Buyer’s Journey: Marketing for Small Business

Buyer’s Journey: Marketing for Small Business

The buyer’s journey is a little less known than we would like to admit. It’s probably even more rare that we use it at all in our marketing plans. In fact, most small businesses tend to use a “one size fits all” type of marketing plan. That just isn’t going to generate the type of business we want.

Think back to when you wanted to purchase something yourself. Refer to our Funnel Guide to refresh on what that might look like.

Here is an example of the Buyer’s Journey break down again:

small business buyer's journey

In each stage of this adventure we all go through, we have to take a different marketing approach in order to keep your potential customers attention. Otherwise, we might be missing out on a lot of sales!

Imagine you want to purchase the new iPhone, but you can’t find anywhere that explains whats new about it. No one is really talking about the features, only that it is new. You are more likely to walk away from the idea of upgrading until you find out more information.

This is similar to the failure we something met buyer’s journey, if the right tactics aren’t in place for each stage.

In the next portion of this blog I’ll explain each stage in more detail and how to implement awesome strategies for a successful marketing plan.

 

Awareness

small business buyer's journey

This is the first stage. It’s not as clear cut as the other stages and the human element of processing can be tricky to guess too. Nonetheless, it revolves around some basics:

  • They don’t know they have a problem
  • They know their is a problem, but not sure what the problem is
  • They don’t know they have a problem until they experience a solution, to the problem they didn’t know they had.

So how do we deal with marketing to these types of customers?

Educate.

Society is over being sold to, now it’s about being educated about products/services.

The goal should be to clearly educate about what their problems are. Educate them on the problems that your solutions solve, but not directly what the solution does. There are other stages for talking about your product/services.

Potential issues a customers might encounter in this stage:

  • Why is nobody buying products from my ecommerce store?
  • Why do I have high traffic but low sales?
  • Why are people clicking my products but not actually buying them?

Some solutions that could be titled on your website, ads, blogs, or landing pages:

  • Improve your ecommerce sales with this ONE technique
  • 12 pitfalls that can drop your ecommerce sales
  • Guide for retaining customers on ecommerce websites

All those topics deal with one thing. Education. Make sure you content is educational as well and you’ll be on your way to delivering to those who are in their awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.

 

Consideration

small business buyer's journey

At this point, clients have already figured out what their problem is, so they are seeking out a solution.

This is where potential customers clearly understands their issue and is going to be gathering solutions and comparing them against each other.

You guessed it. Educate.

But, this time. Educate on why your product is THE solution to their problem. They know what their problem is, so really elaborate on how you product/service can solving it.

Potential searches a customer might make at this stage:

  • How to add alternative methods to checkouts
  • How does pricing products below whole amount effect purchases
  • Alternative solutions to ecommerce

All of these questions point to the consideration to a problem. If your content or titles looked like this, it would lead them to their next step in the buyer’s journey:

  • Add paypal to your ecommerce method using “your product name”.
  • Be competitive with this real-time price matching plugin for ecommerce stores
  • The best alternative to ecommerce stores

Remember.

Just because someone is browsing your “consideration styled” content, does not mean they are set on you having the solution.

The best thing to do is elaborate on the solutions, features, benefits. Do not be too salesy with the wordage.

 

Decision

small business buyer's journey

The buyer’s journey is almost over at this stage, but a purchase still needs to be made..

Potential customers have already decided on what they need to solve their problem, but now they will compare those solutions and decide on the give and take of each product/services.

A customer might like your solution to the first part of their problem, but another product/service might meet their other half. What they are looking for, is the best solution to their “pain point”.

It’s the part of their problem that must be solved among any other part of it.

 

Example:

Joe needs his watch fixed. He has had it for 10 years and almost feels apart of him. He looked into fixing it and the cost of buying a new one. Fixing it would be least expensive, but it could break again. A new watch would be nice, but he would have to get use to it. Joe decides he is going to buy a new watch. He looked at silver, gold, and black ones. He doesn’t like gold and the silver was too heavy, so he decided to buy a black watch. He looks online and finds 2 websites with the same watch. Website A has the watch listed for $99 and includes lifetime service, free of charge. Website B has the watch listed for $69, but no service included.

 

Which website would Joe most likely purchase his watch from?

If you guessed website A, you would be most correct. Joe wasn’t really concerned about price. He was concerned more about the longevity of his watches.

He isn’t concerned about the higher cost as much as he is about having service that would keep it running reliably.

Additionally…

Website B failed to promote the product that matched Joe’s exact problem. While yes, website B offered a watch he wanted, it didn’t meet his needs exactly, the “pain point“.

Now you may ask, how am I supposed to know exactly what Joe’s pain point is? The truth is we can’t always know. However, the best thing to do is to build value in your product that matches a buyer’s persona.

Persona’s are the “Theoretically Customers” based on realistic statistics and information.

Every business plan should include a buyer persona in their marketing plan. It will help target more specific needs of the customer during their buyer’s journey.

Conclusion

Marketing plans work a lot better when they are created to match the type of buyers journey your customer might make. It’s all dependant on the problems your product/service solves.

It will be a challenge and a struggle to meet just the right kind of target audience, but if you build a strong value in your product/service and educate why it will solve potential customers problems, you will have a better marketing plan than 64% of small businesses in the United States.

 

About the Author
Cory F
Cory has 13 Years of Experience in web development, graphic design, and online marketing. He has spent his years as a consultant and independant developer prior to co-founding InspireWorks Digital Media. Cory is married with 2 beautiful boys and is proud of his 8+ years of service as a Firefighter/EMT.

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