As I continue to look at the 7 Expectations of a Buyer, I’m thought I’d take some time and look at #2 on the list of things buyers expect from brands, companies and marketers:
I want you to understand how I buy.
Another way to look at this might be that they don’t want to be sold to, which is echoed in the image above. So while I’m sure all of us marketers are doing what we can to support our internal sales processes, what are we doing to support the buying process? What insights do we have into how they buy? Why they really buy one product or another? Below are a couple of questions that might help understand the difference between supporting the sales force and the market.
- How many people are involved in a buying process for your product?
- What information, if any, is required for your buyer to justify buying your solution from a budget perspective?
- What is the average length of a buying cycle from research, approval of the budget and selection?
- What are the cost implications of doing nothing for the buyer?
- Does the buyer really want to change from the current situation?
- Is the buyer’s business ready to change their current situation?
Ultimately, if we can understand the needs of the buyer and typical process a buyer goes through it would be easier to develop content and materials which would be REALLY used in the decision cycle. It’s possible most of us already have it, but we haven’t made it available online or it’s hidden behind from registration page which your buyer can readily find.
I can’t say enough good things about the stuff I bought from eBags, the initial buying process online and the flawless fulfillment, but I definitely have a little bit of an issue with how many emails they have sent me in the last month or so. My inbox is typically “chock full” of spam and typically I just prefer to just delete/add to blocked senders list – it’s quicker. That being said, I’m not sure why the barrage of emails from eBags stand out, but they have and I’ve actually had conversations with some of their other customers who are a little put off on this as well. Incidentally, these folks have received the exact same emails I did.
I’m not sure why this specific vendor’s emails are off putting — Maybe it’s because of the positive perception I’ve developed of their brand, maybe it’s my VRM leanings or it could just be that as a buyer I’ve decided that mass email programs just aren’t working for me. It’s not like they ever really have, but communications from random spammers on discount prescriptions and acai berry elixirs are on a different level, than an organization who has information on me and an established transactional relationship which they could leverage to better target messages and offers to me.
So after saving up the emails for a month since my initial transaction with eBags and thinking about this experience a little bit, I’ve opted out from future communications. This whole experience reminded me of Chris Carfi’s Social Customer Manifesto which states in fairly clear language the expectations of a social customer.
So with a little bit of a semantic spin, I think B2C buyers need an updated set of considerations in the marketplace from marketers.
Expectations of a Social Buyer
- I want offers and promotions which are valuable to me
- I want you to understand how I buy
- I don’t want mass and generic communications
- I want to buy on my own time line, no matter what holiday is coming up
- I want to tell you when you’re screwing up. Conversely, I’m happy to tell you the things that you are doing well.
- I want to do business with brands and companies which maximizes the use of the data they have about me
- I want to recommend products and companies to others I know, so be patient.