The first step to understanding the Buyer's journey is understanding what it means and what it consists of. The Buyer's journey is the active research process that a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. In the past, the focus was on traditional marketing, which consisted of finding customers through cold calling, print ads, and other means of in your face propoganda. This approach was very much marketer-centric as it was convenient for the marketer who could use this to push content whenever. Today, however, marketing is taking a more inbound approach, which is customer centric and enpowers potential customers with content they actually want to see. It also allows potential buyers to contact marketers on their own terms and when they deem it necessary. To better understand this, let's take a look at the overall Buyer's journey:
1) Awareness Stage: The first stage of the Buyer's journey, the awareness stage is when the potential customer is experiencing and expressing concern over a problem or opportunity. In this initial stage, educational research is the fundamental aspect to better understand and define their problem.
2) Consideration Stage: The consideration stage is when a potential Buyer has clearly defined and named their problem or opportunity and they are committed to researching and understanding all available methods to solve the problem.
3) Decision Stage: Lastly, the decision stage occurs when a potential Buyer has decided on their solution strategy or method and have created a list of available vendors and products who can provide a solution to their problem. The final step is for them to narrow down their list and make a final decision--which is where you step in with a crucial content offer.
It is important to remember that potential customers want to be educated, not sold to. That is one of the key differences between traditional and inbound marketing, and something we want to shy far away from. It is also crucial to understand what types of content and offers are relevant to the Buyer during each stage; understanding this will allow you to connect with the Buyer and help them to engage with you and your product. Now get out their and start using your newfound knowledge on the Buyer's journey and Inbound Marketing!
Check out our infographic on how to use Promotional Products successfully!