Tuesday, 14 July 2015
No need to get so emotional - unless you're in B2B marketing.
Creating an emotional connection with a viewer, reader or audience member is really important, especially in B2B marketing. Instinctively we know it, but in our attempts to tread carefully through rules of corporate brand governance it can easily get forgotten. The trouble is, if you ignore this basic human principle, you’re in grave danger of being ignored or lost in the clutter of other competing messaging. In short, your efforts will have been wasted.
According to Psychiatrist Robert Plutchik there are 8 key emotions to choose from: Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger, Surprise, Anticipation, Trust, and Disgust. The eight dwarves if you will.
(Just to remind yourself how powerful and distinct each if these are, put yourself in front of a mirror and pull a face for each one. Perhaps a waste of time but when you see what you do for ‘surprise’ it’ll be worth it.)
That’s quite a choice when you consider that any one of these can work to enhance the power of your communication.
According to Google, CEB and Motista, there are lots of good reasons to pack an emotional punch. If a B2B buyer has an emotional connection with your company they are 5 times more likely to consider buying from you; 13 times more likely to purchase something and a whopping great 30 times more likely to pay a premium for the privilege.
Martin Lindstrom, author of ‘Buyology’, claims that when we buy, 85% of that decision is based on unconscious drivers and a mere 15% on jolly-good sensible conscious drivers. So appealing to the unconscious through emotional selling makes excellent sense.
So how can you start to apply a little bit more emotion to your marketing? There’s no definitive formula here but here are a few ideas based on personal experience of successful campaigns.
Relentless positivity - Look for the positive benefits of what you and your company do and hammer these home. Medical insurance isn’t about being ill, it’s about well-being. A new smart phone isn’t about technical performance, it’s about enhancing lifestyle.
Fear - A powerful emotion in B2B where people are typically more risk averse than consumers. However, generally even more powerful when served up with a soupcon of positivity too. So anti-virus software may prevent virus attacks and hacks but also gives the peace of mind you need to focus on your own business, for example.
Surprise - This one is a personal favourite as it’s all about doing the unexpected. Adding something unexpected is a great way to get and retain attention. Like a campaign we did for Salesforce.com which took the viewer’s name and photo from Facebook or LinkedIn and turned them into a business hero in the video they were watching. That stuff really works.
Let it all out
There are many ways to make an emotional connection but it’s a lot harder to do with a few lines of written text than it is to do with a picture. And it’s a lot harder to do with a single picture than it is with a video. And it’s a lot harder to do with a generic video than with a personalised one. But not impossible. To really shortcut to making an emotional connection I would opt for personalised video every time. But that’s only because I know it works. But I don’t want to get all emotional about it.