A common misconception in B2B buying is that prospects make decisions based solely on logic and reason, and are not influenced by emotion the way B2C purchases are. However, recent research has us singing a different tune.


The Corporate Executive Board partnered with Google to learn what leading marketing teams are doing differently to connect with their customers. Their research provides thought-provoking insights as to how B2B buyers react to emotional marketing compared to a more functional approach.

1.) Emotion over function

According to the research, B2B brands who connect with buyers through an emotional approach achieve two times the impact over those who sell business or functional value. Connecting emotionally requires open-ended questioning and observation of non-verbal cues to craft messages that speak to buyer’s needs, pain points and frustrations.

2.) Brand connection drives sales

In a marketplace that is overflowing with marketing messages, customers will be more likely to consider brands that they have strong connections with. To get their attention, marketers must “speak the language” – meaning businesses should use words and phrases that are familiar to customers, evoking an emotional response.

3.) Traditional methods don’t work anymore

According to the study, “the B2B Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is dead and 86% of B2B buyers see ‘no real difference between suppliers.’” By using emotion as a tool to connect with potential and current buyers, B2B buyers can stand out from a sea of sameness.

4.) Emotional benefits drive greater results

When businesses use “features, functions and business outcomes” as a means of marketing their brand, they see a 21% increase in perceived brand benefits, but “professional, social and emotional benefit” marketing leads to a 42% boost.

Understand your prospects’ challenges and communicate how their purchase will remedy current struggles and frustrations through empathetic messaging and content.


Whether written or visual, digital or traditional, global or local, everything we create must stir the audience’s emotions before we can engage the rational mind.


Want to know more about how to create an emotional connection to your audience?

Talk to BT Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne, for a one-on-one conversation about how to take your brand to new heights.   p: 09 950 2140