Why B2B Marketers Need to Appeal to their Customers’ Emotions

To meet the demands of today’s competitive marketing scenario, business-to-business (B2B) marketers are focusing on becoming more customer-friendly, and improving their branding strategies. Should they also appeal to their customers’ emotions? This question is answered by a research survey conducted by Google in partnership with CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council. We bring you the findings of the survey in this article.

Emotional Link with Customers

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing has traditionally focused on connecting emotionally with consumers. The challenge is different for B2B marketers. They need to influence business decision makers who are persuaded by corporate procurement procedures, third-party buying consultants, and purchasing committees. As a result, B2B marketers form a “rational” relationship with their customers.

But when people collaborate to take decisions, there are bound to be emotional and interpersonal forces that influence their decisions. This leads to the question whether emotional connection is more important for B2B marketing than B2C? To find the answer, CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council and Google collaborated with marketing research company Motista to survey 3,000 buyers of 36 B2B brands in various industries.

B2B Customers are More Influenced by Emotions

The survey reveals that B2B brands are far more emotionally connected with their consumers compared to B2C brands. Motista’s study of many B2C brands found that most form emotional links with between 10% to 40% of their consumers. In contrast, among the nine B2B brands studied in the survey, seven exceeded the 50% milestone. This shows that B2B customers are much more emotionally linked to their service providers and vendors than their consumers.

The deep link with B2B consumers is understandable. There is not much at stake if a B2C customer makes a wrong purchase decision. He or she can return the product and get it replaced. But the stakes and risks are very high in the case of business purchases. B2B customers make multi-million dollar acquisitions, and a mistake can cause bad business performance and lead to job loss. Therefore, business customers are likely to buy only if there is a substantial emotional link that helps to rise above this risk.

A common belief is that B2B consumers take purchase decisions to maximize business value. But the survey found that there is negligible difference in business value perceptions between top brands in an industry. And, few decision makers are willing to shell out a premium in cases where differentiation exists.

You Should Create Excitement and Personal Value

This one of the important B2B marketing tips. To be successful, B2B marketers should create the excitement of personal and professional rewards. They can achieve this by creating emotional links with their consumers that can influence important purchase decisions. B2B buyers are 50% more likely to purchase a service or product that provides personal value like career progress or pride in their selection. They are eight times more likely to pay premium price if the product or service offers personal value.


We hope this article on B2B marketing tips has helped you. Organizational decisions are not influenced by logic and rationality alone. Purchasing decisions are made by people, and these decision makers are more persuaded by emotion compared to everyday consumers. B2B marketers can drive their brand by becoming personal with their consumers which can help to create brand advocacy, pricing power, purchase intent, and happy customers.

James Anthony

By James Anthony

A senior FinancesOnline writer on SaaS and B2B topics, James Anthony passion is keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge practices (other than writing personal blog posts on why Firefly needs to be renewed). He has written extensively on these two subjects, being a firm believer in SaaS to PaaS migration and how this inevitable transition would impact economies of scale. With reviews and analyses spanning a breadth of topics from software to learning models, James is one of FinancesOnline’s most creative resources on and off the office.

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