The Buyer’s Journey: A Step-by-Step Process
by: Elizabeth Conrad
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
One of the most critical aspects of any business is understanding your customer. Knowing their needs, wants & desires better than anyone else, will make it easy for them to choose your brand through their buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey takes customers through 3 stages: awareness, consideration & decision.
The first step in the journey involves the buyer realizing they have a problem. Second, consumers evaluate brand options & begin determining which product best fits their needs. Finally, the third step is the decision phase, where buyers compare various offers between different brands for the same product or service & decide what solution they will purchase.
The following article will take you through each step of the buyer’s journey so that you can better understand the process & identify ways to improve your conversion rates.
Step 1: Awareness
In the awareness stage, a buyer has identified they have a problem that needs a solution. To grab the potential buyer’s attention, your company must first get its name out there so that buyers are aware of your company.
- Social media marketing & advertising
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- PR (public relations) outreach
- Targeted display, video, or mobile advertising.
All the content you are creating through these methods should be centered around value & lightly introducing the problem with a solution – not necessarily talking much about your brand specifically. By doing this, you are building trust in your relationship with your customers. By creating an honest relationship, customers will be more likely to purchase from you now & in the future.
The goal of the awareness stage is to get your brand in front of as many people as possible.
Step 2: Consideration
The consideration stage is about the buyer gathering information & identifying which companies are best suited for their needs. Customer considerations include price, reputation, convenience, & personal preferences such as brand loyalty, etc.
Before deciding based on their specific needs & wants, most buyers research what company they favor. The buyer can achieve this by looking at reviews & public feedback online. Once narrowed down to the top options, customers will take a closer look at each company in more detail including their product range & service offerings.
What should your brand be doing to convert more potential buyers?
- Gather information on potential customers based on what is essential to their needs & wants.
- Research ways to better connect with this particular audience – where, when, & communication preferences.
- Evaluate direct & indirect competitors.
The consideration phase doesn’t always lead straight into a purchase; consumers often want to analyze & research more before purchasing – get your brand to become a reliable, informational resource.
Step 3: Decision
The buyer has now decided through their research what the solution is to their problem. The next step in their journey is to make the purchase. How the buyers go about this can vary depending on several factors, including how much time they need before using the product, how much they are willing to spend & what communication channels they prefer.
The buyers review all the available options before choosing what works best for them based on cost, convenience, reliability, etc.
For example, if a buyer is purchasing a car, they might be deciding between a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Ford Fusion. When comparing these cars, they might think to themselves, does this purchase meet all of my needs, wants & requirements? If not, they will consider looking at their original list again to find something else that does.
When looking at your business, you want to recognize what is most important to your customer & focus on those features. The final step in the decision-making process is the purchase.
You must provide customers with information that convinces them they make the best possible choice – you & your solution.
Why is this relevant to my business?
The buyer’s journey is vital for your business because it gives you insight into how people find information, think about products, & buy things. This process will help identify holes in your marketing strategy to fix or strengthen. Hence, consumers stay connected through their buyer’s journey & end by choosing your product/service. The experience should be seamless from start to finish – with nothing getting in the way of purchasing products or services.
Your customer might be in any of these phases right now, & you need to think about how you can help them move onto the next step or even convert!
Understanding the customer’s journey is crucial to developing a successful digital marketing strategy. The Buzz Effect, an inbound marketing agency, can help you identify your customers at different stages of their buying process & develop strategies that will move them through to the decision phase as quickly as possible.
Contact us today for more information on using neuroscience-informed principles to create smarter content & ads designed to convert leads into sales!