Buyers seeking more authentic approach to learning
about new products / services
How IT Buyers Consume Information / Content
Source: Spiceworks ‘How to Win Friends and Influence IT Pros’ Sept 2014
VideosWebinars Interviews /
Zero Moment of Truth
struggle to gain traction or return lack of understanding trying to apply the same tactics
Essena O’Neill greater social movement existing social networks are failing to satisfy a deeper need for connection and value richer experiences more engagement deeper relationships
central focus Community relationships go deep - sharing of a joint passion Social Network defined by social connections can maintain existing relationships making new connections is a transient and shallow experience seek quality interactions over quantity. aren’t mutually exclusive - communities can derive from and exist within networks important how they differ.
strong community element connections and value focused around specific professions and disciplines support, resources, insights and camaraderie Instant connection because of a shared, self-selecting identity
Networks are defined by scale – Communities defined by core focus…Scale is less relevant to activity and engagement Members don’t meet - don’t know who they say they are Communities more intimate. Members are expected to actively participate - more difficult to hide Networks are typically artificial; they are invariably created and then governed in a top-down fashion - little or no input from the majority - removed physically and psychologically Communities develop more organically - more autonomous, bottom-up fashion. Members are bound together through shared values - come together to find a solution - people coming up with the rules are from within the community - familiar with needs Networks encourage passivity and consumption - assume someone else will take care of problems that arise - everyone else is thinking, nothing gets done - anonymity of the crowd allows the passive bystander In communities you get and you give - know who is and who isn’t being taken care of, who is and isn’t stepping in to help - social repercussions
need to be part of it to have a voice; can’t expect to be heard shouting from the outside require give and take – as result need to re-think approach effort is much greater but then so are the rewards
“Most marketing content continues to push mass-market, self-promotional messages that buyers mistrust.” demand dialogue, not corporate monologue with each other as a primary source of information and product recommendation brands that they are willing to do business with
present throughout the whole buying process discover, learn and evaluate - point where the buying decision is made moving beyond merely observing and interacting with conversations participant and contributor - closer to ZMoT across multi-channel environments connection to and participation in the community is ever-present supplementing and sometimes replacing search as the ZMOT specific, quick and trusted source of information and recommendation Communities are becoming the place where buying research starts in a lot of instances, and the place that keeps pushing customers towards conversion Based on our IT Budget Reports survey from 2014, 81% of respondents identified their community, in this case Spiceworks, as the top resource used when considering vendors compared to 67% referencing Google Search.
don’t mean pumping out endless scheduled posts or dropping constant pieces of content be present, have a true dialogue, add value answering peoples’ questions, helping to solve their problems, make their lives easier - doesn’t mean selling relationships are built on trust - demonstrate credibility and value up-front customers looking for more from the brands that they engage with want deeper meaning and an overall ‘experience’ Contributing creates value and builds confidence in your brand
made up of people - want to talk to other people don’t want to ‘integrate’ or ‘engage’ - related to as human beings Being human? talking at the same level - ditching marketing speak - not selling having fun and not taking yourself too seriously relating to customers directly as humans creates emotional bonds; and emotions drive all decision making.
members don’t expect to simply be provided with a solution have an input - expect to be involved in the creation not to just be seen as consumers unparalleled resource for gaining feedback and stimulating innovation debate it and talk around different scenarios Pertino - $875B SMB technology market - validate their assumptions and gain valuable insights - feedback was real-time building and using community advocates to share their story 23,000 IT professionals in Spiceworks and over 3,000 registered companies, The Wall Street Journal, PandoDaily and ReadWrite. Brands which evolve through community interaction remain relevant because they're constantly adapting to the changing needs, interests and values of the people who give them meaning.
built around human engagement - doesn’t just happen in cyberspace happens organically - members convene their own meet-ups to develop their relationships and conversations ‘SpiceCorps’ brands members of the community in their own right scales back online - good-will and advocacy brand is seen as supporter of wider community
Backup Exec 2012 launched amongst much hype IT Pros picked up on this very quickly sharing their dissatisfactions Matt Stephenson - understood communities got involved directly asking and probing them for their feedback damage limitation - made the brand look legitimate to critical audience, after years of ignoring IT global social strategy most credible brands within the Spiceworks IT community Matt celebrity
role and impact way beyond key marketing channel infrastructure of the new relationship economy relationships are the new currency communities places where those relationships are developed and cultivated focus and authenticity offered by communities providing richness of experience that people are increasingly craving, filling a void left by the transient development of social networks brand perspective get intimately close to your customers on ongoing basis not about short-term Lead Gen - long-term relationships based on honesty, transparency and mutual trust provide context within which brands establish meaning, offering value above-and-beyond a product transaction
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