Here in Toronto, the first two weeks of February are all about food.
During Winterlicious, which runs from January 31 through February 13, regular non-foodie folks can enjoy delicious three-course lunches and dinners at some of the city’s best, most diverse restaurants for very reasonable prices.
The food festival encourages people to get together for food and drinks at lunch or after work, ideally forgetting about the grey winter landscape enduring just outside the restaurant.
It also results in a flood of new restaurant reviews and ratings on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. Diners immediately share their experiences – good and bad – with others, and those reviews can stick with a restaurant for months, or even years, depending on how popular it is.
Thanks in large part to the proliferation of B2B software-as-a-service apps and barrier-free access to technology that allows customers to connect with one another, this behavior is creeping into how professionals react to the products they use at work. When they have a good (or bad) experience with an app, they want to share that experience with the world – just like they did with the restaurant they ate at for lunch.
There’s no denying that consumers are bringing their buying habits into the workplace and that their peers are listening to what they have to say. This “Yelpification of B2B” is well underway and the expectations as business-to-business buyers have changed forever.
More and more, customers are relying on knowledgeable peers and the reviews, testimonials and case studies they produce or contribute to in order to make a sound buying decision.
In fact, Forrester says that 75% of the buying process is already complete before a prospect even contacts a company.
So how can forward-thinking B2B companies maintain control of the buying process when so many potential customers are bypassing marketing and sales, and connecting directly with their peers?
The answer is advocates – fans, evangelists and promoters who passionately share their positive experiences with others.
Webinar: Yelpification and the Age of Advocacy
Bill Lee, one of the most respected authorities on customer advocacy, author of “The Hidden Wealth of Customers” (Harvard Business Press) and President of the Summit on Customer Engagement, and Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive, will be discussing both the challenges and opportunities that “Yelpification” offers businesses in the age of advocacy.
Embrace Yelpification and drive more demand from your brand.