Growth Insights

Sharpen your Marketing Campaigns by Following the Buyers Journey

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Using Buyer Personas is the first step to creating a successsful marketing strategy or campaign but you also need to fully understand your Buyers Journey and use it to plan your marketing strategy and associated campaigns.

   

70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales 

[Source: SiriusDecisions]

 

So if the buyer is spending 70% of their time researching a product or service, you need to understand what exactly it is they are doing and how you can help them during this time.

 

Once you have a clear understanding of what they are looking for and what happens at all stages of the buyers journey, you need to use this knowledge to help your prospects turn into leads and then onward to becoming customers. 

(Check out or recent post here if you want some more background on buyer personas.)

 

What is the Buyers Journey?

 

The Buyers Journey is the research process a buyer will go through leading up to the point where they purchase a product or service from you.  

Remember that the buyer may start off their journey having never heard of your company or know nothing anything about your product or services.   This is OK because if your lead generation and nurturing strategies are doing their job, you will be able to engage them and move them further along the buyers journey and educate them later about how your product or service is a good solution to their problem.

 

What are the Stages Buyers Go Through?

 

Buyers go through 3 key stages in their journey to a purchase.   Awareness, Consideration and Decision stages.

Sharpen your Marketing Campaigns by Following the Buyers Journey - Buyers Journey Stages Illustration

 

In order to address the needs of buyers at all stages of the buyers journey you need to look at areas such as 

  • How they describe challenges?  
  • How they educate themselves at this point in the process?  Where do they look? How do they like to be educated?
  • What happens if they don't do anything about their problem?  What impact will it have? Can they still meet their goals?  What's the financial impact?
  • What does their selection process like?  Who are the decision makers? Do they have a set buying process to adhere to?

61% of survey respondents agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing process. 

52% viewed 8+ pieces of content from the winning vendor. 

71% emphasized the importance of relevant information. 

[Source: DemandGen Report]

 

1. Awareness Stage

The Awareness stage is when your buyer knows they have a problem but can't quite identify what it is.  They are expressing symptoms of a problem and are doing some research so that they can learn what the problem is exactly. 

During this phase they aren't ready for, or in need of a sales pitch nor do they need to know about your product or service.  They just need to be educated about their problem in general.  Grab their attention and convert them into leads by offering engaging, educational content targeted for this early stage.  Some types of content suitable for this stage are

  • eBooks
  • Educational blog posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Research Reports

Once you get their attention and convert them to a lead, start nurturing them with appropriate and educational emails to help them along their journey.  Use marketing automation software to set up personalised workflows to make this process more efficient.

Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%.

[Source: HubSpot]

 

2. Consideration Stage 

The consideration stage is when the buyer has identified their problem and has put a name to it.  They now start researching solutions for their problem. If your lead generation strategy is effective then the buyer will still be with you and fully engaged with your content.  But don't jump in quite yet with your sales pitch about your product or service.  Continue to engage and nurture them with useful content pitched at this phase of their journey.  Use the following types of content to keep them coming back to your site and further educate them:

  • Live interactions
  • Product comparisons
  • Guides
  • Webcasts
  • Podcasts 

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. 

[Source: MarketingProfs]

 

3. Decision Stage

The Decision stage is when they have identified their problem and have a solution and strategy in mind.  They now know how they are going to solve their problem and are looking to find a product or vendor to provide a solution.  They are likely to have a list of products or vendors at this stage which they are narrowing down in order to make a final decision and purchase.  So now's the time to talk about your products, services, previous client success etc. and to really sell to your prospect.  Use the following types of content: 

  • Vendor comparisons
  • Product Comparisons
  • Case Studies
  • Trials
  • Product Literature
  • Previous Client Success 

61% of survey respondents agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing process. 

52% viewed 8+ pieces of content from the winning vendor. 

71% emphasized the importance of relevant information.

[Source: DemandGen Report]

 

The infographic below summarises the buyer journey and is a useful one to come back to from time to time to ensure you remain focused.

Sharpen your Marketing Campaigns by Following the Buyers Journey - Buyers Journey Stages Illustration

 

Key Takeaway's

So you now know why important it is to understand that the buyer has different needs during the various stages of the buyer journey and why you need to tailor content to each stage. So now you need to 

  • Map out the routes a buyer might take through the Buyer’s Journey.  (Look at keywords they might use too and start making a list)
  • Plan and create campaigns that include offers and content specifically tailored for each stage (and persona where relevant)
  • Write relevant blog posts to promote each campaign
  • Organise you team by setting up a content calendar to promote each campaign.

Inbound marketing is all about the customer and what value you can provide at each stage of their journey.  So sharpen your marketing campaigns by following the buyers journey and tailor every touchpoint with them.  Above all remember to deliver the right message, to the right people at the right time.

If your content is high quality, educational and targeted properly to each stage, your prospects will keep coming back for more information and hopefully go on to become very  customers and evangelists of your brand.  

61% of survey respondents agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing process. 

[Source: DemandGen Report] 

 

  

If you would like some more tips on how to improve the success of your campaigns then why not download our checklist on how to for run an inbound marketing campaign.

MOF - Checklist for Running Inbound Marketing Campaigns

 

Alternatively, if you would like a Free Inbound Marketing Assessment to review your current marketing efforts and learn about how you can improve them, you can book one by clicking here.   You can also email me directly at sinead@webjourney.ie to arrange a call to see what advice we can offer.

 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Buyer Personas, Buyers Journey

Sinead O Driscoll

Written by Sinead O Driscoll on Mar 20, 2017

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