title=Understand Where Your Customers Go Online}
Tip No. 3: Understand where your customers go online to learn about products and services to solve their problem
The survey also found that 59 percent of enterprise customers said they rely on online security publications to learn about threats, products and services. Meanwhile, only 30 percent of vendors said they rely on this communication channel to educate customers. In contrast, 25 percent of vendors rely on the Internet and Google or Yahoo ads to attract customers to their Web site to learn about new products and services. But only 12 percent of enterprise customers said they rely on the Internet and Google or Yahoo to gather product and service information.
For years, vendors have spent billions of dollars optimizing Internet content to reach customers. Today, overburdened security teams are turning to online publications to help them sort through the maze of information to short-list products for consideration. Make sure you are on the same page with your customers. Don't count on customers being able to find information you've posted; make sure your company and offerings are covered by online publications that are relevant to your customers.
To help you get the coverage you need, engage an agency that supports marketing and public relations programs to ensure maximum return on your marketing dollars. In addition, supplement media coverage with quality content for organizations that short-list your solution and use the Internet for additional research.
Tip No. 4: Embrace social media sites such as Twitter
The survey feedback on social media should not surprise anyone. The survey revealed that the use of the social media darling Twitter is on the rise for both vendors and enterprise customers. It was found that 33 percent of vendors and 24 percent of enterprise customers reported that they rely on Twitter to share information about their products and services. Twitter provides instant communication among customers and their peers, vendors, partners and industry pundits. As a result, customers feel that the collective knowledge gained will help them make better buying decisions faster.
Twitter fulfills a need in the market whether you are on the buying side or the selling side of the equation. If your marketing program for 2009 does not include social media, make it a priority to create a company Twitter account now. You can easily connect and network with others in your industry, as well as get instant access to what's being said about your organization, people, products or brand. Twitter is an excellent source for ideas, content, links and other thoughts about your area of expertise or industry. More importantly, Twitter can be used to deliver breaking news faster than other sources.
Mary Van Zandt is Vice President of Trainer Communications' Information Security Practice. Mary has over 25 years of experience in various technology sales, marketing and public relations leadership positions, with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Sybase, Sterling Commerce and Platinum Technology. Mary is well-recognized within the security industry, speaks at industry events, has published several articles, and is a contributing author of the ICSA Guide to Cryptography and Commercial Computer Security Systems. She received her Master's Degree in Business Administration from the Lake Forest School of Management at Lake Forest College, Illinois. She can be reached at email@example.com.