Comparing the first date with the sales funnel stages

First Date and Sales Process- StratoServe

Talking to  businesses who sell complex expensive technological systems, we find an  amazing expectation:

That the customer will search online – see your ad, click, land on your contact page and “voila” you get a phone call or email. Resulting in a $250,000 order off course.

This is like saying that every first date from digital dating sites (eg. eHarmony) results in marriage. And the marriage analogy is huge in marketing theory. Our favorite is by Dwyer,Schurr and Oh (1987). They debunk the marketing myth of  the”one night stand” in favor of  the paradigm of”long term marriage.” Just as a marriage takes place after much due diligence on both sides, so does complex B2B and B2C purchases. Lisa Gevelber of Google explains how one customer searches 900 times, at different websites,before deciding to lease a particular car.Read:  The Car-Buying Process: One Consumer’s 900+ Digital Interactions.

Before the Internet one could  possibly visit 7-10 dealers and now 900 checks even before getting to the dealer!

If you think about it – how much would 900 clicks cost you if you are a car brand and relied on paid advertising alone?  At least $2000 is our rough guess, and going by the lease deals that the car brands are putting out ( eg. zero down and $200/month) – there is no way  for the car industry to make any money at all if they paid for all those 900 clicks that Sara made before signing a car lease.

So what should businesses do?

A good approach is to have helpful content on websites that helps the awareness-interest-evaluation  stages of sales funnel. For in the digital age the first thing that people do with any question is to search online. Unlike your teachers,colleagues,friends or family:

Google does not judge you – when you search.

So if you want to know about “integrating robotic manufacturing processes” you will search online first.The moment you search online you are interested so awareness and interest are kind of working together. Even if you are a high school kid taking a robotics class. The manufacturer who specializes in “integrating robotic manufacturing processes” must not have you clicking on their ads (there are methods to do that) and yet provide you details of what this involves in their “awareness” pages. In fact, an engineering intern might be Googling the same thing as they have studied about robots but need to understand the process for stringing together a bunch of robotic machines through a conveyor line. And guess what? That intern might inform the Manufacturing manager about your service and voila you might actually have the $250,000 inquiry coming through.

The point is, web content cannot be just contact numbers, a web form and a few lines of explanation. You really are into educating anyone (school students will become decision making engineers one day) interested in your product or service. Some key basics for any visitor to your website is:

  • What you do : Explain what you do in simple terms so that anyone interested to learn is able to understand.
  • Why you do it: Explain why you do it. An experienced manufacturing manager might know the value of “integrating robotic manufacturing processes” but when that page link is shared with the CFO or CEO things can become clear to the buying center immediately
  • How you do it: Demonstrate that you know what you are talking about. A brief video of past projects can go a long way when you are trying to demonstrate your expertise in “integrating robotic manufacturing processes.”

If your website and content is always geared to help people understand your offering and how it helps, Google AdWords become cheaper. Your SEO ranking becomes better and even your current customers feel more comfortable. Besides you set forth a bunch of social media referrals and web citations that only help your cause.

You may decide to advertise but even there you pay for only a fraction of the 900 clicks that lead your customer to your car dealership, if you are the car dealer.

On a lighter note on April Fool’s day – do not be fooled with “love at first sight” that will lead to marriage. You can be sure that your partner has checked you at least 900 times before proposing or accepting your proposal. And many of these 900 checks are well….online…

About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.

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