The world of marketing is constantly changing. What worked ten years ago no longer works on the modern buyer. The practices that used to do a great job of creating new customers are essentially useless these days. This change to the modern buyer’s journey can be attributed to one major thing: the rise in technology. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with the constant changes in marketing, and if you’re finding it hard to sell to the modern buyer, you’re not alone.
According to HubSpot’s The State of Inbound Marketing 2017, trying to track and understand target customers across multiple channels is a complicated and challenging feat for many businesses. Research from the survey also found that referrals, customer references, media articles, and vendor-authored articles have consistently been the most reliable sources of information for the modern buyer. Word-of-mouth is likewise a powerful influence when it comes to making a purchase decision.
Here is a list of HubSpot’s 2017 most trusted sources of information:
- Word of mouth
- Customer references
- Media article
- Vendor-authored materials
- Analyst reports
- Crowdsourced reviews
What research is essentially showing is that these days, the buyers are taking the lead in the sales process. They do their own research online before considering which solution might be the best fit – even when they’re making an offline purchase. In fact, much of the buying decision has been made before the salesperson ever talks to the business.
If you’re a small business that’s looking to understand the modern buyer, this article will explain what you need to know.
How the modern buyer likes to communicate
Research from The State of Inbound Marketing 2017 shows that when it comes to communication channels, email is what the modern buyer prefers. Furthermore, communicating through messaging apps is now an ingrained part of business life for 31% of survey respondents.
The important thing to remember is that the modern buyer wants to feel like they have a personal relationship with salespeople, but sometimes technology can complicate this relationship. While technology has empowered both customers and salespeople, it hasn’t completely eliminated the need for personal relationships. When used correctly, technology is there to make it easier for customers to connect with businesses and vice versa.
The era of information
The modern buyer is taking advantage of the huge volume of information and advice out there that’s available to them at the simple click of a button. We are living in the era of information where buyers have access to more information than ever before and are starting to use this wealth of information to inform their buying decisions and processes.
The modern buyer conducts extensive research before making first contact with your business. They will also research and compare multiple alternatives. Studies show that buyers carry out 12 searches on average before making any contact with a business. Buyers will read content, listen to podcasts and watch videos in order to help inform their buying decision. This all happens behind the scene before businesses even have any idea that they exist.
The importance of having an active brand and marketing presence
If you want to stay ahead of the game and consistently appear on the radar of the modern buyer, it is essential you have an active brand and marketing presence. The modern buyer will research potential businesses through social media, websites and blogs, so if your business has little to no marketing presence, it is extremely unlikely you will appear on a buyer’s radar.
Making it relevant to the buyer and valuing the human experience.
Where many businesses go wrong is that they don’t take the time to connect their content with the real struggles of their customers. These businesses are only focused on selling instead of actually helping. The modern buyer has access to more information than ever before, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to decode. If you can distill all that information that’s out there and make it relevant to your customers’ unique situation, they will be more likely to respond and connect with your business.
Furthermore, the modern buyer wants what everyone wants – a genuine human experience. Developing a human-centered approach towards your marketing strategy is the best way to connect with the modern buyer, and the most likely to provide you with the results you’re after.
In conclusion …
The modern buyer has more power in the sales process than ever before. They are using technology and new digital mediums of information to empower themselves through research before making a purchasing decision.
In order to accommodate the modern buyer, it is important that you design and manage your sales processes to align with the way your customers buy.