Exploring the Customer Buying Journey
Do you want to understand just what motivates your customers to buy? Then click here to explore the customer buying journey.
On average, American households spend $66,928 per year. This means that each customer has huge spending power, and you want them to choose you instead of your competitors.
To reel in more customers, you need to understand their buying journey. Without doing this, you’ll probably miss the mark. And as a result, you’ll alienate consumers rather than attract them.
You might think you already understand the customer buying journey, but think again. Most likely, it’s more complicated than you imagined!
Keep reading to see the customer buying process in detail, so you know how to serve consumers better.
In the first stage of the customer journey, the consumer realizes that they have a problem that needs fixing. For example, if they’re hungry, then their problem is hunger, and the solution is food.
However, most people don’t just settle on the first thing they see. At this stage, they might not even know what the exact issue and/or solution is, as the problem is more complicated than hunger.
For instance, if a person’s not feeling great, all they know is they’re not running at 100%. They’re unsure of whether they have a cold, flu, food poisoning, or a major health problem. Therefore, they won’t know which solutions to turn to yet.
After realizing that they have a problem that needs solving, the consumer will pinpoint exactly what the issue is. Using the example from above, a person may realize that the flu is causing them to feel terrible.
From here, they can consider the various things that can alleviate the issue. In the case of the flu, they may consider things like antiviral drugs, ibuprofen, cough drops, etc. You can count on the consumer to do in-depth research to determine which solutions suit them best.
Sometimes, the consumers will get in touch with the brands to find out more about their products and services.
In the last stage, the consumer will weigh up their options more and decide on the winner(s) based on their personal situation. For example, by the time a person realizes they have the flu, it may be too late for antiviral drugs. So they might spend their money on ibuprofen and cough drops instead.
The decision stage is where consumers will interact with the brands to finalize their purchase.
Why Is Understanding the Customer Journey Important?
Just because you have good services or products doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be successful at selling products, even if you’re offering something extremely niche. And if you’re in a saturated market, then understanding the customer journey is even more vital, as you’ll need to stand out above your competition.
Not every consumer will be ideal for your brand. If you have a generic marketing approach based on a homogenous audience, chances are, you won’t have relevant messaging. Understanding the customer journey means understanding your target audience, which will help you tighten your marketing.
Consumers won’t be ready for you at all stages either. If you present your products and services to them at the wrong time, then you might lose out on a sale. Knowing what content to give them at which stages can mean all the difference between converting or losing a customer.
What You Should Offer at Each Stage
Generating content is just one part of effective marketing. The other part is selecting the right pieces for each leg of the customer buying journey.
Here are some suggestions for the three stages.
Consumers want to pinpoint their issues and find potential solutions. So it’s important that you don’t overwhelm them with information here. You want to educate them, but make it topical; they can dig into attractive solutions more if they want to.
Take care and avoid making the content salesy. You’re not at the point yet where you need to convince them to come over to your side.
Types of effective content here include social media posts, blog posts, infographics, pillar pages, and landing pages.
Consumers know what solutions are available to them here. Although they all sound good, they need to narrow down their choices, so they spend their money effectively.
Think of this as the phase for you to push consumers toward your solution and brand. You’ll want to describe your services/products in detail, show how you work, and present success stories to prove your effectiveness.
The types of content you should use for the consideration stage include brand stories, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, product catalogs, and company brochures.
The consumers know what type of solution they want; now, they must determine which brand to go with.
This is the time for you to shine! Highlight how good your products/services are, and show how you excel where your competitors fail.
Your salespeople should go to prospects with proposals and presentations, as well as sample purchase reminders and re-engagement emails.
All this can be difficult for you to do on your own, so consider loyalty marketing solutions to make things easier.
Get the Customer Buying Journey Right
The customer buying journey is something every brand should understand, regardless of the industry they’re in. If you fail to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes, then you won’t know what they want. Not only can this cause you to waste marketing spend, but you may also drive away potential customers into your competitors’ arms.
So don’t fail to map out the buying process. By doing so, you’ll connect better with consumers and draw them to your brand.
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