Episode 3 of 5: Five trends shaping the future of marketing & PR

Halfway through! Having discussed ‘radical transparency’ on Monday and ‘embracing uncertainty’ yesterday, we turn to the third of Trevor Hardy’s five trends shaping the future of marketing and communications, as applied in a B2B context. That is, ‘the emotional economy’.

2016 writ large the importance of emotional over rational thinking. Think about it. Strong, data-driven, rational arguments failed to convince millions of people to vote to Remain, or elect Clinton. But that’s just one side of it. The pollsters – those entrusted by the media and the political parties to accurately predict the outcome of elections using traditional research methodologies have really got it in the neck in 2016. The complexities around emotions and hidden bias in polling methodologies have rendered their research at best questionable, and at worst useless.

95% of our thinking is driven by emotion. And most marketers – B2B or otherwise - are guilty of only targeting the rational brain. To put that into perspective, billions of B2B marketing dollars attempt to influence the 5% of buyer thinking that focuses on the rational every year. Someone once said half of all advertising was wasted. It could be much, much worse.

And so, the task is to become a more emotional business - more in tune with our buyers and other audiences. The good news is that the use of archetypes in B2B marketing is becoming established, and their use more prevalent. The excellent Challenger Sale methodology demonstrates the importance of understanding and manipulating this kind of knowledge to emphasise the ‘emotional impact’ of a buyer decision – or indecision.

There’s an increasingly tangible role for emotion to play in B2B sales and marketing. As Trevor said, businesses need to “make more investments in emotional data”. As the founder of Aperture I find it difficult to disagree.

Tomorrow, we unpack the idea of ‘brands as educators’.

Picture of Richard Fogg

Written by Richard Fogg

Rich is CEO of CCgroup and has worked with some of the world’s largest tech companies and most interesting challenger brands. He is a member of the PRCA’s PR and Communications Council and loves judging PR and marketing awards.

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