The Buyer’s Journey: The Jargon Buster Series.

The Buyer’s Journey: The Jargon Buster Series.

The buyer’s journey is the process a person takes before buying a product or service. Every person goes through the same process. However, timings may differ from industry to industry. The buyer’s journey is useful for streamlining your marketing efforts. You’ll know what to create and why you need it.

The journey goes through several steps. Starting from the initial problem, through to the buyer’s journey and beyond.

 

 

 

 

The Buyer's Journey Infographic

 

Step One: Problem or Desire Arises.

The first step is that a customer recognises an issue. This could be a big event, such as a car break down, or needing a lawyer. Or it could be trivial, such as needing a new t-shirt or buying a houseplant.

Real life can trigger problems or desires, such as going to a wardrobe and not having the right dress for an event. Other times triggers may come from content marketing, adverts or influencers.

Step Two: Research Stage.

The buyer then begins to research the problem. They look for ways to solve this problem, such as how to fix their car, or what clothes are in fashion this season.

Step Three: Consideration.

The buyer then weighs up the products or services on offer. They may look at product reviews, company reviews, price, quality, timing. They will then narrow down their options for their perfect solution.

Step Four: Buying Phase.

The customer then buys the product. They may switch options at this stage depending on specific factors. This could include hidden costs, website usability or delivery timescales.

Step Five: After Sale.

The customer then reviews the decision and the company they bought from. This includes returns, broken items or if the product fixes the problem as promised. Many companies use this phase to encourage brand loyalty or evangelism. Others may need to engage the customers with tutorials. Others may try to upsell add-ons.

What does The Buyer’s Journey have to do with Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is essential to the buyer’s journey. These days the majority of customers will head online to make their decisions. Let’s have a look at each stage to see what strategies help each step.

Step One: Problem or Desire Arises.

Some marketers believe that the first phase happens naturally. However, some consumers may need a small shove in the right direction. A user might discover the problem via:

  • PPC adverts.
  • Influencers.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Social Media.

Sometimes, a customer might need a nudge to realise there is a problem that your product could solve.

Travel companies often create their own need. They will create campaigns around lesser-known tourist attractions. They tell people they need to go there. This triggers a desire to enter the buying phase. The fashion and beauty industries are amazing at this.

Similarly, using PPC ads and social media to get in front of new audiences may also create need or desire. Using aspiration images and persuasive copy may trigger the desire in customers. A clever content marketing campaign may also outline a problem that needs solving.

Step Two: Research Stage.

Customers will want to know the best way to solve their problem. This part includes marketing tactics such as:

  • SEO.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Word of Mouth (Brand Loyalty and Evangelism).
  • Influencers.
  • PPC.
  • PPC Re-targeting.

Most people go straight to a search engine and look at the first websites that come up. SEO and Content Marketing go hand in hand here. A broad search, such as “Women’s Clothing” or “Lawyers” will require a colossal SEO campaign, but it will bring a high ROI. You might need to optimise for local search, depending on your business.

You will also need to appear in long tail keyword searches. Well-optimised landing pages and content marketing will rank well for these keywords. Research keywords which work for your industry and create content focused around those.

PPC campaigns will also be vital. As we said earlier, search is key to the research phase. You need to appear at the top of that list. PPC will give you a space on the front page. If you’re also on page one organically, your website in two spots on the page, leaving less real estate for your competitors.

Re-targeting ad campaigns will come into play here. Once a user has been on a website, the advert will follow them around on the internet. Your display ads will appear in PPC advert slots, continually reminding the user of your brand. If it sticks in their head, that will help with the next step.

Step Three: Consideration.

When considering which product or service to buy, the following is essential:

  • Reviews.
  • Web Design.
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Your potential customers or clients will want to know you are trustworthy. Customer reviews on Google, Facebook, and Trustpilot are hugely important. Make sure you have a campaign in place to encourage people to leave good reviews. Most companies use email marketing or physical flyers.

Website design is also a critical function here. A poorly designed website full of spelling mistakes and awful images is not going to instil trust in a user. A professional looking website will suggest a professional service. Do not underestimate the power of a well-designed website with beautiful images.

CRO and web design go hand in hand. Conversion rate optimisation will help turn your traffic into sales. Having a well-optimised product and landing pages will encourage conversions. Making the buying steps as easy as possible will convert visitors into customers.

Step Four: Buying Phase.

Your customer has made a decision and buying your product. The most important thing here is:

  • Website design.
  • Conversion rate optimisation.

Your website needs to be effortless. It needs to make buying easy. There’s no point having a million pages of checkout or forms to fill in. Keep it simple. Keep the checkout clean, easy to use and professional to look at. Think about what’s essential for the customer at this stage and show them only that. Restrict upselling to a handful of best sellers. Usually, customers are in a rush by this point and want to check-out fast.

Step Five: Post Purchase.

Post-purchase is arguably the most crucial phase of any customer dealings. This is where you turn your customers into evangelists for your brand. You will need:

  • Email Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Offline Marketing.
  • Social Media.

You might want to thank your customers in a fun and quirky way. Some brands include a thank you card in with their products. Others use stickers, pens or other branded freebies. Some companies even send sweets.

Encourage your audience to share reviews or photos on social media. You can feature them on your page by sharing their images onto your social networks. It will make your customers feel valued. You can promote this through follow-up emails or flyers in the packaging.

Other ideas include sending eBooks or creating blogs/videos with tutorials. If people find ways to use the product in new and exciting ways, then they will shout about it to their friends.

Word of mouth is still the best marketing technique. Get customers talking about your brand, and their friends will become your new customers. It’s up to you to turn them into brand evangelists, so the cycle completes.

The buyer’s journey is hugely important. This system will be slightly different from brand to brand, but it will still exist. Use digital marketing at every stage of this journey. YMG can help you streamline your process and optimise your website for the buyer’s journey. Contact us today.

 

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