Rob Mitchell, CEO of FT Longitude, a marketing services division of the Financial Times, offers four ways that B2B companies can use their thought leadership to connect emotionally with their audience.
Remember that your prospects are people, not just decision-makers. Senior executives are not robots. Thought leadership that demonstrates an appreciation of these emotions is much more likely to resonate with them than something that talks in the abstract about business and management trends.
Go beyond the sale to provide inspiration. Focusing on the immediate solution to a business problem is shortsighted. Instead, B2B brands need to demonstrate long-term vision and show buyers that they understand the wider industry and business dynamics. They should show that they can solve not just today’s challenges, but tomorrow’s as well.
Appeal to their sense of pride – and inspire them. Making a B2B purchase is risky. The people who make buying decisions want to know that there are rewards to balance that risk. Telling them that your product will generate cost savings, integrate seamlessly with other systems or comply with regulations is hardly inspiring. Instead, focus on how a relationship with your business will boost their careers, generate a sense of personal pride and ultimately transform the business, the entire industry or even society at large.
Focus on emotional priming. Demonstrate that you understand the wider business context and the challenges faced by B2B buyers, and you will lay the groundwork for a meaningful connection.