The buyer’s journey, that process that starts when you realize you have a need and ends when you buy something to fill that need, is as varied as the buyers and their needs. Consumers follow different paths than businesses. Larger purchases generally involve more time and research. For small ticket items, an impulse buy may shorten the whole journey to a few seconds. Some decisions are more rational and calculated while others are heavily emotional. Understanding different buyers (personas), what information they seek-out (content), where they do it (touchpoints) and how they choose to interact (engagement) are all key elements when mapping-out a strategy to position your product or solution to succeed.
Don’t just wait for them at the finish line.
As buyers go from awareness, through consideration and decision to purchase, they don’t always follow a linear path. An oft-quoted statistic from Sirius Decisions, ”67% of the B2B buyer journey happens online” can be misleading. Clearly, it means online is the place to be, particularly for technological services. However, it does not mean the sales function is becoming an order taker, engaging when most of the process is completed. Both the digital and human side of the process need to be engaged and aligned every step of the way. Helping sales understand where each buyer is on their journey and having a solid mix of tools and supporting content for each stage will increase your success in the marketplace.
On the digital side, it’s important to have content and tactics to nurture prospects through their journey. Build awareness with banner ads, thought leadership blogs, direct mail nurture campaigns and social. Drive consideration with SEO, white papers, case studies, demand generation campaigns. Ensure your web page has resources to help decision makers and recommenders at every stage. And remember, the buyer’s journey is not linear. A prospect can go from cold to hot in an instant, so always be ready.
Finally, it’s important to remember that once a prospect purchases a service, that relationship must be built and maintained. It’s cheaper and more profitable to maintain a happy customer than to bring a new one in to fill that revenue gap. Having a responsive and proactive culture that puts the customer first is the foundation. Relevant communication that informs the customer and makes them feel valued can go a long way towards ensuring that when the time comes to make an upgrade, purchase a new product or renew their existing service contract they will look to your company first
Start the journey today!
A comprehensive digital marketing program that delivers balanced content for different buyer personas spanning the buyer and customer journey is critical to maximizing sales and retention. At Ronin Technology Advisors we specialize in helping communications service providers of all sizes maximize their B2C and B2B marketing and demand generation investment. Get a no-obligation consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.678.1844.