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The Buyer’s Journey: Keeping Pace on Complex Decisions

A buyer's job is to understand user requirements, research available options, and make an informed decision. The vendor's job, on the other hand, is to sell the buyer by understanding those requirements, describing how its offerings measure up, and demonstrating the value provided. The goal is to optimize the success rate, but that typically has the vendor wanting to engage early in the process and the buyer wanting to be left to its own research until purchase time.

In today's market, we've seen that in more than 70% of the cases the buyer engages with the vendor (or its channel partner) only after making a purchase decision. This differs from the not-too-distant past, when buyers had to engage with vendors and their channel partners early in the buying journey to get access to the information they needed to help make an informed buying decision. Vendors used advertising to reach out to buyers, but had no way of determining marketing campaign effectiveness.

With more than 70% of buyers making unified communications, collaboration, and cloud purchase decisions before they engage with a vendor or channel partner, the expression "the Internet has changed everything" is certainly proving to be true here. Note the addition of "cloud" to the traditional UC&C moniker. Many SaaS vendors do not think they are in the UC market. While this might be debatable, what isn't is that buyers and marketers in the cloud space face many of the same opportunities and challenges as those in the UC market.

The Web puts buyers in a good position to do their due diligence with no sales pressure from vendors. Here at No Jitter and at sites like UCStrategies.com, buyers can find plenty of objective content to help on their journey. At UCStrategies.com, for example, more than 500 visitors view 20 or more pages and nearly 1,800 visitors view 10 pages or more monthly. These are buyers on a journey.

With the buyer journey in mind, we at UCStrategies have started to focus on new content areas and intend on launching a new site this fall to expand the UCStrategies.com knowledge base. We already address collaboration, cloud, social business, software-defined networking, and WebRTC, and we are adding new areas such as business communications operations management (BCOM), which we announced in March, and in-depth content on network pre-assessment, provisioning, monitoring, troubleshooting, user feedback, operations best practices, and much more.

Meantime, we give vendors access to tools and resources to help them understand the success and return on investment they receive from their various marketing campaigns. The new site will provide information to help them better target their content to meet buyers' needs. Sponsors will be able to provide content linked together to suggest a vendor-specific path for a buyer's journey.

The goal of the new site is to provide buyers all the information they need to make an informed buying decision and to match buyers with vendors and channel partners when the buyer is ready but before purchase decision. But whether you are a buyer or a vendor, we would love your feedback on what you would like to see in the new site. Email me your wish list!

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