B2B marketing gets straight to the factual point and is all about appealing to the rational mind of potential customers. B2C is all about emotional connection with the consumer creating strong, visceral loyalty.
That’s historically been the theory. Trouble is, it’s not supported by the evidence of what works and what doesn’t.
As a creative + communications agency, DMA Partners has worked for many brands in both B2B and B2C. Our experience has taught us that buying decisions are not so different. They are part logic and part emotion.
We worked for many years with a very well known (and loved) broadband and mobile provider. They had a great reputation with customers but in A/B testing on advertising, time after time, we found out that the most critical part of customer offer communication was the small print showing T&Cs and price, i.e. the customer wanted the product but they wanted to be clear on the essential detail. Put simply, the more detail in the ad, the more successful it was.
In B2B we have lived the same from the other perspective. We have seen business results transformed when communication has been refreshed with different imagery and new colour schemes (with exactly the same product features and benefits).
So what’s going on?
Maybe it’s just how we are as people. One day we can fancy a fast food burger and the next it can be the last thing we want as we get back to our low-fat good intentions. On a given day we fancy wearing that brightly coloured shirt we bought on holiday and the next we will opt for sober grey. We are the same people but our reactions and actions are changeable. There are times when we are persuaded by logic and other times by impulses and emotions.
Marketers should remember that. There are no absolute truths.
Connecting to your audience’s rational mind is important but never forget that emotions drive behaviour, however unconsciously. Never forget either that emotions go so far but there is a point when people want to see the facts clearly presented.
Human beings, in fact, are pretty good at making judgements on the veracity of what they’re being told, from both the implicit (the facts they’re being told) and explicit (the way it’s packaged).
That’s our daily experience as communication professionals working with many brands across multiple industries. And our view is supported by a recent survey by the LinkedIn B2B Institute that discovered that B2B strategies with an emotional appeal are 7x more effective at driving long term profits.
Could your business benefit from creating more meaningful connection with prospects and customers? Get in touch with Philip Martin to discover how DMA Partners can help you.