Do You Understand the Modern Buyer?

Posted in Marketing by Frank Cowell

How much time do you spend creating a compelling campaign?

Hours… Right?

From crafting the perfect lead magnet, to dialing-in the CTA message, to implementing a landing page, and follow-up emails, creating a digital campaign is labor intensive.

Therefore, it’s extremely frustrating when a campaign doesn’t gain traction with its target audience. It’s not only frustrating, a fruitless campaign means an empty lead pipeline. And a pipeline without leads makes Frank a dull boy.

In 2017, the adage “build it and they will come” is obsolete. I’ve hammered this point home in years past, but I feel it needs to be stated again, sadly. Seriously folks, that shit doesn’t work.

For years, digital marketers have been forecasting a shift in buyers’ behaviors and preferences - we’ve learned that buyers’ behaviors and preferences constantly change. To keep up with the constant changes, it’s important to invest the same amount of time understanding the modern buyer as you spend creating your campaigns.

Recently, HubSpot published their State of Inbound 2017 report. The section “Understanding the Modern Buyer” explains why the “build it and they will come” mentality has shifted to “build it and find your buyers where they want to be found.”

What does this mean for digital marketers?

It means that understanding the modern buyer will help you generate more qualified leads in your pipeline! And a pipeline filled with qualified leads makes Frank a happy boy. (OK, I’m reusing jokes now, let’s move on)

The State of Inbound 2017 report made three things very clear:

  • How to understand the modern buyer
  • What the modern buyer views as a trusted source of information
  • The modern buyer’s preferred methods of communication
  1. Understanding the Modern Buyer

According to the State of Inbound 2017, to fully understand the modern buyer, digital marketers must “track and understand target customers across multiple channels”. Today’s buyer is not static, and staying attuned to their needs “is a complicated and challenging endeavor.”

To reiterate my previous statement, to connect with the modern buyer, it’s essential that marketers put just as much energy into researching their buyers as they do creating their campaigns. In the 2017 report, one respondent said, “the amount of research and analysis that goes in before employing a particular strategy has increased manifold and constant checks on the trends of consumer behavior are changing as well.”

In 2017, marketing is much more than creating great content - it is about discovering where your buyer wants to receive your content. To connect with the modern buyer, it’s essential to consistently review and revise your engagement strategies, revising your campaign plans accordingly.

Related: Website Lead Generation Playbook — free guide shows you FIVE KEY  STEPS for generating more leads from your website.Download it now!

  1. Trusted Sources of Information

Content is an integral piece of every marketing campaign, yet as my previous point highlighted, there are other factors that are beginning to take precedence - like finding the appropriate channel to distribute your content.

Successful marketers spend a great deal of time producing relevant blog articles and other downloadable materials. Nevertheless, the findings from the State of Inbound 2017 report encourage you to spend more time leveraging the success you have with your current customers.

Additionally, “word-of-mouth” and “customer references” are the two sources of information the Modern Buyer relies on when making a purchase decision:

“A business’s most important marketing asset is their customer base, who can advocate on their behalf. Word-of-mouth and customer case studies, the top two information sources, go a long way in impacting a decision-maker’s purchase decision.”

While this information is not surprising or “new,” it’s a great reminder to shift some of your content creation budget towards developing up-to-date customer case studies.

Here is HubSpot’s 2017 list of trusted sources of information:

      • Word-of-Mouth
      • Customer References
      • Media Article
      • Vendor-authored Materials
      • Analyst Reports
      • Crowdsourced Review
      • Salesperson
  1. How People Like to Communicate

In 2017, the modern buyer prefers email communication — 88% of respondents selected email as their preferred communication channel for business purposes and 60% of respondents selected face-to-face communication.

Interestingly, the report indicated that “C-level executives” are more likely to use social media and messaging apps to communicate than other professional cohorts.

The report said:

“For senior leaders who need to keep on top of the next big trend, it makes sense that they are more keen to try and test new technologies, especially those touted as the next big thing. Additionally, as executives tend to be on-the-go more often and in a position to dictate requests, these new channels allows them to communicate quickly and informally to members of their team.”

The State of Inbound 2017 also referenced another trend: the prevalence of using personal social media accounts for business communications.

According to the 2017 report, “74% of respondents use Facebook professionally, just shy of the 78% who use LinkedIn, a network designed for professional use.”

Bottomline: Today, you MUST get a grip on what the modern buyer is all about. Fail to do so, and the results of your campaigns are sure to suffer.

About Frank Cowell

Frank Cowell is President at Elevator, a digital brand strategy agency based in the San Diego, California area. He works regularly with CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of Marketing who are looking to create amazing brand experiences while driving inbound leads. A self-taught programmer with a deep understanding of technology, Frank enjoys a unique blend of brand development and marketing savvy that enables him to offer fresh perspectives on often-complex marketing concepts that he distills into actionable, easy-to-understand language. An energetic and entertaining speaker, Frank presents regularly to regional and national organizations on topics related to branding and digital marketing.
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