The classic mantra, “Customer is King,” has been uttered by businesses, big and small, throughout the years. Without people buying products and services, whether they’re agreeable home loans or comfortable loungewear, companies wouldn’t be able to exist and grow into industry giants. That is why it is vital to understand at a deep level who the target market is and how they act. You would be doing a poor job of assisting the king, if you’re unable to know and predict his behavior and needs.
Getting to know the modern customer
Consumers of today also differ from their past counterparts. They take more time in deciding the best choice that can solve their problem, instead of heading straight to the flashiest and loudest stall in the marketplace. Sometimes, hard-selling, through cold calls, forced ads, and surprise demos, can even put buyers off because they offer no added value, as well as coming off too strong.
To compensate for new customer behaviors, businesses have shifted to inbound marketing, where it’s all about creating a helpful and positive experience through meaningful engagement and useful content. The information shared with the consumers can help convince them that they’re making the right purchase, which will solve their dreaded pain points.
For businesses to know what kind of content they should create, they should consider plotting out the process their target market follows that leads to a purchasing decision. This development is called the Buyer’s Journey.
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
Potential consumers take the first step towards their buyer’s journey because they are experiencing a problem they want to solve. They are looking for solutions, usually by searching online or asking people they trust. This stage is called the awareness stage. Most of the time, they don’t know about your business and the products you offer unless there is already an existing brand awareness.
The second stage is the consideration phase, where the buyer is compiling a list of methods that can solve their issue. At this point, they are actively looking for solutions, weighing the pros and cons of each one. Businesses can help direct buyers to their products by increasing their online presence through regularly producing content and utilizing search engine optimization practices. Having problem-focused and solution-oriented posts, from blog articles and editorials to e-books and webinars, will put you on top of the buyer’s mind. Even if they’re not having a problem now, they know your business is there to help when the time comes. You are positioning yourself as an expert in that field.
When the list of prospects narrows down, the buyer goes to the third stage called the decision phase. They are ready to choose a specific product or service based on the most appealing offer. This stage will be a breeze if businesses have already started building a relationship with the customer in the first two stages. Trust and credibility are already established, which will lead to them to make you their top choice. It is at this point that hard-sell content, such as trial downloads and direct offers, are the most effective.
Being a customer-centric business means you are deeply familiar with your buyer’s journey — from the moment they become aware of their problem to searching for solutions, and finally in deciding which product serves them best.