We are often confronted with what images to use when marketing our clients (and ourselves) in B2B. One choice is known as the messenger, which social and behavioral science has shown can have a lot of influence on motivating people to act.
The messenger is often used to provide more information or give a testimonial. He or she is quite different than the product, service or company, and can often help with cognitive accessibility through:
Personifying an abstract concept.
Helping add to source credibility.
Improving retention, especially if the messenger reminds the prospect of him or herself
There are many different types of messengers one can use: a celebrity, a leader, a specialist, etc. But in choosing your messenger in B2B, I would recommend choosing someone similar to your target audience. In order to improve cognitive accessibility, one must elaborate on the issue at hand. And one key factor in motivating elaboration, according to the Elaboration Likelihood Model, is personal relevance. Using a messenger that reminds your prospects of themselves can increase your products personal relevance.
Research has also shown that using ordinary people as messengers may help increase a persons feelings of self-efficacy; it may help motivate people to buy simply because they think, if that other person did, so can they. And in addition to research, we at MLT have had very effective B2B campaigns using messengers similar to our target audience, an audience of ordinary people, just like you and me!
So, when deciding which images to incorporate in your own B2B campaigns, consider using a messenger. It may help your prospect elaborate further on your product or service so they take a meeting to learn more, and remember you when its time to buy.
For more information about messengers, see my source for this blog: Public Communication Campaigns, Third Edition, edited by Donald E. Rice and Charles K. Atkin.