One thing that all businesses should try to understand is their buyer’s journey. That is what it takes for them to decide they are interested in buying something, look it up, research it, compare it with other versions and ultimately decide to buy it.
Businesses that take time to investigate this process can tap into their buyer’s mindset, and therefore begin to manipulate it, so rather than the buyer creating their own journey, the business maps it out for them and all they have to do it follow the path, leading to the purchase.
HubSpot provides some clarity on what precisely a buyers journey is:
“The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.”
To start with, a business must strive to understand the ways in which people research and make their purchases as well as investigate the very problems and issues that cause them to do so in the first place.
So let’s look at the stages of a buyers journey.
The initial step is where the buyer realizes they have a problem, a desire or a need, and at this point are not necessarily looking to find a solution, instead, are working their way through what it is and becoming more aware of it.
The problem, need or desire becomes so prominent that the buy begins to research how to find a solution.
The buyer decides on a solution that will satisfy them by resolving the problem or fulfilling the need. They have done their research, they have considered their options and now is when they will make a decision about what to purchase.
A smart business will try to intervene at the earliest possible stage and then guide the buyer down a path that they themselves have created. They can do this by pointing out problems to their target audience that they might not have even been aware of yet. This awakens the need to find a solution, and that business naturally is there waiting to provide it for them through purchasing their products and services.
Doing this well is all about timing. You need to figure out what your audience needs and when and send out original content at precisely the right time in a format that they prefer. You need to give your target audience genuinely helpful, and relevant information to grab your customers attention and encourage them to begin their journey with you.
Remember the majority of people start their search by using search terms relative to what they are looking for rather than searching for a specific product, service or brand. Businesses therefore who can create an intelligent strategy to ensure they get noticed at this stage will set themselves apart from their competitors and can help make sure that they then move these potential customers along the right path to eventually purchase from their business over anyone else’s.
Understanding your customer persona is crucial to your success. So make sure you spend time identifying who your target audience is, how they like to receive information and what kind of problems and issues they have. By mapping out how they might feel and react at each stage (realization, research, decision) it can actually be quite simple to create your buyer’s journey and make sure you herd them along it, all the way to the checkout!