3 min read

Facilitate the Buyer Journey

Facilitate the Buyer Journey

Unless you are in a very rare industry, buyers for your business will go through a journey. I don’t care if you sell cat litter or life coaching: there is a process customers take to go from awareness to purchase.

Typically, this is expressed graphically by digital marketers as a sales funnel or flywheel

Visualization aside, there is a powerful opportunity to craft messaging and touchpoints that encourage people in this journey.

First, it is immensely powerful to view customers this way: as individuals who make a conscious decision to buy from you. It’s tempting, in an age of big data and analysis, to diminish the importance of the individual. Whether you are far removed from the customer process or not, everything your brand does contributes or detracts from this journey. And the numbers will prove that.

So, let’s talk about the journey a customer takes and how you can set up signposts, cheering lines and reminders along the way.

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Buyer First Impressions

Your relationship with a customer presumably begins upon introduction. However they come into contact with your brand, they learn your name, they see a logo and they begin to identify you with whatever good or service you offer. 

This is a first impression moment. Similar to anxiously approaching the best looking person at a singles bar, this is a chance for you to be sweaty-palmed, aloof, forward or warm. 

So, what first impression do you present?

The places online where you have a first impression to give are your:

  • Google Business listing
  • Social profiles
  • Digital ads
  • Chatbots
  • Auto replies
  • Directories

An unexpected area where you are also supplying an indirect first impression is your online reviews. Most consumers will vet you before they even meet you and they do this by observing your social proof. That’s an important area of consideration.

Get to Know You

The first interactions you have with a client, after the initial meeting, are absolutely crucial. And the biggest mistake companies make is egocentricity. Nobody wants a dinner date with someone who talks for the entire meal. The areas you need to analyze for issues are your:

Re-read all of this to answer the all-important question:

Who is the subject of this content?

If it is always, 100%, your brand then you are not getting to know your consumer. Good marketing copy makes sales. Great marketing copy converts customers. The difference is in whether the value you propose directly addresses a need in your client’s life. And you won’t know this if you don’t know them.

Some of this should be unearthed in your customer persona searches. But at the heart of this is PR: what connections are you making? Are you listening to feedback? Do you truly know and understand your audience?

A customer-centric approach makes the people who come to your website, visit your profiles, follow your brand feel acknowledged and honored. This is very soft science. And it is also absolutely essential if you want to succeed.

Going All In

If sales are more and more about facilitating a buyer journey, then you can’t fall out of touch with your customers. It’s almost too easy to do things like automating email campaigns and leveraging content to get in front of ever-bigger audiences. 

But the goal of national features isn’t to remove yourself from the customer, it’s to find more of the same. The moment you let your marketing efforts remove you from customer-centricity is the moment your business begins to decline. Profitability will follow that decline.

Protecting your bottom line is important. And you do this by continuing to check in and connect with your customers. There are several tools and resources to do this well:

  • Create email campaigns that address your mid-funnel or warm prospects
  • Nurture leads through giveaways and offers
  • Launch social groups and cohorts for social interaction on your platforms
  • Take customer feedback seriously: use it to improve

Once you have closed the deal, carefully facilitating the customer every step of the way, your work is not done. Advocacy is on the line.

Lasting Connections

The last stage in a meaningful sales journey is advocacy. The transaction is useful for your profit but the advocacy (or someone reaching “promoter” status) is where the real magic happens. If a customer loves you so much that they share your brand with other people, you’ve just created a recurring marketing opportunity. In some ways, none of your marketing can match the power of deploying customers to advocate for and promote your brand themselves.

Once somebody has bought from you once, it may feel their usefulness has expired. It’s evident that is not the case. There is immense power in staying in touch, re-incentivizing, launching new offers and encouraging repeat purchases. 

Don’t lose sight of the fact that there is no real finish line in this buyer journey. The goal is to create a self-perpetuating system, wherein your business is further built by the customers you so carefully honor and escort through this journey.

Ready to activate some of these strategies? Read more of our blog for content strategy and marketing ideas an

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