Are Your B2B Clients Targeting Audiences with Enough Emotion?

BY Rachel Cagle
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82% of business decision-​makers say that B2B marketing is boring, predictable and repetitive, says alan. 88% want B2B brands to take a bold, contrarian and more provocative approach to their marketing. So, as B2B advertisers continue to provide audiences with the same old, boring content, decision-​makers are getting increasingly frustrated. And people don’t work with businesses that frustrate them. Here’s what your B2B client needs to do to give their audiences what they want.

Are Your B2B Clients Targeting Audiences with Enough Emotion?

Why Emotion?

B2B audiences are just as human as the everyday consumers B2C companies target. Decision-​makers are motivated at work the same way they are at home. The problem is that most B2B companies think professional, business-​targeting emails must be to the point without all the trappings of B2C ads. The result: the ads are emotionless. B2B audiences need emotional messaging to inspire them to take action. “The more extreme the emotion, the deeper the connection and the more likely it is to drive buying behavior,” says alan.

Emotions to Utilize


Fear can be a useful emotion to utilize when your client creates content that identifies a common problem their target audiences face. “43% of buyers need to feel intense fear bordering on anxiety to take action,” says alan. Your B2B client can inspire fear by focusing on threats, such as:

  • Falling behind
  • Being exposed to risk
  • Personal or professional threats (or both)
  • Missing out


Fear can motivate B2B audiences to take action, but your client has to offer hope to steer them in the right direction. “Don’t be afraid to feed the fear, but always offer an escape to safety and positive buying behavior,” says alan. How can your client’s product or service save audiences from their fear? How can it overcome the threats they’re facing? Answer these questions to associate your client with an escape from fear. Not only will hope help alleviate a negative emotion, hope helps consumers feel good. Feeling good is a fantastic motivator.


38% of buyers need to feel intense anger, bordering on rage, to take action, says alan. Anger, like fear, drives B2B audiences to want to find relief for the feeling. They want the satisfaction of overcoming whatever is upsetting them.


Remember those SPCA commercials that showed all the hopeless, neglected and abused animals with a sad song playing in the background? You’ve probably never felt so motivated to donate to a cause in your life. You felt compelled to do something to make the sadness go away. And if you didn’t, you probably felt guilt about not taking action for a while, right? That’s the power of sadness.


The emotions your client’s target audience want to feel from making purchases isn’t always going to match up with what’s popular. Look up their audience profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to find out exactly what emotions these consumers want to feel when making purchases within the next year.

Focus on the Human Aspect of the Business

A huge problem many B2B marketers have trouble overcoming is viewing their target audiences as faceless companies. They believe that B2B customers are more interested in product or solution features and why they’re better than the competition instead of what the product or solution can provide for the customer as a human being. Instead of focusing on features alone, try implementing how each feature, or all of them combined, can benefit the decision-​maker as a human. Will it save them time that they can dedicate to other pursuits? Will it ensure that there won’t be any after-​hours emergencies that will pull them away from their families and personal activities? How about its ability to help them sleep better at night? Focusing on human benefits rather than just business benefits can help not only get the decision-maker’s attention, but get them to take action quickly.

Photo by Vadim Sadovski