Uncovering the Role of Emotion in Professional and B2B Decision-Making

Traditionally, B2B decision-making has been perceived as a rational, objective process. But professionals and business people are more than just a job title; they are people too! This panel discussion, hosted alongside the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), explored the role of emotion, subjectivity, and non-rational thinking in professional and B2B engagement and decision-making, focusing on how to identify and measure these factors.

Panelists from Healthcare, Tech, and Advertising industries shared case studies illustrating how marketers identify and measure the role of emotion in business or professional decisions and explored the following key questions:  

  • How important are emotion and System 1 Thinking in categories where decisions and decision-makers are thought to be rational and objective?
  • How can we identify and measure these factors? 
    • What are the biggest challenges in identifying and measuring these factors?
    • What are some potential tools and techniques?
  • How do we account for longer purchase cycles and multiple decision-makers and influencers?
  • Dispelling the myth that professionals and marketers make purely rational decisions. 

Please watch the full panel video below.


headshot of Abigail Ahearn

Abbey Ahearn


Abigail helps clients to develop, enhance and evaluate their marketing and communications strategies. She brings a depth of experience in market research and consulting spanning the healthcare, financial services, and media industries, among others. Abigail particularly enjoys advising clients on their marketing strategies in areas such as product development, new market entry, and communications. Her market research expertise includes qualitative and quantitative advertising testing, brand health assessment and tracking, concept testing, segmentation, and customer attitude and usage studies.

headshot of Ryan Boh

Ryan Boh
Head of Activation and Identiy Product Strategy

Oracle Adverting

Ryan is the Head of Activation and Identity Product Strategy at Oracle Advertising. In his role, Ryan is responsible for consulting for senior product leaders, identifying cross-product development opportunities and extrapolating advertising & customer experience technology industry trends. Before joining Oracle Advertising, Ryan was the Product Manager of Global Data Strategy and Integration at Annalect, an Omnicom Media Group company where he focused data and identity-related products, go-to-market strategy and vendor management.

headshot of Beni Gradwohl

Beni Gradwohl
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officers

Cognovi Labs

Beni Gradwohl is Co-Founder and CEO of Cognovi Labs, Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) company that focuses on measuring the emotional drivers behind human decision-making. Cognovi’s award-winning psychology-driven AI helps clients in the commercial, health, and public sectors reveal how audiences are feeling in the moment, predict their action and intent, and then communicate with the emotions to maximize impact.

headshot of Lateef Abro

Lateef Mauricio Abro
Vice President of Connections Strategy


Lateef is Vice President of Connections Strategy at Digitas’s global marketing agency. He takes a multidisciplinary approach to study and writing about culture, communications, and commerce. Lateef’s career has predominately involved leading marketing and go-to-market strategy for B2B companies in the technology sector. He is the author of the book Context: Reflections on the Essence of Doing Business with Humans.