The Marketing Strategist:

Marketing’s Role in Creating a Seamlessly Integrated Customer Buyer Experience

July 9, 2014

ITSMA research from the 2013 How Buyers Consume Information study revealed that today’s buyer is empowered with knowledge. But that’s only half the story. These buyers still want to engage with your sales people and SMEs to learn even before they have narrowed down their options. And while your website and content marketing may help you get your foot in the door, it is a person at your company who will build the relationship and close the deal, not a white paper. People are important at every stage of the buying process, but especially in the later stages. Formulating the shortlist: sources of information So what are the implications for marketers? It means marketers must ensure that their organizations have a presence everywhere, whether that’s on a screen or at an in-person event or meeting. They must create compelling content and disseminate it through traditional as well as digital and social channels. Marketers must also:
  • Enable sales people to talk about thought leadership
  • Work with subject matter experts (SMEs) to help them augment their visibility and accessibility of their subject matter experts.
While this presents a challenge for many organizations, it also creates an opportunity for companies to re-evaluate their marketing mix to create the seamless buying experience—online, offline, and in-person—that customers are looking for. The survey data clearly demonstrates that in-person contact is as important as ever throughout the buying process. And the most influential source of information? It’s solution provider SMEs. However, keep in mind that there is no silver bullet; customers are looking for sources of information that add value. So make sure your sales people and SMEs are enabled and adding value. Note: The 2013 ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Study is based on a survey of 438 senior executive buyers of large, complex technology-based solutions, across 7 countries. ITSMA conducts this buyer research every year, providing a unique view of how B2B buyers consume information and make buying decisions. If you are interested in being a sponsor for this study this year, please contact me at dkim@itsma.com.

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