It occurred to us here at AHA Factory that we often talk about the Buyer’s Journey in our articles. After a recent discussion, we realized that we had not fully explained in any of our articles what the Buyer’s Journey is, and why we find it so important! Now is the time to remedy that situation.
If I asked my nephew, “What is the Buyer’s Journey?” he would probably respond, “The journey that buyers go through.” And he would be right. Very simply put, that is exactly what it is. However, our interest in it as marketers comes from a more detailed understanding of the journey.
- What are the steps to the Buyer’s Journey?
- How can we best utilize it in our marketing?
- What are our customers doing or thinking in each stage?
- How are our customers progressing from one stage to the next
As you can see, the rabbit hole is quite deep. In other articles we talk about using the Buyer’s Journey as a tool to better understand your market, but here we will simply explain the steps of the journey…
Steps to the Buyer’s Journey
In the Awareness stage (sometimes called Discovery), the buyer, consumer or customer realizes they have a problem, desire or a need. This can be something simple like, “I’m hungry” to something more complicated like, “I keep falling asleep at work.” At this point, the buyer then decides whether they will take action to fulfill their desire or need, or to find a solution to their problem.
Once the buyer or consumer has identified the problem or need and that it will be a priority for them to fix it, they move into the Consideration stage. In this stage the buyer considers the different ways in which he or she can solve the problem or fulfill the need.
The conversation changes from one way:
“I keep falling asleep at work”
to a dialogue:
“What causes midday drowsiness and how can I fix it?”
Finally, the consumer comes to the end of the journey. In this stage they have collected possibilities and will decide which one best solves their problem or fulfills the desire.
The reason all this is so important is that it goes to the core understanding of your customer, why they make the decisions they make and why they may or may not choose your company or product as their solution.
Online is No Different than Real Life
Think of it like this; what if you could be sitting next to your customer the very moment they realized their need? You wouldn’t immediately force your product on them, you would probably be able to help them understand the need by giving them some information about the problem. (Awareness)
Once they understand the problem/need, you could then show them how your product could solve the issue. (Consideration)
Finally, you would probably explain why your product would outperform or lead to a better fit than a competitor. (Decision)
As we begin to understand these steps in the general sense, we can start to form these steps around our specific market. The deeper you dive in, the more information you can procure for each step which will lead to a better understanding of your customer. For example:
- what questions they are asking in each step?
- what type of information are they seeking?
- where are they seeking the information? Social Media, websites, peers?
- what type of medium are they consuming? Blog articles, videos, whitepapers?
Once these questions are answered, you can insure that your company and product are the ones supplying the information, gently guiding them through the Buyer’s Journey and down the sales funnel. We’ll save that for another article 🙂