Small-Business Marketing

There’s a new buyer in town

Dog with ComputerThink about the last time you bought something of significance. How did you make your buying decision? If you’re like many of today’s buyers, you began the process with online research.

Did you know?

81% of shoppers conduct research online before making a large purchase¹


57% of B2B customers’ purchase decisions are made before they make contact with suppliers²

Changes in buying behavior have prompted numerous research studies examining how people shop. You can look online and find lots of different data (such as that shown above), but overall, the trends are clear: Ready access to information enables most shoppers to conduct research on their own during the buying process.

Also, raise your hand if you love to be assaulted with sales pitches. No? This is why most shoppers want to stay below the radar as long as possible until they are ready to make contact with a supplier. In essence, they will be doing their own research secretly, learning about their options, and forming opinions without the benefit of speaking with you directly.

What does this mean for your business?

  • Prospects want you to help them buy from you by providing accessible and helpful information when they are considering a purchase.
  • The easier you can make it for them to know you, like you, and trust you, the more likely it is that they will engage with you.
  • When you increase your prospect engagement and conversions, you increase your sales revenue.

Differentiate yourself

Given the undercover research prospects are doing, many businesses are turning to different methods of marketing to help interested prospects find them, differentiate them, and consider them. You can do this, too.

  • Engage prospects when and where they are looking.
  • Clearly communicate the value of your product or service for prospects.
  • Help prospects to know you, like you, and trust you.
  • Generate more sales revenue by increasing prospect consideration and conversion.

Content marketing and the buying process

In today’s competitive marketplace, many companies are using information to help prospects consider them as a supplier – this is often called “content marketing.” Providing content can help your business get noticed by potential buyers, distinguishes you from other businesses, and helps to create relationships. Further, participation in social media helps to promote the content as well as allows you to connect with others within a community.

To learn more about marketing and how it can help you to achieve your vision, view Fetching More Customers or read our blog.

¹GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study. For more information, click here.

²CEB study of B2B customers. For more information, click here.