Today’s consumers are light-years ahead of past buyers, according to a recent study conducted by Forrester on behalf of Silverpop. Propelled by many contributing factors, including mass production, distribution and access to information, customers’ expectations are at an all-time high because they know what they can get and how much it’s worth. This puts strain on any marketer who continues to use the same old practices and expect augmented results. Contemporary consumers demand multi-dimensional web content across the platforms before they buy.
“As buyers move through a buying journey, they seek answers to different questions that stand between them and a decision,” the Forrester report states.
The quality and relevance of branded content dictates how quickly consumers move along the path to purchase. Messages delivered via the right channel at the right time will push leads from the point of discovery to the point of sale sooner.
Social networks, email newsletters, video content, search results, companies’ websites, peer reviews and promotional offers interrupt the purchasing pathway.
At the same time, it’s vital to acknowledge that fact that the sales funnel is no longer linear. Forrester posits that buyers are not entering the cycle and continuing along a predictable route before finally purchasing products and services. Social networks, email newsletters, video content, search results, companies’ websites, peer reviews and promotional offers interrupt that journey. Traditional marketers might see these outlets as disruptions, but they are actually opportunities.
At each point of contact, brands have the chance to start conversations that ultimately lead to conversions. A recent Brafton blog by Executive Communications Associate Ted Karczewski calls this omni-channel cycle the sales pretzel and explains that many consumers today circle back to products and brands after first discovering them online and performing their own research. It’s up to brands to produce enough digital content across mediums to hold internet users’ attention and provide the information that convinces them to convert.