There has been a shift in behaviors shown by both consumer and B2B shoppers with respect to their due diligence process, decision-making, and purchasing actions. During the past several years, these standard marketing and sales cycle steps have taken on more of a self-service approach.
During the upcoming year 2010, more than ever before, people will be using Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn, and other sources to decide what products and services best meet their needs. Almost completely gone are the days of picking up the phone and talking to a salesperson during the “information gathering phase”.
So, it’s more important than ever for vendors to show up with as many relevant web links and informational content as possible. However, saturating the web with product information is no longer defined as simply throwing a blanket out with mass mailings. The efficient approach to marketing is now defined as 1 to 1 – getting your message to the people who are interested in hearing it.
The most important element of reaching the right audience is to get your links into relevant industry directories, track the behavior of people who click your links, and know what your audience is doing on the internet, who they are, and which emails of yours they read. For example, this site shows different companies and which CMMS / EAM system they chose: CMMS Success Stories. This is an example of a relevant directory of information for CMMS vendors and shoppers.
Human nature shows that we listen to each other. We believe in what others find valuable. We know that the wheel should only be invented once.
As we seek similar and services, we read about what others think and do. For example, my fantasy football lineup shows me a percentage across all teams of who is being started each week. Based on that information I can assume a good portion of people are making educated decisions by starting a particular player, and you are naturally swayed toward doing the same. Sometimes I have enough time to do more of my own research, but when I don’t, then I tend to go with the masses as a means of playing the percentages. I assume those percentages are my best bet for success. I play it safe.
For the CMMS world, I have a question: Did your company choose MP2 (or another product) years ago because everybody else was doing the same? Maybe. The only difference is those folks started their evaluation by picking up the phone and asking for a demo to learn about the product. They chose a list of products to demo after a corporate search team researched and created a long-list based on what other companies were purchasing in your industry.
Today, each individual location can do that same old corporate research right from their workstation on the Internet. You can see what CMMS others are using, saying about their CMMS and so forth. No more picking up the phone and calling a sales person… that is, until you are ready to purchase.