Surprising Industries Where Considered Purchase Methodologies Apply
Considered purchase products and services span B2C and B2B categories, going far beyond tangible consumer goods. Anything that requires high involvement in the customer’s path to purchase - both from the customer and from the brand - will benefit from considered purchase marketing methodologies. Here are some surprising industries where these methods apply.
Since subscription services come with regularly recurring fees, the user has frequent opportunities to evaluate whether or not the service is working for them. Creating an experience that is valuable to them both pre- and post-sale is important for them to be happy, and for you to retain them as customers.
Software as a Service (SaaS) companies use considered purchase methodologies to attract, educate and convert leads to demo their product. 29% of software or SaaS companies have a typical sales cycle of 1-3 months, and during that cycle, target buyers are looking for how their specific sets of needs will be solved, and spend considerable time identifying their pain, researching the available solutions and then comparing options.
Price is a significant deciding factor for customers of ISPs, but they also consider more factors like data caps, connection speed, privacy concerns and reliability before making a purchase. And once purchased, if they’re not satisfied, they’ll cancel in favor of a different ISP. Ratings and reviews are extremely valuable to ISP marketers to not only solicit from current happy customers, but also to improve their services.
Making the decision to cut the cord on cable and go with one or more streaming services requires buyers to compare listings and prices among all their choices. Free trials are an important part of considered purchase marketing for video streaming services, as well as maintaining and promoting a highly desirable line-up to appeal to the 27 percent of US television viewers who don’t have cable.
By nature, companies in the B2B category very often fall into using considered purchase marketing methodologies. For example, the typical B2B new customer sales cycle length is 4-6 months, and existing customers still take 1-3 months to make another purchase. The longer sales cycle, the high-dollar investment and the multiple stakeholders require a high-touch approach to closing industrial services deals.
Finding efficiencies both in time and money are crucial for every business. For those looking to create and sell a product, it’s imperative that their manufacturer provide consistently reliable quality, timely delivery and excel in supply chain management. Manufacturers must work to prove these key decision points in their considered purchase marketing strategy.
Nearly three-quarters of businesses that use third-party logistics services outsource their domestic transportation and warehousing logistics business. A company in this industry that can innovate on behalf of their customers and then create considered purchase marketing strategies around those innovations will see success. For example, UPS drivers save 10 million gallons of gas every year simply by not making left turns.
Outsourcing is a $150 billion business and growing all the time, prompting many companies to consider whether it’s worth paying an outside vendor to manage the resourcing of these outsourced services. As a customer is making a decision on a managed service provider (MSP), they want to know whether an MSP is reliable and responsive, has strict quality measures in place and can provide back-up plans in the event that a vendor is unable to meet requirements.
Virtually anything involving money is a considered purchase - from choosing a personal bank to choosing a financial group to handle a company acquisition. Here are three additional financial verticals which benefit from considered purchase methodologies.
There are many different types of insurance, but buyers typically want to know the same things: How much coverage am I getting, how much am I paying for it, and most importantly, how does the insurance company respond when I actually need their services? Testimonials and other marketing materials provided within the right context of the buyer’s journey should speak to rates and the insurance company's responses to situations that have arisen.
Some want to get rich quickly, while others simply want to retire without having to worry about money. Firms in the former category can point to previous successes and testimonials from former clients, while the latter is more about creating an atmosphere of trust and integrity. Long-term investment marketing materials include detailed prospectuses and frequent communication via email lists and content marketing, aimed at encouraging customers to play the long game.
Loans and Refinancing
Credit bureaus consider all inquiries regarding loans within a 14-day period as one hard inquiry. The implication is that consumers can, and should, shop around before taking out a loan. Considered purchase marketing for this industry requires creating a culture of trust while showcasing a variety of loan products and financing options. Loan issuers should provide a steady stream of content about how locking in a low rate on a loan can help individuals to save money over the long term, and highlight the simplicity of their application process.
Both B2C and B2B healthcare products and services fall into the considered purchase category, and healthcare marketers must toe a very fine line between advertising and showing concern for the well-being of their customers or end users.
Though it’s common for people to choose doctors based on recommendations from family, friends and other doctors, 80% percent of Americans look for health information online. Andrei Zimiles, CEO of Doctor.com, says on Inc.com:
“...81% of patients will read reviews about a provider, even after they've been referred…. Patients depend on online sources of information more so than ever, and are using all of the digital tools available to inform themselves and make healthcare decisions. While it is paramount for healthcare organizations to provide quality care, they must also focus on building a strong online presence and a seamless customer journey. It's what today's patients expect.”
There’s also a need for understanding out there, and a smart medical practice or hospital will capitalize by publishing content regarding common illnesses. Blogs, videos and online knowledge bases can encourage those seeking out health information to find what they’re looking for, making them that much more likely to choose the provider issuing this content.
The number of seniors living in retirement communities and long-term care homes is estimated to double by 2030. As Boomers continue to age, senior living facilities have to appeal not just to the seniors that will be living there, but to the children of these seniors as well. According to A Place for Mom, their typical sales cycle lasts 1-3 months. During that time, in-person visits can help demonstrate a high quality of care, while educational content, brochures and referrals should be significant components of a facility's considered purchase marketing strategy.
In the United States, there are more than 6,500 companies that produce medical devices, and in Europe, a new patent for medical technology is filed every 38 minutes. The field is innovating rapidly, so medical technology companies must market their services based on concrete, number-based results from studies. Given the speed at which technology in healthcare moves, email and content marketing may be most helpful to these considered purchase brands, allowing them to quickly communicate their discoveries and tips to an increasingly tech-savvy audience of providers and administrators.
Written by Jason Bender
With 20 years of brand building and digital innovation for clients like Mars, P&G, Ford, and more, Jason brings deep CPG, automotive, healthcare, and tech marketing experience to Icon as Chief Experience Officer. He blends the skillsets of creative and strategist to guide the execution of Icon’s customer-facing work across teams. His honors include Cannes, CLIO, and Webbys. He has been published in iMedia Connection and Inc, and has presented at events like NewCo and HOW Design Conference.