Inbound Marketing-Making the Most of Changing Buying Behaviors

For many years, the advertising world went with the assumption that for the most part, buying behaviors were predictable, steady, and somewhat unchangeable.

That notion has been turned on its head with the advent of the age of internet shopping, which is changing buying behaviors. 

Just how has buying behavior changed?

First off, it makes sense to define what buying behavior is.

Simply put, buying behavior is the decision process and actions of people involved in buying a product.

Using that definition, it is easy to see how the internet has affected the way people arrive at their purchasing decisions.

Before the internet, people purchased items based on a few common factors. Their buying behaviors were largely influenced by:

  • word-of-mouth advertising by friends and family 
  • outbound advertising in the form of print ads, TV ads, and telemarketing 
  • direct mail ads
  • browsing through a brick and mortar store and actually reading product labels and descriptions 

Then came the internet, and customer buying behaviors took a dramatic turn. The internet ushered in the "Information Age".

Today's consumers are internet savvy, and hungry for information about products and services.

If consumer X is in the market for a lawn mower, it is highly likely that he/she will go online to compare features and prices, look for product reviews, and determine which brand and model most suits his/her needs before ever setting foot in a store.

Customer X is less likely than in previous decades to pay

attention to print ads, commercials, or direct mail efforts. Conservative estimates indicate that:

  • 86 percent of consumers skip through T.V. commercials altogether 
  • 44 percent of direct mail is never even opened
  • over 70 percent of Americans have registered their phone numbers with the National Do-Not-Call  Registry to eliminate interaction with telemarketers 

Advertising efforts must change to accommodate evolving trends in buying behaviors.

 Today's advertising efforts must be more focused on inbound marketing strategies. Such strategies include:

  • social media marketing 
  • blogging and content marketing pod casts
  • ebooks and white papers
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • pay per click advertising (PPC 

To illustrate how inbound marketing is becoming increasingly more influential for consumers, consider social media marketing. 

According to recent research, 51 percent of consumers consider social media to be a credible source of

information while researching a product.

With the advent of smart phones, now consumers standing in a store looking at a product or sitting at home looking at a connected device can pull up social media reviews about that product on the spot. 

By promoting products directly on social networks and by interacting with potential customers, using the Inbound Marketing Methodology, businesses can turn these searchers into buyers.

A survey by research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that people were 51 percent more likely to buy from a company after engaging with it on Facebook and 67 percent more likely to purchase from a company after following it on Twitter. 

This is just one example of why inbound marketing strategies are essential for businesses hoping to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Sales conversations have changed.

Today's customers are doing their own research online. How can you be in the drivers seat?

What would it mean for your business if you connected with potential customers earlier in their decision-making process?

Click here to learn more.