Learn how to create a frictionless experience for your target persona by harnessing the buyer’s journey stages.
The buyer’s journey is a fundamental part of your inbound marketing strategy, as it helps you attract, engage and delight customers by providing valuable and helpful content – the right way, at the right time. This creates increasing momentum for your company’s flywheel and keeps prospects and customers coming back.
What exactly is the buyer’s journey?
It’s a way for marketers to understand what their prospects are thinking and how they make decisions at each stage of the buying process. This understanding helps in the creation and deployment of genuinely relevant, educational content that builds trust and reflects a prospect’s interest and areas of focus. Like creating a buyer persona, this is developed first through research, including customer interviews, surveys, social listening and digital observing, both with internal and external teams.
You could compare the buyer’s journey to the classic sales funnel. However, instead of showing how your prospects are moving through it internally, the buyer’s journey maps out the different stages your target persona completes — often without even talking to you. From the research process to finding a solution to their problem, all the way to making a decision and ultimately their purchase. The trick is that they will be interacting with targeted content you created and published for them to discover and explore at each stage.
The three stages of the buyer’s journey are:
1. The Awareness Stage
Your prospect might not have formulated their exact problem yet, but they know they’re experiencing challenges that need to be resolved. They’re doing research to more clearly understand, frame and give a name to their problem.
Additionally, they may not know about your business and what you can offer, so you’ll need to create content that helps them become aware of your business through helpful content that ties into their areas of concern.
2. The Consideration Stage
At this point, your prospect has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity. This means they will be diving into deeper research to educate themselves on the best methods to solve their problem. Now is a good time to get into specifics.
But remember — it’s still not about selling your solution. It’s about arming your prospect with genuinely helpful information that can help them make a good decision. In the consideration stage engagement is key.
3. The Decision Stage
Your prospect has now made a decision about their solution strategy, method or approach. They will be evaluating their various options for vendors and products to find the right one to help them execute their solution. Your business — having attracted and engaged the prospect in the earlier stages — will have already gained their trust.
Now you need to explain, in clear terms, why your solution is a good way to go. And you need to offer a clear ‘next step’ to make getting started feel easy.
Why is the buyer’s journey important for your business?
Mapping out your B2B buyer persona’s journey in these stages will help you identify gaps and pain points that your clients may encounter. Identifying this information will help your team create the best experience possible — and keep your customers coming back for more.
It will also help to align marketing, sales and service teams on the different stages, so they know when they’ll have an impact and how their position contributes to the success of the buyer’s journey. Get buy-in from these teams in advance, by involving key team members from different areas of the business to get their insights.
Learn how each team interacts with customers, what questions they answer most often, the customer challenges they encounter and the marketing materials they use (or don’t use!). Getting these internal stakeholders involved can help you prioritize content that should be developed first to fill any gaps at each stage of the journey.
The more your company evolves the buyer’s journey together, making the right information available at the right time, the less friction your customer will experience. Smooth sailing!
Titan Creative Inc. is a creative and digital agency helping clients across North America drive results.