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Elevate Your Game to the Third Tier
Most B2B technology businesses focus their marketing communications messages on features and benefits.
Beyond promoting features and benefits, B2B technology businesses can differentiate themselves by connecting emotionally. Following are four questions to ask yourself when assessing if you're making an emotional connection with your customers:
1. Does your marketing solely focus on selling features and benefits?
Your technology product or service has distinct features and amazing benefits of interest to potential buyers. Solid marketing tactics include developing benefit statements to show prospective clients how and why your brand’s features are the logical solution to their problem.
Brand identity is a great place to start.
To truly elevate your game, take a cue from Aristotle and infuse emotion into your brand.
In fact, studies show that emotions play a key role in decision-making. Instead of telling buyers specifics about what your home security system does, show them how safe it makes them feel. Create a sense of empowerment to protect their family and possessions from harm or theft, thanks to your brand’s solution.
Apple’s tradition of maintaining complete secrecy in the months leading up to new product releases or upgrades evokes the emotions anticipation, excitement, and suspense. The lack of official statements pre-release leads to widespread speculation and rumors which Apple will decline to confirm or deny. Instead, the cutting-edge brand keeps its reputation by strategically waiting for its unveiling to release details. It all contributes to a sense of awe, wonderment—and perhaps a little surprise—so we’ll be emotionally invested when we learn what’s new at Apple.
2. Is the conversation focused on you and your business?
Most B2B technology companies speak to customers in their own internal language. “We provide, we support, we sell,” rather than from a customer perspective of “I want, I need.”
Flip the conversation to be customer-focused, rather than business-focused. Tease out their pain points to discover appropriate opportunities to help.
3. Do visuals of your product or business exclude people?
There’s nothing quite like a wall calendar featuring the latest tech equipment to brighten your workspace, right? Maybe, but don’t count on sterile images of your gizmo 2000 to provoke an emotional response from potential buyers.
Add warmth by replacing boring catalog pictures with images of your product in use by real people, in real-life situations. Illustrate the emotional connection you’d like prospects to make by showing them someone experiencing it. An image promoting a new organizational software tool, for example, could portray a smiling user in a neat and tidy workspace. It will resonate on a more emotional level than an image of software or hardware alone.
4. Without the logo, do your marketing pieces look similar to your competition?
Most B2B tech companies have the same formula for promoting their products and services. Without the logos on your marketing materials when compared to those from different companies selling similar products, the consumer might not be able to differentiate.
Instead of blending in, use emotion to give your brand personality. Proper use of color, typography, white space and the tone of written content are all essential elements to give your brand an effective emotional appeal.
Consider the following:
- How do you want your prospects to feel when they interact with your brand? Tweaking your color palette from warm oranges and reds to cooler greens and blues can take a brand from being passionate and exciting to being calm and serene.
- How seriously do you want to be taken? A font change from a sans serif like Arial to a serif font like Times New Roman can help transform a marketing piece from informal to scholarly or serious.
- Have you considered leveraging white space? In design, it’s what creates a sense of balance or openness. Too much white space can create a feeling of smallness, unimportance or of being alone. Not enough white space can make your piece, and your prospect, feel crowded.
- What’s the tone of your content? Strong verbs in an active voice carry more oomph, for example, than weak verbs delivered passively. Strong or weak, flashy or conservative, deliberate use of tone can facilitate a positive emotional connection beyond just the facts.
The moral of the story—adding emotion to your brand can help differentiate you within the industry so you can move beyond just looking like a commodity—effectively taking your brand from head to heart.
Does your brand need help to level up?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the four questions, you need to infuse emotion into your marketing messages.
LAVIDGE can bring personality to your brand. We'll help you take a customer perspective and provide guidance to turn your undifferentiated functional messages into highly differentiated emotional messages. Our team's creative office is located in the greater Phoenix area, but we serve clients throughout the Southwest. With 35 years of experience, our skills marketing strategy and creative work have long distinguished us as leaders within the community.
Ready for a one-on-one discussion? Give us a call at 480.998.2600 or send email to [email protected].
2017 U.S. Technology Marketing Report
This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive and authoritative study that takes the guesswork out of marketing to business-to-business technology buyers. Rather than speculating about what will drive them to action, we've asked them.