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What is a Buyer’s Journey?

What is a Buyer’s Journey? Definition, Example, Strategies, and More

The modern buyer has access to information about various products and services. Thanks to internet penetration, the balance of power has tipped in the favour of buyers. Most sales conversations are already dead by the time you read this blog. The buyer’s journey decides the path of purchase and understanding their psychology is the key to developing a robust sales funnel. Almost 50% of smartphone users purchased from companies that provided user-worthy information. 

Selling has to hold the attention of digital shoppers and the first point is developing a buyer’s journey.

If you are trying to understand your target user’s psychology, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discover the definition, strategies, and examples to crack the buyer’s intention.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

Customers buy in a structured manner. Every action they take is based on logic, perception, and intuition. In other words, they land on your website or app after months of careful consideration to buy your product/service. Measuring their digital footprint is the first step to analysing their online behaviour. 

There are 3 critical stages to a customer’s journey.

  • Awareness – The buyer is aware of their problem.
  • Consideration – The buyer is actively looking for solutions to solve it.
  • Decision – This is the stage where the final purchase is made.

Looks simple, right? But, what if we tell you there are multiple nuances in a buyer’s journey? 

Suppose, you’re an IT firm selling digital products to your clients. Someone is in their final stage whereas another buyer is in the awareness stage. Buying patterns can differ from client to client and even different industries. A medical supplier will not think like an enterprise software personnel. 

The buyer is performing different functions in all three stages. Let’s understand their perspective to make it easier for you.

1. Buyer in the Awareness Stage

The first stage of the buyer’s journey – The client identifies the problem and looks for possible solutions. At first, it is done to analyse the problem in a detailed manner. Remember, the customer isn’t looking to buy the solution here. The aim is to search for online resources to gain information. 

For example, Why is my laptop crashing all the time? What are the possible reasons?

2. Buyer in the Consideration Stage

The customer has clearly given a name to their problem and is considering ways to solve it. In this case, the laptop’s RAM storage has to be increased. They are researching various ways to handle the potential issue and are experimenting with all the available methods.

For example, How to prevent your laptop from crashing frequently? And comparing the prices of different RAM models.

3. Buyer in the Decision Stage

The bottom pyramid funnel, the decision stage is where the real action happens. The interaction between the buyer and seller is based on your solution strategy. You need to fit into the buyer’s mindset. They are compiling a list of the best vendors, analysing their USPs and ready to make the final purchase decision.

For example, Which RAM model is the best? How much do they cost?

Keep in mind, that you are selling your product to an informed buyer, they are aware of the market, the USP and your product features. In this case, cracking the deal involves having an intimate conversation with the buyer. Positioning yourself as the best solution provider will help you build a better buyer’s journey. 

Did you Know: Online shopping is the new normal. In 2024, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to purchase online. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The buyer’s journey helps brands map the customer’s purchasing stage. Let’s explore the B2B buyer journey in 2024.

B2B Buyer’s Perspective – A Closer Look

The buyer pyramid is the first stage of a customer’s journey. Beyond the 3 stages, B2B and B2C cycles enter the picture. While people think both are similar, that’s not the case. B2B selling is complex and takes months of deliberation, persuasion, and research. 

Most B2B buyers are big-shot corporates looking to disrupt a market. They have limited attention spans and understanding their motivation is crucial to develop a robust B2B buyer’s journey.

To gain clarity, we will explore a fictitious example of a B2B company and check out their buyer strategy.

AlphaBrain Private Ltd sells accounting software and IT solutions to small and mid-sized accounting firms looking to upgrade their redundant business software. 

Now, a firm – XYZ Solutions is expanding its reach and tapping into a newer client base. The huge influx of orders comes with a big pile of documents that require speedy processing and retrieval. But, their age-old IT software isn’t efficient to handle the daily orders. It impacts productivity and leads to wastage of resources. 

What will they do? Let’s find out.

XYZ Solutions – Awareness Stage

The accounting firm is aware of the problem and after months of deliberation, they are looking for answers online. They are probably reading articles on accounting software, the latest functionalities, pros, cons, and industry trends.  

Learning about the customer’s attributes helps to create a buyer’s persona – an imaginary yet research-bound graph about the customer’s online behaviour. It includes thinking from the buyer’s psychology – what they want, what is the industry, and their search intention.

Fact: According to this article, 90% of B2B buyers search 2-7 websites before making the final purchase.

XYZ Solutions – Consideration Stage

Researching scores of articles, the auditing firm lands on Alphabrain’s SEO-optimised blog. It addresses the firm’s problem perfectly, listing all possible pain points. This connects them to Alphabrain’s brand, but, wait, the buyer’s journey isn’t complete. 

What makes AlphaBrain stand out? There are many competitors in the digital space. The founder will analyse the firm’s presence across all digital channels. They will check the social media platforms, scrutinise the website and try to learn more about the brand through user reviews and video testimonials. 

XYZ Solutions – Decision Stage

The client is confident that AlphaBrain will provide the best accounting solution. So, they enrol in a free demo of Alpha Brain’s quote and after multiple interactions with the sales team, they purchase the product.

Please note this doesn’t resemble any real-life incident. Often, the B2B sales process takes months to reach the buying stage. It’s not that simple to attract the attention of B2B buyers.

Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing, sales, or service. To really win in this modern age, you must solve for humans.” – Dharmesh Shah, CTO and CO-Founder, Hubspot.

No one wakes up in the morning to buy a product. People go through a defined path before committing to a sales call. To make the buyer’s journey smooth for your customers, we will discuss the content strategies to position yourself in the digital space.

Stages of a Customer Journey – Content Outlook

Once you understand your buyer persona, it’s time to pull your prospects to your product. Begin by creating content for your buyer at each stage. Here is a lowdown of the marketing funnel. Grab a notebook and let’s begin.

1. Awareness Builds Curiosity

The customer is trying to solve a problem, get an answer, or meet a need. They are identifying and establishing their needs and goals. The buyer is at the top of the funnel and their value as a lead is low. There is no guarantee they will buy from you and in this stage, the best forms of content include blog posts, educational guides, eBooks, Search Engine Optimisation, and Social Media Marketing. 

Did You Know: Search engine is the first step to a digital journey with 68% online experiences. 

60% of marketers agree that inbound content( SEO, blog posts) is their highest quality source of leads. Why? Let’s find out.

  • Blog Posts – They establish authority and target the user’s pain points, problems, and interests. Think of them as your brand assets crawlable by Google. Create detailed, engaging, and well-researched articles including original data and educational content.
  • Social Media – Engage directly with your audience and create content specifically for a particular channel. Social media platforms enhance personal branding and users start seeing you as a credible brand. For example, industry-related posts on Linkedln spark conversations among your audience. You can even build an online community to foster your growth.
  • Whitepaper and ebooks – Ebooks and tip sheets are downloadable, shorter, and more actionable. The goal is to offer high-value information to the user so they get curious to move to the middle of the funnel. 

2. Consideration is Capturing Attention

Congrats, the user has moved to the next stage in the funnel. They know they have a problem that needs to be solved and are trying to find a solution. The need for a future purchase is stronger and the chances of conversion are higher. 

This is usually the stage of extended engagement in the buyer’s journey, and you nurture trust among your audience. The ideal channels for crafting compelling content include Email Marketing, content marketing, website content, and Search Engine Marketing. Here are the best content pieces to develop for the users.

  • Case Studies – They can be used in both the consideration and decision stages of a buyer’s journey. A good case study convinces readers by appealing to their emotions and logic. It gives a detailed account of the brand’s past client results. 
  • Product Comparison Guides – In this stage of the buyer’s journey, the customer is evaluating multiple options to achieve their desired goal. Product guides are a great way to take the guesswork out of the picture. You can offer detailed analysis on topics that match the user’s search intent. 

It’s almost time to close the lead, let’s quickly go to the bottom funnel of the buyer’s journey.

3. Let Them Decide and Convert

Look at the customer’s journey map example and you’ll notice a pattern. Instead of you going to them, they should come to you to make the final purchase. At this stage, you have to offer a frictionless customer experience to the user. 

Let’s explore the content formats in the final stage of the buyer’s journey.

  • Offering a Free Trial Upfront or Demo – How to address a user’s hesitation? Offer a free trial or product demo. Heard of a test drive? This tactic works like magic for car dealers. Likewise, offering a limited free trial membership allows users to gain first-hand product experience. This will eliminate all the last-minute objections before closing the deal. 
  • Free Consultation – Closing a sales call requires efficient planning. If you offer extra service in exchange for zero cost, it reduces the anxiety of entering into a sales transaction. You are helping the client to relax by paying close attention to their queries. 

FAQs: What is a Buyer’s Journey? Definition, Example, Strategies, and More

What are the 3 stages of a buyer’s journey?

We’ve already discussed the three critical stages of the customer journey. Track the user from awareness, and consideration, to the final decision. 

What are the 4PS of customer experience?

Politeness, promptness, personalisation, and professionalism for successful sales interaction. 

How do you create a good buyer’s journey?

To create a robust user journey, research your target user’s attributes. Create a buyer persona based on their needs, wants, and end goals. 

Conclusion

Every business needs a unique buyer’s journey that can’t be replicated from one industry to another. Marketing and sales involve tapping into the buyers’ psychology and offering them help along each stage of the buying journey. The process should be smooth, real, and speak directly to the audience. 
Are you facing challenges in your content strategy? Zoringa’s expert-driven content approach will fuel your marketing tactics in the right direction.