PurposeThe purpose of this paper is twofold: to analyse the use of emotional appeals in business-to-business (B2B) bank advertisements and to understand business owners’ perceptions of such appeals.Design/methodology/approachIn Study 1,834 print advertisements collected from British newspapers were content analysed. In Study 2, semi-structured interviews with 17 business owners operating a business current account with a British bank were carried out.FindingsEmotional appeals are embedded in B2B financial services advertisements, and business owners acknowledge the presence of emotional appeals; however, the perceived congruency between emotional appeal and financial services could not be established as participants reported a largely utilitarian, need- and benefit-driven decision-making process.Research limitations/implicationsAccurately measuring emotions aroused through advertisements is considered a limitation. In addition, the sample of participants considered for this research project was small and medium-sized business owners.Practical implicationsEmotional appeals should be used in conjunction with detailed rational information about financial products, as emotional appeals only arouse interest. Relationship is considered crucial in capitalising on the emotionally appealing advertisements. Customers must feel appreciated and loyalty should be rewarded.Originality/valueThe paper responds to numerous calls for more research into the role of emotional influences on the relationships in a B2B context and on the behaviour of business customers.
International Journal of Bank Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018
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