Remote working accelerated marketing three to five years and made sure that digital is part of everyone’s marketing. These three things were coming, they have been put in hyper-drive with the work from home phenomenon. They are the harsh truths about marketing that we should accept.
What are the harsh truths about marketing?
There are three things about marketing that you should get used to. They are here to stay.
1. Online demos are a must have
Online demos are now a need to have, not a nice to have. Brands realized they had a more difficult time selling if they didn’t have an online demo of their products. They realized that had to have an amazing visual experience to sell.
For example, take a brick company. Bricks are a very tangible product. You can sell them without touching them and seeing them in action. You need to see how the bricks look in an environment without coming to a shop.
An excellent online demo helps your prospects understand how your product solves their pain points. It allows the buyer to see and feel how things will be with the product before they buy. The best online demos don’t just give a tour of the features and functions of the product, they tell the buyer’s story with the product playing a star role.
2. A sales-free sales experience is critical
The second brutal truth is creating a sales-free sales experience. Gartner, one of the world’s leading research and advisory companies, says 33% of all buyers want a seller-free sales experience. With Millennials, it rises to 44%.
“As baby boomers retire and Millennials mature into key decision-making positions, a digital-first buying posture will become the norm. As customers increasingly learn and buy digitally, sales reps become just one of many possible sales channels. Because of this, sales organizations must be able to sell to customers everywhere the customer expects to engage, interact and transact with suppliers.”Cristina Gomez, managing vice president, Gartner
The buying experience that buyers really want is to make a purchase with no salesperson talking to you. When you walk into a physical store, you often get “how can I help you?” from a salesperson. In most cases, people would say no to that gesture and then approach that person if they needed another size, color, or did not find what they wanted.
With the global pandemic, the seller-free experience has increased with self-scheduling calendar appointments, online calculators, and self-assessments. Take, for example, HomeLight, a real estate referral company based in San Francisco, Calf. In the TV ad below, you just answer a few questions, and they will provide a side-by-side comparison of your options personalized for your needs.
This television ad shows you how easy it is to obtain a free assessment of what verified buyers will pay for your house. This company uses the web as a digital marketing medium to sell its product. This trend is giving power to the customers, and that’s the buying experience now come to expect from brands.
3. Buyers want to take real-time actions on your website
Your website homepage is like a storefront window that has become an important part of the buyer process. Buyers are more impatient because of COVID-19 because they are now more aware of their digital options. They want a company’s website to answer their questions.
They want everything on-demand and in real-time and that starts and ends with the website. If they want to talk to a sales rep, they can chat online. To get a quote, they want it instantly in their email. If they want to buy a product, they want it delivered in a couple of days to their doorstep.
The website has become more of the hub for the buying process. It now makes or breaks the sales process. If your website is not top-notch, they will leave to visit another website.
Is every action your buyers would like to take during the buying process available on your website?
Bringing it all together
Your buyers are more impatient and more digital. Is your company reacting quickly enough to handle today’s buyers? Buyers want everything in real-time. They want online demos, they want a sales-free sales experience, and buyers want to take real-time actions on your website.
Are you making it easy for your buyers to buy from you? Sell people the way they want to buy, not the way you are set up internally. These three harsh truths about marketing are here to stay and they are becoming the new normal.