Today’s consumers have become the “new experts”

Buyers today no longer care who they buy from. They expect their favorite search engines will be able to connect them instantaneously to dozens of sellers who have similar stuff to sell . To survive in this kind of environment, you’ve got to stop thinking like a seller and start thinking like a buyer. You’ve got to do the things which will make your business the customer’s first choice, especially at the four decisive customer moments.

Back in the good old days, sellers used to be in control of the purchase transaction. Buyers assumed the sellers were the experts in their field and knew what they needed better than they did themselves. Today, this dynamic has reversed. In every industry you can imagine, technology has empowered buyers so much they are now in the driver’s seat. They have become confident if you won’t give them the deal they’re after, they will be able to find another vendor who will simply by using a search engine.

This is not to say you can’t still win customers. They still have the same underlying wants, needs and aspirations. They still want the benefits you can provide them. All you have to do to succeed is reverse your thinking. Instead of thinking and acting like a seller, learn how to think like a buyer. This will be more than coming up with trite and tired phrases like:

• “We are dedicated to serving you.”
• “We will beat everyone’s prices.”
• “We are the greenest and the fairest company in the land.”

Instead, you’ve got to put yourself in your buyers shoes and align your thinking with theirs . The one question you should obsess over is:

Do you know what your customers want, and are you giving it to them?

There are always four decisive moments at which the customer makes a deliberate decision to buy from you rather than from one of your competitors. You should make it your business to be the customer’s first choice at each of those critical junctions by thinking the way they do.

  1. First awareness
  2. First brand relationship
  3. The brand promise
  4. Keeping customers

While it sounds easy to have success in each of these four steps most brands have become too big and removed from the customer experience with their product.  You can’t fail in ANY of the steps in converting prospects into customers, but you need to have the correct emphasis on each step.

For example, first awareness might occur via a TC spot, but the first brand relationship may or may not happen online.  Let’s say your advertising a new frozen pizza.  How many potential customers are actually going to go online versus look for your product or pick up your product at the grocery store?

How many marketers actually go into stores to watch consumer behavior?  How many are inundated with so much data that they still don’t have a clear picture of their customers?

Marketing is not a science.  It’s an art and great artists derive from passion and understanding not just data.

 

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