Welcome back to our series, Learning Inbound Marketing. Today I want to discuss the importance of the buyer’s journey in inbound marketing. The buyer’s journey is the framework of a buyer’s progression through a research and decision process ultimately ending with a purchase.
You may ask yourself; why is this process important for me to know as an inbound marketer? The answer is simple. If you don’t know and understand the journey your potential buyer goes through, then how can you create and promote relevant content.
Specific content offers are more relevant to buyer’s at specific times during The Buyer’s Journey.
- Is your buyer simply seeking information?
- Or are your buyers about to make a decision?
The buyer’s journey matters in marketing because it helps keep the buyer’s behavior, information, needs and problems central to anything sales and marketing does.
During the awareness stage of the Buyer’s Journey, potential buyers are experiencing symptoms of a problem or opportunity. At this point they are still looking to put a name to their problem. During the awareness stage potential buyers are looking for educational, third party, neutral cotent to help them more clearly define what they are facing. Content for the awareness leg of the journey comes in the form of:
- White Papers
- Editorial Content
- Analyst Reports
Once prospective buyers hit the consideration stage they can clearly define and give a name to their problem or opportunity They will continue to research and understand all avenues, methods, and approaches available to them to help them solve their problem/opportunity. During this stage of their journey buyers will be more receptive to:
- Solution Comparison White Papers
- Expert/Editorial eGuides
The final step in the buyer’s journey is the decision-making stage. Here is where your potential buyer can turn into your potential customer. They have decided on a solution, method or approach to solving their problem or opportunity. They are compiling a long list of vendors and products and this list will then be whittled down to a short list and ultimately a final purchase.
In the Decision stage, potential buyers will be looking for content in the form of
- Vendor/Product Comparisons
- Case Studies
- Trial/Software Downloads
- Virtual tradeshows
- Product Literature
With it’s three steps the journey your potential buyer takes goes hand and hand with your buyer personas.Your task is not to work buyers through your sales process, but to help them along their buying path. An easier journey makes for an easier sale.