When you think of business-to-business marketing, you may not necessarily think of emotion. After all, a B2B brand's role is to get the attention of the people in charge of the finances for an entire company, who often have shareholders, a board and a multitude of accountants to answer to. Surely the hopes, feelings, beliefs and dreams of one person don't play a part in such an executive decision?
Well, you'd be wrong for thinking so. According to an article I came across on MarketingWeek, B2B brands resonate with customers far better when they use emotive, rather than rational, marketing messages.
The article mentions a study conducted by CEB in partnership with Google. They suggest that B2B purchasing is looked at in terms of logical factors - risk assessments, benefit analyses and so on. Yet, just as with all human decisions, what it really boils down to is the same complicated blend of emotion, reason, post rationalisation and, of course, gut instinct.
According to their study, B2B customers are more than twice as likely to choose a brand that shows the personal touch over business value. They favour brands that use emotional appeals to demonstrate personal value, including pledges of increased confidence and self-image, as well as professional advantages available to the buyer if they were to choose the brand.
It's time for B2B brands to recognise the need to move away from the traditional marketing approach. Yes, customers need to be aware of the business value, but engaging the buyer on an emotional level is also essential.
Do you think B2B branding can sometimes be a little too rational?
Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director