The more likely a B2B buyer has a personal engagement with a brand, the more likely the buyer is to buy that brand for their business, finds a report from Merkle Loyalty Solutions [download page]. The survey of 200 B2B buyers in the North America and UK found more than 8 in 10 being more likely to consider or buy a brand for business if they have a preference for it in their personal life.
As such, the study’s authors recommend that B2B sellers “embrace customers as both business decision makers and as individual consumers.”
This inclination was at the heart of a MarketingCharts study released a few years ago, which sought to understand B2B buyers as individuals – including their demographic composition, how they can best be reached through media buys, and how they use email. That study revealed that personal value considerations play a large role in B2B purchase outcomes, such that B2B marketers should always consider emotional appeals that combine professional benefits with social and self-images ones too.
B2B Buyers Will Recommend Brands to Employees
The Merkle report also finds a strong tendency on the part of B2B buyers to promote brands within their own companies. For example, 86% of respondents in North America said that as buyers of business products, they promote the products and services to their employees.
Some of this is incentive-based: 61% of respondents in North America and 55% in the UK receive incentives to promote the business products and services to their employees.
Those incentives extend to employees, also: 70% in North America and 56% in the UK say that their employees also receive personal incentives if they buy products and services from the business vendor. In other words, they receive discounts and incentives for personal purchases from the vendor with which their company does business.
The opportunity is there, it seems, to influence buyers and employees on both a business and personal level…
The full report is available for download here.