This morning, I found a statistic that affirms my belief that buyers become customers when they believe that they have discovered and understood a product without outside help. I touched on this in a recent post, here.
The statistic that I saw was that 80% of customers believe that they found and discovered a product themselves, whereas only 20% of customers think that they had been ‘found’ by the vendor. These statistics were reported last year by a company called Marketo and commented on the blog Enterprise Software Executive here.
There are a number of interesting points about this statistic.
My first thought was, okay, so how do we think about who discovers whom? For example, when I google for a phrase and find a company/product, I think I found it. When I see an advert and then go to the company’s website and then approach the company, I think I found the company. Or, when I am at a conference and see the company’s stand or representative and approach them for more information, I think I found the company. Or when I read a newspaper or blog article on a company, I think I found it.
The only instance when I think I didn’t find the company is probably when I get cold-called, spam-emailed, and direct-mailed.
The truth is: if the company didn’t have a website, didn’t search optimise it, didn’t advertise, didn’t attend conference, didn’t have anybody available to interact with bloggers and journalists etc, there would be hardly any way for anybody to ‘find’ the company. Well, maybe apart from direct word of mouth that is.
Obviously, none of the above is truly earth-shatteringly new. Marketers constantly talk about ‘lead generation’ and ‘brand building’.
Here is my penny’s worth of thought. Buyers don’t want to get advertised to. They don’t want to get discovered. They want to discover you.
I think marketing is a great deal about enabling people to discover you. Not the other way round. If you don’t believe me, just look at the statistic above.
So, how do you structure your marketing campaign? As a net that is supposed to enable people to find you? Or as a mechanism to establish brand and leads?
Maybe, this is the reason why search engines work so well. They are, by definition, there to help people find stuff. Maybe this is why buyers use them so much. It helps them find the companies they will buy from. And that is what they actually want.