Is B2B Marketing Missing Its Emotional Touch?

Is B2B Marketing Missing Its Emotional Touch?
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B2B marketers could learn a thing or two from their B2C colleagues, argues WP Engine VP APAC sales Mark Randall in this guest post.

It surprises me how many B2B organisations are not quite hitting the mark when it comes to reaching their audience. When talking directly to businesses, many brands are missing an opportunity to appeal to their audience on an emotional level. 

Modern B2B buyers are bombarded with sales pitches and in many cases dozens of companies with similar products. To stand out of the crowd, it’s critical you connect with B2B buyers on an emotional level, this is where B2C come in. You can take on many of the principles grounded in B2C marketing which means understanding the fears, desires, wants, needs and concerns of their audience. 

Whether you’re marketing to a business or directly to consumers, you’re taking to a person at the end of the day. 

Connect with your audience:
A lot of the messaging coming out of B2B brands is falling on deaf ears as it is not taking emotions into account. 

This is exemplified when we take a close look at tech companies that produce marketing content that is dense with information and riddled with technical jargon. While most of your audience may understand that jargon, you still need short easy to understand content to capture their attention or risk losing them. 

This is not an ‘audience-first’ approach and misses the opportunity to play into a businesses challenges and what they’re going through. If these emotions are leveraged properly, they can be used to drive sales and increase brand engagement.   

Entertain: 

As younger generations take their seat within the workforce, Gen Z will start to become responsible for the purchasing decisions of many businesses, especially from an IT and technology point of view. 

Research suggests that Gen Z (now 25) are driven to the internet for entertainment before information. Marketers need to adapt their behaviours to now appeal to this audience’s emotions and entertain them, before overwhelming them with information. 

This doesn’t mean having your CEO doing the latest dance on TikTok, it means building a voice and personality for your brand that your audience can relate to, beyond a data sheet.

Have an agile mindset: 

B2B marketers need to adapt their current mindset to avoid getting lost in the noise. In B2C marketing there is already an agile mentality to test early and fail fast. This approach needs to be adopted more widely by B2B marketers. 

Embrace open source and agile platforms like WordPress that help companies to shift, adapt, pivot when they need to, not months down the line. For example, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, a WordPress community member created a plugin that anyone could add to their site with the click of a button to display how they were responding on their website.

Be human: 

Millenials and Gen Z have fundamentally changed the buying patterns of businesses and have brought many of the ways they like to be treated as consumers into the B2B market. 

Modern B2B professionals want to connect with your business and be a champion internally. Research suggests that 75 per cent of Gen Z is more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social issues. Making a customer feel proud of their purchase will keep them around in the long run. 

For B2B organisations to be successful today, they need to appeal to their target audience on an emotional level and adopt similar principles seen by B2C marketers. The brands that can do this in a simple and authentic way, stand out as more progressive companies, next to older, less agile competitors. 

 

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