Understanding the Buyer’s Journey: Different Kinds of Campaigns

In part 3 of the Campaign Planning series, you will learn how to use different types of campaigns for each step of the buyer’s journey to reach your marketing objectives.

The next phase in the Campaign Planning series dives into the different types of campaigns your company can develop for each phase of the buyer’s journey. Having a solid plan in place with specific objectives should make this phase go smoothly.

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For most B2B companies, you may have up to five different stages of the buyer’s journey. So what exactly should your business be implementing at each stage to increase sales, grow, and build brand awareness? Glad you asked because in this article we’re going to discuss:

  • How to describe each of the stages of the buyer’s journey and what it means to your business.
  • Tactics to use at each stage to drive more customer conversions.

The Buyer’s Journey

What are the stages of the buyer’s journey and what do they mean to your company?

dataUse each phase of the buyer’s journey to engage with customers. 

At its core, the buyer’s journey is how customers become aware of, evaluate, and finally, decide on which product or service to purchase. Although it may look different from industry to industry, this phased process is how most B2B companies find the best product or service to meet their needs. Let’s take a closer look at what these stages are, and ways to engage with prospective customers.

Awareness Stage

At this stage, your prospect is aware of their pain points and is looking for a company that can deliver a solution to solve them. At this stage, your business really needs to think like a buyer and try to understand how they would describe their goals and challenges. What do they need to know in order to decide this pain point is a priority and is it worthwhile to invest in finding a solution? At this point, you want to make prospective buyers aware of your solutions.  Helpful content you can make available to them on your website or social media accounts at this phase might include things like:

  • Product tear sheets
  • Industry reports
  • Educational blog posts
  • White papers/Thought leadership pieces
  • Social media posts targeting specific products/services

Consideration Stage

At the consideration stage, prospects have decided that their need is a priority, and are considering their options when it comes to providers that could potentially fulfill that need. At this point, they will consider the different approaches/solutions providers may use to best address their pain points. At this point, it’s important to think about what kinds of solutions your prospects might investigate, what are the pros and cons, and how will they know that your solution is the right one for them? Consider developing your content to speak directly to the answers to these questions.  At this stage, the content that can be most effective can include:

  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Demonstrations
  • Expert guides
  • How-to manuals

Decision Stage

This is the stage where the buyer will make a decision and transition into being a customer. They have evaluated their options and have chosen a company whose product best suits them. At this stage, include content to help your buyer finalize their decision. Ask yourself what do they like about your product or service versus the competition, do they have any concerns, and what criteria do your buyers use to evaluate your product or service? Ways to get this kind of information to them includes:

  • Price comparisons
  • Free trials
  • References and testimonials
  • Use cases/Prototypes

Retention

If you’re offering B2B solutions, you’ll want to ensure that your customer stays with your company for longer. In order to work on retaining a customer at this stage, focus on content that will either provide additional value to the relationship or provide feedback to your organization that can be acted on in the future.  This may include:

  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Product training
  • FAQs
  • Online help

Advocacy

This phase focuses on those customers that really use, and like, your product or service. Tap into the power of that advocacy to gain new customers by featuring:

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Customer interviews
  • Referral programs

Marketing Campaign Ideas for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

5 stepRun the right kind of campaign to reach your goals

What your overall goal is for your marketing campaign will determine which path you choose, and what types of tactics you employ to reach what you’re aiming for. For an awareness campaign, your goal is to increase engagement and get your brand out there. In order to do that, you could run a traditional media campaign coupled with use of social media to get your brand in front of potential customers. Once you drive traffic to your site, consider offering prospects a contest, or give them access to industry reports, analyses, or other educational information.

If your company’s goal is to get more leads, your consideration campaign should include re-engagement, targeting personas, competitive drips, and boosting subscriptions to your blog. When you’re ready to generate those leads into sales at the decision phase, your business should focus on a case study campaign, assigning leads to sales reps, and re-engaging with potential customers with abandoned carts.

If your company is a B2B business, you’ll definitely want to invest in running retention and advocacy campaigns after you acquire a customer. Retention campaigns can utilize tactics such as upselling, success/engagement campaigns, and including relevant special offers. Turn those customers who are pleased with your product or service into advocates by asking for reviews and using targeted re-engagement.

Throughout the cycle of the buyer’s journey, there are specific campaigns you can turn to in order to reach your goals. By engaging with prospects and assisting them along their journey, you will not only convert leads to sales, but you might just make customers for life!

If you’d like more information on how to best utilize these different kinds of campaigns and see your company grow, contact Company Expert.

 

 

Creating Campaign Targets and Developing Buyer Personas

In part 2 of the Campaign Planning series, we’re going to delve into how to develop better campaigns by understanding your target audience. Now that we’ve covered the importance of planning for your marketing campaign by setting goals and using SMART objectives, it’s now time to discuss how you can develop campaign targets by better understanding your customers.

When you fully understand the process that buyers go through, it makes it easier to create a buyer persona based on the needs, wants, and behaviors of your best potential customers.

purchase

Having this information allows you to create campaigns that are ready to give buyers what they need and exactly when they need it. In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • Understanding how to think like your customers
  • How to create a buyer persona

Think Like Your Customers to Create More Effective Campaigns

Knowing the process your customers go through can help hone your marketing campaign and make it more effective.

 

handshake Focus your marketing campaign by thinking like your buyers. 

Whether they know it or not, all buyers go through different phases when looking to purchase a product or service. This buying cycle can and should be, applied to your marketing campaign. In order to target your marketing efforts successfully, you’ll need to think like your customers and align your specific marketing tactics to the different phases of the buying cycle.

Awareness

This is where your prospects discover their pain point, and they start to conduct research on how to fix their problem. At this point, your company’s strategy should be to develop awareness around a problem, and how your firm can help prospects fulfill their need.

Consideration

At this point, buyers have started to refine their research into how to fix their pain points. They are most likely comparing and shortlisting firms to help solve this problem. Ideally, your business could start using targeted approaches that identify exactly how the prospect needs to solve their problem.

Decision

At this stage, your prospect is ready to make a decision on what product or service will best help them solve their pain point. It’s here that your business needs to make sure that the prospect knows your firm can provide them with the best product/service to help meet their needs.

By thinking like your buyer, you can help hone in on targets for your campaign, which will ultimately help you reach your overall goal.

Creating a Buyer Persona

DCP In order to fully understand the needs of your customers, develop a buyer persona.

Once you have your campaign plan laid out, it’s time to develop a client persona (or personas). A buyer persona is a model archetype of an ideal customer for your business. It’s a fictitious person based on the common attributes of your company’s best-buying audience.  Personas allow you to better understand and document who you’re trying to reach with your campaign. Focusing your efforts in this way helps ensure that your marketing campaign is targeted to those potential customers most interested in your product or service at each stage of the buyer’s journey.  See some helpful hints below:

 

  • This is the exploration stage, so start to build out who would benefit from your campaign. What is it that potential customers want to know or do? Why are they even looking, and are there any barriers preventing them from finding what they’re seeking?
  • At the comparison phase, customers are evaluating potential solutions. Consider what that evaluation process may look like and whether there’s anything that could prevent them from choosing a company like yours.
  • Understand how potential customers would select and buy your product or service, and what that purchase process would look like.
  • Consider what a customer would expect and how they might use your product or service. Is there anything that might prevent them from utilizing their purchase?

 

By mapping out how potential customers search for, evaluate, and decide on a product or service can help you develop marketing campaigns that provide relevant content at each stage of their buying process. In addition, it’s important to have personas in order to focus your marketing efforts on the best potential clients.  Determining what the best way is to reach and engage with your customers increases your chances of reaching your goal and Company Expert is here to help.