Woman in field of sunflowers smiling, showcasing emotion in b2b marketing
15 August 2023 Video Marketing Strategy

Beyond logic: The Emotional Revolution in B2B Marketing

In B2B marketing, emotions often get overlooked amid logical touchpoints, yet human connection remains crucial. Let's explore why.

A Shift in Perception

B2B (Business-to-Business) campaigns have historically been viewed as logically driven, rational, and, in many instances, starkly unemotional. But just as heart-tugging consumer (B2C) campaigns leave indelible marks, B2B companies can wield the power of emotion to significantly enhance their brand resonance.

In the landmark "Marketing in the Era of Accountability" report, researchers Les Binet and Peter Field discovered a striking insight: emotional campaigns consistently outperformed their rational counterparts. The metrics were clear—long-term increases in sales, market share, and penetration were best achieved through campaigns that tapped into the emotional psyche of their audience.

Business Decisions are human decisions

The core of any business decision is not a faceless corporation but a human. Despite the elaborate structures of companies, it boils down to individuals making those choices. These individuals, irrespective of their roles, carry with them a gamut of emotions. Professional environments might elevate some of these emotions, particularly the desire for stability or the fear of professional repercussions.

The complexity of B2B transactions, often involving multiple stakeholders, lengthy decision-making processes, and exhaustive evaluations, has created a misconception: that B2B decisions are largely rational. Yet, Gerard Zaltman's research from Harvard Business School sheds light on a different reality: a staggering 95% of our decisions are rooted in the subconscious.

Moreover, a Google and CEB study uncovered that B2B customers often have deeper emotional connections with their vendors than typical B2C consumers. It's easy to see why—B2B decisions are fraught with higher stakes, both professionally and personally.

Reimagining B2B Branding Through Emotion

Brands that have infused emotion into their campaigns have seen remarkable results. Wunderman Thompson’s Global Inspire Study revealed that emotionally-driven brands enjoy heightened recall, trust, and preference among their audience.

The B2B sector is evolving with major players such as Salesforce and Intuit harnessing the emotive power similar to B2C brands. As Kevin Frank from LinkedIn aptly put it, B2B brands are a dominant force in the world's economy, and creativity, powered by emotion, can exponentially enhance their impact.

Tapping into the Emotive Potential

How do we use emotion in B2B marketing?

  1. Personalise the Narrative: Recognise that behind every business decision is a person. Tailored content that resonates with their aspirations, dreams, and even fears will have a greater impact than generic business jargon. By acknowledging the human side of business, brands can foster deeper connections.

  2. Celebrate Success: B2B purchases often come with substantial risks. Position your product or service not just as a solution but as a pathway to personal and professional triumph. Highlight how choosing your brand can be a crowning achievement in a buyer's career.

  3. Emotional Groundwork Through Thought Leadership: Well before the sales pitch, brands can emotionally prime their potential clients. Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the broader business landscape and its inherent challenges can pave the way for meaningful, emotionally-charged connections.

Let's sum it up

We're living in a world where brands aren't just about products or services. It's about the stories they tell, the emotions they evoke, and, above all, the remarkable experiences they deliver. In B2B, we aren't just selling to faceless corporations. Behind those companies are real, passionate, ambitious human beings – just like you and me.

B2B customers want to be excited. They're itching for a spark that makes them think, "Wow, I've got to collaborate with these folks."  

Consider this. When you're making a hefty business decision, you want to know the people you're partnering with get you. They're there, supporting your vision, sharing in your aspirations, and striving for your combined success. It's not about cold, hard facts alone. You need that human touch, that bond, that... connection.

So, what's stopping us?

Perhaps we've been too busy hiding behind jargons, fearing the vulnerability that comes with wearing our heart on our sleeves. But here's a fresh thought – let's embrace it. Let's bring that burst of boldness, that touch of glory, into our B2B marketing. Let's connect emotionally.

Remember: People – marketers included – thrive on emotion. They remember how you made them feel. So, be audacious. Stir emotions. Connect.

Because at the end of the day, B2B is still H2H – human to human. Let's help your brand thrive in that space.

If you're ready for an adventurous leap into the future of B2B marketing, we're just a chat away.

Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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