B2B marketing gets personal: New study shows how emotional connections are key success drivers—4 in 5 will turn focus to human-centric strategies

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Marketing, Public Relations

B2B marketing has never been about tugging at the heartstrings with emotive storytelling. For decades, these comms pros have relied on facts and data to get the job done. Now, according to new research from creative branding ad agency Triptent, they’re discovering that authentic storytelling and empathy are key to customer engagement and long-term brand success. They understand the importance of brand building and customer relationships for sales growth, but the problem is that many lack the data to truly understand their audience to implement this strategy—and 47 percent struggle to justify an emotion-driven strategy to stakeholders.

The firm’s first-ever research-based white paper, B2B Gets Personal: Building Trust Through Emotion, based on a survey conducted by B2B respondent survey firm Centiment, highlights the challenges and opportunities in B2B marketing tactics. The white paper reveals that making B2B marketing more human not only improves brand perception but also leads to real business results.

B2B marketing

“The only way for companies to break through is with humanity. As someone who has worked on both the corporate marketing and agency side of the business, I’ve observed the challenges that marketers face in this crowded space,” said Wendy Lurrie, managing director, practice lead at Triptent, in a news release. “The findings from this survey highlight that B2B decision-making and emotional connection go hand in hand. The transactional marketing approach is gone. It’s essential to build relationships with audiences that help them understand how a product’s capabilities can solve their unique problems.”

B2B marketing

Key findings indicate:

Emotion is a competitive advantage in B2B marketing

Marketers realize that making customers feel understood is a powerful tool. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe investing in brand and human-centric marketing provides a competitive edge in performance marketing. Using real human stories and emotions enhances clients’ understanding, builds trust between clients and suppliers, and improves marketing effectiveness.

B2B marketing B2B marketing is really P2P (person-to-person) marketing

Stories that capture the genuine challenges and triumphs of individuals resonate deeply with audiences, fostering a more meaningful engagement with the brand or product. Effective B2B marketing focuses on trust and personal connections, but tight resources and difficulty in understanding customer emotions make it challenging to invest in building relationships.

B2B marketers expect their agency counterparts to act as an extension of their team

This allows them to leverage industry knowledge to enable faster, more agile execution. Among marketers who don’t find partnering with an agency effectively helps achieve their marketing goals, understanding of the industry (55 percent) and execution speed and agility (50 percent) are the top improvement factors they seek in agency partners.

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“At the core of successful B2B marketing is the power of human stories. It is vital to connect with our clients through real emotions and experiences, this is how we build trust and continue to drive engagement,” said Joe Masi, chief executive officer at Triptent, in the release. “Human-centric marketing presents a big growth opportunity for B2B marketers and we’re eager to continue to see results from this strategy for our clients at Triptent.”

B2B marketing

Download the full report here.

This survey was conducted by Centiment, a B2B respondent survey tool to gather quantitative and qualitative insights, on behalf of Triptent and includes responses from 856 B2B marketers in the US.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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