How Consumers are Changing the Future of Marketing

How consumers are changing the future of marketing

Remember the old saying, “the customer is always right”? In the past, that was true to an extent. With limited choices in products, services, and experiences, marketers had greater influence over how consumers learned about and engaged with brands.

Today that old adage has an even greater impact as consumers are now the decisive force behind the latest marketing trends. The marketer role has evolved to staying informed and attuned to these trends and developing strategies that align with how customers want to be communicated to and engage with brands.

Instead of marketers feeding customers what we think they should want, consumers decide how and when they research, reach out, engage with content.

How they research

Consumers are making more informed decisions than ever before. In fact, 57% to 70% of B2B buyers do online buying research before they even contact a sales rep. With this in mind, it’s up to you to lead the conversation and have the right content available for prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey, otherwise you risk losing them to your competition.
Having a content strategy is key to getting seen by your target audience since algorithms prioritize creators of content—the more worthwhile pieces you have, the better—but they can’t pick up on something that doesn’t exist.
Providing your customers with the information they’re looking for about your products and services, as well as giving them insights on how to overcome IT business challenges, are key factors to helping them choose you over your competition.

Be found: SEO/SEM

Google algorithms have evolved, making SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) much more strategic. Investing in SEO/SEM expertise to refresh your website’s searchability enables consumers to find your site instead of passing right over it.

Share your knowledge: Thought-leadership blogs

Most consumers read blogs multiple times per week and have purchased something from a brand after reading the company’s blog. In addition to providing you with a way to share your expert insights, enhance consumer engagement, and potentially increase conversions, they also provide opportunities to up your SEO game.

Boost credibility: Give them facts

It’s no longer enough to say your services are the best. Compared to who? What quantifiable evidence do you have? Consumers are hungry for information and providing them with facts enables them to make decisions based on hard evidence.

Make it quick: Short-form content

We all know attention spans are shorter and this is especially true when it comes to how consumers do research. Especially at the top of the marketing funnel, those just getting to know your brand want easy-to-consume tidbits of information—short-form videos and infographics—that will entice them to learn more.

State your case: Success stories and case studies

Short success stories and longer-form case studies provide an exclusive look into how your current customers have benefited from your products and services. These kinds of real-world, problem-solving examples are often the tipping point, turning prospects into customers.

Ensure validation: Social presence

Today’s marketing requires a strong social media presence where consumers can learn more about who you are and what you stand for. It also equips your customers to become advocates and evangelists for your brand, promoting your business through modern word of mouth.

How they reach out

Arming your Customer Service and Sales teams with the tools they need to connect with customers—battlecards, sell sheets, eBooks, and access to other collateral assets they can share—will elevate your consumer experience.

Be social: Social media

This means you need to use your social media posts, not as billboards, but as engagement tools used to monitor comments and answer questions.

Let’s chat: Website chat tools

Equipping your website with chat features makes it easy for your customers to connect with someone live without having to speak on the phone. It also can be used to gain data such as their email address.

Take a call: Phone

Sometimes your customers just want to talk to a real-live person. Make sure the person on the other end of the line is well-informed about the solutions and services you offer. Less hand offs lead to higher conversions.

In the inbox: Emails

For those who want a saved record of their interaction, email plays a key role. Similar to those manning your chat and phones, make sure your team not only has the information requested, but can share other key assets to move the recipient down the funnel.

It’s more important than ever to have your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Services teams in alignment. This gives Marketing a more robust prospect picture to create more complete collateral assets that can fuel Sales conversations and enable Customer Service to provide an exceptional experience.

How they engage with content

Fun Fact: 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep. In addition, the majority of consumers expect content to be interesting to look at, read, and engage with (think interactive).

Having multiple pieces of content not only enables you to tell your story in bits and pieces but also can align with each step of the buyer’s journey. Every piece of collateral should add value to the consumer experience—from garnering their attention and feeding their curiosity with short-form video, social posts, and infographics to nurturing their consideration with more in-depth information found in blogs, solution overviews, and eBooks to converting them into customers.

Marketing Tip: Hybrid and remote work have made business (even IT) a bit more casual when it comes to how you relate with customers. Playful imagery and graphics are often more eye catching in videos and infographics as viewers pass right by the standard professional tech approach. Messaging is also more conversational (especially with business messaging).

Elevate your marketing

Your content marketing strategy must be all about the customer journey, otherwise you’re missing out. The IMS team are experts at making the customer journey about the customer. We can provide you with content marketing strategies and tools to support every aspect of the buyer process.
Schedule a discovery call and see for yourself how IMS360 makes marketing in today’s digital environment—possible.

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