The comment stirred quite a reaction. Many people fervently agreed, while others simply wanted to know more. So, here’s what I mean by that statement.
The foundation of inbound marketing is based on the notion that people need to be drawn in to your marketing funnel by way of content--that you need to be found rather than go out hunting. And, while this has proven effective, many marketers simply interpret this to mean you create more demand by creating more content.
The problem with this thinking is that it’s really just the age-old marketing funnel approach polished up with more information. Today, marketing is about guiding a journey that the buyer wants to take rather than forcing them into the journey that fits our business model.
People don’t really need more information, they need insight, guidance, and an experience that allows them to behave like they want to behave. Over the years I’ve identified seven behaviors that most buyers desperately want to experience on their way to becoming loyal customers. Organizations that get this and create and organize opportunities for people to experience these behaviors at any point along the journey, will win.
Buyers want to travel an often crooked path that allows them to:
- Know--They want to give permission to the companies they want to know.
- Like--They want to learn to like and respect companies that might be addressing their needs in a way that makes sense to them.
- Trust--They want to see that their friends and others they relate to have come to trust certain organizations for a variety of reasons.
- Try--They want to be able to prove to themselves that buying from certain organization won’t make them look foolish.
- Buy--They want to discover that there are companies that make the buying experience as awesome as the marketing experience.
- Repeat--They want to develop ties to organizations they can count on and that allow them to forget about other options.
- Refer--They want to have such a remarkable experience with organizations that so exceeds their expectations they are compelled to share with the world how smart they are.
If organizations are to address these behaviors, marketing, sales, and service must participate as one in guiding the relationship. The traditional silo walls must come down. Sales must participate earlier in the buyer’s journey and stay later. Service must become more social, and marketing must learn how to personalize content while bringing front- line sales people into the creation of messaging and positioning.
Inbound marketing, outbound marketing, inbound selling, and social service must overlap into every possible outpost on the buyer’s journey. Every marketing, sales and service initiative, process, and campaign must be designed to organize the behavior the buyer desperately wants to experience.
Use this grid to audit your own behavior and touchpoints looking for opportunities and gaps.