At its root, business is a chicken and egg problem.
In order to survive, the business must dedicate resources to help customers, which will in turn give resources to the business. But which came first? Was it the business dedicating resources or the customer’s giving up of resources?
It stands to reason that it has to be the business going first. Businesses develop products or services and offer them to the public. Of course, to make sure customers are aware of the product/service, a business has to have a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that could take months to get off the ground, providing many sleepless nights for the business’s employees and owners.
But then there is the excitement of coming to market. Who knows what’s going to happen? Are sales going to beat projections? Will it flop?
Before: The Days of the Chicken
WAIT! Something doesn’t seem right here. I’m telling you that a company could invest millions of dollars, and they don’t know how it’s going to turn out? The business could lose the whole thing?
That’s right! Remember New Coke (or Coca-Cola II) of 1985? My parents sure do! If you are not familiar with it for whatever reason, I encourage you to Google it (I’ll come back to Google it shortly).
There are some ways that businesses could cheat in the past. They would distribute surveys and conduct “blind taste tests” to try and uncover what customers wanted in new products or services. Sometimes this worked pretty well. But there were times it was a complete bust (did you read about New Coke yet?) and the surveys did not actually convey what customers wanted.
Very likely, the thought in your head right now is something to the effect of, “Well that’s no good. It’s a dice throw then if I’ll be successful in my business!” Well, maybe. But today you have something that researchers of the past only dreamed of having. You have the Internet.
Now: The Days of the Egg
Now it seems bizarre to suggest that the egg came first. But hear me out.
Before the Internet, there was little doubt that the chicken came first. But today, the egg is making a strong argument for being first. With the rise of the Internet, businesses can know with amazing accuracy what customers want. Customers leave reviews online by the truck load. They talk about what they want or need all the time. They type words into Google and then go to websites in hopes of solving their problem.
This has actually caused the rise of several businesses. Have you heard of Kick Starter? Kick Starter is in the business of making sure there are resources and customers out there before someone decides to go into business. The risk of the multimillion-dollar campaign is not gone, but it doesn’t need to come first!
But let’s get back to Google it.
How Your Customers Are Making Their Buying Decisions
The world is not changing; it has already changed. No longer do consumers rely on businesses or friends to tell them what to purchase, they do their own research! Consumers Google it. Thanks to the Internet, consumers are more informed today than they have ever been in the past.
Think about the last product you purchased. Did you go online to search for reviews or do cost comparison? Think a little differently now. What’s the last service you didn’t buy because of the Internet? Did you learn how to change your own brake pads, or patch a hole in your roof, or make lasagna?
Your potential customers are doing the exact same thing. They are going online to research and make the best buying decision they possibly can.
If you are asking, “Well, John Mark, how do I start showing up where customers are looking?” you are asking one of my favorite questions. (Right up there with “Will the Sooners go all the way this year?”) Put a comment in the box below and we can start that conversation. Maybe you are mildly intrigued, but aren’t sure what I’m saying is true. That’s great as well! Follow our blog for the next few months and decide. After all, this is the Internet; you can Google it for yourself.