Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2015-12-09
With the recent Black Friday sales frenzy, a small but perhaps inevitable backlash occurred. Due to social pressures, many retail stores refused to open—and force their employees to work—on the Thursday Thanksgiving holiday. Others, such as REI, even remained closed the Friday after Thanksgiving as well, which was widely applauded on social media. And while the big box retailers enjoyed their usual craziness on Black Friday, overall in-store sales numbers were down, providing evidence that many stayed away from the crowds. In turn, online sales on Cyber Monday were strong.The lesson here for marketers is that the places, or channels, through which their customers purchase—and receive information and conduct their research—can change over time. For example, more people (especially the younger crowd) than ever conduct product research online before going to any store to purchase. Or, they simply make their purchase online, increasingly through the use of mobile devices. With so many sales channels today, the onus is on B2B marketers to understand the communication, research and buying preferences of their customers. With that in mind, here are three proven ways to stay in front of these preferences in order to remain in the good graces of customers’ and prospects:
Another, often under-utilized way to determine this information? Simply ask your customers. This can be done via surveys, on social media or through other more in-depth programs such as customer advisory boards. If business growth is a top priority, then it’s clear that understanding customers’ preferred buying channels, demographics and data is essential. With this knowledge in hand, marketers can then create the content and offers that will generate the most positive reactions—and the strongest impact—in 2016.
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