By Darren Creasey
Online marketing is an industry that is acutely aware of buyer behaviors and patterns; in fact, many trends in digital marketing are driven by this awareness. The Internet is a positive feedback loop- it has changed the way consumers research, shop, and buy, which in turn shapes how marketers use the web to market to buyers. Do you know how the Internet influences buyer behavior, and how to capitalize on that information? Read on to find out.
1. Shoppers are smarter
One of the best features of the Internet is the accessibility to learning resources that it provides. This is true of product information as well as academic knowledge. Consumers are now taking advantage of this wealth of online resources to learn more about the products and services they are interested in: what their options are, the key differences from each competitor, and what price levels to expect. This smart shopper means that they have an element control over the sales process Â they no longer need to wait for your sales presentation to learn the details about your solutions. Instead, you need to be prepared for dealing with a middle of the funnel customer, with knowledge of the product and specific questions, earlier in the buying cycle.
2. Buyers want you to help make them smarter
While a more informed customer might sound like a tough sale at first, itÂs important to look at the positives of the situation. A well informed, inquisitive customer will place a lot more value and trust in your brand if you help contribute to their knowledge. Content marketing is a great tool to use here Â by publishing information that helps consumers understand your industry, your products, and their options, you are not only demonstrating value to the buyer, but also strengthening your own position as a reputable, knowledgeable company.
3. Consumers are listening online
But buyers arenÂt just going to take your word for it. Social media, forums, and other third party online communities help potential customers hear from real users, and can help sway their decisions one way or the other. You should be actively monitoring and engaging in these conversations; you need to know what people are saying about your company, and you need to be ready to jump into a conversation when a question is asked Â this is a great opportunity to help educate the customer.
Your turn: how have you changed your strategy to deal with the new, more informed consumer?