We all know that things have changed -- buyers, not companies, are in charge and marketers are on the hook to play to customers' terms. And the terms that customers dictate require marketers to be prepared for being helpful with inbound inquiries to satisfy and persuade their prospects. That requires not only things like online search engine marketing to be found when customers are looking. It also requires multichannel customer analytics and intelligent systems to present the next best (i.e. relevant) offers on the spot while customers are inquiring by phone or still browsing the web site.
For example, within two weeks of moving to California, my family and I made a plethora of purchases to make ourselves at home. Yet, in our case, the telemarketers that were haunting our new phone number as soon as it got connected missed out on the opportunity of selling to us. From the moment when our Internet connection became live, we went researching online to make our buying decisions. At that point, the dialog was in our hands and any ads that we saw were relevant to our search and we were likely to click on them. As long as we believed that it was our own idea to do so, we were highly motivated, for example, to examine car financing options.
Although buyers are not listening when you talk, they have become more information hungry than ever in their research for buying decisions. This constitutes a great opportunity for those marketers who know how to be at the ready with the right information at the right time.
Another interesting shift is that while markets are increasingly concerned with their multi-channel strategies (as they should be), they also need to be aware that buyers do not think in terms of channel, rather the convenient way of accomplishing our goal. After all the product research my family did online during our shopping spree, we left most websites without completing a purchase.
For example, after narrowing down our choice of car make and model, the exact car and financing option that we picked was still sold to us the old-fashioned way—namely offline, and by a friendly sales person at the dealership. Of course, the opposite happened too. When we found products of interest in stores, we used comparison-shopping engines to find better prices online.
Marketers should take advantage of all inbound interactions to deliver the best offer, rather than just outbound messaging. If an offer doesn't work, they should have that next best (i.e. relevant) offer ready to present, regardless of which channel the interaction came through. And, most of all, because the buyer is in charge, marketers not only should, but need to focus on being helpful, not just on selling.
Akin Arikan is director of internet marketing at Unica Corp. and author of the recently published book, "Multichannel Marketing: Metrics and Methods for On and Offline Success."blog comments powered by Disqus
To reach 95% of business professionals, a brand must speak 10 languages. That’s a lot of translating, even for today’s modern marketers who now have more than 1,000 marketing technologies available to them for boosting productivity, scaling personalization, and simplifying and accelerating localization. According to a recent study from DNN Software, 15% of marketers surveyed use 10 or more different technologies for their daily work activities.
Good marketers know that creating a personalized experience for customers in other territories that generates demand means identifying and localizing the most important digital touch points. Marketing in multiple languages is an imperative for companies looking to build brands around the world, and it requires commitment, time and energy — as well as the right technology — to set themselves up for success.
Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey provides insights into how B2B buyers make their decisions. Buyers are waiting longer to engage with sales, but they are more satisfied with the process than in years past. For an in-depth look at this research, download the report now!
Social Media Marketing World 2015 is the world's largest social media marketing conference. By attending, you'll make connections with 100+ of the world's top social media pros (plus 2500 of your peers) and you'll discover amazing ideas that'll transform your social media marketing strategies.
In the age of the customer, marketers face three acute strategic and operational challenges: how to connect with distracted, empowered customers; how to engage customers once those connections are made; and how to nurture customer obsession as a strategic imperative throughout the organization. This Forum will teach you how to build and lead a next-generation marketing organization focused on customer obsession.