What Does “ROBO” Mean in Sales & Marketing?


ROBO is an acronym that means “Research Online, Buy Offline.”

It’s important for sales and marketing professions to understand the psychology behind the purchasing decisions of the modern customer. It’s no secret that modern tech has changed the purchasing behavior of prospects and customers. Gone are the days where people watch a TV commercial or see a newspaper ad and immediately want to buy. The modern consumer is empowered and craves information before making a final decision. Because of that, sales and marketing professions need to know and understand the ROBO acronym.



Let’s say that you were interested in putting in a fence in your backyard. Back 30 years ago, you would head to the Yellow Pages and look for fencing companies to get some quotes from.  You might ask your friends and neighbors if they have any recommendations, but you’d probably end up going with the most reasonable quote after talking with a few companies. The entire process might not last that long – perhaps a couple weeks.

In today’s world, your purchasing decision is a little bit more complex. Using the same scenario as above, you would probably start your purchasing journey on the internet doing a bunch of research. You’d probably do research on different styles of fences, different companies, various costs, testimonials, etc. If you’re anything like me, you might bounce between the “Do I REALLY need this?” and the “I DEFINITELY need this” stages. After doing comprehensive research and deciding that you need it, you might finally be ready to seek out some quotes. Rather than taking a few weeks, the process can now take months.

What does this mean for businesses and marketers?

Let’s use a real-world example. Back in the early 2000’s, the average person who wanted to buy a car would spend about 10 hours and visit 7 dealerships before making a decision. Today, the average person wanting to buy a car only visits 1 dealership, but spend over 70 hours on research online.

That’s a TON of online research. It doesn’t take a business genius or a marketing guru to realize that in order to be successful in today’s market, you can’t simply have an online presence…you have to have a STRONG online presence.

Strategies for having a strong online presence

There are many different strategies that you can utilize to have a solid online presence. Strategies include:

  • Social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc)
  • Search Engine Marketing (Google Adwords)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Display and targeted ads
  • Email campaigns
  • Video advertising (Youtube, streaming services, etc)
  • Online review sites monitoring and management (Yelp, TripAdvisor)

Which strategy is the best?

You might be looking at the above strategies and might be wondering which one to utilize. The answer is somewhat complicated, because there is no single best strategy. Each individual strategy is really meant for different stages in the customer purchasing path/purchase funnel:

  • Awareness – Search engine optimization, display and targeted ads, email campaigns, video advertising
  • Consideration/Evaluation – Online review sites, search engine optimization
  • Purchase – Search engine marketing
  • Loyalty – Social media marketing, email campaigns

The idea is to utilize every strategy to have the strongest online presence in order to capture every prospect, no matter where they are in the buying process.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com

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