In today’s crowded and commoditized marketing environment, b2b marketers are becoming more customer-centric and ramping up their branding efforts. A core part of brand building has always been to create an emotional connection with customers. But, assuming their customers make purely rational decisions, b2b marketers typically focus on business value to differentiate their brands. Is this strategy effective or does emotion actually play a role? Google partnered with CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council to research these questions. The quick answers: No. This was reported by Google's Mike Miller, Director of Business & Industrial Markets, on the BMA 14, the biggest B2B marketing conference, hold in Chicago in 2014.
Cisco´s Marketing manager took it to a head by underlining the fact, that decisions in B2B are far more emotional than normal everyday decisions in B2C. Because mostly there are high risks involved, those for the comapny, but also personal ones from simply loosing time to a decline in career or even a job loss.
Therefore it is not only important to address also personal values directly, use sometimes humour and emotional stories to improve self image but also reduce fears by turning b2b companies into brand personalities. Brands reduce risks and increase trust. Trust and risks are highly emotional issues.
AON´s Manager, another speaker at BMA 14 supported the other two speakers that emotion matters. Even a reinsurance company as AON is more successfull if it not only thinks in numbers. In former time science only supported number crunchers but meanwhile esp. brain research proofs emotional factors´ influence. These factors are fears and anger as logical in the insurance business, but all other emotional factors sell too: Happiness, beauty, even colours.
To the Google/CEB study see also the published report as described in our article Emotionality also matters in B2B