What Is A Buyer’s Journey?

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Blog, Digital Marketing

If you’re a business owner looking to revamp their online presence in 2024, then having a good grasp of the buyer’s journey is essential. No matter how much business experience you have, comprehending the different stages of your buyer’s journey can be your north star that guides your marketing efforts towards long-term success.

Today, we’re going to dive into the different stages of the buyer’s journey and explore its three crucial stages – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is a type of sales funnel from the perspective of a potential customer and consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. 

Picture the buyer’s journey as a roadmap, guiding your potential customers from the moment they realize they have a problem or need (awareness) to the point where they make the crucial decision to make a purchase (decision).

Most market research studies agree that it takes ~8-9 touchpoints and ~4 months of marketing to turn an unaware prospect into a converting customer. But as technology keeps progressing, this will continue to change. Today, consumers are more savvy, armed with digital tools and information that put them one step ahead of the seller (you). The balance of power has shifted from the seller to the buyer, meaning you can’t rely on traditional sales tactics anymore.

So, how do you navigate this shifting landscape? You have to nurture your customer by understanding and embracing the buying journey.

The Three Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Think of the customer’s journey like a three-act play, with each act representing a distinct stage. This will help you map out the different actions you can take to move your target audience along their personal journey.

The three stages of the buyer’s journey are:

  • Awareness Stage: The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem or need.
  • Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and considers the different options they have to solve it.
  • Decision Stage: The buyer evaluates and makes a decision on the right provider to administer the solution.

Without further ado, let’s take a dive into the three buyer journey stages.

Awareness Stage: Getting Their Attention

At the awareness stage, your potential customer is like a traveler, realizing they’re on an uncharted path. They recognize a problem or need that they have, and your business has the opportunity to be the guiding light. In this stage, it’s all about getting their attention.

It can be difficult to get your target audience’s attention with so many types of content crowding the digital environment, but you have to make yours stand out.

The key to getting potential customers to notice you?

Your early marketing touchpoints should speak directly to your customer’s pain points, getting their attention. Remember, your audience hasn’t defined that they have a problem yet, so you’re trying to make them aware that they have a problem. 

Let’s say you’re selling luxury office chairs.

First, think to yourself: What is your buyer thinking when they need to buy a better office chair?

They might be asking: 

  • “Why does my back hurt all the time?”
  • “Why do I have a crick in my neck?”

Speak to these pain points: Push out marketing content that clearly spotlights your luxury chair’s great back support, comfortable headrest, and flexible, supportive material. Messaging like this will resonate with your target audience, and cause them to reflect on how they can solve their issue

Consideration Stage: Exploring the Options

After your potential customers become aware that they have a problem, they enter the next stage of the customer journey map. Here, they are defining their problem and actively seeking out potential solutions.

This is a critical phase of the buying process where your business needs to educate your buyer on how to solve their problem better than your competition.

What sets you apart? What makes your product the best solution to their problem?

Your customer is thinking a little more critically here. And now that you have your customer’s attention, you need to hold it, which is where your digital presence can make all the difference.

Let’s go back to the office chair example. What is your potential buyer asking here?

They’re asking: 

  • “How do you treat back pain?”
  • “How do you treat neck pain?”
  • “What kind of chairs are best for neck and back pain?”

Sometimes, they’re typing these exact questions into the search engine to find solutions (which is why SEO optimization is so important!). This is why it’s essential to create a relevant content strategy that can educate your customers on why your product is the best choice to solve their problems.

There are multiple types of educational content you can broadcast to help your ideal prospect understand how your product can solve their problem. For the luxury office chair, you could share:

  • An infographic on social media about how sitting in poorly made office chairs is the number one cause of lower back pain in America
  • A demo of someone sitting in the office chair, showcasing how comfy and supportive it is
  • A testimonial of someone who bought your product and loved it, and how it improved their back and neck pain in the long term

If you’re trying to reach people in the business-to-consumer space, then your content marketing strategy should include infographics, demos, and testimonials to push them in the right direction.

When it comes to the business-to-business (B2B) buyer, you’ll need to reconsider your content marketing strategy. In the B2B world, you’re thinking about a team of stakeholders versus a single B2C buyer. They require more in-depth, inbound marketing content like case studies, blogs, white papers, and even webinars. These are highly educational pieces of content that both demonstrate a sense of thought leadership and cultivate a connection with your potential buyers. With the right content, you can ease stakeholders’ worries in the consideration stage of the B2B sales funnel.

Decision Stage: Closing the Deal

The decision stage is where potential buyers are on the verge of making a purchase decision. They have defined and given a name to their problem, they’ve researched solutions on how to fix it, and now they’re evaluating different providers. Your goal is to be the shining star in their decision-making process.

Here, you want to think about what criteria your buyers use to evaluate the available offerings. Think about the different factors that your potential buyer will be comparing between alternative products.

These criteria will differ depending on your product and buyer persona, but the big factors here are price, value, time (for delivery or pickup), customer ratings, and testimonials.

If you’re selling a luxury office chair, your pricing will be higher than that of your competitors, so you’ll need to convince potential customers that your product has better value through your marketing. 

Remember – your customer is asking, “Why should I pay MORE when I could buy another office chair for less?”

You’ll need to convince them that they’re paying more because it’s a better product. Remind them of your value propositions; tell them about how your luxury office chair provides:

  • Unique lumbar support for your lower back
  • A supportive, comfy headrest for your neck
  • Highly Adjustable
  • Floating Recline
  • 5-star reviews all around
  • Fast and free 2-day delivery

As you can see, the bullet points above highlight all the factors that make your product worth the extra expense—that make it a luxury.

For your potential customers, to spend more on your product, your brand needs to build trust with them. Try to understand what obstacles they might have prior to the sales process so you can prepare and speak to their worries and expectations.

For example, they might be asking: “Why can I trust this brand over another brand?”

Put a spotlight on what makes your brand credible through testimonials, 5-star reviews, and mentions in prominent magazines like Wirecutter or Forbes, as this will help with social proofing. If your target audience hears enough other people swear by your brand, they’ll be more willing to take the step towards conversion. 

Finally, speak in your buyer’s persona’s language. This will help cultivate an emotional connection between your target audience and your brand, which will only build more trust. All of these strategies are critical at the final touchpoints before closing the deal. 

Work With An Expert Team

The buyer’s journey is a dynamic adventure for every business and industry, and it can be difficult to navigate on your own. Having a deep understanding of your customer’s experiences is critical if you are looking to scale your business.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. Our team at eAccountable can be your seasoned guide. Over the last 23 years, 432 companies have trusted eAccountable with their digital marketing strategy, with an average client growth rate of 28.3%. 

From the awareness stage to the consideration stage to the decision stage, we can help you optimize your unique customer journey map to maximize your business’s success.

Interested in learning more about your customer journey? Drop us a line here for a free consultation.