Emojis + B2Bs… Surely not?!

July 31, 2015

Emojis seem to be taking over the world. They’re everywhere. There’s now an official ‘World Emoji Day’ on 17th July (write it in your calendar for next year) and the word even appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. 

The Drum reckons that 80% of people use them in their everyday communication, and (impressively) 40% say they have sent messages made up entirely of the little graphic icons.

Fair enough. It’s time to say ‘c u l8r’ to ‘txt spk’… there’s a new global language in town. 

And by no means am I an emoji hater; a little winky face can go a long way when you want to lighten the tone of a text, and a cocktail glass followed by a question mark is often sent out between my friends and I early on a Friday evening.

However, something has been troubling me of late: there are rumours floating around that they might be making their way into the B2B sphere, and that thought scares me. Just imagine using a ‘thumbs-up’ symbol when developing a campaign to buyers of million-pound Cryogenic Pressure Vessels… it just wouldn’t work!

In the fast-paced B2C marketplace, where being informal can boost engagement, they can certainly help. Pepsi recently launched an ad that uses no dialogue at all; the campaign, called ‘The Proposal’ sees a man ask his girlfriend to marry him through the window of a restaurant by holding up cards of emojis. Ikea also jumped on the bandwagon and launched its own range of emojis, including a Swedish meatball and an Allen key.

In the professional realm of B2B though, we need to err on the side of caution. Although they say a picture is worth a thousand words, for me, emojis are the one thing that should be kept for personal use. The day you see me sign off a marketing email with a stiletto and dancing girls in red frocks is the day you know I’ve officially lost the plot.

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director