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3 B2B marketing psychology tips to win hearts and minds

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

What makes a person buy one product or service or another?

While it’s easy for B2B marketers to fall into the trap of only appealing to a buyer’s rational mind, countless marketing psychology and consumer behaviour studies have proven that buyers are a lot less rational than you might expect.

Despite the current hype around marketing personalisation, there are a few key principles that have been universally shown to influence purchase behaviour.

Let’s take a closer look at three of these principles and how you could put them into action in your business.

1. Social Proof

The social proof theory is based on the idea that people want to belong and will conform with those they know, like and trust.

Let’s say you’re in the market for some new cloud accounting software. Consider these two scenarios for a moment:

You visit Business A’s website which tells you that the software costs £50 per month

You visit Business B’s website which tells you that the software costs £70 per month, and it also features a video with success stories from current users

Which business are you most likely to buy from? Business B, of course! Even though the product is more expensive, the social proof is likely to have swayed your decision and made you trust Business B more.

In a B2B context, you can easily see this concept in action when businesses display testimonials, social share counts and case studies. All of these items showcase the “social proof” that their product or service is worthy of your attention. It’s certainly worth thinking about how you could use similar elements in your marketing materials to boost your social proof.

2. Limited Choice

Ever experienced “analysis paralysis” - where there are simply so many options on offer that you find it impossible to choose? You’re not alone!

In fact, a study by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper from Columbia and Stanford University proved that more choice actually makes consumers less likely to buy. Less really is more, it seems!

While jam was the product on offer (what’s your favourite?), the same principle applies to B2B businesses. This is because people want to make a trusted tried and tested choice quickly and keeping your suite of offerings as simple as possible helps them achieve this goal.

3. Loss Aversion

Did you know that people are more concerned with preventing a loss than gaining something new, according to a study by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman?

This theory becomes even more interesting when you consider that the research uncovered that the pain of loss is almost twice as much as potent as any reward from a gain.

To use this principle in your marketing materials, think about how you can pitch what people would lose by not buying your product or service and highlight those key points.


Do you want more personalised advice on how you can use marketing psychology to take your B2B marketing efforts from “good” to “great”?

Get in touch with Philip Martin to discover how DMA Partners can help:

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