The heart in organizational buying: marketers’ understanding of emotions and decision-making of buyers
Marketing and Professional Sales
Purpose Organizational buying behavior has often been treated as a rational activity, even though humans are involved in the decision-making. Human decision-making often includes a complex cadre of emotions and rationalizations. Subsequently, organizational buyers may not only be driven by logic, testing and facts, but also by emotions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that emotions play in organizational buying behavior. Design/methodology/approach In-depth interviews were conducted with marketing decision-makers for one of the most valuable brands in the world. The role that emotions play in the behavior of organizational buyers is elucidated from the perspective of these marketing professionals. Findings Emotions are prevalent at all stages in the organizational decision-making process and various discrete emotions fuel action tendencies among buyers. Efforts are made by marketers to strategically manage the emotions buyers experience. Practical implications Although organizational buyers must see the functional value of a product or brand, companies need to consider ways in which brands can connect with buyers on an emotional and personal level. Originality/value This paper contributes to the literature by offering insights into which discrete or specific emotions are most prominent in organizational buying behavior and how the manifestation of these emotions impact decision-making at each stage in the buying cycle.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)