Happy Saturday, readers! In this issue, we’ll tap into the emotional side of B2B marketing, will explore what makes up the foundation of a strong ABM strategy, will learn what research says works when it comes to swaying B2B buyers and will find out just how effective the average marketer is when it comes to using marketing automation. And now, let’s get to the news!

The emotional side of B2B marketing

When it comes to connecting with B2B buyers, it isn’t all about the data—you also have to make them feel something. According to the Financial Times Commercial Survey Group and gyro survey reported in ChiefMarketer, “confident optimism” is way that B2B buyers want their potential partners to make them feel. Want to send buyers running for the hills? Do everything you can to make them feel “uncertain”, as 77 percent of respondents admitted it was the negative emotion that had the biggest impact on their buying decisions. Check out the rest of the survey results here.

The keys to a solid ABM foundation

Getting ready to build your business’ account-based marketing program? Great! ABM marketing programs are reported to deliver a higher ROI than any other marketing approach. And according to Rob Weeden in MartechSeries, there are five foundational elements you’ll need in place to reap the benefits. 

The first element is something most of our readers have—a system—e.g. your marketing automation platform, like Marketo. Next is the data within that system, but there’s much more to it than simply having a contact’s name and address. Read more about why Weeden says it’s so important that you have the right data to personalize your engagement effectively, as well as the rest of the elements you need for a solid ABM foundation here.

Influencing B2B buyers: what works

Want to have more influence over your B2B buyers? Consider being more forthcoming when it comes to the limitations of your product or solution. That’s just one of the findings from a recent TrustRadius survey reported in CustomerThink. A full 51% of B2B buyers surveyed indicated that vendors who are very influential are also very transparent about what their product or service can’t do.

Buyers also indicated that very influential vendors provided customer evidence like reviews and case studies, connected them with customer references and helped them strategize the best approach for their use case. Check out more insights from the survey here.

Are brands using marketing automation effectively?

Are you making the most of your marketing automation investment? Only 8% of marketers surveyed rated the effectiveness of their email and marketing automation effectiveness efforts as high, with the majority (28%) giving their efforts a “basic” ranking, admitting they don’t use many features. That’s just one of the findings according to research by GetResponse and SmartInsights published in MarketingProfs.

Among automated tactics, research unsurprisingly showed email marketing at the top of the list (29%), with basic profile-based targeting coming in at 26% and personalization with dynamic content rounding out the top three at 23%. Read the entire post here for more info on the study.