I think we can all agree that Internet has changed how we do business. It has changed how we sell, how we buy, how operate as a company. From the sales and marketing perspective it is important we understand that change and how our clients and prospects now source and buy the products and services they need. We refer to this process as the “buyers journey.”
The Buyers Journey
Because of the wealth of information available at our fingertips a large portion of the sourcing process (60%) occurs without the involvement of the vendors. It’s all happening online. By the time they reach out to vendors they have already moved through a significant part of their selection process. You can been excluded from the process without even knowing the selection process is going on.
So how do you maximize the Buyers Journey to your benefit? First of all you need to fully understand what that journey looks like. There are three key phases to the Buyers Journey:
- Awareness of need
- Researching solutions and answers to the need
- Determining the right solutionConsideration
2. Research options for the right solution
- Vetting vendors
- Creating a short list of qualified vendors
- Soliciting quotations
- Verifying solutions
- Issuing Purchase Order
This a broad general overview, and it is important you identify the nuances of your specific industry and market. But this journey outline, paired with strong buyer personas create the foundation for an effective content strategy.
Content to Nurture the Buyers Journey
So if 60% of the Buyers Journey happens without your awareness or participation how can you insert yourself in the process? By providing great content that helps them in the disocvery phase of their journey. What are the problems or issues they may be having that your product or service is the solution for. What do they research before they know you are the answer that leads them to your specific product or service.
By creating content that helps them through each phase of the Buyers Journey and geared to the specific buyer persona you have know inserted yourself into their buying process. When you can create this effective content strategy you will develop a very strong online presence that delivers highly qualified leads and real business opportunities.