Our way of communicating has dramatically changed over the past decade. Marketing experts shift to a more digital approach to measure if their marketing efforts are working. The main focus for B2B and B2C was making people aware of the brand. At the same time, a sales team focussed on getting new customers and identifying people ready for a conversation.
The customer experience wasn’t top-notch because people were bothered with a product or service they didn’t need. Today, the Marketing department detects needs and provides information to create more interest until the potential customer is ready for a conversation.
For example, the BMW museum in Munich is visited by fans worldwide. People who visit BMW can sit in their favorite cars, get more information, customize the car, basically name the animal. When people leave, a customized dream car is available. Driving a vehicle before it exists is the ultimate customer experience (also visit the many breweries, which is something else).
Today’s customer journey in a nutshell
People have a need or hear about a product or service they like. When their interest peaks, they search online or ask friends. Once they find a company, they will potentially subscribe to their newsletter or connect via social media. Over time a potential customer will receive valuable information surrounding products or services. Knowing the private interests of customers enables the marketer to stay top-of-mind and provide essential information to make a purchase decision.
So when is a customer ready to buy?
It depends on your business and sales cycles. For B2B, it’s looking at reviews, white papers, the contact page engaging with the company a couple of times. Each user-action gives a score; it will be transferred to the sales department when it is high enough. The resulting conversation with the sales department will involve contracts, pricing, and service levels. Sales use buyer information gathered in the earlier stages of the lead generation process.
Although the title of this article is “getting customers,” I do want to point out that your current customers are the money makers. The money spends on getting a new customer is more significant than making an offer to your existing customer. Cross-selling services and products to your customer’s needs will also increase his loyalty to you.