As both a B2B marketer and behavioral scientist, I am constantly examining individuals buying behavior to determine what motivates them to make purchasing decisions. Thus, while reviewing Social Cognitive Theory and what it can teach us about human behavior, I knew it was something I had to discuss. The tenets of SCT are vast, so I won’t attempt to explain the whole theory; instead, I’d like to talk about one of it’s concepts (and one I mentioned last week): self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is the belief a person has regarding his or her ability to achieve a desired behavior, and can be a strong motivator in ones ability to accomplish that behavior. Research indicates that confident people are more likely to achieve their desired behavior than those who aren’t. In fact, self-efficacy may at times be more of a predictor than the persons knowledge, skill set, or previous attempts.
Self-efficacy in B2B
The first step to applying this in B2B marketing is research. Talk to your target audience to see what they think about your product or service. But don’t stop there be sure to have them discuss what might prevent them from buying it as well. Perhaps they think the product is too expensive? Or maybe they don’t want to risk switching in case the product doesn’t work? Whatever might be affecting their beliefs regarding their ability to purchase the product may also negatively affect their purchasing behavior, so if it’s something you can discuss in messaging, then do so.
B2B Lesson to Remember
Speaking to your target audiences self-efficacy may help motivate their buying behavior and create a more effective B2B marketing campaign. So the next time youre researching your target audience, remember SCT and self-efficacy; incorporating what you uncover in your messaging just may be the difference between success and failure.