Neuromarketing is often perceived as being a consumer business or B2C issue. I regularly get the question if Neuromarketing has something to offer to the B2B (Business to business)?
My first answer to this question is what B2c and B2B have in common is “All business is human”. Of course B2B stands for a commercial relationship between two organizations, but people represent these organizations. This means that whatever insight Neuromarketing brings to understand how people take their decisions can also be applied to B2B.
As to where it seems easier to admit emotions are key in B2C, the nature of B2B relations can make us believe (and thus perceive) rational behavior drives the decisions in B2B. In fact, it is often true that the complexity of products/services or the strategic and/or financial implications within B2B business requires a solid thinking process as an essential part of the decision process.
But then, why do we say after such a solid thinking process “I FEEL good about this decision”? Neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio think there is enough evidence to state that without emotions we are unable to make decisions. Related to B2B this means that if you need your customer to take a decision you can’t limit yourself to rational argumentation. You will also need to create room and design processes and instruments to communicate emotion in order to help your customer take his decision.
In conclusion we can say that on a pure emotional level B2B and B2C are not different as both are based on people interacting. What will differentiate them are the tools and the channels to put in place in order to optimize the mix between emotion and rationalisation.