In a recent study conducted by Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, 57% of the purchase decision is completed before a customer even calls a supplier. Which might have some wondering how is this much of the purchasing decision already completed without ever speaking to someone from my organization? While another report conducted by SiriusDecisions, a global research and advisory firm, indicates that 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. We are in the age of the empowered buyer.
When a buyer wants to find a company to do business with they use a search engine to determine who provides that service or product. They typically only engage with the top 3-5 ranked search results not the 230,000,000 that follow as was the case when I googled “marketing agency”.
The buyer will most often follow this step by information gathering about the top companies. When they want to learn about the great things your company does, they visit your website or as I like to call it “the validator”. What are they looking for? How a company represents itself online. This all begins, or in many cases ends, with their website. With the empowered buyers journey being conducted digitally, essentially your website is your brochure, print advertisement and sales rep all rolled into one.
You need to rely a clear and consistent message from your homepage as it’s your first impression. If a prospect arrives at your website and isn’t able to quickly and easily determine what it is you do and navigate to what brought then there in the first place, you will lose them at “hello”. When they want to learn about what others say about your company they visit social media channels and review sites like glassdoor.com.
These resources are avenues for voicing comments and reviews, both positive and negative, about your organization. This occurs not only from the buyers, but in many instances from the employees as well. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s those who are unhappy with your product/service who are voicing their concern.
So, with empowered buyer now in the driver seat more so than ever to form opinions and make decisions about your organization. Your online presence and brand management, and the time your organization puts into managing it can be a differentiator into winning the business.