Using The Theory of Reasoned Action To Improve Your B2B Marketing

“If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?” The famous words uttered by mothers everywhere in response to children who desperately want to follow the crowd. Kids aren’t the only one’s influenced by their peers. Even into adulthood, social attitudes play a significant role in the decisions we make.

Three b2b marketers following each other off of a cliff

This isn’t always negative. Sometimes social attitudes can help us make more informed decisions. There is a scientific theory that describes the influence of social attitudes on our decision making, it’s called the Theory of Reasoned Action. Understanding this theory can help you become a better B2B marketer. Let’s check it out…

The Theory:

According to the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), people often make decisions based both on personal and social attitudes. If we can appeal to both, we might be more effective at encouraging a prospect to adopt our desired buying behavior.

Theory of Reasoned Action in B2B MarketingApplying The Theory to B2B:

For example, we once marketed a service for a client that involved recycling refrigerant. Soon after the client launched the product, they wanted to add the phrase “”Be Green”” to the existing messaging to appeal to social attitudes regarding recycling and saving the environment.

As you can see, the messaging appealed to their personal need of recycling the refrigerant as well as the social need of recycling in general. And even though the service itself was recycling, we still added “”Be Green”” to the messaging so people could pick up that social attitude “at a glance.” No matter how obvious the connection, you can’’t assume people will make it. You have to make it apparent.

So remember, the next time you are researching your target audience, see if there are any social forces that may be at play with your product or service. If you can appeal to those, along with the personal attitudes of your audience, you may have a greater chance of motivating their B2B buyer behavior.

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