OUR BUYING PROCESS is changing. The way we make purchasing decisions is changing. And technology is making that happen.
A few years ago, when considering buying a car, most people would check out several dealerships and quite possibly the “Consumer Guide” before making a decision. Dial the calendar a few years ahead and think… When is the last time you bought a pricey item (Car, TV, BlueRay player.. a book…) without reading at least one online review? Written by a person you probably never heard of and will likely never meet?
Amazon (Big fan!), cnet, epinions and many other sites have given consumers their voice back. Today, a crafty marketing message over any medium gets only so much traction. A consumer generated review wields much more power over the final buying decision.
Entire businesses have folded over a hurtful forum thread, propelled by Google searches and the pure number of curious eyes.
Power of a single person getting their opinion heard by thousands, even millions of others are the true essence of Web 2.0+ and the way things are going to be in the coming years.
While some marketers may be cringing at the possibility of having their efforts and ideas thwarted by someone unknown and out of reach, the savvy ones will see an opportunity to harness direct feedback and evolve. Create something remarkable with the help from their most vocal influencers.
So, seek out what your customers are saying now and consider providing a way to open that direct communication through a blog or other social media.