The importance of emotional mapping in B2B marketing

While marketers get to know their buyers and purchasing behaviors, many don't fully understand the emotional motivation behind the initial purchase. There are four common buyer groups, according to a recent article by Scott Gillum, president and channel marketing practice leader for Gyro.

By looking at a group of Gyro's clients from the hi-tech, financial and information services industries, Gillum qualified these four divisions as The Needle, The Seekers, The Loyalists and The Legacies.

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The Needle, making up between 10 and 15 percent of all buyers, represents prospects that outbound sales and marketing efforts reached using the correct message at a time when they were open to solving a specific problem. This group represents a brand's new acquisitions.

The Seekers, making up between 15 and 20 percent of all buyers, are ones who are actively searching for information or a solution that can help with a problem, and they find a brand to actively engage in the sales process. This group also represents new acquisitions.

The Loyalists, making up between 25 percent and 30 percent of all buyers, are brand champions that faithfully return again and again to a brand for product and services.

RELATED: Keys to measuring B2B customer loyalty

Finally, The Legacies, making up between 30 and 35 percent of all buyers, have inherited the existing relationship and may or may not be familiar with a brand's products and services.

Gillum states that marketers need to engage with each of these groups with a different mindset and set of motivators to impact their decision making.

"Hence, why you need to consider their emotional involvement in the process. Why? Because emotions fuel the wheels of motivation; they can drive them forward or put them in reverse," Gillum wrote.

In addition, he says to rank the emotional involvement of these segments from strongest to weakest, starting with The Loyalists, the motivated advocates for a brand. Communication with this group should always reinforce their decision to buy from the brand, and rewards or recognition need to be awarded.

Second in line is The Seeker group, which is motivated but may not be emotionally engaged with a brand yet. The thrill of discovery will fuel this type of buyer's emotions. Give them a reason to personally connect with a brand.

Third is The Needles, who may never really become emotionally involved or if they do, it is much later. Focus on reducing risk so that this group will not make a bad decision to use customer testimonials to build their confidence.

Last is The Legacy group, who are often not motivated to keep a relationship. Brands need to assume low emotional involvement by these buyers.