All across the world, October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. While we celebrate breast cancer survivors during this month, it is also a reminder for us to pray for the recovery of those suffering from metastatic breast cancer (Stage IV and greater). The hardship women endure from metastatic breast cancer is difficult both for them and their loved ones. During this month, Breast Cancer Awareness is also an encouraging call for women across the world to engage in preventive health practices.
The sobering reality today is a person will know of someone with or is personally touched by breast cancer. Years ago, my own Mother had to endure radical double mastectomy and radiation treatment. The human stories associated with cancer in general are many, diverse, and deeply emotional.
Connecting To Human Stories
B2B companies have been, by a default nature, centered on product and technological advancements. And, centered on producing goods and services for other business entities. Whereby, the transaction between two B2B entities is objectified. The concept of connecting to the human stories behind products and technologies can be foreign to many B2B organizations.
Yet, in a new robust digital economy, this is exactly where B2B organizations must endeavor to connect with buyers and organizations today. One company, which caught my attention recently, is Hologic. Here are examples of recent tweets telling me something different is going on for a technology company:
“She is not a cancer patient or a statistic. She is herself, a woman on her life’s journey. Her health issues do not define who she is.”
Who Is Hologic?
Hologic is a maker and producer of technologically advanced imaging equipment. One such product is their 3D mammography system. A product we can characterize as highly sophisticated, complex, and requiring advanced technological operations. This is by no means a personal endorsement from me for I am most certainly not qualified. However, what caught my attention is how Hologic brings to the forefront its passion for the human stories associated with breast cancer and other health related issues for women.
Here is a video, which is actually part of Goldman Sach’s Progress campaign, where we hear Hologic team members talk about their company and passion. The first 50 seconds are the most important as it resonates with their passion for early detection. It is followed by Goldman Sach’s portion on helping Hologic grow, which is still intriguing:
Here is another recent tweet exemplifying connecting via a unified approach to the human stories behind your product and services:
Hologic content marketing efforts includes a website called Promise To Me. This is a campaign to encourage women to make a personal promise to care for their health and partake in preventive measures.
Having a unified focus on the human stories behind your product and technologies does mean you cannot forget about the commerce aspects. But, it does not mean resorting to the objectified nature of how B2B has conducted business for the last one hundred years either. When having a unified approach to connecting to human stories, it means knowing different parts of the story, which matters.
Here is a video of doctors talking about the impact of 3D mammography imaging technology on how they are able to diagnose, treat, and reduce breast cancer. Yes, there are technical terms and some sensitivity to images. However, give it time to unwind and note the sharing of their own stories about patients. What it accomplishes at the same time is to humanize the perspectives of doctors and radiologists:
Unified Approach To The Human Story
B2B companies who wish to humanize their products and digital presence today cannot do so with an ad hoc approach. An ad hoc approach can get you in trouble because it can come across as a gimmick to generate more sales. When I use the word unified, the intent is to focus on how an organization can touch all aspects of a human story authentically. In essence, develop a unified and authentic human-centered marketing approach.
If we look at Hologic, they are touching the personal lives of women, the passion of doctors to make early detection possible, and health systems to provide the most advanced technology to make it possible for both patients and doctors to accomplish early detection. Their efforts are by no means perfect or ideal as we are all learning how to bring a unified approach to humanizing. Yet, they are allowing for human stories around breast cancer to unfold and to be an authentic part of the story unobtrusively.
Hologic does three things respective to human-centered marketing, as described above, we can learn from:
- Connect their employees to the human stories they can be passionate about
- Understand the core stories behind how their technology is making a difference, as we see with doctors and radiologists
- Extend to authentic caring about the human lives touched, as we see with Promise To Me and other resources made available to women
This, again, is not a personal endorsement of a company’s products, technology, or services. It is a commendable salute to a B2B company for making an attempt to unify around the human story of saving lives. Doing what it can to help prevent the terrible affliction of breast cancer. And, for making strides in the difficult B2B challenge of connecting what you do and produce – to what matters in the human experience we call life.