Self-efficacy: Motivating Your B2B Audience to Buy

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 can help B2B buyers make buying decisions.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 one’s 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 person’s 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 audience’s self-efficacy may help motivate their buying behavior and create a more effective B2B marketing campaign. So the next time you’re 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.