How the Web Buyer is Changing the Way You Market

In his book “Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing,” acclaimed marketer Drayton Bird highlights not only how direct marketing is still relevant, but how it can adapt to the buyer even more. While this blog post focuses more on the web part and goes beyond direct marketing, the points are still valid.

What is the purpose of direct marketing? Bird says it’s how you isolate each buyer and create a relationship with them. Sounds pretty relevant, right? There’s more. He says the main advantages of   direct marketing is how each customer is different, how you can build a relationship with them, and you can always test to see how that works.

Let’s leave aside the classic for a moment, and look at this in terms of web buyers. Your success in web marketing is defined by how you adapt to buyers, who are constantly changing in terms of wants and needs. The web buyer is changing, no doubt, but why?

Web buyers cannot be sold like they used to be. They are accessing traditional media less and new media more.  And technology is changing how buyers see and consider advertisements.

Why can’t web buyers be sold like other buyers?
They don’t conform to what you say they need. They listen less to the sales pitch, more on why this product can help them. In most cases, they ignore your ads and pitches. However, if you offer them benefits, such as saving time or saving money, and can do so without giving them a “sales” pitch, that’s just like a direct marketing ad selling to the individual on a more personal level.

Why are they accessing traditional media less?
This is an easy question to answer. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, WordPress, Blogger – the social media technologies are now overtaking printed material. Newspaper sales are down, press relations are being used in different ways, and more professional marketers are putting much more money into online advertising niches such as social networks, blogs, and email marketing.

How is technology changing marketing?

Buyers are accessing press releases on their own, for example. It used to be you went to the media companies to and submitted news releases to journalists. Now with sites like PRWeb and more, buyers are actively reading releases themselves (because search engines are picking them up). You know longer wait for advertisements to come to you via television, magazines, and mail. Now buyers are subscribing to company emails for items like sales, following interesting people and businesses on social networks, and reading blogs to find out immediate news.

This isn’t all new stuff, but it shows you why the buyer is changing, and how marketing is adapting. The point isn’t to say, “stop using traditional marketing,” but to point out that marketing, as always, is evolving.

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