As a business, the most important aspect to understand is your customer and their buying process. While each customer's motivation may be different, they all go through a series of steps known as the buyer's journey.
Ensuring that you understand and are marketing for consumers at each stage of the journey will only increase your revenue potential. For example, links on your website like "Contact Us" or "Talk to Sales" are only targeting buyers who are ready to make a purchasing decision, and are in the decision stage.
If you do not consider buyers who are in other stages, you drastically reduce the opportunity of conversion when those buyers first start researching and comparing options online. Another mistake would be to post ads and/or blog content without fully considering how aware the audience is of your solutions and the problem that they are solving. Keep all buyers in mind when creating content for your website (link to "how to write for different stages of the buyer's journey") and make sure you aren't missing out on opportunities to drive more traffic to your sales pages.
It is important to understand each step of this journey in order to create an effective marketing strategy for your brand. The Buyer's Journey is comprised of three steps: awareness, consideration, and decision.
The Awareness Stage
The first step in the buyer's journey is the awareness stage. This is when a consumer realises that they have a need, a problem, or a desire. In this stage, they will identify that they have a problem or an opportunity for improvement that needs to be addressed, but they may not know exactly what it is just yet. According to HubSpot, they will begin to educationally research their need in order to "more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem".
This is a step much overlooked in the marketing realm and can heavily beneficial, especially to a SaaS business, where a customer can't just walk by a storefront or see your product placed on a shelf.
Ask yourself some questions in order to understand a consumer that is in the awareness stage:
- How consumers identify and then educate themselves on their needs?
- What happens when the buyer does nothing to remedy this need?
- What are the common misunderstandings consumers have regarding their needs?
The Consideration Stage
Once a customer has identified and defined their need or opportunity, they have reached the consideration stage. This is where the consumer is delving deepest into their research of your products or services (and your competitors' too). Ensuring that your company's offerings stand out is the key to success in the consideration stage.
Offer your potential buyers solutions to their problems and tell them why your products or services are better than anything else that is out there now. You can even address alternatives to your solutions, helping you to maintain control of the research that the buyer will do. This is the stage where our buyers are comparing their options and deciding exactly what is the right solution for them. Have your product information easily accessible and if possible, offer comparison tools so that consumers can tell see the basics all on one page.
Think through the following questions:
- What types of solutions do consumers investigate?
- How do they conduct their research on these types of solutions?
- How do consumers weigh the pros and cons of these solution types and use this to decide what best fits their needs?
The Decision Stage
When the buyer has identified what type of product fits their needs, they have come to the decision stage. In this stage, they will be determining which brand is right for their needs. Just like the consideration stage, ensuring that your company stands out from the rest is the key to success here.
What makes your product or service stand out? Make that clear to your buyers and make that easy for them to understand. You care about your customers, large and small, and ensure that is apparent to your buyers in your marketing plan.
Questions to ask yourself in the decision stage according to HubSpot:
- By what standards do buyers judge us and our competitors?
- What stands out about your company against the competition and what does the competition do better?
- Who is making the purchasing decision and what is their perspective?
- Is there or should there be a trial period before purchase?
- Is there anything that the consumer needs to do in order to prepare for purchase?
Contact First Five Eight to discover how we can help your business customise your marketing strategy around your specific buyers' journey to create higher conversion/acquisition and ultimately higher revenue.