Align messaging with where customers are in the buying cycle
To make the most of your marketing efforts, your messaging should be compelling and resonate with the type of customer you are targeting – whether a consumer (B2C) or another business (B2B) – and take into account where your target customer is in the buying cycle. By understanding where your customer is in the buying cycle, you’ll be able to provide the right type of information and messaging to influence their purchasing decision. When it comes time to meeting with them in person or developing sales tools, you’ll know which approach is best, saving time and resources.
The customer buying cycle typically has five different stages; see below for a high level overview of each stage along with the type of messaging that may be included depending upon the product or service being offered.
|Stages of the customer buying cycle||Messaging may…|
|B2C: Prospect or Suspect
Looking to build awareness with those who are new to your company, product and/or service.
B2B: Identify the Problem
Prospect seeks information about you and competing products/services.
B2B: Researching Solutions and Providers
|B2C: Conversion or Preference
Customer is familiar with your product/service and is narrowing their purchasing decision. At this point, you want them to become a paying customer.
B2B: Evaluating Options
Prospect has decided to purchase your product, making them a customer.
B2B: Procure Solution
Keep the customer happy and satisfied, and wanting to make repeat purchases.
B2B: Implementation and Continued Operation
When developing your messaging…
Consider whether B2B or B2C marketing tactics are appropriate and take into account any limitations with the medium (online, print, video, podcast, etc.) being used to deliver your message to market. Revisit your customer profile to ensure you’re emphasizing key benefits and reaching customer via the right customer touch points. The trick is to understand how different buyers or customer personas interact with your business – from awareness to a purchase and/or recommending it to others – which is also referred to as the customer’s journey map. If you develop such a map, do so for each customer or buyer persona; this will help you develop more targeted messaging for each stage of the buying cycle.
- Barnes, Liam. “B2B vs B2C Marketing: 5 Differences Every Marketer Needs to Know.” Last modified February 26, 2020. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/05/20/b2b-vs-b2c.
- Campbell, Patrick. “Optimizing Your Buying Cycle Stages and Converting Users.” ProfitWell (blog). Last modified May, 14, 2020. https://www.profitwell.com/blog/buying-cycle-stages.
- Feather, Kate. “How to Improve Your Buyer’s Journey.” Selling Power Blog. Last modified July 6, 2015. http://blog.sellingpower.com/gg/2015/07/how-to-improve-your-buyers-journey.html.
- Green, Dave. “B2B Marketing: Calls-to-Action And The Business Buying Cycle.” MarketingSherpa Blog. Last modified March 17, 2011. http://sherpablog.marketingsherpa.com/b2b-marketing/calls-to-action-and-the-business-buying-cycle/
- Gusta, Kim. “Content Strategy Essentials for Product Launch Success.” Pragmatic Marketing. Accessed May 24, 2020. http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/12/content-strategy-essentials-for-product-launch-success.
- Hoski, Kathleen and Phil Goddard. “5 Essential Components of Effective Customer Journey Maps.” Tandemseven. Accessed May 24, 2020. http://www.tandemseven.com/journey-mapping/5-essentials-for-customer-journey-maps/.
- “How to Optimize Your Site for Every Stage of the Buying Cycle.” NeilPatel (blog). Accessed July 30, 2019. https://neilpatel.com/blog/optimize-buying-cycle/.
- Ninivaggi, Jim. “Selling to B2B Decisionmakers? Take Two Aspirins and Call Us in the Morning.” SiriusDecisions Inc. (blog). Last modified June 9, 2011. http://www.siriusdecisions.com/blog/selling-to-b2b-decisionmakers-take-two-aspirins-and-call-us-in-the-morning/.
- Redbord, Michael. “How to Leverage the 5 Stages of the Customer Buying Cycle for More Sales.” HupSpot, Inc. (blog). Last modified July 6, 2011 (11:30 AM). http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/19022/How-to-Leverage-the-5-Stages-of-the-Customer-Buying-Cycle-for-More-Sales.aspx
- Skok, David. “Do You Know Your Customer? Buying Cycle & Triggers.” Matrix Management Corporation. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://www.forentrepreneurs.com/buying-cycle-and-triggers/.