B2B Marketing & Scientific Research: Why Online Relationships Matter
Online relationships have become an integral part of your target audiences lives, and must therefore be part of your B2B marketing. BtoB Magazine recently presented a webinar called “From Caveman to Customer: What the Evolution of Storytelling Means to Marketers,” that helped explain why these online relationships are so important.
Drive to Bond
As humans we are driven by multiple factors, one of which is the drive to bond. Because of the internet, we can now achieve this sense of bonding unlike ever before. For example, physical proximity is no longer an issue; a person doesn’t have to be near another person in order to meet them or maintain a relationship.
People will often go online in order to satisfy a drive to bond that may otherwise not be sated. Many even become addicted, because it releases a dopamine kick, which makes them want to come back for more once the high has worn off.
Online Relationships Matter
Our brains interpret online relationships the same way they interpret offline ones. Though online relationships are computer mediated, they can still be just as significant and personal as offline relationships.
Online relationships can be vital to building your social capital. Social capital bridges social ties you never would have had, and thus provides you with opportunities to access information, resources and, of course, prospects!
That is why it’s so important to include social media as a part of your B2B arsenal. If your prospect or customer is online when you are (due to their drive to bond), you have the chance to interact in a way you may never have been able to. And since people’s brains process online and offline relationships the same, it can feel like a face-to-face for your prospect or customer.
Relationships Can Motivate Buying Behavior
So when you are trying to talk the C-suite into a social media plan, include how your target audiences brains process these online relationships the same as offline ones, and how that can help you motivate their buying behavior. After all, they will feel like they know you and, as we all know, people want to do business with someone they know and trust.
So stop stalling or procrastinating; you should always be engaging with social media and building online relationships. These relationships are real for your target audience and, quite frankly, you cannot afford to miss them. And as you know, building a relationship makes it that much easier to close the sale.