There is no question that our buying habits have changed over the past few years. We no longer even want a Yellow Pages book, we search online until we find what we want and we can use the internet for the valued Word of Mouth referral. Buying could be much faster but we are also armed with much more information and can be more in control of the information we use. Or so we think…
I recently had the pleasure of listening to the Co-Founder of ReachLocal; Nathan Hanks talk about the relationship between searching the web, surfing the web, and socializing on the web, and how they are all related to how consumers make decisions about buying. To illustrate the relationship he made up a little story (or did he make it up?)
Vicky has a friend that in Dallas Texas who is getting married. Vicky is the bridesmaid wanting to take her friend and three of the other bridesmaids to a special day at a local spa. She is taking all five ladies and is looking for a place that has great pre-wedding spa packages.
Vicky is at work and it’s 2:00 in the afternoon and she is taking a break and starts searching on Google for “wedding party spa packages dallas”. She hits “enter” and boom!…there on the page are 5 or 6 different search results. One of those search results is “Suzie-Q’s Day Spa”, and another one is the Crescent spa; which is a very well known spa in Dallas at the Crescent hotel.
Vicky clicks on a couple of sites and says “what about the Crescent? I’ve heard of them”. “What about this Suzie-Q spa?” She clicks on a few pages and minutes later she realizes that she has to run over to a meeting and takes off.
At the end of the day Vicky comes back to her desk and as is her afternoon ritual she goes to check her email and the news online. She opens up her CNN news and wow! There is a display ad… (banner ad) for Suzie-Q’s spa!
Vicky doesn’t know or care or even think too much about why Suzie-Q’s banner ad showed up just when she was thinking about a local spa. But we know it wasn’t an accident. That is something called “remarketing”. When Vicky originally visited Suzie-Q’s website, a tag or a “cookie” was dropped on Vicky’s computer. Later when Vicky went to look at the news, there was the banner ad for Suzie-Q’s business just waiting for her.
Vicky remembers that she has to book that spa package for the girls. “This must be a pretty cool spa; they must have a pretty large advertising budget”. So Vicky clicks on the banner and finds herself back on Suzie-Q’s site. Vicky browses through the site and thinks it looks pretty good. She sees some pages and some programs and thinks it looks pretty reasonable.
Maybe she doesn’t know what to make of the pricing, or maybe she just hasn’t seen enough pictures, maybe she is leaning on going to the Crescent because she suspects the Crescent is a sure bet based on its reputation.
Vicky turns around and goes to Yelp or CitySearch. Now instead of searching on “wedding party spa packages dallas” she types in “Suzie-Q day spa”. Vicky is no longer searching, she is researching Suzie-Q, and she is doing it on a review site. Maybe there weren’t any listings, so Vicky goes back to Google and searches on “Suzie-Q spa” to see what comes up. Well Suzie-Q’s map listing shows up on Google maps section with 3 and a half star rating. In fact there are 3 reviews on Suzie-Q’s spa.
Vicky thinks “only three reviews, that’s not a whole lot of reviews for a spa in downtown Dallas”, but she clicks on the first one. It just so happens that review is by another woman who brought her friends there for a pre-wedding spa getaway who wrote that “it was the best value for her money and really a great experience athletically and in terms of and relaxation”.
Vicky likes what she sees and is now ready to pick up the phone and book a package for her group.
This is just an example of how Search, Surf & Social work together to drive a conversion. Now this of course is just a made up scenario, but I can tell you that is a typical scenario that happens more than you might think.
Are your customers like Vicky? Probably. VIEWS has the expertise and the tools to help you be found when they are looking for you!