Self-efficacy in B2B Online Marketing

The most recent experiment on Which Test Won involved B2C marketing but, as is often the case, the findings are equally useful in B2B. The experiment tested two separate application installer pages to determine which one was more effective at keeping visitors on a designated site long enough to download an accompanying app. The page that came out on top had a more “marketing-style design,” but also featured another key difference that I think may have been it’s greatest advantage: It told visitors upfront that there would be a four-step download process. Telling people outright what they can expect in terms of download time allows them to decide whether or not they’’re interested,– which, in turn, can affect their behavior.

B2B Marketing Campaigns should always test the variables.In scientific terms, this is known as self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief a person has regarding his or her ability to achieve a desired behavior, and can be a huge motivator in someone’’s ability to accomplish that behavior. Research indicates people who are confident that they can achieve a certain behavior have a greater chance of actually doing it than people who don’’t. Telling visitors they can download an app in four steps lets them decide if they have the time or willingness to do so, which will affect their decision. Obviously, that can only happen if they know what to expect in the first place.

So remember the concept of self-efficacy the next time you’re developing any B2B online marketing campaign. For example, if you’’re asking your audience to download an eBook, be clear about what they can expect to learn and how long it will take to do so (i.e., expected download time, number of pages, amount of time it will take to read, etc). Helping your customers know what to expect will give them a better idea of whether or not they can achieve it; and it may give you a greater chance to motivate them to act.

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