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Is your company aligned with the new purchase model?

If you have not realized or are reluctant to accept, today’s consumer has something very powerful in their hands: their voice. And that same voice can resonate in the four corners of the world, helping your brand name to succeed or fail. How has your company been enjoying this “new” scenario?

The fact is that the current consumer behaves differently in their purchasing journey. In the past, if he was impacted by an ad, he had to go to the physical store to make a purchase. Today, after seeing an ad, he simply picks up his smartphone, does a web search, and, in minutes, has already made his purchase decision.

He browses between posts on blogs and social networks, videos on YouTube, and reads online reviews from customers.

Reviews, in particular, present a key role in whether or not to buy.

Check out this post ”How to Use the Consumer Voice” to help your business build a better relationship with customers.

There are countless examples of brands that have suffered terrible damage because of a poorly made campaign or even a negative online review. The reverse also happens, leading brands to be at the top of the most talked-about subjects that the week. This is the power of word of mouth.

This is only possible thanks to the advancement of social networks, which give anyone the power to publish content, be it criticism or praise for a brand. This means that you are dealing with consumers empowered by connectivity.

This empowerment comes from the vast amount of information available on the web, which is easily accessible. This information includes content about the brand and its products/services that range from expert reviews to comments from friends or acquaintances.

If the customer has changed, then the purchase journey has also changed.

Get to know the “new” consumer buying journey and the importance of investing in your company’s online reputation.

For decades stimulation, shelf and experience was how a local business was able to sell its services.

Stimulus. A father is watching a football game and sees an ad for an amusement park with admission packages on sale. He thinks, “It would be a good idea to celebrate my daughter’s 7th birthday there.”

Shelf. The next day he calls the park, looking for more information about the packages. An attendant answers all his questions and he decides to take the family next Friday.

Experience. They go to the park on Friday and play, eat and have fun and come home more than satisfied. A happy ending. These three steps were the mental model of marketing for a long time.

However, this model changes with the need to insert a new stage in the consumer buying journey: the zero moments of truth.

Returning to the example, the father still watches football and sees the TV commercial. But now he picks up his smartphone and searches for “amusement parks.”

He checks negative and positive park reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, sees photos, and checks responses to customer ratings. All this information will influence his decision

The result is that before the game is over – and before he gets in touch with any of the parks – he’s ready to make a decision. And what strongly impacted this decision? Reviews of consumers who have been there. That is, the online reputation of the park.

To make you think:

1) A marketing analyst is searching the web for a steakhouse that can host the company’s Christmas party;

2) A student is in a cafe, checking out the ratings and reviews for nice hotels in Barcelona;

3) A housewife is looking for a pet-shop near her home to get dog food

It is at this moment that your company must appear in the

top results of the user search with the best online reputation possible to help make a purchasing decision.

How important is a company’s online reputation in the consumer’s buying decision?

Bright Local interviewed about 1,000 consumers in the US to discover consumer opinions about online reviews. Check out the search results:

86% of consumers read online reviews;

78% of consumers say they rely on online reviews as well as personal recommendations;

50% of consumers visit local business websites after reading a positive comment;

68% of consumers become more likely to buy from a particular business after reading positive ratings;

85% said that online reviews influence a purchase (62% said they strongly influence).

How to use online reviews to reach Consumers 4.0

1 ー Accept the huge power of influence of the new consumer 4.0 and use it in your favor

Always ask customers to evaluate your business but don’t stop there. Interact with these reviews by responding whenever possible; the action will build positive bridges of communication with your customers.

And that’s not all. By interacting with your online reviews you have a great opportunity to invest in Local SEO. This will increase the chances of your company ranking first when they seek your services.

2 ー Relevant content as the main tool.

Crafting quality content is what will help you create bridges between your brand and consumers. A study by your views showed that interactions with questions and answers on the product page convert 2.5 times above the market average.

3 ー Relationship and interaction.

Engagement is what attracts the consumer 4.0. Effective review management allows you to identify points of dissatisfaction in advance that can be used to exceed your client’s expectations.

The same can be done with “love points” ー that moment when a client leaves an annotated evaluation of how his establishment has left him satisfied. Interacting with this type of review, while it is still “fresh” is a great chance to win over that customer even more. When answering the review, customers will feel appreciated and valued by the company. You have certainly earned a special place in the heart of this customer.

Conclusion

Consumer 4.0 is essentially defined by the power of their voice online. Your company should find some way to help that voice resonate in favor of your brand. That means you need to find a way to be an active part of the dialogue with your customers and your target audience.

In other words, show that your company is listening to your customers by creating a conversation with your client underneath their reviews.

Content written by Felipe Arruda – Marketing Strategist

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