Research from Forrester has shown that the average consumer reads 11.4 pieces of content before they buy. This is a figure that would surprise and worry most vendors, despite the fact that this research is not new. The world has gotten even more competitive and consumers are researching more and more on their path to purchase.
In today’s consensus buying world, prospects will have to do their due diligence and review the wider market…and your organisation. If this is the case, how much (and more importantly what) are you saying about your prospects or customers problems and your solutions in context to these. Selling without selling and re-enforcing your capabilities. We have all lost deals we thought were certain and if you’re not addressing this issue, this will only increase – never mind losing existing clients on their renewal dates.
At Passle we have written a number of posts around simple steps organisations can take to address this. Common through all of them are the following easy steps anyone can take.
- Start to truly listen to what content clients or prospects are consuming. This needs to involve not only what they are saying at all touch points, but what they are liking, commenting or blogging about on social networks – quite often the things you never hear from them in person.
- The next step is to share and suggest specific content with your busy subject matter experts (SMEs) who more than likely never have the time to do step 1. The SMEs can then create pithy content that shows their knowledge and opinions and how your organisation can meet their needs.
- Amplifying this content through your client-facing staff will allow your business to talk and engage with clients or prospects through the content you produce, adding their own comments to tailor it to a specific vertical or prospect. This is critical. If you are to get the SMEs to give up the time to create this valuable content, they need to know it is being used and that it has been meaningful. Done well, this creates what we call the virtuous circle, producing content that continues to grow and add to your revenues and brand growth.
- Lastly, make it accessible and keep producing it. It’s great to share this content through social networks like LinkedIn but does this really benefit your organisations brand and make it easy for consumers to view other valuable insights from the wider business. Equally, there is no point in producing content for content's sake, how many of the 11.4 pieces of content will be yours.
Consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase (Forrester) Consumers are 5x more dependent on content than they were 5 years ago. (Nielsen)