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What is the buyer’s journey?

Today’s buyers are more informed and empowered compared to a decade ago. They have access to all the information they need to make a well-informed purchase. It is why the approach to marketing has also changed a lot. Rather than the use of techniques to push sales, the focus is on engaging the customer at each stage in his journey. Marketers need to be familiar with the buyer’s journey and each of the stages involved in order to succeed. Knowing about each of these stages helps the marketers engage the buyer at each stage successfully and ensure higher sales.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s journey is not a simple process but can be broken into multiple stages. Customers do not suddenly decide to buy a product and go shop for it. It is more of a carefully planned process that also involves a bit of research especially in the case of big purchases. There are several factors that influence buying-behavior and shape the customers’ thinking of a product or brand.

Generally, every buyer goes through a three-stage process in his journey. Marketers need to carefully engage their target market at each of the three stages to successfully attract customers and achieve higher sales.

What are the three stages in the buyers’ journey?

There are three stages involved in the buyer’s journey which include the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.

Awareness Stage:

During the awareness stage, the buyer gets to recognize that they have a problem or a need. In several cases, the buyer himself gets to know that he or she has a problem or need and in several other cases, a marketer or producer tells them that a problem exists and there is a solution or a product that solves the particular problem. When a company launches a new product and starts a marketing campaign, it first needs to establish that their product or service accomplishes the required outcome.

Marketers must know that the problem they are trying to solve through their product exists or they can create a new market with a need to establish demand.

If a marketer or brand has developed a new approach solving an old problem, he will need to establish how his approach is better than the existing ones. However, the key thing to marketing successfully is to understanding where you will find your target market lies. This will help you build a large customer base and achieve superior sales.  

Consideration stage:

This is the second stage in the buyer’s journey and during this phase, the buyer has identified a problem and has started considering a list of potential solutions to his problem. He has developed a set of alternatives to choose from to address his need. For the sellers this is a key phase since if they lose the opportunity to attract buyers during this phase, they lose the opportunity to become their preferred solution. So, marketers need to be ready to offer to provide strong solution to the buyer at this stage so that they can stand out as a viable solution.

Marketers must be aware of all the platforms that their potential buyers use to search for available solutions. While search engines are the leading method that buyers employ to search for potential solutions, the social media channels are also being preferred increasingly to search for solutions. Apart from that, businesses also need to properly optimize their site to be found when their consumers are searching online.  Companies highlight the best features of their products at this stage. However, they should also know about their weaknesses in order to successfully handle any type of concerns that may arise later.

Decision phase:

This is the last phase in the buyer’s journey where the buyer shortlists and decides on the final purchase.

The marketer has by this stage proved that he offers a reliable and significant product the customer can consider buying. Now is the time to give the finishing touches to the marketing campaign. There are a few things that marketers should know about their target market in order to close the sale successfully.

First of all, it is important to know what are the criteria that the target audience or buyer uses for making decisions. When marketer understand their target customers’ priorities, they can appeal to their target market by tailoring they information they provide at the point of sale.

Marketers must also focus on making the process of sale simpler. For example, if the process is as simple as just placing the order with a click, the buyer would feel more inclined to make the purchase. However, in cases where the final buying process is more complex like entering into a contract, the marketer will need to make process as simple and accessible as possible. If the final step is complex, the buyer might end up dropping the plan to buy the product. So, it is essential to have all the necessary steps during the final purchase ready to make the process fast and smooth.

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