We are living in an age of rapid change. In the context of marketing, the biggest development has been an incredible shift in customer buying behavior- not just in the B2C market but for B2B clients as well.
Now, more than ever, the buying process is controlled by the buyer. Technology has given them access to vast amounts of information and easy access to other sellers.
Instead of asking a salesman for help, prospective shoppers poll their social networks, read online reviews, research offerings, and use a variety of online tools to search features and benefits and compare pricing.
SirisDecisons, a B2B research company, made headlines in 2013 when it released the results of a study that showed “67 Percent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” In 2015, a Forrester Survey concluded that 74% of buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase. There is no reason to think that these trends won’t continue or that buyers won’t increasingly seek out the majority of buying information prior to contacting prospective sellers.
The result of this evolution has been a blurring of the line between sales and marketing. In addition to traditional lead generation activities, marketing is following the customer from pre-awareness all the way through the buyer’s journey, passed the sale, and into customer relationship management.
What does this mean for marketers? You have to take a full funnel marketing approach. This means identifying ways to capture audience attention and drive decision making from the top of the funnel all the way through purchasing and beyond. Every step of the process is an opportunity to solidify a new customer relationship or lose them to a competitor with a more strategic and holistic approach.
To understand more about how to put together a full funnel marketing approach, try this fundamental full funnel marketing tool.