I heard an interesting quote the other day that for the kids today everything moves at the speed of the internet. I've been thinking about this and realized that despite being well beyond my kid state, I also expect things at the speed of the internet also. Well my attention span does anyway.
My wife tells me that I have a shorter attention span than our one year old son. I blame the internet the way people used to blame MTV. But I see this as a good thing. I believe this is a result of the tremendous access I have today to information. Some might be useless, while some can also be tremendously valuable.
Take how the online world has transformed the buying process of today's consumer; both enterprise and individual.
I'll use my recent experience of buying a car as an example. I spent hundreds of hours researching before making my purchase. Not only did I go through traditional channels like the typical car magazines off the magazine rack, I also ended up joining a few online forums. I even joined one site that offered a service that gave me access to manufacturer list pricing as well a dealer invoice pricing for not only the cars but for accessories as well. I also joined owner communities for the top two vehicles I had narrowed my selection down to, to get an owner side perspective of the pros and cons of each vehicle.
Best of all this was all research that I was able to entirely on my own.
By the time I got to test driving the cars I knew exactly what I wanted in terms of the options and price I was looking for. More than that I also knew what to expect and things to look out for in terms of how the cars drove from the user forums.
I was a buyer with a level of education and comfort in the product that would have been unheard of only 10 years ago. Rather than relying exclusively on the manufacturer and dealer to provide me with the information I needed to decide on my purchase by the time I arrived on the car lot I only needed a few things validated and someone willing to process paperwork for me.
That's the beauty of the access to information available online. It's also something that can be frightening to vendors. The old adage says that knowledge is power. And in the world of sales and marketing this has put a twist on another old adage "the customer is always right".