Why is today’s buyer more informed and savvy than any other buyer in history? Content marketing.
According to Ipsos’ report Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, “61% of global internet users research products online” and “44% of online shoppers begin their research by using a search engine.” These statistics may not seem that earth shattering to the modern-day marketer, but to those marketers working for companies that still rely on cold calling and conferences as their primary source of leads, these stats can be a game changer.
Today’s buyer is most likely as well informed about your product or services as you are. That means they do not need a sales person to come in hot to sell them on something they may not know they need or may not need at all (circa 1950s, the Pet Rock). Why would anyone think they need a Pet Rock? Well, TV and the sales person told you that you did.
In today’s world, someone who would have purchased the Pet Rock would have found this product long before the salesperson called or spammed them. The buyer (in their research phase of the buyer’s cycle) would have taken out their smartphone and voice-searched for something like, “useless things I don’t need that take up my time and money” (well you get the idea), and Google would have returned a list of results that were deemed as the solution. After reviewing the first few results in the SERPs, the buyer now has a pretty good idea of what solves their need (finding something useless that they don’t need that takes up their time and money).
Moving into the consideration stage, the buyer now begins to look for the best vendor, price and product/solution. They read product guides on their mobile device, watch webinars on their smartphone and request comparison sheets that they share on social media asking for public feedback. This is all in an effort to help in their decision on which solution is the best, while giving the vendor permission to market to them. They may even request a checklist that helps them determine if their solution has all the worthless and pointless features they are looking for. The buyer has not only found a solution to solve their need and researched the best vendor, but they have also begun to form a relationship with each one (ultimately in the end letting all but one down, as the buyer will only chose one of them).
Lastly, after reading various tweets, posts, pins and updates, the buyer makes their decision. They whip out their tablet while watching TV and proceed to add the product to their online shopping cart and confirm their purchase. Today’s buyer never once had a conversation with a salesperson or frankly even had the need to speak with a salesperson. The buyer was able to move through the buyer’s cycle with the use of their devices, the internet and some well-crafted content they found.