In the age of AI, machine learning, big data, and sophisticated automation, human-to-human marketing, or H2H, has emerged as an antidote. Recent times have been trying, to say the least, so where this new model succeeds where others previously failed is the primary focus is on nurturing human relationships and building trust.

H2H differs from B2C and B2B marketing methods. Rather than assessing audiences on data sets, it looks past these segments and focuses on building authentic connections with the people within them; after all, businesses comprise groups of real people.

Why does this matter, and aren’t most of us already doing it?

Well, yes and no, true authenticity comes from real conversations and honest relationships. So, while the individuals in a business might be strong advocates for rapport building, the brand they represent could be anything but, which isn’t exactly seamless in terms of a customer experience. Smart businesses put their people front and centre and speak to their customers with warmth, opening up an honest dialogue about their needs.

The pandemic has been something of an accelerator for H2H

You may have noticed an increase in H2H marketing on LinkedIn, we’ve certainly noticed a growing openness from brands, with many more businesses being honest about the challenges presented by lockdown and remote working, and of course, a welcome, wider conversation around mental health and employee wellbeing.

Brands that actively demonstrated their human-side during the pandemic hit the right note with customers. Pret a Manger offering NHS staff a free hot drink and 50% off other products, addressed what was going on in the world and inspired a sense of togetherness beyond a normal customer transaction. A Kantar survey of more than 35,000 consumers during the crisis revealed that 78% of consumers believed brands should help them in their daily lives, and 75% said brands should inform people of what they’re doing to help. This shows a growing expectation from brands to demonstrate their values and play their part in a compassionate and human way.

It’s also interesting two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers worldwide said that they would buy from a brand or boycott based solely on its position on a social or political issue. That’s not to say you should become an activist for issues you’re not passionate about; it’s simply demonstrating the power of alignment of beliefs and values.

Learn from the disruptors

Disruptor brands have always known the value of authenticity in marketing; speak to your customers like friends, encourage them to participate in your world and become invested in theirs. This is why some brands have enviable memorability, think Dove‘s long-running ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, it was designed for the people who actually buy the product and was based on creating a unique and relatable experience; changing the way beauty products were marked long before the Instagram and influencer marketing boom.

What do businesses need to do to embrace H2H?

Corporates need to think about the future and move from customer-centricity to human centricity not to miss the opportunity. It all starts with a conversation, so it’s important to encourage your organisation’s thought leaders to stick their head above the parapet and join the conversations that matter to your customers. If you’re not already doing it, think about how your culture and brand align. If you’re a fun and caring business behind a corporate façade, it’s time to step forward and change your image. Your customers will thank you for it.

If you’d like to talk more about developing your marketing strategy and developing your brand’s authenticity, get in touch today on 0345 241 3038.

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Raymond Wright – Co-Founder & Chief Revenue & Operations Officer,

Introducing our sixth episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards.

Our sixth guest is Raymond Wright, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue & Operations Officer at

Owen and Ray discuss building repeatable, scalable B2B models of revenue growth. From Ray’s experience of scaling Lead Forensics‘ turnover from £500,000 in 2011 to over £35 million by the end of 2017, as well as growing to a 129 retailer platform (including John Lewis, MADE.COM, Dunelm, and Wayfair) within 3 years, he shares the incredible learnings that he’s gained.


Sales Confidence’s Sales & Revenue Leaders Event – 17th March 2021

Our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards, co-hosted Sales Confidence‘s second Sales and Revenue Leaders event of 2021 alongside Sales Confidence’s very own James Ski!

Speakers for this event include:
Anthony Parker: GM EMEA at Mindtickle
Marcus Oulds: RVP at SalesLoft
Andrei Sochala: Director of Sales at Aircall
Richard Smith: VP Sales at Refract
Lauren (Schreiner) McGuire: Director of Sales at Forecast
Matt Tuson: Chief Commercial Officer at Sabio
David Wyatt: SVP & GM EMEA at Databricks

Why watch?
You will gain the knowledge and insight that is necessary to confidently and competently lead your organisation.

Who is it for?
– Sales Leaders (CROs, Sales VPs, Sales Managers)
– Revenue Leaders (Marketing, Sales Ops and Enablement)
– SaaS Founders and Investors

Conversion expectations: are you being honest with yourself? (Spoiler alert: maybe not!)

A very wise person once said, ‘Honesty is the soul of business.’ And it’s reflecting on that honesty, at every stage in your strategy, that will lead to long-term success. You can apply the same logic to customer conversions. We’ve seen every business model out there, strategies propelled forward by sheer hope alone, while others prepare for the worst, so any wins, however small, smash all expectations.

When it comes to achieving goals, an in-depth look at how much of your pipeline converts into sales will arm you with the knowledge you need to plan, giving you a clear indication of what can be achieved when you break down the numbers.

Work backwards to go forwards.

How many new customers do you need to onboard a month? It can really help to work backwards. If it’s 10 new customers, do you know, typically, how many leads you need to bring in to achieve that? How many must convert to proposals, and from there, what’s your average win-rate? With a little working out, it’s easy to see where the gaps are.

And if you’re honest, do you consistently invest enough in your best-performing channels to regularly hit the number of leads you need to win those 10 new customers you’re shooting for? If you run seasonal campaigns that affect the number of leads in specific months, or your calendar has industry-wide buying trends, the answers may surprise you.

Setting achievable goals based on track record.

Many businesses have this ideal target figure for new business, but a few key considerations will affect how realistic achieving this will be for them. Firstly, have you ever achieved this before? If yes, what were the contributing factors to your success? If you regularly acquire 50% of your new business target, you need to look at what you need to do differently now to achieve your sales goal.

Data really does tell a story. Therefore, accurate data reporting and a proficient CRM system are essential to understanding historical patterns and any limiting factors in your business that might impact your typical conversion rates. Armed with this knowledge, you have a much greater understanding and visibility of your sales environment and any gaps you need to address.

Meaningful planning that delivers ROI.

We work with our clients to create a cash flow forecast, which leverages the aforementioned data insights and shows how an investment in their outsourced sales function will deliver over a 2-year period, showing expected (and realistic) ROI and timeframes. We know from experience that a consistent programme of activity will deliver results, some quick wins, but they will also be those prospects that will come to fruition months from now. In a quick-win culture, 2 years can seem like an eternity, but actually, it’s a virtuous circle, whereby the investment you make today will pay dividends far beyond the life of your campaign.

Honesty is a two-way street, so we’re always completely transparent about ROI and our projections. If you need a faster return on investment than our forecast predicts, it’s important to think carefully before investing in outsourced sales as campaigns do not deliver miracles and require time to deliver results.

If you’d like to have an honest conversation about your sales goals and how our outsourced sales experts can help you achieve them, get in touch, call 0333 250 3217 or email

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Shabri Lakhani – Founder & CEO, SalesWorks

Introducing our fifth episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards.

Our fifth guest is Shabri Lakhani, Founder & CEO at SalesWorks

With Shabri running a successful business that helps others to build and optimise their SDR (Sales Development Representative) teams, Owen and Shabri discuss all things SDR leadership. Including the skills and qualities of a good SDR Manager, what happens when SDRs don’t have a leader, the common mistakes that new SDR Managers make, and why SDR leadership is so important right now.

Our remote team, a retrospective: how a year like no other brought us even closer together

I’m proud and a little in awe of how our team has stayed motivated almost a year into remote working. I’m also aware this is a well-trodden topic that has understandably had a lot of air time in recent months. But I do believe we must keep talking about it; people need to know that consistent motivation is not accidental; it requires investment in wellbeing and team culture to keep the momentum going.

When I look back, there are a few key things that meant we were well-prepped for challenging times. Our senior team have always had an element of flexibility where possible, so technology-wise, we were pretty prepared. But, like everybody else, the immediate shift to fully remote was a definite shock to the system.

In sales, culture and camaraderie stimulate motivation, so working ‘alone’ without the buzz of a physical office coupled with the additional challenge of dealing with lower contact rates, as everyone else is also working from home, was a worrying combination. Still, thankfully we’ve survived and, dare I say it, thrived. Video calls have emerged as a valuable means of building a relationship with our clients. As we all adjust to the blurred boundaries between home and work, and by allowing people into our homes, we’ve become a little more real, and barriers have come down, which has had a positive effect on working relationships.

We were naturally worried at the start of the first lockdown, but the past year has really encouraged us to embrace team communication and live our culture harder than ever before.

For example, we have cross-team daily calls and a company-wide team meeting every Friday, which gives everyone a consistent touch-point and a way of staying connected to the business. Our sales leaders hold a monthly meeting to discuss individual coaching and support. We’ve also had great support from our training partner, Sales Geek, especially around delivering multichannel campaigns in the current landscape. My department, Account Management, holds a virtual team meeting twice weekly (as a minimum) so that we can discuss strategy with peers. Each Account Manager also gets a personal 1-2-1 each week to discuss challenges.

And it’s not all work-related. We’ve even taken virtual fitness classes to help us stay well and keep the lockdown pounds at bay. All of this activity has given us all some feeling of normality, structure and focus on the future. Because of this sustained effort and consistency, we can feel confident that the business will adapt to life after lockdown.

And although we haven’t been physically together these past months, I personally feel like we haven’t lost any of what made our culture so special. We’ve supported each other, celebrated successes and worked through challenges together as a team. And while we’re all keen to get back to Air HQ, I think we’ll look back on this time with a mixture of memories, and view it as a time where circumstances really tested our culture, and we came out on top. We were all at home, yet we continued to hire, grow the business, win new clients (we’re actually delivering more hours for clients weekly than pre-pandemic) and launched a refreshed brand. It might be a cliché to say it, but I’m sure this whole experience has bought us even closer.

Opinion piece by Shaun Weston, Campaign Operations Director

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Jonathan Finch – Group Sales Director, Sales Geek

Introducing our fourth episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards.

Our fourth guest is Jonathan Finch, Group Sales Director at Sales Geek.

Owen and Jonathan discuss the journey of making small run-rate sales to managing enterprise deals or larger opportunities. Including the skills required and what you’re likely to learn along the way.

The Sales Dojo Podcast – Human To Human Conversation

In this episode, Leon McCowan and Chris Dawson of The Sales Dojo welcomed our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards.

They discuss:
• Owen’s first experience of sales
• The top sales tips that we share with our team when they join
• How big a role personality plays in a sales call and whether this is coachable or trainable
• Owen’s prediction for the biggest change in sales over the next 5 years
• Human to human (H2H) conversation

Check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or listen below.

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Alex Packham – Founder & CEO, ContentCal

Introducing our third episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards.

Our third guest is Alex Packham, Founder & CEO at ContentCal

Owen and Alex discuss growing revenue from a Founder’s perspective, including what ContentCal have tried in terms of revenue growth that has failed, what to look for in your first sales hire, and why recruiting a Managing Director has been a game-changer for ContentCal. 

Perkbox teams up with Air Marketing to prepare for future growth

Europe’s fastest growing global rewards and benefits platform Perkbox has partnered with outsourced sales experts Air Marketing to expand their sales development team and prepare for future growth.

Perkbox will partner with Air to outsource a part of their Sales Development team – an innovative move that will help accelerate their growth trajectory. A key rationale for the partnership was the current landscape where businesses find it harder than ever to hire, onboard, train and retain new talent. Growing a team based in Air’s office in Exeter to both compliment and collaborate with Perkbox’s own London based team will open up new opportunities for growth.

The leading employee experience platform has enjoyed fantastic success and counts top household names such as Nando’s, Whole Foods and Caffè Nero amongst its clients and currently has offices in the UK and Australia.

The partnership with Air Marketing forms part of Perkbox’s global ambition to bring its award winning platform to new territories. This will give organisations a unified way of rewarding and recognising employees globally whilst streamlining HR processes to help businesses thrive.

Perkbox’s CRO, Higor Torchia, who drove the decision to choose Air said of the partnership, “We were very impressed with Air’s whole approach; always transparent, easy and professional, with the ability to adapt to our needs. We also loved their company culture, and thought it related a lot to ours. We expect Air will help us grow in a measured and scalable way. I’m very excited about this partnership and truly believe it can be a step-change in the direction we will take towards our global expansion.”

Owen Richards, Founder and CEO of Air, is delighted to be working with Perkbox. “We’re excited to be working with Perkbox to support their growth plans. Not only are we confident we can help them take their fantastic offering to new markets, we’re also excited to be creating more jobs in our own organisation. It’s great to be working with an organisation that shares our passion for a strong team culture and we’re really proud to have been chosen as Perkbox’s partner. I look forward to what will we achieve through our partnership in the coming years.”

About Air

Air was formed out of a talent and a pride for great sales. Air Founder, Owen Richards, saw a gap in the market for professional, elite, outsourced sales services. From the outset, Owen was driven to find likeminded individuals who shared his passion (and obsession) for sales, while bringing their unique talents to the culture.

From those exciting early days, Air has grown and evolved into an organisation with an extraordinary blend of talent and experience. Air has proven processes, a strong focus on team development and a commitment to intelligent and transparent data reporting that has inspired successful long-term client relationships. Air learns to breathe the same air as our clients, understand their business and accelerate their sales success.

About Perkbox

Perkbox is a platform that provides a unique employee experience, enriching the personal and working life of employees. It offers access to best in class Perks, Perkbox Medical, and Perkbox Recognition. It serves companies such as Whole Foods, Nando’s, Caffe Nero and Levi Strauss & Co. Headquartered in London, with offices in Sheffield and Sydney, Perkbox has raised ~£25M in funding from the leading European venture capital firm Draper Esprit and angel investors.