Marketers in B2B companies are increasingly realising that emotional customer communication makes a significant contribution to building up and further developing a brand. But there are a few challenges to overcome along the way.
Humanising communication – what is this all about?
Brand communication has to become more personal – according to a survey from the international communications agency Allison+Partners among 400 B2B marketing heads in Germany and the UK. Of course, communication is always between people and is geared towards other persons, but especially in the B2B segment is the practical use of a product or service the focus of customer communication.
While this was considered a sales argument for many decades, more and more marketers are now in favour of addressing their potential customers using emotional communications. This kind of brand communication is especially direct and effective over the long run. Social distancing as a result of the corona pandemic, and thus the subsequent focus on digital channels in communication, has reinforced this trend, according to the survey’s participants.
B2B survey: potential and challenges of more personal communication
The potential in more personal communication for B2B business is, according to the survey, immense: 58 per cent believe that by making their brand more personal, they can achieve higher sales. On top of this, more than half are of the opinion that this approach reinforces customer interaction (55 per cent) and boosts customer loyalty (54 per cent).
However, around three-fourths of the survey’s participants admit that they have not yet given their brand a personal touch – despite all the benefits expected. This is primarily due to four challenges that are not so easy to overcome:
- An understanding for the needs and priorities of different target groups
- An adequate basis of data for target-group-specific communication
- A matching tone of voice for the content, i.e. how the brand communicates
- The right format for communicating the newly formed messages
58 per cent believe that by making their brand more personal, they can achieve higher sales.
Efficient tools and channels: surveys, social media and influencers
According to the survey, social media marketing is the most suitable channel for integrating emotional messages within the brand story and thus communicating a more personal brand. For half of those surveyed, social channels are the most important touchpoints for approaching the target groups and interacting with them. Google Surveys is also seen as being an effective tool. More than two-thirds of those questioned in Germany also view influencer marketing as suitable in this context – however mainly with external influencers. After all, only 31 per cent believe that employees and experts in their own company should serve to lend the brand a more personal touch.
The survey’s authors advise B2B marketers to use campaigns from the B2C segment as an example. Here, real-life cases have clearly shown that authenticity is decisive for making the brand more personal.