According to a study by the B2B Institute, B2B marketing strategies based on emotions are 7 times more effective than those using a rational approach to communicating with customers: they provide long-term sales, increase profits, and reduce the percentage of abandonment. In 2020, amid quarantine restrictions, harnessing the power of emotions has become even more important: it is necessary to develop positive emotional connections with customers in order to stay afloat in difficult times.
Emotional B2B Marketing: Debunking Myths
Myth 1: emotion = B2C marketing
Indeed, emotion plays a big role in shaping strong associations with consumers about product quality, for example, Apple has achieved incredible heights by focusing on the values of youth. But do not underestimate the emotional component in building commercial relationships: often when making deals, B2B players are guided by the same principles, based both on the price and characteristics of a product / service, and on subjective feelings. Nearly 95% of business buyers say it is important not only to be confident in the supplier, but also to maintain an emotional connection with him.
Myth 2: B2B = rational approach
It is widely believed that mood plays a role only when shopping “for the soul”: fashionable clothes, perfumes, hobby goods. This is not the case: about 60% of European sellers say that trust is one of the main factors in entering into serious commercial transactions, and 56% of B2B consumers admit to choosing suppliers based on subjective judgments.
Myth 3: emotional ads = spontaneous decisions
Competent B2B advertising, appealing to emotions, can be remembered by the client, forming in him not a one-time, but a steady interest and loyal attitude. The main thing is to speak in an understandable language, and not to operate with dry facts: it has long been proven that 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, and therefore it is so important that you evoke the “correct” associations in the customer. The sphere of “Business to business” is no exception: and the leading positions are occupied by people interested in building trusting professional and personal relationships with new partners.
B2B marketing: how to evoke emotions in customers
- Sell solutions. Support the description of features and specifications with a list of the tasks that the product performs. For example, when selling software, it is not enough to briefly tell about the principle of its operation – you need to demonstrate what benefits the implementation of the software will bring to the buying company: it will increase productivity, improve service, and reduce labor costs.
- Build your credibility. When mentioning your brand, the audience needs to understand who you are talking about. To gain wide recognition, speak at business events, publish on major media portals and thematic blogs. Your task is to share knowledge and experience with clients, making them trust you more than competitors.
- Adapt. The massive transition to remote work is an impetus to establish business communications in the Internet space. Organize online demos where potential customers can learn more about your software product. Create presentations of new developments and share research results on the website or by email. This will attract the attention of those who also operate in home-office mode.
- Communicate. Updating the content on the official website remains an effective way of communicating with the business audience: reviews and reviews build trust, the Q&A section allows you to quickly figure out the problem, and case studies motivate you to buy in 70% of cases.
- Personalize. Treat customers as individuals, not organizations. Regular e-mail communications through enterprise-wide applications will help establish strong connections.
- Encourage. Publicly acknowledge the value of your target audience and demonstrate how your product can achieve their personal and professional goals. To accomplish this task, social networks, for example, Pinterest are suitable: it is convenient to share customer success stories on the platform, mentioning them in posts and hashtags.
Some examples of successful B2B marketing based on emotions in a very serious area – industry:
- Technology corporation General Electric has succeeded in its quest to humanize technical and complex projects by visually presenting them on its Instagram profile.
- Oil company Valero, using video marketing tools, tells stories of business clients as part of the #FueledBy campaign on top social networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
- Autocorporation General Motors has established a connection with the target audience with the help of a text blog, where interesting materials are published and real problems are discussed that resonate with B2C and B2B consumers of different categories.
- Mining and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has managed to change its tone from serious to light, casual and even fun. Marketers have taken marketing to the next level: applying the Jenga principle of the game, they shot a video about construction in an original manner.
So, emotion in 2020 is a powerful strategy for all B2B industries. Modern business is going through troubled times, and therefore your task as a seller / supplier is not to impose a product on a potential client, but to demonstrate a willingness to help achieve goals. It has been proven that the establishment of an emotional “human” connection in 90% of cases provides long-term fruitful cooperation.