Most of us have heard of the buyer’s journey before, it’s been around for decades, and holds consistent truths today for how buyers shop. Whether it’s a piece of gum, a new car, or a new home, we all go through these phases at one point or another.
Where we have strong opposing thoughts to the traditionalists, is the order and the speed that person will actually go through these steps.
The most common order and names of these phases are:
- The Awareness Phase
- The. Consideration Phase
- The Evaluation Phase
- The Decision Phase
I’m going to briefly break these down, then give you our thoughts around how the buyer’s journey aligns with the digital journey that we see happening, then give you a free resource. Sound good?
The Awareness Phase.
This phase is most commonly known for the user being aware they have a problem or a pain point. If you don’t have a need, or you aren’t aware of a need, you won’t have the desire to purchase. This could be an emotional trigger, a physical need, or a social desire.
For example, I might all of a sudden be aware that I need a new wallet phone case, because the leather holding my cards together on my phone just ripped, and now it’s rendered useless. (This may or may not have just happened to me recently.) – Physical Need
Maybe you see a friend with a new pair of shoes and become suddenly aware that yours are out of style and need some new ones. – Social Desire
What if you’re walking in your favorite store and notice something you can’t live without, and you created the need AFTER you saw the product? – Emotional Trigger
The Consideration Phase.
Now that you’re aware you have a need, whether real or perceived, there is now real consideration. When you’re making a large decision, the consideration phase is going to be substantially greater. (ie: buying a new home, vehicle, etc.) but if you’re making an emotional quick decision on a piece of gum, that might happen in a millisecond.
The larger the investment, whether time or money, the longer this phase will last.
The Evaluation Phase.
So you’re looking for those shoes that you had to have. You’ve committed to getting some new shoes (consideration phase – check) but now you’re faced with multiple brands with similar styles.
If you’re in business, this is competitor evaluation. Clicking?
Now you’re committed to getting the shoes, you want to see what’s out there SO YOU CAN MAKE THE BEST DECISION.
(Guess who wins this game? The brand with the best messaging that understand the process the buyer is going through). More on that here.
The Decision Phase.
Boom. The buyer votes with their wallet, and the decision in made. New shoes, new wallet, new house, new pack of gum. Done. Game over.
Think through the purchases you’ve made, do you see elements of all four of these? I guarantee you do. It’s actually a proven science.
So what do you do with this information? Why should you care?
When you are trying to sell a product or service, no matter how big or small, you need to be able to ANTICIPATE THE BUYER’S JOURNEY. If you have your marketing and your messaging setup to know how you’re going to overcome objections to the buyer, how you’re going to show that you’re better than competitors, and why you’re the clear choice, then you’re gaining more market share.
We believe that buyers can jump in and out of these phases. It’s not a straight funnel with the access that we have today. For example, if you’re looking at a new car, you might first be in the comparison phase, anticipating you might one day need one. So when the time comes, you’ve already been through the evaluation, then you’d go to the awareness that you now need a new car.
Go and apply these to your business today to see transformative results.
Bonus Free Download: How to anticipate the 4 step client voyage worksheet
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