By: Christine Sheppard
Many market studies of B2B and B2C consumer buying behaviors suggest that somewhere between 50-68% of purchasing decisions are made before a conversation or any first interaction with a sales rep. This is a bit controversial, because it puts a lot of responsibility on marketing departments to reach the buyer before their sales teams. It also makes the line even hazier between sales and marketing teams’ KPIs for generating and warming new leads.
As you can imagine, sales and marketing will debate this number until the cows come home… and they do. It’s happening in boardrooms every week, in every corner of the world.
Let’s go back to what the numbers in this study REALLY mean for your business. Purchasing decisions are being made independently – so how are you helping potential buyers make their choice? The top of the funnel is expanding, there is infinite potential, but it is virtually unmanned. Scary thought, isn’t it?
What can you do to “man” the automatic sliding doors of your website? Here are a few tips.
Make your move at the right time: It’s important to catch buyers in the ‘research’ stage, just as they are beginning to make a decision. Make it easy for them to dig around, and find the information they are looking for on their own. You can do this by setting up PPC ads that target keywords a potential buyer might be searching for while doing their initial research. Offer a white paper or study instead of a sales pitch. Remember, your website is your virtual sales/marketing team and brand ambassador. Make sure you have enough content in various formats (like video, blogs, articles, downloads etc.) to give potential buyers a reason to stick around and learn about your brand.
Welcome, but don’t hover: How creeped out would you be if Walmart greeters said “hello”, and then followed you around the store while you shopped? Back to the study, buyers are making decisions, seemingly, “on their own”. They don’t want to feel like they are being coerced, or “pitched”. Allow your website to present information that will make a sale, without interaction. A video with a clear call to action, or an online shopping cart are tactics that allow the buyer to enter into the funnel independently.
Dress your window: Window shoppers exist online too! As soon as a person lands on your website, they make assumptions about your brand, like: what’s their expertise? Can they fix/cure/take away the pain point I’m experiencing in my business? What’s the price and how does it compare? Address these concerns as soon as they find you. We know that often the simplest way to do this is by creating a short explainer video and putting it front and centre on your website. Here’s how we’ve helped other companies do just that!
About the Author:
Christine is a movie buff with a degree in Film and a career in B2B marketing. She graduated from Carleton University with her B.A in Film Studies, and continued her education at Ryerson University specializing in Film Production and Media Arts. Her approach to marketing is strongly influenced by her education, exploring the effects of new media on popular culture and keeping her finger on the pulse of the trends in marketing communications. Her career highlights include promotions and copywriting for film and television and her role as a marketing specialist launching innovative digital projects, traditional, and social marketing campaigns in a largely B2B environment. She is a member of the talented team of writers at Illustrate iT. Head over to the Illustrate iT Blog to read her weekly posts about the hottest topics in video marketing!
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