Chart 5: Buyers find Providers
The best way to get the researching buyer to find the provider is to create amazing content thas has been search optimized. The provider needs to be where buyers go and their content needs to be there.
Google search is the current search answer for over 70% of Internet users. Although they are not presently a threat to Google’s search dominance, we do have new capabilities from Wolfram Alpha and Microsoft’s Bing which could improve the expectations for information retrieval.
Research on the Internet is dynamic in 2010
I’m going to assume that you know about the pervasiveness of the Internet in modern society and not show you a bunch of charts you have probably seen. The Internet is clearly the no. 1 information retrieval platform on the planet in the 21st century. Information retrieval and organization has gone digital.
Back when the Internet first started getting used for commercialization in the mid 1990s, there were three key ingredients for success defined. They were the three C’s of community, content and commerce. What this really meant was that if we use content correctly, we might execute a transaction and welcome you into our community! It’s not that those three C’s were wrong; it’s just an overly-simplistic and perhaps a little self-serving for a provider. It was like walking before we learned how to run on the commercial culture of the Internet. Today, content and community tools are much richer than most would have imagined and what really shocked the system was that many buyers want to contribute to the overall conversation.
The commerce part has much higher expectations in regard to relationships than in 1999. As of today, it looks like commerce will be driven just as much by buyer-generated content as the marketing messages of the provider. A larger point can be made on control. In 1999, centralized control was a big part of the website experience. The communications were controlled by the provider in a top-down structure. In 2010, in order for the provider to flourish, they must navigate a shared-control environment with the Digital Buyer.
Community – to read our stuff Community – user generated and supported
Content – web brochures Content – digital, rich media
Commerce - transactions Conversations – organic, real-time
Contributions - made by anyone
Context – be more relevant
Collaboration – tools to work together
Co-design – buyers help define offerings
Crowdsourcing – collective directions
Culture – open, less control, distributed Commerce – buyer-review driven
We can see that the expectations have changed in number and capability....