According to research by the Corporate Executive Board, today’s consumers are 57% into the buying process and have researched an average of 10.2 pieces of information prior to even contacting you, indicating that consumers are increasingly more savvy when it comes to shopping for their ideal solution and price.
Think about that for a minute. You may have already been excluded from the opportunity to talk to this prospect before you even knew they were interested. Will these statistics be changing any time soon? If I were to interject on the topic, I would say YES, but perhaps not in a way that you would imagine.
I do believe that buyer behaviors will continue in the pattern of consumers doing more online research before researching out to vendors. Some analysts predict that by 2025, Millennials will represent approximately 75% of the workforce. This means that the primary planner demographic will likely be Millennials, people who have been raised in a digital sandbox. In my opinion, that 57% number will rise as these digital gurus dominate the workforce.
What can you do? Here are a few suggestions for addressing the needs of those that are soon to be your core customer demographic:
- Make sure your online presence is strong. Ensure your website is current, visually appealing, and easy to navigate.
- Build a presence on relevant distribution platforms. Make sure your information there is current and appealing.
- Once consumers find you online, provide a visually engaging experience. Video content is a key driver for conversion.
- Use online interactive diagramming tools so planners can visualize their event in your space. Empower them to collaborate with their team members and with you.
- Provide an easy way to connect with you. A clean, simple RFP form that is easily accessible from various areas on your website increases the likelihood that you’ll be considered in their “short list”
- Once an RFP has been submitted, review and follow-up promptly. 72% of first responders win the business – increase your opportunity to win when you quickly confirm availability and reply with an interactive proposal.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but does provide a few areas that you can quickly check and make improvements as needed. Build a plan to reach out to this growing audience of consumers and ensure you are staying ahead of your competition.
Not sure where to get started? The team at Newmarket is always available to assist you with understanding key considerations to help you grow your groups and meetings business. With decades of experience, our team can help you identify your strongest areas of impact and help you stand out from the crowd. Let us know how we can help!