Connecting with B2B audiences using emotional intelligence
By using emotional intelligence as a communication tool, you can connect with B2B audiences on a human level in the right way, at the right time and in an appealing manner that truly resonates with how they feel. And the “how” to do this is all there in the numbers.
Already, you are likely collecting data to measure your marketing KPIs and for lead generation. Using this same data, such as media monitoring, social media, website visits, webinar views and other analytics, you already know what your customers want, what they’re struggling with, what appeals to them and even what inspires them. The difference in that instead of pumping out product driven messages, companies are now humanizing their messages to help meet the emotional needs of a customer.
This doesn’t mean that all your messages need to switch from product-focus to people-focus, but strategically changing some that empathize with what your customer is going through today can make them feel as if they are spoken to not as a functional transaction or blank canvas to promote at, but as an actual person that a company has taken the time to understand.
Humanizing communication online
Businesses, as well as their customers, have had to be flexible and adapt to big changes in 2020. Many tradeshows that industries relied on for human connections with their audience have become virtual forums. However, this doesn’t mean we have to lose the personal touch we had at a tradeshow.
When engaging with audiences online, this still involves making a personal connection. Humanizing the communication can establish the connection and one simple way to do that is by making sure you’re a meaningful brand. Studies show that meaningful brands perform better in terms of purchase intent and re-purchase intent with customers because of the affinity and engagement they have with people online.
“2021 represents a unique opportunity to become meaningful brands. Becoming a meaningful brand not only means talking about assets and functional benefits of what you're offering, but talking more about emotional benefits, social benefits and personality values. Every brand should have personality.” - Matías Rodsevich, author of “The PR Paradox” on the EMG Podcast
The brands that have soared in 2020 are the ones that have demonstrated meaningful and emotionally intelligent values such as PepsiCo and partners providing one million meals a week to children across the US and Puerto Rico, Bacardi switching mass production from rum to ethanol for hand sanitizer production or LinkedIn offering its online courses for free during a global lockdown. The pandemic has given the opportunity to businesses to demonstrate that empathy connects with people and builds brand value.
This doesn’t mean you need to do more charity work. Humanization can be achieved by changing up your webinar format from a 30-minute sales pitch to a more casual chat, or it could take the form of a personal message from the CEO on your social media page – rather than corporate messaging all the time.
To build the meaning of your messaging, expand your vision of what content you can offer that emotionally invests in your audience. These might be videos, advertising or newsletters that reflect more personal experiences.
It’s important to remember that if your business isn’t about people, like in the industrial technology industry, it doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with people. B2B audiences are made up of people too that care just as much about human connection as B2C. They are going through big changes within their business and their lives just like everyone else.
By acknowledging the feelings of our audience and whatever they are going through, we create connection and not distance. It’s important to address the change, embrace it and find ways to better connect with people.
Get in touch to learn more about how EMG can help your personal engagement strategy to help your team connect more meaningfully with your customers.
Josina van der Velden
on February 9, 2021