B2B behavioral research study reveals the most effective message to engage start-up buyers


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Marketing Practice (TMP) and B2B DecisionLabs today announced the results of research into the effectiveness of communicating with early stage buyers. The results of the behavioral study, conducted by Dr Nick Lee of Warwick Business School and conducted among 500 B2B professionals, found that messages that use both quantified impact and emotional language are the most impactful, and the inclusion of contrast leads to better recall than a lack of contrast. .

The goal of the behavioral research study was to determine how best to present a business challenge to startup prospects in order to generate interest in a B2B solution. Specifically, the researchers tested three email variables on five different test messages to determine the most effective combination.

Mail Variables:

  1. Including unquantified vs quantified business impact

  2. Use rational versus emotional language

  3. Adding contrast by including current risk in addition to future benefits

Test messages:

  1. Unquantified emotional – using emotional language with no business impact or quantified contrast

  2. Quantified emotional – use emotional language with quantified business impact, but no contrast

  3. Quantified rational – using rational language with quantified business impact, but no contrast

  4. Quantified emotional with contrast – using emotional language with quantified business impact and contrast

  5. Quantified rational with contrast – using rational language with quantified business impact and contrast

Respondents’ responses clearly and consistently showed that using both quantified impact and emotional language is most impactful in your early stage prospecting messages, and the inclusion of contrast led to a better reminder than a lack of contrast.

Taken together, the results showed that the emotional message quantified with contrast outperformed the rational message quantified in all major categories. For example, when participants were asked how much of a problem they had after reading the email, there was a 23% difference in favor of the emotional message quantified with contrast compared to the rational message quantified without contrast. .

Participants felt more urgency to act after reading quantified emotional messages than the other messages in the study. The quantified rational message provided the least urgency by a difference of 17.3%.

David van Schaick, Marketing Director of TMP, said of the results: “There is often an assumption in B2B that decision makers will be driven by purely rational imperatives when choosing a solution. We were keen to test this hypothesis through behavioral research and are delighted that this study generated results that will help B2B companies produce more effective communications.

Doug Hutton, senior vice president of products at B2B DecisionLabs, added, “We have seen some fascinating results from this study, which should help shape how B2B marketers and salespeople define the business challenge in their messaging. generation of demand. Choosing the right language – quantified, emotional, and contrasting – has a direct impact not only on the likelihood that a prospect will take the next step, but also on the urgency that they consider the issue raised to be.

The two companies will share the research results in more depth in a live chat on September 2.

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Paul N. Strickland