“It’s never been more obvious to us that we make decisions based on emotion, gut instinct and knee-jerk reactions,” said Belinda Green, Head of Strategy at B2B agency Gyro which conducted research in this area in partnership with the Financial Times.
“We have to remember, we often are mentally primal beings, and our brains are wired a certain way,” she said at the Advertising Week Asia event in Tokyo recently. (For more, read WARC’s report: Behind the emotions driving the B2B path to purchase.)
For the global study, a 315-strong pool of Financial Times readers (executives with business decision-making responsibilities) were surveyed, and an additional qualitative research panel by Russell Research, comprised of 24 senior executives, supplemented the research study.
The first phase of consideration – defined as the ‘pre-contact stage’ in the study – was marked by plenty of research as decision-makers mull over potential partners. Confidence was the feeling most respondents (86%) wished to feel at this stage, followed by optimism (59%).
“They told us, overwhelmingly, ‘I want them to be interested’, ‘I want them to feel there’s belief the project is going to go well’, and ‘I want to feel really optimistic this person is going to be brilliant, it’s going to be great working together’,” Green said.
Thought leadership is also a powerful asset in the B2B path to purchase as companies seek proof of expertise; it was the most influential aspect of a brand’s marketing, with 63% of respondents citing it as most crucial for them.
Eight in ten felt company culture was the most important attribute: being clear about what the company stands for and believes in can be game-changing for the business – especially if the company’s core values and beliefs can be encapsulated in some form of marketing asset.
For 88% of respondents, recommendations were among the biggest driving factors for consideration.
“As marketers, we have a natural tendency to focus on the beginning of the relationship, on the winning of the business, when in fact that is only one of many important things that happen,” said Green.
“Playing back your project team the making of how this project went could very well support that recommendation coming forward, and then help us in the very beginning of the next project.”
Sourced from WARC