Did you know that your customers are always on an adventurous journey and in search of your business and your products and services? When a customer decides to purchase something, they start their buyer’s journey and go out into the world, and usually begin to take matters into their own hands to find their wants and needs. A journey that used to require a trusty guide, now is mostly handled independently and before the person even has the product or service in front of them.
We are going to review what a buyer’s journey is and how the voyage of finding new products and services has changed and you should change with it.
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
Much like it sounds, the buyer’s journey describes a series of choices consumers make while researching a purchase decision. Similar to a person going on safari with just a map and no defined plan, the end goal is always making it back home satisfied and feeling like they achieved their goal/s.
The buyer’s journey has three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision/purchase.
- Awareness: In the first stage, the consumer starts to realize that they have a problem they need solved and begins to research solutions. At this stage, the possibilities are endless and they are open to many different brands, services, and products. These customers are searching wherever they can to help them find a solution to their needs.
- Consideration: During this stage in the adventure, the buyer starts to consider the various solutions to their conundrum. They use online searches, social media, review websites, word of mouth and word of mouse and many other sources to learn more about the products and services they are on the look-out for.
- Decision/Purchase: This stage is self-explanatory, this is the stage where the buyer is making their final decision on their buyer’s journey. During this stage, the buyer may call in some reinforcements and ask for guidance on their expedition, so they can successfully complete their excursion. Buyers may physically go to the location, use online chat, amongst other methods while they finalize their purchase.
What has Changed with the Buyer’s Journey in recent years?
Around 70% of the buyer’s journey takes place online, where the customer is in full control. In the past, customers making buying decisions were assisted by sales people in a store, over the phone, etc. They are much more self-reliant during their voyage now, than they have ever been.
What does this mean? As an organization, you need to be aware of the buyer’s journey and ensure you are in the places that they are looking and giving them the information that they need in order to make informed decisions. You should be focused on who your ideal buyer is and how you can be the answer to their problem quickly and effectively.
Below are some items you should concentrate on to ensure you are at the end of the buyer’s journey:
- Optimized Website: Having an optimized website is the first step to ensuring you make your way to a buyer’s adventure map. Without a website that is optimized or engaging, you may not even make it to the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive, which means, you will likely not be considered as a solution to their problem.
- Online Presence: Being in the places your customers are searching, having reviews to provide them feedback about your products and services, and actively communicating with customers and showing a visual social presence will help you to stand out. While consumers are exploring, you need to be sure that they find you.
- Ideal Customer: Know who your ideal audience is so you can pinpoint the best way to reach them and ensure you are providing them with information that is relevant to them. Understand who your ideal customer is and what their needs and wants are. People often make a purchase for one of two reasons: they have a desire they would like to be fulfilled or they have a problem that they need to be solved. If you can identify a challenge your ideal customer currently faces and “bridge the gap” from their problem to a solution, it’s likely you will find yourself being sought after.
The Adventure Starts with You
While a buyer’s journey is more self-led now than it was in the past, you can still find yourself in control of their purchasing decisions, by knowing your ideal customer, being where they are exploring, and providing them with what they need to finalize their decision and make a purchase.
At Water Bear Marketing we understand the buyer’s journey and help our customers get a return on their online advertising dollars and prove the results with our reporting. We ensure that you are in the places people are looking for you and sending the right messages.
We are the Advertising With Intelligence® marketing agency, with over twelve years of online advertising experience. We are here to help you help your customers take a successful excursion that ends with you.