Today’s Marketer and the Changing Face of Purchase Decisions

social business

As digital and mobile channels continue to pervade ever deeper into today’s business landscape, the challenges facing organizations and their key personnel grows with it.

Whereas before, we could create a message and hammer it home to our audiences until it was accepted, now there are multiple channels, factors, disruptors and more that make marketing your brand much more scientific than before.

Think of all the facets of marketing today:

  • Social media marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Influence marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Pay Per Click marketing
  • Banner display marketing
  • Digital signage marketing
  • Traditional marketing

And on and on and on. Still marketing, but now truly multi-faceted.

Now, into that mix, introduce demographics, locale, purchase history, brand loyalty, financial, emotional and situational factors, and creating a successful marketing template becomes much more strategic than ever before.

Which is why a new guide from Worldcom Public Relations Group is a timely release. The world’s leading partnership of global public relations brands, Worldcom provides analysis and understanding of the various cultural nuances in different marketplaces.

Their Global & Local Marketing Guide for CMOs highlights the growing shifts and trends in these different markets, and offers insights from 40 Worldcom partners across more than 15 countries.

These insights help CMOs understand the marketing and PR landscape when it comes to multicultural audiences, locales and industries, and is geared to help organizations and marketing consultants/agencies be more effective in these areas.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the report.

Today’s Marketer Needs to Understand Local as Well as Global

Savvy marketers have always known that true success comes from understanding your customer and meeting their needs and demands.

From type of message to channel of promotion, and language of the message, if you don’t meet your customer on their terms – or at least be fluid enough to adapt to their known terms – then you’re already on shaky ground when it comes to getting your brand message out there.

For example, in Argentina, South America:

…60% of opinions about a product are shared in face-to-face conversations, and people are more eager to exchange opinions with friends (45.5%), family (20%) and colleagues (30%). 92% of the comments within these conversations tend to be positive over negative.

In Arizona, United States:

Small businesses are a major contributor to Arizona’s economy, representing 97% of businesses in the state. 78% of Arizona companies rely on word-of-mouth when purchasing a new product or service.

In Hong Kong, China:

Hong Kong is seeing a growing market for group purchases. In January 2012, Groupon had 360,000 fans of their Facebook page, 10% of the total amount of Facebook accounts in China. [Note: I’ve never been sold on fans in relation to business metrics, but the percentages and use of Groupon was interesting – Danny.]

These are just three snippets that highlight very different cultural takes on how we do business today. The report itself delves into many more countries and offers some fascinating insights into why the future of marketing is local, and then beyond.

Interestingly, many of the findings tie perfectly into the research and methodologies that make up Influence Marketing, and how dyadic (groups of two) relationships drive influence marketing success when it comes to the customer solution.

If marketers can change their mindsets on placing the customer first and then meeting track back from there to meet the customer’s needs, their goals will be more manageable and measurable.

Channels and Content Are Key

For ArCompany, the best marketing and PR is when you’re not even aware you’re being marketed to. The nature of the promotion, the conversations around it, the minute details that are researched before a campaign’s implementation – all are geared towards making marketing as non-invasive as possible.


Sure, the in-your-face way works, especially in certain industries. But more often than not, the campaigns that resonate the most are the ones that see your customers continue to talk long after the initial ad hits your stream.

To this end, the channels your business uses for its campaigns, along with the content and how it’s shared, plays a significant part in an increasingly connected consumer-led marketplace.

For businesses, 88% prefer email as the lead communication channel.

For consumers, 34% prefer social media, although email is a close second with 27%.

76% say that social media [influencer] outreach is a top priority for clients.

85% cite LinkedIn as their preferred channel.

49% claim social posts are too promotional.

46% said the communication was too frequent.

In addition to these numbers, the breakdown between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) content and strategies offers a clear difference in strategy and approach.

B2C content should be educational; stimulating; entertaining; non-commercial; objective; focused on engagement and two-way communication.

B2B content should present ROI in a clear, understandable and measurable manner; be solution-driven; have an integrated media approach; include infographics, videos and social media content alongside traditional media.

While the lines between consumer and business marketing are beginning to blur more, as corporations adopt more social media and influencer campaign models traditionally associated with consumer campaigns, the differences are still large enough to warrant specific strategies and tactics for each.

The Landscape is Shifting

It’s not just social media that’s leading the charge in the way we do business – mobile is dramatically shifting not only the way we consume media, but also the way we shop and make purchase decisions.

More traditional verticals like Financial Services, as well as more forward-thinking ones like Retail, are seeing seismic shifts in how customers of these industries use mobile phones to gather information and quantify their decisions.

In the Financial Services sector in the U.S., mobile banking is the #1 activity bank customers expect to be able to carry out with their chosen bank.

In the Retail sector, mobile shopping will represent 62% of digital consumers by the end of 2013.

In addition to these numbers, the Hungarian Advertising Association showed mobile marketing grow 12% in 2012, accounting for just under 20% of the complete advertising budget for the European country. This trend is visible elsewhere, as the full report shows.

Where Does This Leave You?

As the examples here and in the full report show, today’s CMO needs to be multi-talented.

As well as being responsible for product development, market research, sales management and advertising, they need to be up-to-date on the trends that matter for their customers as well as their business and stakeholders.

As a CMO in today’s marketplace, you need to:

Know who you’re speaking to, and understand their habits and behaviours of your key customers.

Know what, how and when to share your message.

Understand measurement and where you’re succeeding, where you’re struggling, where you need to pivot and where you need to acquiesce.

Plan for sustainability, move away from the campaign mindset and be strategic in building long-term loyalty and advocacy through delivering on your promise and continuing the after-service long after the sale.

The simple fact of the matter is, mobile and digital marketing is only going to become ever more pervasive, and require more hats to be worn across the board. The marketing hat starts with the CMO – make sure you’re wearing it well. Need help? Let’s talk.

The full Global & Local Marketing Guide for CMOs 2013 can be downloaded here. This post originally appeared on the ArCompany corporate blog.

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