Bringing the human touch back to B2B tech marketing : A CMO's guide to authentic communication

In the realm of B2B tech content, striking the perfect balance between sophistication and simplicity is crucial. We illuminate the path for CMOs to leverage AI for content creation while maintaining a genuine human connection. Discover insights and actionable tips to ensure your AI B2B content marketing resonates with your audience, building trust and engagement in an increasingly digital landscape.

Quick Summary

  • B2B tech marketing requires a human connection, despite the increasing use of AI in content creation, to truly resonate with an audience.
  • CMOs face the challenge of translating complex tech jargon into relatable content without losing the message's essence.
  • AI can generate content efficiently but often lacks the emotional depth that humanizes a brand's communication.
  • Incorporating storytelling and emotional elements into AI-generated content can improve engagement and brand recall.
  • CMOs should use AI tools as an augmentation to their creativity, ensuring the brand's personality and human touch are evident in all communications.

Imagine this,

At the heart of the city's tech district, a CMO steps into a sleek elevator, alongside a key investor.

This is the moment to shine, the perfect opportunity for an elevator pitch. The doors close, and they begin, "Our cloud-based SaaS solution leverages AI to disruptively pivot data-driven paradigms..." But as they reach the investor's floor, the doors open, and the investor steps out with a polite nod, leaving our CMO with an unspoken but clear message: even the most innovative ideas need a human connection to truly take off.

This little mishap illustrates a larger truth in the B2B tech world.

No matter how advanced our algorithms get, the way we communicate needs to resonate with people on a human level, striking a chord that no machine can.

The Jargon struggle is real!

Every day as a CMO, you perform a high-wire act, balancing on the fine line between technical precision and accessible communication. Your audience, diverse as it is, may not always speak the niche dialect of tech jargon fluently.

It's akin to being a skilled linguist, tasked with translating the rich and complex language of tech into relatable, everyday speech without stripping away its essence and depth.

Now, let's dive into the tech lexicon, (see this word? Lets just say vocabulary!), identifying the usual suspects of jargon that often muddy clear communication.

We'll also explore their plainer, more "human" counterparts that can help you maintain that crucial connection with your audience:

The jargon and its human alternative:

  1. Utilize - Why not just say use? It's simple, direct, and everyone understands it.
  2. Facilitate - Sometimes, all you need to say is help.
  3. Optimize - Often, you can get away with saying improve.
  4. Synergize - This often just means to work together.
  5. Leverage - In many cases, you're simply trying to use effectively.
  6. Innovate - This can often be replaced with create or invent.
  7. End-to-end solution - Why not describe it as a complete, all-in-one solution?
  8. Pain points - These are simply the problems or challenges your customers face.
  9. Value proposition - What's the benefit or advantage you're offering?
  10. Evangelize - Sometimes, you're just sharing or spreading the word.
  11. Stakeholder - Often, we're talking about partners or team members.
  12. Paradigm - Isn't it just a model or a pattern?
  13. Monetize - More often than not, you're just trying to make money from something.

As you read through this list, you might find a chuckle escaping at the thought of how often these words so unseeingly become part of our speech.

The challenge – and the fun – lies in deconstructing these terms, stripping them to their core, and finding ways to communicate the same ideas with warmth and simplicity.

Engage with the list

Now, let's make this interactive and engaging. Consider the following:

  • Do you have a 'favorite' piece of jargon that you catch yourself using?
  • Can you think of a time when simpler language turned a confusing presentation into an engaging conversation?
  • Share your own 'translation' of a jargon-heavy sentence that you're proud of simplifying.

Remember, the goal isn't to dumb down our speech but to elevate our message so that it resonates universally. As we strip away the jargon, we reveal the true essence of our ideas, making them shine brighter for a wider audience.

The human touch in AI output

As a CMO, you're always looking for ways to make your message heard loud and clear. AI is a powerful tool that can crunch numbers and spit out content at lightning speed. But there's a catch.

Sometimes, AI sounds like a robot. And nobody wants to chat with a robot over a cup of coffee.

Think of AI as a super-smart parrot. It can repeat anything you teach it, but it doesn't know how to share a joke, ask about your day, or tell a story that makes you laugh, think, or feel something. That's where you come in.

Your job is to teach this parrot not just to talk, but to talk like a person. Imagine you're writing a note to a friend. You wouldn't say, "Our new AI will optimize your workflow!" Instead, you'd say, "Our new tool helps you get your work done faster, so you have more time for the fun stuff."

See the difference? It's warmer, friendlier, and something everyone can understand.

Now, picture a paragraph from a typical B2B tech manual:

"Our solution maximizes the efficiency of data throughput in multi-layered network infrastructures."

Now, let's give it some heart:

"We make sure your data flows smoothly and quickly, no matter how complex your network is."

Which one would you rather read?

When you're using AI, take a moment to mix in some human spice. Add words that show you understand your customers are people, not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Tell them how your product makes life easier, more fun, or less stressful.

Remember, at the end of the day, you're talking to people. And people like to feel special, understood, and, most importantly, human. Use AI to get the basics down, but use your heart and your smarts to make it feel real.

That's what will make the difference!

The emotion in the equation

Stories have a way of making complex ideas stick. Even in B2B tech, where logic reigns, the emotional undertone of your message can illuminate the value of your product in a relatable way.

Data from Statista shows that brands using narrative-driven marketing see a 50% increase in recall over those sticking to specs and features alone.

So, let’s talk about giving your AI-generated content a little personality makeover. After all, you're not just sharing info with your audience; you're chatting with them, making a connection. It's like adding a sprinkle of your favorite spices to a home-cooked meal.

That personal touch is what makes it memorable and keeps people coming back for more.

First up, let's get real about emotions. You want your brand to feel like a friend, right? So, when you're looking over that AI content, think about how you can add a dash of joy, a hint of excitement, or even a touch of surprise. Here are some ways to stir in those feelings:

Joy and excitement
  • Use exclamation points! (But not too many, or it's like laughing at your own jokes.)
  • Words that smile: Delighted, thrilled, overjoyed. These are your new best friends.
  • Share good news stories: Talk about wins, celebrations, or even a fun office event.
Trust and comfort
  • Personal stories: Share a bit about your team or customers (with their permission, of course).
  • Words that hug: Trust grows in the soil of empathy. Show your audience you get them. Use comforting words like "We understand the challenge," or "Rest assured, we're here for you." It's like putting an arm around their shoulder, digitally speaking.
  • Behind-the-scenes content: Show them the human faces behind the brand.
Curiosity and surprise
  • Ask questions: Pique their interest. "Did you know...?" can be a great start.
  • Words that raise eyebrows: Astonishing, remarkable, unexpected. Use them to spice up announcements or facts.
Empathy and understanding
  • Acknowledge pain points: Show that you know what issues your customers face and care about solving them.
  • Words that empathize: We understand, we hear you, we're here for you. It’s like offering a tissue when someone's sniffled.
Tips for the emotional edit:
  • Read it out loud: Does it sound like something you'd say to a friend? If not, tweak it until it does.
  • Match the mood: If your AI's talking about a serious topic, keep it respectful and kind.
  • Use "you" and "we": It's a conversation, not a lecture. Make your audience feel involved.

Remember, emotions are what make us human. They turn facts into stories and customers into community. So, when you're dressing up that AI content, think about how you want your audience to feel.

Then, just like adding a pinch of salt to your favorite dish, sprinkle in those emotional words to taste.

The augmented CMO

Alright, let's get down to it! You're a CMO, and you've got this shiny AI tool in your toolkit.

But remember, it's just that—a tool. It's not going to replace the creative spark you bring to the table.

Your job is to use AI to beef up your game, not to take over the show.

1. Be the brand's personality whisperer

First off, think about who your brand would be at a party. The wise one sharing advice over a cup of coffee? Or the one with the latest tech gadget everyone wants to try out?

Get that personality down pat, then give your AI's work a once-over to make sure it's wearing the right party outfit. If your brand's a mentor, soften the AI's edges with nurturing language.

If it's an innovator, punch up the excitement.

2. Stickiness through simplicity

Now, about making your message stick—keep it simple, keep it real.

No one likes to wade through jargon soup. "Utilize" is just a fancy way of saying "use." And "facilitate stakeholder buy-in"? You're just trying to "get everyone on board."

Plain language is like a good sticky note—it stays put.

We are sure you've got some tech talk that could use a plain English makeover. What are some terms that make your eyes glaze over?

Let's take "synergize" and turn it into "work together." It's like translating from robot to human.

3. Simplify, then amplify

Here's the thing: people love stories. So, take those big, complex ideas and boil them down to bite-sized pieces. "Leveraging big data for insights" becomes "using info to make smart choices."

Then, spice it up with a story about how that "smart choice" saved the day.

4. Keeping content approachable

Want to make sure your content is as approachable as a friendly neighbor? Always ask yourself: Would my grandma get this? If not, it's time to roll up your sleeves and simplify.

Got a term like "blockchain"? Think of it as a digital ledger that's as easy to add to as a shopping list.

Remember, as the Augmented CMO, your superpower isn't just using AI. It's using your human touch to make AI's output feel warm and welcoming. Keep it simple, keep it human, and let your brand's personality shine through. That's how you turn content into conversation and customers into community.

Quick tip: Start by defining your brand's personality. Then tweak AI-generated content to reflect that persona. For instance, is your brand more of a wise mentor or a bold innovator?

Lets wrap it up (conclusion was sounding too boring!!)

The key to resonating with your audience is not just in the message itself, but how it's delivered. Authenticity is paramount, and nothing beats a story well told. As AI continues to evolve, remember it's the human touch that turns information into inspiration.

Alright, let's wrap this up with a neat little bow. We've been talking about how you, the CMO, can use AI without losing that human touch that's so crucial to connecting with your audience. Here's the lowdown:

  • AI is your sidekick, not the hero. It's all about using AI to beef up your strategy, not to let it take the wheel. Keep your brand's personality in the driver's seat.
  • Personality is key. Define your brand's persona and make sure your AI content reflects that. Whether you're the wise mentor or the bold innovator, your content should sound like something you'd say, not something you'd read in a manual.
  • Simplicity sticks. Ditch the jargon and speak plainly. "Use" beats "utilize," and "getting everyone on board" is way friendlier than "facilitating stakeholder buy-in." Speak like a human to humans.
  • Tell a good story. Break down complex ideas into simple, relatable nuggets, then amplify them with real-world stories that showcase your brand's values.
  • Keep it real and relatable. Always aim for approachability in your content. If it's something you could explain to your grandma, you're on the right track.

As we close the book on this chat, remember that authenticity is your north star. AI might be the brush, but you're the artist.

It's your insights, experiences, and human flair that turn plain old information into something that can inspire and move people.

In an age where AI is everywhere, it's the human touch that will make your brand stand out. Keep it genuine, keep it clear, and always keep it focused on building that trust. Because at the end of the day, it's not just about what you say; it's about how you make people feel.

The augmented CMO Checklist

Before you hit "publish" on your next piece of content, take a moment to answer these questions:

  1. Does it sound like a natural conversation?
  2. Would a non-expert grasp the concept easily?
  3. Is there a story or anecdote that brings the message home?
  4. Does it stir any emotions?
  5. Are complex ideas broken down with metaphors or analogies?
  6. Is there an element of surprise or delight?
  7. Can the reader see themselves in your narrative?
  8. Have you minimized the use of jargon?
  9. Are you inviting your audience to engage?
  10. Would you be captivated by this content if you received it?

Reflect on these answers to ensure your AI-assisted content still beats with a human heart.

Engage with us in the comments or on social media and share your journey towards more human-centric B2B communications.

Let's keep the conversation going and tech talk human. (

About the Author

Arti Rustagi

Marketing and branding professional with a vast experience of over 13 years across Digital Marketing, Social Media, CRM, PR, Strategic activations (planning and execution), Lead Generation, partnerships, design and development and more. Has worked in both a B2C and B2B set up and understands the specific needs of these segments.