Recent research studies by Google and by organization such as the Business Marketing Association show that emotions play a major role in B2B purchasing decisions. Let me explain: years ago, there was a distinction between B2C and B2B marketing, in that B2C purchasing decisions were supposed to be more emotion-driven, whereas B2B decisions were rationally made, and driven by measurable factors such as cost, product performance or availability. But if that were true, why do most corporate purchasers buy from the same suppliers year in and year out? You would think that during such an extended period, some other supplier would have made a better offer in terms of performance, price, or availability. Something else must be going on.
Today we know that B2B decisions are even more emotion-driven than B2C decisions, because there is more at stake. The wrong decision can have negative consequences for the purchaser’s career, or his/her future. The comfort that people get from the security of knowing they are dealing with a known supplier has a big impact on decision-making. And yet, that which is known is not always better.
When a corporate purchaser thinks about going to the cloud, there is an element of fear – a very powerful emotion! Reputation, security and discomfort with the unknown are all in play. Also, the purchaser wants to buy the best possible quality and the lowest possible price. What is the best way to go about this?
Two good rules of thumb are: “Look at context” and “If you buy cheap, you get cheap”. A company that has been in the market for a number of years, that has good customer retention and can provide a couple of references, will provide the best value. This is more important than a sleek brand campaign or paid ads. You should also know what questions to ask: What exactly I included in the price? Are there several service levels with tiered pricing? How secure is the environment? Is the availability guaranteed?
If you do your homework in advance, ask the right questions, test the environment and research the company, you will arrive at the correct decision, backed by solid data, and you will achieve the right balance of price vs. quality.