Why consumers control the sales process and how to engage them.
A new demographic has emerged that is changing the role of marketing in the sales process
Generation C is the demographic that is defined by the Age of the Customer. Gen C is a psychographic that’s represented by a broad age group. It’s more about behaviors – creation, curation, connection and community.
Todays consumer is a curator who self-educates
The new Generation C buyer is a researcher. When a need is defined, he researches and engages in a discovery process before picking a company to work with or a specific product to purchase. By doing so, he pre-qualifies the sale before committing to the sales process. As marketers, we’ve got to be one step ahead and have plenty of relevant content populated in all the right places to reach the new Generation C buyer. According to Harvard Business Review, buyers move through 60% of the traditional sales process before engaging with a real live person about buying options.
Provide relevant content
In the technology era, Gen C buyers are looking for relevant content where they want it, on demand. Anticipating what buyers want, answering their need and personalizing content will engage buyers and accelerate the buying process. Building Product manufacturers need to access and use high quality, richly populated data (Big Data) to determine what content individual buyers are looking for.
Connecting with buyers
If a buyer purchased a new construction home and was shortly after moving in is targeted by a window manufacturer, flooring provider, door manufacturer, he would immediately feel disconnected. To him, it’s obvious that the marketing can’t be specific to his needs. Why would anyone with who just purchased a new construction home need new windows, flooring or doors? His are brand new.
A better marketing connection might come from a manufacturer of an added-value product that would extend beyond a typical builders grade product. A high-tech security system, a swimming pool, garden structures, additional storage buildings, etc. Utilizing big data to guide a truly targeted marketing builds strong buyer connections. It’s about marketing the right products at the right time, to the right person and for the right reason.
Foster a sense of community
Gen C wants a sense of belonging, to feel they are a part of something. They’re motivated by peer-to-peer connections. When they’re buying building products they look to industry peers, friends and like type buyers for their opinion. If someone like him, with similar buying needs, bought a product and liked it then the buyer assumes that he too will be happy with that product.
Gen C buyers are creators
If you do a good job of meeting a buyers curation, connection and community needs you may be lucky enough to get the added P.R. benefit of the Gen C creation behavior. Gen C buyers are tech savvy, they capture moments, share experiences and tell stories through their posts. They post smart phone pics to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. They shoot, post and share videos to YouTube, Vine, etc. When this happens you’ve won. You’re buyer has become your advocate and engages others on your behalf.