Most marketeers are familiar with the buyer’s journey, but may not necessarily embrace the concept in its entirety. However, given the nature of changing buying behaviour due to digital engagement, here’s a few home-truths to consider.
In order to take full advantage of the buyer’s journey, marketers must understand the reality and align their digital and content strategies accordingly.
Multi-channel, not linear
Gone are the days where buying behaviour could be illustrated as a linear process. The availability of multiple types of marketing channels, sources of information and avenues for publishing content means the decision making process is more of a multi-stop journey involving several modes of transport rather than just a journey from a to b. Increasingly, the stops made on the journey may not even be decided upon before departure as the age of mobile increases flexibility where the only certainty is change.
Information availability and frequency
The information superhighway is certainly not a straight road any more, it’s more like a series of roundabouts interlinked with scenic roads going off in different directions, with new roads and new roundabouts being introduced every second of every day. The certainty of change reflects also on the questions to ask and the answers to give. Who is asking the question and giving the answer is also no longer certain as there are an abundance of influencers that have varying degrees of relationship and decision making capability with what is being evaluated.
Inbound vs outbound
The discussion around inbound vs outbound can sometimes feel like the catch phrase; what came first, the chicken or the egg. Inbound is someone coming to you to seek information, outbound is you presenting information for someone to find. Either way, there’s information being produced, published, shared and consumed by more than one party. So the overriding questions to ask yourself are, what is being produced, how should it be shared, where, when and how to engage to build trust, involvement and ongoing relationships.
The relationship is the journey
Life is a journey, not a destination. During the journey called work, we will inevitably be required to have relationships in order to function and complete our work. Where the journey starts or ends is not as relevant as that it continues. Ongoing efforts to keep people happy in their decision to be in a relationship with your company becomes a priority and has perhaps historically not always been the top priority. But it does make logical sense. What is the point of topping up the funnel if the bucket is leaking like a sieve with only a trickle coming out of the other end…
Power to the people
People don’t have to have a license to have an opinion. Nor to have a blog, to write reviews, to influence others or to give advice to anyone who cares to listen. The digital landscape of today has never presented more options for people to have their say. And people do. So don’t underestimate the power digital channels give to the people. People buy from people and individuals take influence from fellow colleagues, bloggers, journalists, friends and any other voices of opinions.