As kids we always heard that it was “Rude to interrupt” yet with marketing in the past that was the norm – cold calls during dinner, ads in the middle of our magazine story, and commercials during our programs. Online interruption marketing also occurs – that pop-up ad that blocks the webpage, or the 30 second ad that happens before the video we want to see. Interruption Marketing is presenting information to the customer that they don’t expect and they do not want, but it has been used for generations because it is very easy for the marketer. Interruption Marketing is all “Marketer Centric”.
Customers do not want to be sold to, they want to be educated.
As consumers have more choices, they put up with less and less interruptions. Search allows customers to have hundreds of choices in seconds – if they don’t get a result they were expecting they can just click the back button and click the next link. What searchers expect is to get a site that will answer their search question – helpful information is what they are hoping to find.
Think of your own buying process; rarely would you give money to that first cold call you received. You probably start by doing some research – looking up different options, understand why the problem occurred in the first place, research a couple of providers, even compare some prices and read some case studies and testimonials. You would gather all the information to make the decision you need before talking to a sales person. This is the purchasing process of today.
Education empowers people with the means to make their own choices.
That was not always the way; even 10 years ago, you wouldn’t google to research solutions, get reviews, read testimonials, or see videos on how to use. Sales people were the gate-keepers of information. Now someone has put all this information online, usually to educate people about their solutions. Unfortunately if you do not publish your information, prospects are still going to make their choices anyway, probably without thinking about your organization when they do.
Be that resource that helps them learn.
Educational content acts as a magnet to your ideal customers to draw them into your website. While reading information on your website, visitors appreciate seeing links to more in-depth information – a webinar, an e-book, or a series of articles to provide more foundational information. A recent study of business decision makers by Content Marketing Institute show that 80% would prefer to get information in a series of articles as opposed to an advertisement.
Once they see the availability of all these tools, they trust the webpage author is an expert, will understand their problem and be more likely to solve their problem than other companies. Finally the searcher is ready to connect with the company and will reach out to contact them or ask for a solution to purchase.
Internet Marketing is a fundamental shift in how we market: it’s about empowering your customers to make decisions through education.
In order to market online today, we need to attract people to our website, by offering quality information we convert these visitors into leads, with authentic and transparent content prospects learn to trust us and we close these leads so they become customers. The real win is to delight these customers with our services so they are so happy they promote your business to their friends and networks and this attracts new people to our site to start the cycle all over again. Through-out the whole process we analyze each step of our marketing efforts to see what works. We adjust continuously to stay ahead of the competition and also to meet the needs of tomorrow customers, often before they even know they have new needs.
Customers have always wanted to be more educated before making a choice – they would ask others for ways to solve problems or discuss opportunities. In the past it was conversations with friends, industry experts and salespeople. Now the conversation is with search and social media. Be a part of the conversation by sharing helpful, relevant content with the world – ideally sharing it with your ideal customers.