5 Ways to Identify and Convert “Self-Educating Buyers”

By Ross Shanken

BLOG-stealth_shopper.jpg

Many marketers face the continued threat to customer acquisition of the self-educating buyer and its potential impact on their businesses. You could have the best inbound marketing program in the world, but it will likely be ineffective when it comes to influencing this segment of potential customers.

This consumer who conducts his own shopping research and doesn’t seek direct interaction with a representative at a company until he has reached the decision phase of his shopping journey has become the majority of consumers.

Like many marketers, you’ve likely never had a way to identify whether or not a consumer who is a first-time visitor to your website is early in the shopping process, because you’ve had no way to see other touch points they have had across the web. That consumer could actually be a self-educating buyer who has already visited multiple other websites and completed most of his research and is verging on a purchase decision.

The reason self-educating buyers are so problematic to marketers is that if the brand doesn’t identify consumers who have reached the decision-making phase of their buying journey, its window of influence is vastly narrowed, resulting in missed sales. We all know that consumers are searching not just your branded sites, but also your competitor’s sites, as well as third party resources, to self-educate before making a purchase decision. The problem is that we haven’t been able to connect to all those other consumer interactions until recently.

Why You Don’t See Some Consumers

If you’re like most marketers, you rely on consumer data culled solely from your brand’s own web properties, and thus have only a partial view of the consumer journey. In a perfect world, consumers would visit only your brand’s website for all their research and self-education. Since that’s not the case, even if you have the best predictive analytics in place for data gleaned from your own properties, because you’re operating with such an incomplete view of prospective customers, your predictions have large margins of error.

Without a broader understanding of the consumer journey, you are only looking at a myopic view of only the intersection between the consumer journey and your brand. You are looking where you can see instead of looking where the consumers are. When all you see is a few data points, you only a small piece of the overall journey.

Solve the Self-Educating Shopper Challenge with Intent Data

A consumer’s online shopping activities are highly accurate at predicting the stage in which that consumer sits in her buying journey. When you combine authoritative, third party intent data with predictive analytic tools, you solve the problem of self-educating shoppers because you can identify new prospects before they interact with you directly and predict a consumer’s buying journey stage once they have interacted with you.

Uncovering and Converting Self-educating Buyers

There are a number of specific ways that you can leverage behavioral data to detect and convert these shoppers – here are five great examples:

1.) Identifying Self-educating Shoppers Visiting Your Website

Your website sees a variety of inbound Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community