As technology progresses at a breakneck pace, we see buyer behavior evolving at the same rate. New buyer behavior requires new marketing techniques to optimize ROI and stay ahead of (or at least keep up with) the competition.
- Buyers are turning to Google and other search engines to gather information about products and services.
- Searchers aren't necessarily looking to purchase - more often, they're looking for educational information that will help them make a purchase decision.
- Location-based search & marketing are relatively recent capabilities that let buyers find products and services nearby. These types of searches are very likely to result in a purchase.
- Mobile optimization & marketing have become a necessity for modern marketers. 2/3 of Americans own a smartphone, and 3/4 of smartphone users also own a tablet. Mobile & location marketing are closely linked, as people tend to spontaneously search for vendors of food, shelter, and emergency services through their mobile devices.
- Buyers are in control of the entire purchasing process. Companies are no longer the only source of information about their product; other customer reviews and third party info both influence the buying decision more than any content you produce.
- Marketers need to switch from push marketing to pull marketing. Push-type marketing (interruptive, irrelevant, see-who-can-yell-the-loudest) will only be ignored by today's buyers. Pull-type marketing, on the other hand, offers valuable information when & where buyers are looking for it. Essentially, it brings customers to you.
- Personalization is an up-and-coming aspect of modern marketing. Research shows that personalized content (emails, website experiences, sponsored ads, etc.) drives higher conversions than blast content.
- Social media is an underrated aspect of modern marketing that both B2C and B2B businesses can benefit from. Social media provides a platform to engage directly with customers and build a unique community around your personal brand.
Time and Place
Do you like pop up ads on websites? How about Jehovah's Witnesses trolling your neighborhood? Is it fun when ads interrupt your favorite TV show? Probably not. These types of marketing fail because they are irrelevant, intrusive, and annoying.
The key to modern marketing is knowing your audience. You have to consider how, where, and when your targets are open to being marketed to. There is always an appropriate time and place to push your product.
For all other times, you should use inbound marketing and content marketing to educate, inform, and entertain. You can create a connection with prospects that will eventually lead to a conversion or sale - not all marketing has to be direct.