The Continuous Shift In Buyer Behavior
Let’s go on a quick journey together through the past: The year is 2000 - Blink182 is still popular, cars had terrible gas mileage, Tesla didn’t exist yet, flip phones were still around, music streaming had yet to be developed, and software as a service (SaaS) was a drastically different business environment from the one we see today.
In the present, we are now in an age of further digital maturity; you can order batteries from your smart speaker, acquire food and other goods delivered to your door with just a touch of your smartphone, you open up Uber instead of calling a taxi etc. The world that we live in today scarcely resembles the world we lived in 20 years ago. However, for so many software companies the practices they use to reach their buyers have stayed largely the same in those20 years.
The rituals of vendor corporate courtship are an intricate web of engaging large analyst firms like Gartner or Forrester in hopes of making it into theMagic Quadrant or The Wave, tailoring RFP’s, and competing in a narrow arena.This continues to be the way of the world in the stratosphere of big business and will continue to stay that way while big firms remain in their ranks.Although, when generational turnover occurs among decision-makers, their approach to decision making changes as well. Today, compared to our journey back to 2000, only three companies that were in the Fortune 500 top 10at that time still remain - those are AT&T, Exxon Mobil, and Walmart.Google’s Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple were hardly a thought in people’s minds at the time. Time does not stand still, institutions and companies a like ultimately come to their conclusion as time goes on. So why have so many companies gone on ignoring these dynamic shifts in business and purchasing behaviors at large?
Organizations have a huge range of options, and even as slow as large corporate bureaucracies are, they do ultimately follow the companies that have their finger on the pulse of the market. Companies that grow fast are lean, agile, and adaptable.
The large market research firms that have helped big companies make purchasing decisions are losing their foothold as thought leaders. In a startup pitch competition former Googler and billionaire venture capitalist, Chris Sacca, heckled a founder for using Gartner data and all but called the company a dinosaur. This was said a decade ago. Vendors need to be asking themselves who the decision-makers are right now and how are they making their purchasing decisions?
The answer is largely objective, third-party software discovery platforms and smaller market research firms with their fingers on the pulse, not a huge market research firm that is rubber stamping their legacy vendor clients on an index. Decision-makers have gotten wise to this practice and it is becoming the victim of creative destruction because companies know they have options and big market research firms aren’t giving them enough to choose from.
Vendors that are used to courting larger brands have not noticed the shifting ground underneath their feet and continue to pay these massive sums to big market research firms rather than further investing that money into digital marketing and leveraging these platforms – or even boutique firms with a better handle on a niche market such as GRC. We live in an era where all companies more or less need to behave like media companies, by providing their own high-quality thought leadership.
Software discovery platforms enable companies to get massive online exposure and generate leads with a more direct approach. More boutique market research firms are more sector-specific allowing them to own individual corners of the market. Software discovery platforms like G2 and Crozdesk have flipped the pay for play model on its head while also providing decision-makers exactly what they want i.e. more objective insight and more options.
This approach doesn’t just generate more business in a laser-focused way, it saves them money while they do it.