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Four reasons why emotion doesn’t work in B2B

I’m currently writing a feature regarding emotion in B2B marketing. This has proved a seriously popular subject among marketers - just visit this lively LinkedIn discussion to see for yourself.

Nearly all of the respondents agree: emotion is important in B2B marketing (it’s H2H/P2P after all isn’t it?) But nobody seems to be arguing on the other side of the debate, so I thought I’d make things a little fairer by listing four reasons why B2B marketing doesn’t need to be emotional:

1. It’s business. B2B can be creative and fun, but at the end of the day business is business, which means professionalism – B2B brands don’t need to forge the same connection as their B2C counterparts. For example, nobody is going to share an operating system like they share a coke, or have a big emotional response to an email video tutorial like the John Lewis Christmas ad.

2. Nobody’s doing it.  Marketers have a lot to say about emotion, but a lot less are doing it. It only seems like the big tech brands (Microsoft/Cisco/Salesforce) have got a hang of it, while the rest are not bothered.

3. People don’t love brands. Do you love your office supplier? Accountancy company? Or computer package? No. So, why is emotion necessary when selling?

4. Logistics. Business purchases tend to be more expensive than consumer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean more emotion is involved. Instead it means prospects need more facts, stats and examples of that product or service proving its worth.


(A little disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with all the points above, I am just highlighting the other side of the debate.)