In the old days if we wanted to buy something, you called up a company and 3 days later a brochure would appear in the post. Now, as buyers we have access to instant data, if we want to know something we Google it.
As part of the buying process we will read content, blogs, ask questions of our network, talk to colleagues, and talk to influencers. And the more the expensive the item, the more likely you are going to do this.
If you go through that list again you will note that four out of five take place on social networks or the initial contact will take place on social.
You will also note that I didn’t say, look at a companies website. No don’t get me wrong I’m not saying you don’t need a website. You do. But it’s not so central to the demand generation and desire building process it once was. Why?
- The first reason why the website is a 1:1 draw with all your competition they all look and say the same things. You will tell people (just like brochures of old) how great you are. Yawn. With some photos of the founders and some quotes from customers. Yawn. As one sales leader said to me recently, “oh yes, we made those quotes up on our website”. It was obvious. The quotes made the products sound like the “immaculate conception” that only a salesperson could have though up. Yawn.
So when we read this, we filter is out and like all the other websites yours looks like, it is just words and the same as everybody else so we just ignore it.
- The other problem with your website is that I have to go there. As we see from the 4 out of 5 examples of today’s buying process that we example above, they are all on social media.
My consumption of content, my asking of questions to me network, my looking up your employees on social to see if they can be bothered and passionate about what they do! If I was to talk to Influencers, I will also research them on social and make contact with them on social. Or research an email.
This Means You Need To Pivot Your Marketing – So What Can You Do?
- The first thing you can do is to get the board (C-Level) to understand you change in strategy and priority. If your customers are on social, you need to communicate this change and they need to understand the importance of social media as a strategic advantage to your business.
- Switch budget from marketing tactics of yesterday such as SEO, PPC, Advertising and invest in content. This is the content that your prospects are to find and provide them with insight and education. Which Leads onto ..
- The best content comes from empowered sales people and employees who share the passion for working for your organisation that your prospects and customers can “find” when they search. Passionate employees after all, will enthuse and engage your prospects and customers. If I look on social and see your employees love working for you, that energy can be infectious.
- As a buyer, I’m looking for an expert. Somebody that can help me, not pitch to me. Are your sales people and employees the solution to your buyers problems?
- Are you in touch with influencers, are they recommending your products and services? For example, we get asked which CRM system to buy and which social media tools do we use. There must be influencers out there that would like to partner with you?
- Are you monitoring social networks looking for intent data? If people are asking questions that your product could be a solution for, are you aware and engaging with them? Back to point 3. with regard to your sales people and employees as helping experts.
The problem with marketing today is that a bunch of tactics that got implemented are being repeated year after year and while the results go down, nobody looks at why this is. In the last 5 years there has been an seismic shift not only in terms of the sophistication of the buyer but 43% of the worlds population is now on social media. Social media is where you prospects and clients are. You as an organisation need to stop pushing water uphill and driving people to your website and go where your clients are, on social.
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