The act of buying isn’t always a purely rational, fact-driven process. Our feelings, beliefs, and perceptions also influence our decisions when it comes to choosing which products or services to avail of.
The same consumer psychology applies to a business-to-business or B2B setup.
Let’s take a closer look at the B2B buying behaviour and how to engage B2B customers through immersive experiences.
The B2B Buying Behaviour
Various studies confirm that even the most critical B2B decision-making processes rely on personal values. After all, organizational decisions are still made by people.
The set of personal values of decision-makers is what ultimately drives sales. It’s part of the criteria that helps people define which product or service is the better choice over others. But what comprises personal values?
When we are confronted with a situation where we have to decide—for example, between generic or branded products—emotions from previous experiences affix values to the choices we are considering. These emotions create preferences that help us come to a decision. The richer the emotional link to a person’s mental representation of the brand, the higher the chances of creating consumer loyalty.
The influence of emotions on the buying process of consumers is well documented:
- fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) shows that when considering which product to buy, people use personal feelings and experiences rather than information (features and attributes of the product).
- Advertising research reveals that a person’s emotional response to an advertisement has more impact and influence than the actual content of the ad.
- According to studies, positive emotions have a greater influence on consumer loyalty than brand attributes.
How to Engage B2B Customers: 6 Useful Tips
The high level of emotionality is not at all surprising because B2B purchases entail more personal risks than B2C purchases. They will lose time, credibility, or even their jobs if the purchase decision goes poorly.
With this information in mind, you can tweak your marketing strategy to create more immersive experiences to engage B2B consumers. Here are some tips for doing just that during your next B2B events or meetings:
1. Know What Motivates Your Customer
Creating immersive experiences that build emotional connections begins with knowing what motivates your ideal customer. To get this information, you have to dig deep and look for behavioural patterns that can help predict future wants and needs. The information you collect will serve as the framework for immersive experiences that will impact the bottom line.
2. Create an Affinity
Business buyers favour brands they have an affinity for. Affinity could be many things. For instance, some business buyers may want to purchase from companies in the same region or country (regional bias) rather than those in other locations.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an affinity for a company that’s located elsewhere. Affinity can also be created if you:
- Demonstrate that you understand the buyer;
- Have similar behaviours and values; and
- Mirror the tone and language of the buyer.
3. Focus on FOMO, Tribal Bonding, and Escapism
When planning immersive experiences for B2B events, tap into these three key elements of the current experience economy:
FOMO or Fear of Missing Out
In today’s experience economy, the fear of missing out or FOMO is a catalyst for action. So when creating immersive experiences, make sure to incorporate this element into your marketing strategy.
Create immersive experiences where customers can have the opportunity to gather and commune with others who share their interests.
Consumers, whether B2C or B2B, want to experience something out of the ordinary. They want to be transported to a place away from societal norms and immerse themselves in new experiences and different environments. So remember to take this into account when designing immersive experiences for B2B clients.
4. Commit to Immersion Research
B2B customers are also captivated by accurate data, predictions, and analytics as much as they are with emotions. Thus, you must commit to immersion-based research efforts such as immersive ethnography and digital immersion research approaches.
5. Leverage B2B Corporate Storytelling
B2B buyers always want to know more and dig deeper. But “more” doesn’t always mean more information about product specifications. More often than not, it means they want a stronger connection to the story of a person, product, or company.
When creating immersive experiences for B2B customers, make sure to embrace the human side of the products or services to help them see it in a different light. Designing environments that create memories and strong human connections during B2B events will also make a huge difference.
6. Utilize Immersive Technology
Immersive technology has redefined the way products and services are presented to customers—it can provide realistic experiences to B2B customers, more than simple images and videos ever could.
Use these advancements to make B2B clients experience your brand instead of merely seeing it. Some of the immersive technology you can use include augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.
Design Immersive Experiences That Make An Impact
Creating immersive experiences to reel in B2B customers begins right here.
The Concierge Club is an expert in designing events that never fail to make a stellar impact. We are a full-service event and experiential marketing agency known for our meticulous and innovative way of creating immersive experiences for countless companies across North America.
Get in touch with us today to know more about how we can help your brand make its mark.