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Getting Emotional: Marketing and the REAL Big Benefits

Updated: Jan 29

Emotional connection is the engine of effective marketing—even business-to-business marketing.


In consumer marketing, the Big Benefits are put right out there. Cosmetics that will bring you love. Fashion that puts all eyes on you. Automobiles that make you powerful and dominant. Consumer marketers know that talking about Big Benefits lets you connect with your customers on an emotional level, where the strongest connections are made.


Emotional connection is the engine of effective marketing—even business-to-business marketing. The person who responds to the automobile ad or the perfume ad is the same person making the software decision, or selecting an off-site storage vendor. They have the same basic human needs at the office as at home: Happiness. Love. Financial security. Safety. Pleasure. Peace of mind. Self-determination. Those are the ultimate Big Benefits of anything that you market.


Make good purchasing choices and your boss will appreciate you (love), you'll keep your job (financial security), and maybe get a raise (ditto). Purchases that let you get the work done quickly also allow you to spend your evenings as you wish (pleasure, self-determination). The business owner who purchases wisely gets smoother operations and a good night's sleep (peace of mind).


Business customers don't usually think of their purchasing decisions as emotionally based, and business marketers rarely speak to these underlying Big Benefits. We use proxies for the Benefits, such as reducing staff turnover, controlling expenses and increasing the bottom line. These proxies are legitimate and powerful benefits, whose ultimate strength comes from their relationship to fundamental human needs. They are far more important to effective marketing than descriptions of features.


So keep the REAL Big Benefits in mind when developing B2B marketing messages. Even when we don't refer to them directly, they are the key to developing compelling marketing materials fueled by an emotional connection with customers.

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