Buying decision in today’s world is increasingly made using the Internet. Hold on for a second, reflect on the last important product or service that you paid for.
Perhaps you booked a flight, booked a hotel, or bought a new house. It’s likely that you used the internet to read up the product or service review, you got a recommendation from other product users on social media before deciding to buy.
So irrespective of the nature of your business, an online presence is essential for your business. Understanding and specifying customer journey is also important.
This new digital trend has not just helped businesses to increase sales and leads, but it has also helped them in turning casual buyers into regular buyers who buy and also encourage their family and friends to do the same.
Marketing has not changed in any way. Whether it’s done digitally or traditionally, it’s still about building and establishing useful relationships with clients, leads, and prospects. The development of this relationship is called a customer journey.
The rest of this post has covered what to include in a customer’s persona, how to create customer’s journey, and the stages of the customer’s journey.
How to Create Customer Journey
Create a Buyers Persona
The reason we market is to take people through a series of stages, from being cold prospects, leads, and customers to being zealous fans and brand advocates.
But before you can make this happen, you must first understand the characteristics of your prospects.
You will want to find out what their goals are, what is hindering them from reaching those goals, and where they hangout, and what type of information they digest.
What is a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a detailed profile of your target market.
Honestly speaking, unless the product or service you offer falls under micro-niche, you will have to develop a different buyer persona for every campaign you put out.
Human beings can’t easily be defined by gender, age, profession, etc. That’s why vague and broad campaigns don’t convert.
Broad campaigns don’t encourage your audience enough to take action. It’s very essential to understand your ideal customers and make your buyer’s persona as specific as Possible, as that will help you create content that your audience will find helpful.
Developing buyers persona influences every aspect of your marketing, such as:
Content Marketing: what content( text, video, audio, infographics ) type will be more appealing to your target market?
Social Media Marketing: what social network are you more likely to find your target market?
Email Marketing: which segment of your email list should a particular message go to?
Search Engine Marketing: what problem are your target market searching for its solution on the search engine?
What keywords are they typing in search engine?
Product Development: what product or service will you develop to solve the problem of your target market?
Copywriting: how should you present your offer to your target market so as to make irresistible?
Any aspect of your marketing sequence that touches your target market gets better when you understand your buyer’s persona.
After all, you’re targeting human beings with a brain, emotion, need, and want.
It will be wise for you to understand their characteristics, then present them with the solution they seek, that way, it will be easy for them to part ways with their money.
What to include in Buyers Persona
The buyer persona has five main significant components
- Goals and values: the buyer’s persona development process starts with identifying the goals and value of one of your prospects. List out the goals and values of your prospects relevant to your product and service.
- Sources of information: this part of the buyer persona is dedicated to identifying the following: where your prospect hangout online and offline, who is his or her favourite celebrity, what blog does he or she read? This information helps you decide where to advertise and how to tailor your advertisement.
- Demographic: in this part of your buyer persona, you’re to add information to your buyer personas such as location, gender, marital status, and age. This information helps to bring your buyer persona alive.
- Challenges and pain points: in this part of the buyer persona, you’re to identify what is holding your prospect back from reaching his or her goals. The information from this section can give you new product ideas. It will also give you an idea of the type of sales message and content that will resonate with your audience.
- Objections: in this final part of the persona, you’re to identify why your prospect may choose not to buy from you. The reason they may decide to turn down your offer is known as an objection. It’s essential that you address it in your marketing.
customer journey stages
For a business to have been able to acquire one customer, it means there is some sort of already existing buyer journey. Though it may not have been created intentionally, it does exist.
The reason why you market to people is to become intentional about the movement of ideal customer to lead, lead to paying clients, and paying clients to brand advocate.
Once you have successfully created your ideal buyer’s journey, you can easily find out what is stopping them from moving from prospect to lead, lead to paying client, paying clients to business advocate.
The importance of sequence in marketing can not be overemphasized, especially in digital marketing. Taking cold prospect through the customer journey has to be done efficiently. You’re probably not to convert strangers into a paying client overnight. But you can gradually take them through each stage of the customer’s journey. Here are the various stages of the customer journey:
Step 1: Generate awareness
Everyone doing business with you presently was once a total stranger to your brand. They never knew you exist, what they stand to gain by patronizing you, what your mission is, what solution your business brings to the table, and your pricing model.
The first stage from cold prospect to paying client is awareness. They first have to know that your business exists, so you have to let the word out about your brand. You can achieve this through advertisement.
Step 2: Driving engagement
It’s awesome to generate a lot of brand awareness, but it’s not enough. You have to design your marketing in a way that it attract and engage your ideal customers.
For online marketing that engagement takes the form of useful and engaging content( blog post, youtube videos, social network post, etc.) made available free online.
Step 3: Building subscribers
Now that they’re now aware of your business and you have successfully engaged them. It’s time to take them to the next stage of the customer Journey, which is building subscriber.
Subscriber here means someone who has given you access to communicate with him or her through email.
Online marketers build an email list by adding a subscription form to their website or by offering their prospect free valuable giveaways in exchange for an email address.
Step 4: Increasing conversion
This is the stage where you need to step up the loyalty of your prospect by requesting him or her to give you a little bit of time or money. Free trial, low-cost product or service are all best to offer at this stage.
The relationship with your ideal customer has been passive from stage one to stage three. The objective of stage four is not to make a gain, instead is to increase the level of connection between your brand and the ideal customer.
Step 5: Building excitement
Your overall marketing should motivate people to use the offer they received from you. Irrespective of whether the conversion was a time or monetary commitment.
The relationship with your customer has a much better opportunity to succeed if he or she gets value from the offer. The value of the offer you make should be far greater than the price they paid.
Step 6: Making the core offer sale and more
The prospect at this level has developed an interest with your brand. Perhaps he or she has spent a small amount of money or time with your brand. People who got to this stage are more likely to pay for high ticket products or services.
But most businesses start and finish their marketing at this stage. They stop selling to a customer after the customer has done business with them. They forget that they’re supposed to stay in touch with the customer in other to convert him or her into a regular buyer.
Since you have done the hard work in stage 1,2,3,4, and 5 of the buyer’s journey, you’d discover that your customer is ready to buy more and repeatedly, reason because you have successfully built and established a relationship with him.
Step 7: Developing brand advocate
Testimonials are important for the growth of a business. When people get to hear or read about how good and reliable your product or service is from other users, it becomes easy to trust your brand.
Brand advocates provide you with testimonials about the awesome experience they have had using your product or service.
Your ability to build brand advocate is directly proportional to the level of relationship you have with your customers.
When you successfully turn your buyers into brand advocates, they become your friends.
But building and maintaining this relationship requires time and effort. You can build this relationship by constantly providing your customers value, and by also delivery on promise.
Step 8: Growing brand promoters
Brand promoters are much more than brand advocates. They do everything within their power to tell others about your business.
The difference between the two is that the brand promoters actively promote your brand while the brand advocates do it passively.
For brand promoters, they have come to believe and trust your brand either for the value your business brings to the table or because of their experience with your business.
The customer journey doesn’t just take place unexpectedly. Experienced online marketers design marketing campaigns that intentionally move prospects, leads, and buyers from one level of the customer journey to another.