B2Braver. B2Bolder. B2Better

David Jordan, President of Bader Rutter, shares some of his thoughts on how important emotion is in B2B Marketing and how Bader Rutter always looks for human connection in their strategies for clients.


When was the last time anyone rationalized their way into your heart?

That’s not how it works. In business, we tend to downplay nonlogical arguments, but the truth is, people, find emotion compelling. And while the intensity and unpredictability of creatively generated sensations like “intrigue” or “empathy” resist quantification into spreadsheets, they are incredibly powerful drivers of decisions. When the heart wants what the heart wants, logic holds little sway.

Making B2Better At Bader Rutter, we bolster logical arguments by looking for human connections in our strategies. That requires conscious effort and can feel like an extra step, particularly when we have rich demographic data on our channel audience. But taking the time to find these emotional insights is always worthwhile. After all, before any of us put on the workday mindset of a marketer, warehouse manager or veterinarian, we are simply people — people who feel before we think.

Moving Away From B2Boring It doesn’t matter if only a few competitors are targeting your audience; as people, your channel receives thousands of sales pitches every day. Media targeting alone is no longer enough to reach your audience; the challenge is earning their attention, which is far more likely to happen through emotional connections.

When our clients at the Milwaukee Bucks needed a new sponsor for their jersey patch, we didn’t pitch CMOs with a PowerPoint. Instead, we sent two dozen custom-engraved boxes that held, among other things, one of power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s size 16 Freak One Nike basketball shoes to emphasize the team’s huge global footprint. We also designed and customized each shoe to reflect the targeted brands. The Bucks didn’t just sign one new multimillion-dollar sponsor, they built sponsorships with four other brands as well.

Thinking B2BusinessPEOPLE Making human emotional connections key to your strategy doesn’t just influence creative, it can affect media choices too. Instead of producing another online training course and hoping the sales force for Pioneer® seeds would get to it at the end of their long workday, we distributed Google Minis. Using this technology, salespeople could access our educational and science-heavy Corn Revolution podcast series from their cars. They could fill the long hours spent driving to sales calls listening to Pioneer scientists explain the cutting-edge seed genomics behind their new Pioneer seeds. And it worked. The podcast proved so popular, that it was released to the general public.

Always Putting Your B First There has never been a more exciting time to be working in the business-building world of B2B marketing, and we thrive at the opportunity to collaborate with our clients and find unexpected but highly relevant solutions to whatever business challenges they face. We make it our business to know our clients’ businesses. And to work with them and ensure the challenge we define and prioritize is the right one.

Bader Rutter is a top U.S. B2B agency because we always put your B first. And always start by uncovering the human connections at the heart of every appeal.

About the author

As president of Bader Rutter, David Jordan focuses on driving meaningful business results for clients. David pioneered the creation of the B2B2C agency practice and built an in-house team of consultants to develop business strategies that grow brands and demonstrate marketing performance.

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