Marketing experts have released the results of their findings regarding today’s consumer, and have found that transparency, trust, buyer control, and social media are the top sources of influence over buyers.
Though marketing has traditionally been built on a foundation of push techniques, and the 4 P’s (product, price, place, and promotion), those have been replaced by new and evolved influences, which are proof, value, enablement and outcome, and experience. Therefore, companies are discovering that in order to cater to those factors, marketing must be altered.
Effective marketing no longer consists of functioning on behalf of sales, but must instead concentrate on earning the trust of buyers and enabling them. This can only be achieved through thorough study of a target market so that the consumer and his or her behaviors may be firmly understood.
Though the resistance of buyers to a hard sell isn’t anything new, this feeling has now turned to resentment. They now have online shopping and the use of social media, which allows them to define their own terms regarding their purchases. This also allows them to avoid the push of marketing from B2B marketers altogether.
It is now easy to see the difference between marketing that has embraced this new concept, and that which has clung to the old ways. It is as obvious as the difference between the benefits of an innovative new solution and the consequences of lousy product quality.
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A buyer today will not shop with a company that he or she does not trust. Therefore, for a company’s marketing to be effective, it must focus on building that trust by showing the value that it offers, with the security of a strong promise. Throughout the journey toward a purchase, the buyer is watching for certain key points.
These are: the definition of a problem, the search for a solution, the evaluation of a candidate solution, the validation of the claims, and then the purchase.
By understanding this process, marketers are better equipped to influence buyers and cater to their needs.