Marketing as it used to exist since the past two centuries has undergone a sea change in the last 20 years or so. With the advent of the internet, everything has become client focussed. There are so many options available with the customers that the old forms of cold calling, mass advertising, and telemarketing are fast losing their charm. A Digital Marketing company is the new harbinger of this change as against the old traditional offline marketing firms. Thanks to the Internet, consumers have started an entirely new way of researching the product. Now people do not go to the local retailer for buying anything. They first go online and find the product’s features and reviews to get a better idea. Many customers look at the comparison charts of the products to decide their preferred choice.
The internet has empowered people in an unprecedented way. People now have the power to be their own decision-makers in determining whether to buy a particular product or not. Thanks to a plethora of product review websites in almost every imaginable niche, a potential consumer can know everything that he wants to know about the product and whether it is worth buying or not.
So what are the lessons for marketers in this new customer-centric era? There is a straightforward lesson: the old tactics will not work anymore. Gone are the days of cold calling and false claims where customers have no choice but to listen to the shady salesman. There was no easy literature available, no accessible comparison chart, no in-depth review of products, and no place to get answers to our questions about the products. But now, all these things have become easily accessible to everybody with access to the internet. At the click of a button, you can collect as much information about a product as you want. It is ultra-easy to find reviews, compare a product, and ask questions from similar buyers and product users. All these things have revolutionized the entire marketing space.
So what would work? A straightforward but highly effective strategy is to become a thought leader in your industry with a genuine intention to help people. In this paradigm shift, selling always comes last. There is a total absence of hard sell. Instead, the emphasis is on becoming a teacher. You don’t force anything. You only help your customers in choosing a product which is in their best interest. Sometimes, it means suggesting to them a product not even owned by you — a product which is best suited for the need of your customer despite being a rival company product. In this particular strategy, the seller has to empathize with the customer to actually know his real needs and then point him towards the right product. Here, helping the customer most genuinely is the only criteria even if the same lead to no sale.
While this strategy seems weird, it produces the most effective element in a seller-buyer transaction, which is trust. It is incredibly difficult to generate trust. But once trust is developed, selling becomes a cakewalk.
Marketing has changed completely. Now, it is all about building trust with your customers by helping them choose the best products for their needs.