After people have bought your product or service, you're still on the hook to provide good content. In this phase of the buyer's decision journey, there are many more opportunities to build upon the purchase experience -- and help your newly found customer spread the word about your product or service.
I ran a very informal poll on Twitter about what product packaging and brochures/literature people keep, the other night. The answers sound like things I heard from acquaintances and friends before. What do people generally keep when the purchase is made?
- things they can reuse -- jars, boxes, glass bottles
- items that contain warranty information -- appliances, electronics
- literature that is either interactive, or fun -- mostly cars in this category
Repurposing makes for good marketing long after the purchase is made in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and direct to consumer (or B2C) categories. Companies like Apple, high fashion powerhouses like Hermès and Tiffany's and luxury brands have learned the power of making the package part of the appeal.
Many car makers have been experimenting with their brochures as well. Interactive brochures and fun promotional ones, like those of the new VW Beetle and Mini Cooper (they have an iPhone app, too). Apple iPod packaging always gets a mention -- Nano or Shuffle.
Alright, this may work for CPG and B2C companies. What about businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B)? What leave behind value can they pack in literature and brochures? Do people really pass those along?
You won't be surprised to hear that the answer is yes, as long as youConfirm they made the right choice
Your customers are the most vulnerable once they signed on the dotted line and complete the purchase. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM is a nice seal of approval, one that hopefully has not led the large corporation to sit on its laurels. Chances are, your brand may need some extra boost.
Since by signing with you they gave you their trust, you can continue to help them manage the downside risk of their purchase experience by making what you offer customers stand out. You are helping your customers rationalize their purchase.
You certainly don't want to get back home or to the office after a very expensive purchase, and not have a tangible, rational, explanation of why you bought it. BMW 7 Series will come with a serious manual about top notch German engineering and all sorts of high end goods -- you just earned the copy.
A lot of effort is put into literature to promote what you sell. Are you taking a second look at post purchase brochures?Tell them what they just bought
A colleague came back from the dentist a few weeks ago after a long treatment. When I asked him what he paid for, he responded, a brand new smile. That's exactly what it was. You know how he knew that? From reading the brochure in the dentist's office.
There's still plenty of room for B2B companies to leverage what they know and educate, inform, impress customers with their communications though well crafted and useful content.
Have you thought about your leave behind message as away to restate your customer's experience?Give them something to share
This is not just ten copies of that brochure or piece of literature, the one you wrote for all purposes on the subject. Think outside the share this widget for a moment, and into another kind of widget. Make one that contains something tangible for them.
The best mobile apps help you get something done, on the go. Southwest Airlines iPhone app is perfect. A few menu items, you select what you need, get it done on the go. They need to work a bit harder on routing text message options when people select those, instead of making calls.
Find a way to think about different uses for apps, for example customer service. Don't underestimate the power of a great experience -- people always share that one. And you get the benefits of making a customer happy and getting word of mouth marketing on top of that.
Get there early
From a content standpoint, as we said in writing content for the buyer's decision journey, opt-in emails are hard to beat when it comes to the final stages of the journey. The moment customers sign on the dotted line, you can do much more.
Very few people convert to a complex purchase online. Get them to a telephone or a meeting as the call to action -- face to face conversation more likely leads to conversion. Higher engagement and interaction are embedded in this phase.
- allowing community transparency for purchase validation
- offering value to the customer's team and peers
- facilitating interaction with you and your company
A customer's decision journey is not a straight funnel anymore. By understanding their content post purchase needs, you may actually continue to interest them and their colleagues or friends in new purchases with you.
There's always more. What materials have you found useful and shareable?
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.