Many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the influence of emotions on B2B purchasing decisions. Outsiders see B2B buyers as incarnated homines oeconomici – individuals who act exclusively from an economic point of view. Others, in turn, attach greater importance to the emotions triggered by B2B than by B2C marketing. We will clarify the influence that emotions have on B2B purchasing within the context of this article.
The question if emotions have an influence on B2B purchasing decisions is not new at all. For a long time, the assumption that B2C buying decisions were predominantly emotionally driven, while B2B purchases were strictly rational, following strict guidelines and process-based, was considered an incontrovertible fact. Accordingly, B2B marketing in recent years has been conservative. The latest neuroeconomic findings and the marketing methods which was derived from them were equated with impulsive purchasing decisions that buyers make directly without conscious consideration and accompanying research. In addition to that and the fact individual consumers make their decisions as individuals who do not think about a purchase any longer than they want, emotionally driven marketing was almost exclusively used in the B2C sector.
As the first research results about the consumer behavior in referrence to the fact that neuromarketing is more than just an impulse buying arrived, experts first express their concerns. Especially those brands and products that evoke stronger emotions have the possibility to influence the buyer over a longer period of time and buyers‘ decision. This is particularly important when it is a matter of a purchase whose decision requires a higher level of capital and therefore needs to be weighed carefully. As the more a person thinks about a purchase with more serious consequences, the less his decision is influenced by objective criteria, but by emotions, instincts and memories – regardless of whether the buyer is a private consumer or a commercial buyer.
In cooperation with Google and Motista CEB Marketing researched how far purchasing decisions of commercial buyers are emotionally driven and interviewed over 3,000 B2B buyers from a wide variety of industries in 2013. The finding: Compared to private consumers, on average commercial buyers have a much higher emotional attachment to the products they are buying. The survey showed that around 10 to 40 percent of private households have an emotional connection to a B2C brand. By comparison, 50 percent of buyers had an emotional connection to seven out of nine B2B brands. Furthermore, 71 percent of B2B buyers stated that they would buy a product if they saw a personal benefit in it. Further 68 percent would pay a higher price for a service in which they also see a personal advantage. As many as 48 percent of commercial buyers said that they already wanted to buy a product without weighing up the resulting disadvantages.
A similar result was reached last year by a survey conducted by gyro. The New York-based advertising and marketing agency questioned 315 readers of the Financial Times about their business relationships. According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents said it was important for them to feel understood in the course of a professional conversation. A total of 86 percent agreed with the statement that they want to feel safe during a cooperation. Further information about the respondents‘ business relationships confirmed that emotions play a decisive role in the choice of manufactures and service providers.
The majority of the studies and surveys come to a unanimous decision: B2B purchasing and cooperation decisions are inevitably also influenced by emotions, instincts and memories and in most cases to a greater extent than in the B2C sector. Only the least purchasing decisions are made objectively, distantly and impartially. This is why marketing and advertising methods that specifically trigger emotions in the respective target group are decisive in winning new customers and increasing reach in the B2B sector as well, so that companies are setting up sustainably. Further information about tailor-made and target group-oriented marketing measures can be found on chembidX, your partner for online marketing services in the chemical industry.