BuzzFeed. HuffPost. Vice. Those are just a few of the digital media darlings that have been forced to make significant cuts to their staffs since the start of the year. Many of these organizations were destined to hit a wall on their hyper-growth model as the profits simply couldn’t cover the costs of needing to contend with the likes of Facebook and Google, who not only compete for ad dollars but also consumer attention. The digital media world—once lauded as the future of media with custom publishing and native content consumption tied to pay-per-click advertising models and paywalls—has stumbled hard.
While content is (still) king, a new approach to digital media—anchored by a deep understanding of customer intent—can drive the outcomes necessary to support a sustainable business model. Performance-driven marketplaces, designed to connect both buyers and sellers in the right venue at exactly the right time, provides a high-utility service for both groups.
The reality is that buyers are better educated than ever before, investing the time to do their due diligence before making a significant purchasing decision. Demand Gen Report notes that 41% of buyers view three-to-five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep and 77% of buyers did not speak with any salespeople until after they had educated themselves. Meanwhile, despite marketing budgets increasing, sales teams report finding new customers is getting harder. A performance-driven marketplace provides the ideal venue to satisfy both the buyer and seller needs, cutting through the noise to drive a mutually beneficial outcome. Striking this careful balance however, requires a thoughtful, customer-centric approach to drive meaningful connections and improved outcomes.
To help you navigate the evolution of our dynamic digital world, I’ve outlined five best practices for building and delivering a performance-based marketplace for long term success.
1. The Power of Data — Leverage data to deeply understand consumer intent and create a seamless path to valuable resources. By positioning your marketplace as a reliable and accessible asset, consumers will return time and time again.
2. Make It Easy — With a keen focus on customer needs, provide service-oriented content and tools that offer high utility value. Making it easy for intent-driven customers to gain access to the insight they need, positions your platform as the de facto venue to support strategic decision making.
3. Keep It Real — Avoid the hype! Stay focused and relevant in the market. Study and observe purchasing behavior to understand how buyers and sellers interact with each other. Leverage this insight to build a platform that supports current behavior and seamlessly connects these audiences in a relevant and meaningful way.
4. Bridge Success — Remember that one size fits all doesn’t work with savvy marketers. Provide a comprehensive portfolio of performance marketing solutions that drive scalable outcomes for customers. By connecting the buyer and seller at the right time with the right content, your marketplace becomes the steadfast bridge to success.
5. Trust Unlocks Power — Most importantly, build trust with both sides of the marketplace, users and marketers. In doing so, you will cultivate an army of loyal advocates, ensuring continued engagement and long-term success.
Today’s savvy buyers crave resources that are accessible, easy to use and deliver the information needed to support strategic decision making. Meanwhile, sellers struggle to capture new leads and close deals faster in an increasingly noisy market. A carefully crafted performance-driven marketplace considers its customers’ needs first to seamlessly create meaningful connections and deliver improved business outcomes for both the buyer and seller alike. By facilitating those connections, digital media can play a critical role in supporting and sustaining businesses around the world.