The Marketing Practice (TMP) and B2B DecisionLabs today announce the results of research on communication effectiveness with early stage buyers. The results of the behavioral study conducted by Dr. Nick Lee of Warwick Business School and conducted with 500 B2B experts showed that messaging that uses both quantified impact and emotional language is most powerful and the inclusion of contrast leads to better memory than lack of contrast .
The goal of the behavioral research study was to find the best way to present a business challenge to potential prospects at an early stage to generate interest in a B2B solution. Specifically, the researchers tested three messaging variables in five different test messages to determine the most effective combination.
Including unquantified vs. quantified business impact
Use of rational vs. emotional language
Add contrast by incorporating the current risk in addition to the future benefit
Unquantified Emotional – Use emotional language with no quantified business implications or contrasts
Quantified Emotional – Using emotional language with quantified business impact but no contrast
Quantified rational – Using rational language with quantified business impact but no contrast
Quantified Emotion with Contrast – Using emotional language with quantified business implications and contrasts
Quantified Rational With Contrast – Use rational language with quantified business implications and contrasts
Participant responses clearly and consistently showed that both quantified impact and emotional language are most powerful in your early promotional messages, and the inclusion of contrast resulted in better memory than lack of contrast.
In summary, the results showed that the quantified emotional message with contrast outperformed the quantified rational message in all major categories. For example, when participants were asked how big the problem was after reading the email, there was a 23% difference in favor of the quantified emotional message with contrast versus the quantified rational message without contrast.
Participants felt more urgent to act than other messages in the study after reading quantified emotional messages. The quantified rational message offered the least urgency with a difference of 17.3%.
David van Schaick, Chief Marketing Officer of TMP, on the results: “In B2B it is often assumed that decision-makers are driven by purely rational imperatives when choosing a solution. We were keen to test this hypothesis through behavioral research and are pleased that this study provides results that will help B2B companies communicate more effectively. “
Doug Hutton, Senior Vice President of Products at B2B DecisionLabs, added, “We saw some fascinating results from this study that should help guide the way B2B marketers and sales reps are shaping the business challenges in their demand-gene messaging. The choice of the right language – quantified, emotional and rich in contrast – not only influences the likelihood of a next step, but also the urgency of the topic addressed. “
The two companies will deepen the research results in a live discussion on September 2nd.
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