Fundamental shifts in technology, business and society have no doubt changed the way we make buying decisions. Social networking sites in particular have turbo-charged three basic human needs: to communicate, to collaborate and to create. No one, from the consumer on the street to the corporate customer, is immune.
The challenge for businesses in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, where technology plays a crucial role, is to adapt to a world in which, as Mark Zuckerberg would say "...every industry is going to be fundamentally re-thought and designed around people.”
We can only do this through a more sophisticated understanding of how our prospects make buying decisions and, more critically, the role various types of content play in their buyer’s journey.
For example, 70% of corporate customers buying decisions are now made based on information found online–well before a salesperson gets involved. An IDG Enterprise survey  determined that an average of 12 information assets are downloaded during the purchase process.
Critically, the same survey also concluded that 76% IT business buyers actively share tech-related information and ideas they find online.
Yet, while content is critical in the decision-making process, a fourth survey provided the missing link.
ITSMA concluded that buyers felt solution provider subject matter experts were the most credible sources of information during the purchase process – above vendor websites, industry analysts and sales people.
The writing is on the digital ‘wall’. Buyers want access to content and expertise to inform and empower their decisions.
In response, business marketing functions need to work in harmony to reach these new buyers and direct their sales journeys.
This requires breaking down the historical walls that exist between web, search, social media, external relations, advertising, and market research disciplines.
Erica among other experts will be sharing their case studies and strategies on the creation and delivery of relevant and valuable content, at a 2-day Content Strategy & Marketing Conference organised by Pacific Conferences, to be held in Hong Kong from 4-5 November 2013.
Title: Content Strategy & Marketing Conference
Date & Venue:
4 - 5 November 2013, Regal Hongkong Hotel, Hong Kong
7 - 8 November 2013, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Organiser : Pacific Conferences
 Eric Berridge (Cofounder and CEO of Bluewolf), Sales 2.0 Conference, March 7 2011
 IDG Enterprise, Customer Engagement: The Role of Content in the IT Purchase Process, September 25, 2012
 ITSMA HOW Buyers Consume Information Survey, December 12, 2012
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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With business, communications consultancy and in-house marketing experience working across Asia,
Europe, Middle East and Africa, and the United States, Erica’s expertise lies in driving strategies for international campaigns and cross-cultural business management. She has advised executives, launched and repositioned brands—notably Barclays, Lytro, NXP, Philips, Rakuten SanDisk and Talent2—in different markets around the world. In Asia Pacific, she has led regional and local teams on both B2B and B2C campaigns, driving brand awareness, corporate thought leadership and consumer activation.