Marketing and sales is evolving, redefining its own space, and shaping the world of services. In 2014 / 2015, the purchasing behaviour shifted to a digital, consumer-driven world. The way people buy any product or service has changed. The buying process is controlled by the customer, not business.
Let’s take a closer look at this new shift in buyer behavior to understand how and why it has evolved?
In the late 90’s buying decisions were instant, the internet was the big boom and usages was soaring. It seemed every time you went online, you would see an advert or offer to persuade you to buy. Cut to 2005- present, where social media, mobile devices and new technology came along and changed the way we think and live our lives. The Internet and social media permanently changed the way we interact and exchange information.
With this change, buyers now have unprecedented access to information they never had before. They ask more questions, want real time answers, read online reviews and suggestions, do more comparative research and begin more conversations online, all on their own terms and in the comfort of their own environment?
According to Hubspot, 85% of buying decisions are made online, before any human interaction. Buyers are more engaged in the buying process and not waiting to be sold. Look at this example: When you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, you search for hours on car sites, online review sites and request online recommendation, rather than walk around car dealerships and have the dealer sell you a car. When you have narrowed down your search online, you take the next step. 85% of your decision has been made. We have entered a marketing world this is dominated by the demands of the individual.
With this huge change in buyer behavior, what does this mean for marketers?
The old ways of marketing don’t work like the used too. Traditional marking methods don’t have the impact or results like they once did. Marketers and business’s need to adapt and find an alternative approach to flourish, and align with new behavior
Connecting with buyers before engagement is the key to future marketing
The best way to evolve and work with the 2015 buyer, is to capture our target market online, understand buying interactions and behavior before they engage. Chances are, they are researching your purchase or services on the internet way before they would interact with a sales person or even meet you at your store/office.
The internet now makes it possible to gather more knowledge on prospects at the moment they tell us that they are considering buying. The new Inbound Marketing methodology allows us to win business by attracting prospects with helpful, valuable information that aids them in reaching a decision.
61% of global Internet users’ research products and services online and 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy straight away. Companies must now educate and nurture the prospect through to sale, so that when they come to buy, they choose your company based on trust and reliability.
Get in front of your prospective customers four, five, six times before they make a purchase. Every time buyers engage with you, your site, an article you have written, they are ultimately building up positive, emotional connection that helps build that trust to purchase your product or service.
The days of instant decision making after seeing an advert, an offer or message are slowly diminishing.
The new marketing and sales model is value, information, and personal relationships – not selling.
* Data source: Gleanster Research, Hubspot