The Debrief: convincing in B2B with the power of emotion

Insights

An Alven <> Ogilvy Consulting exclusive webinar – Summary of January 21st session

B2B was long thought to be the place of purely rational choice and, unlike B2C, there was no room for non-rational arguments. However, comments such as “Nobody would get fired for choosing IBM” became almost a cult as early as the 1980s, reflecting the importance of this human aspect in the workplace.

Reduction of the risk of self-reproach, confirmation bias, preference for the short-term, defensive decision-making, the search for qualifiers and differentiators… our simplified and non-rational misconceptions are countless and guide all of our choices in B2B. In the corporate world, more than a third of decision-making is based on emotional criteria.

But irrational does not mean unpredictable, and those who manage to handle the cognitive and emotional dimensions of B2B will gain a clear advantage over their competitors by bypassing decision-making and convincing more easily.

In our webinar, Dylan Buffinton explains how to leverage the power of emotion in three steps:

  • Overcoming the stereotypes of B2B
  • Identifying the unsuspected cognitive biais in our decision-making
  • Making the most of these biases

Powerful insights

  • 27% of choices in B2B are based on non-rational criteria, ranking those criteria before price and the technical specificities of an offer. The choice in B2B is therefore driven as much by emotional criteria as in B2C.
  • Inspired by Maslow’s Pyramid, the Harvard Business Review has determined a pyramid of decision-making elements in B2B. The “lower layers”: the operational value of an offer (from an economic and performance point of view), followed by the ability of a solution to ease business (productivity, access, relationships, operational or strategic simplification such as risk reduction).
    The criteria of the 2 highest layers: the individual value ( in particular the impact on one’s career, and personal impact such as personal development or anxiety reduction), then the inspirational value (social responsibility, vision, hope).
  • These elements lead to numerous cognitive biases, listed in the “Cognitive Bias Codex“. These biases are as many opportunities and threats to be known and leveraged or avoided in a B2B startup position.
    We have focused on some of these biases:
    1. Decision Fatigue: “the quality of the decisions taken by an individual deteriorates when too many options are available to him” >> be careful not to drown your audience in a series of features, and to present, first, a clear valuable proposition, even if it means specifying some aspects in detail later on.
    2. Dunning Kruger effect: “People tend to overestimate themselves and see themselves as better than they are” >> like Salesforce, which has renamed its customers “Trailblazers”, one can play on this bias by highlighting its innovative and ambitious side.
    3. Zero Risk Bias: conversely, “Individuals prefer to choose the “safest” option and tend to reduce risk-taking, even if an option would have been rationally better” >> it can be a obstacle for startups, so it is important to reassure your prospects (social proofs, references, testimonials, etc.).
    4. Hyperbolic discounting: “Individuals prefer to choose an option that has an immediate benefit rather than an option that will be profitable in the long-term, even if the associated benefit will be greater”. >> can be as much an obstacle as an opportunity.
    5. Ikea Effect: “Individuals give more value to the products or services they have helped to develop”. >> an opportunity to allow customers to take ownership of the product by including them in its customization.

To capitalise on these biases, 3 tools:

  • The brand, the vehicle for emotional differentiation
  • The nudge, to provoke specific behavior -with several strategies such as chunking, incentive, salience.
  • The ethnography, to understand the hidden part of your targets’ behavior


Share

MadKudu raises €18M Series A to make Data-Science ‘superpowers’ accessible

MadKudu helps businesses leverage their own customer data to make smarter decisions.

Read

Archy, the next Dental Software solution, raises $10 million in funding to-date

Archy is an all-in-one software solution for dental practice owners that aims to address each need of dentists, hence automating business operations and enabling dentists to focus on serving their patients.

Read

Mytraffic raises €30M series B to provide digital intelligence to  brick-and-mortar operators

Mytraffic’s ambition is to bring location analytics to the level of online analytics. This new funding round will support the development of its software and accelerate its growth across Europe.

Read