From The Bookshelf: There Is No B2B Or B2C: It’s Human To Human #H2H

From The Bookshelf: There Is No B2B Or B2C: It's Human To Human #H2H

H2H eBook coverIf you are a long time reader of {Web.Search.Social}, you’ll remember that we used to publish a book review every month. Some time last year, we stopped. Mostly because of all article types, book reviews were the least trafficked and least commented on as a whole.

So we decided: no more books reviews. Except today I’m breaking that rule because this book is worth the time.

Bryan Kramer has just released There is no B2B or B2C:It’s Human to Human #H2H, a book about communication in a world where communication is all around us as a result of new technologies and products. But is communication improving or is it just becoming more complicated as a result of having to say things quickly and get them out to the public even quicker? Are we diluting communication as a result of the limits imposed by new technologies? How does this impact marketers?

In the opening pages of his book, Bryan writes:

I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is or what message you’re trying to send, we all need to speak more human. Too often we complicate what we’re trying to say. Ironically, as our world becomes more customer-owned and socially enabled, we continue to see complicated, redundant, over-technical, and over-thought mass messages getting pushed out – and lost – in the ether. Is it really getting harder to stand out, with so much data and information out there… or is the answer just to clearly say what you mean, in understandable human words?

Understandable human words.

OMG, I am SMH about how he thinks we should talk more like IRL.

The obvious, can be so . . . well . . . obvious. Bryan is right, we have lost a bit of our own humanity in our day-to-day communications with other humans. It is common for my college aged students to have most of their discussions with boyfriends or girlfriends via text, mostly in the form of acronyms or emoji. Human to human is almost always frowned upon or at least considered unnecessary. One of my students, a 21 year old, told me once that she “talks” to her boyfriend every day. I asked her when was the last time they spoke in person and she could not remember. Maybe she’s an edge case, but it goes to illustrate that we have lost some #H2H communication.

Let me tell you a story that happened the same week that Bryan’s book came out. I was involved in a conversation on Twitter with my friend, Jessica Ann and someone I did not know named Kim. I had shared one of Jessica Ann’s articles and Kim posted a one word reply: “Interesting.”

Jessica asked ,”Is interesting a good thing? :)” Kim replied that “interesting” was meant in a good way. Jokingly, I replied to the conversation with this: “Awesome. I was considering revoking Kim’s Internet privileges. We all dodged a bullet.”

Kim didn’t take my statement as it was intended – a lighthearted joke. In the end, I clarified and it all turned out to be some fun, but as I read Bryan’s book, the section called “Context: The Killer of Confusion” hit me in the face. Jessica had context for my comments because she knows me, but Kim did not. Should I have been better at #H2H? Did I fail miserably?

Probably. In hindsight, I had an audience of two, but was speaking to an audience of one; the one that knew me. Had I thought it through, I probably could have crafted my message so that it was clearer and more easily interpreted by both Jessica and Kim. In other words, more #H2H.

It was at this point that Bryan showed me his TITS.

Ok, I supposed that needs clarification.

In Bryan’s Four Rules Of Social Context, the first is TITS. Think It Through, SERIOUSLY! Yeah. It looks like I did not do that. Ultimately, things were fine with Kim, but what if my initial failed #H2H had gone differently? Could I have lost an opportunity? Could my words have been used as a weapon to embarrass me, or worse my business?

These are all very important things to consider and this brings me to the reason I am breaking our sacred “no book reviews” rule.

Bryan Kramer’s book is good. Really good. And I don’t just mean good in a “written well” way. I mean good in a “no bullshit no nonsense” way. I read a review that described Bryan’s book as “actionable.” I hate that word. It’s a word that people use when they can’t find other words to describe a book.

To me, Bryan’s book is. . .

Well, let me put it to you this way. I always like to show people why they should do things before showing them how to do them. It’s like the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, he’ll eat forever.” This book teaches us how to fish and is illustrative of why #H2H is important. It’s not just a rehash of the vague “10 simple steps” type of book that fills the bargain bins at book stores. That’s not to say that Bryan doesn’t give us a fish or two along the way, but the concepts of this book will continue to be relevant to future readers as technology evolves, and continues making #H2H challenging.

In it’s entirety, Bryan sharpens the focus on things that are already in front of us. His book starts with a discussion about communication and moves into human needs and what that should mean to you as you try to improve and strengthen your human to human communication.

Bryan talks about how humans want to be heard and balances that with the need to listen. He provides some pretty compelling stories to illustrate his ideas and discusses how to scale your communications to make a growing audience feel like they matter.

For me, the best chapter was the next to last called: “Where Do Marketers Go From Here?”

One of the best paragraphs in this penultimate chapter suggests that “you don’t have to have it all figured out.”

Amen to that.

The book is about 30 pages, but it’s not a quick read. At least not in the traditional way. I found the book well written, clear and easy to read, but as I went from concept to concept, each new concept unlocked greater clarity for the preceding concept. That made me go back and reread a paragraph, page or chapter over again to unlock greater depth.

My suggestion for you when you read this book – and you should read this book – is to skim it reasonably quickly and then start it over. Don’t read it like a 30-ish page book. Give it time. Read a few pages and then put it down and come back to it later.

It’s worth it for marketers, for people who hire marketers and for businesses that don’t know what to do with their marketing.

My coworker, Dino Dogan, wrote a bit about the book called “You’re gonna quit blogging in 90 days. Here’s why.” Go read that. It’s good stuff.

To find out more and buy Bryan’s book, visit his There is no B2B or B2C:It’s Human to Human #H2H page.

Let me know what you think of the book. Do you agree with my opinion or not?

Also, let me know if you think we should bring back the book reviews. We’d love to know what you think.

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Ralph M. Rivera
Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer at Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company that I founded in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn. In January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. I'm also founder and CTO of Podcaster's Toolbox, a SaaS platform designed to help podcasters plan, produce and promote their shows. I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I are home based near the Jersey shore but we're currently location independent and traveling the country for a year, working and podcasting. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
Ralph M. Rivera
Ralph M. Rivera