Understanding Your Buyer’s Journey: The Three Phases
We do it every day: at grocery stores, online, even sometimes from our office computers. Everyone makes purchases, whether you’re shopping for a new cell phone or a favorite brand of milk at your local market. The question is, how often do you really take the time to think about how you get from the parking lot to the item in question, then from the checkout phase, and into someone’s home? If you haven’t, you could be missing a golden opportunity to get inside your consumers’ heads and up your business’s sales game. This is where the buyer’s journey, a three-part cycle through the purchasing process, comes into play.
It is very important to think of ourselves as the consumer and optimize everything for the buyer’s journey. Studies show that companies that model their market strategies with this in mind can significantly increase brand awareness and sales. So, keep reading to learn more about your buyer’s journey, the steps in the process, how to define it, and how learning about this process can give you insight into what consumers really want.
The awareness stage.
The awareness stage is the first phase of the buyer’s journey. It’s during this first stage that a consumer assesses his or her needs and what takes priority. Here is where the buyer will identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. They also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority.
What is there to gain by taking the plunge and choosing one product over another? To lose? At this point in the purchasing process, it’s about catching a consumer’s eye and making your product stand above the rest. Here is where it needs to be hard for someone to turn away without thinking about how much easier his or her daily routine would be if it ended up in the shopping cart.
To fully grasp the awareness stage, ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- How do buyers identify their goals or challenges?
- How do buyers educate themselves on them?
- How do buyers decide whether the goal or challenge should be prioritized?
The consideration phase.
When considering whether or not to make a purchase, buyers often already have an idea of what they want. At that point, it’s all about applying any research they’ve done to use and narrowing down their options.
This is where we as a marketing agency have the chance to really show our stuff; with all of our work in preparing digital and traditional ads, pushing social media blasts, content marketing, and making sure product pages on your website are up to date, we can ease the way to informed decision-making – and even cause the researching to be more fun from the start!
The final stage- the decision stage.
By the time a consumer has reached the stage of decision-making, they basically know precisely what to look for in a solution to whatever challenge or problem there is to address with a purchase.
This part is essentially the last round of deliberation between one product over another in terms of features and usability. What do they like about your item versus another? What aspects make it the better buy rather than your competitor’s model?
At the end of this cycle, it’s all about what product made a lasting impression and eventually ended up going home with your consumer. A quality item combined with a stellar promotional campaign typically helps to meet this end, so if you and your marketing team did your jobs correctly, then your product probably came out on top! Even if that wasn’t the case, though, there are plenty of ways to tap into that consumer mindset and use the buyer’s journey to your advantage.
For starters, consult with your marketing team and find out what strategies do and don’t seem to be working. If you find that you need more input, contact us for a consultation and strategy session, and we can then lend a hand in implementing a marketing plan for you and your business. You can master the buyer’s journey, and Sage Island’s team can help!