As marketers, we’re in the business of understanding behavior and what makes people buy things. But in the age of technology, when we can communicate seamlessly with anyone, anywhere with an internet connection, crucial elements still get lost in translation.
It’s somewhat absurd that with the rise of digital, we’ve actually masked a lot of the behavioral signals that help us piece together the person behind the action.
Sure, someone clicked, but do you know why? And how should you engage them next, since customer engagement drives purchase decisions?
Your prospective customers aren’t necessarily saying anything to you verbally the way you’d hear a loved one or a boss. So, we’re left to sift through click-through rates, time spent on web pages and drop-off times on videos. But it’s vital that we decipher what our customers are trying to tell us online, just as we would in an in-person conversation.
Despite their seeming silence, customers are continually giving off signals about their mindset through their behavior during their engagement with your assets — powerful signals I like to call “digital body language.”
How Best Buy is using its insights
In recent months, for example, Best Buy realized their special sauce was the in-person conversation — the interaction people have in-store with the “blue shirts,” the employees wearing the well-known bright blue polo shirts. So Best Buy exploited this point of differentiation in its most recent ad campaign.
Recently, Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer Whit Alexander said:
Telling the story of our people — and how we make a meaningful impact on customers’ lives — is at the heart of this work.” … “The core of what differentiates Best Buy vs. everyone else — and makes us awesome for customers — is that we understand your unique needs and how tech can enhance your life.
There are nuances to the process of buying electronics, especially big-ticket items, and an online description frequently doesn’t meet shoppers’ needs. That’s why Best Buy has shifted its focus to make its business model all about reading and engaging their customers.
One 30-second spot, for example, shows an employee helping a customer choose a refrigerator — a purchase decision based specifically on fingerprint-resistance.
This is a powerful lesson for B2B companies to apply to our own marketing — we need to create an environment online that mirrors the showroom experience, where we can take cues from prospective customers.
Reading buyers’ digital body language
So you’ve got all these metrics on your prospective buyers, but the difficulty lies in deciphering what their actions actually mean. Your data should provide intelligence into how to approach each customer.
Here are some general guidelines about how to interpret and act on your prospect’s online behavior:
Multiple visits to your website or content
This is the equivalent of bumping into someone a few times and making small talk. You’re not quite friends, but you are acquaintances and know a few things about each other. These buyers are aware of your product and offerings but may not know much about them.
It’s best to engage them with introductory content, and not get too far into the weeds too fast. If you have a sense of what industry they work in, you should tailor your content based on those insights. Keep these pieces of content on the short side, so you don’t lose their attention.
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