The 5-stage buying process is a helpful guide to remind us all about the journey our customers take when interacting with our brand. But how can we maximise our opportunities at every stage to present our brands in the most compelling way possible? Here are some of the top things we consider at Embrace, a B2B branding and marketing agency.
1. Problem recognition
We firstly tackle this in two ways 1) customers that know they have a problem and 2) customers that have a problem/a future problem, but they don’t know that they do. We then adapt our messaging accordingly. Customer empathy mapping can really help place ourselves in our prospective customers’ shoes so we can get to the root of how they think and feel and what their pains are. Only by being empathetic can we truly understand their situation, needs and what will resonate. When we fully understand the problems, we can generate messages that are spot on, resonating instantly with the target market.
2. Information search
When we’ve done our empathy work, we can then start to understand how our prospective customers think and how they search for their information. An instinctive understanding backed up by research ensures that our messages appear on the right channels to reach the target audience. We bear in mind that it takes 6-8 touchpoints to generate a viable sales lead and we consider the full marketing mix according to our insights on how best to target our audience. According to Status Labs, 90% of people haven’t made their mind up about which product to choose before starting their search. That means there are lots of opportunities to attract new customers through strong brand awareness and messages that resonate!
3. Evaluation of alternatives
This is where we need to shine above our competition by clearly differentiating our offering. It’s important to appeal to the emotional and rational side. The emotional side allows us to demonstrate that we have shared beliefs with our customers and can generate an instant connection. Once the emotional messaging has created a connection, rational messaging helps evidence why customers should choose us. We find that consistent brand messaging is key to build memorability and trust. We also add to our customer’s experience through added value content marketing and a strong website user experience.
4. Purchase decision
Ultimately, we choose brands because we believe in what they believe in and because we have an emotional connection with that brand. If we have strong brand awareness, demonstrate our shared beliefs and what makes us different – then this stage becomes a lot easier. Our prospective clients will like us and trust us, which is key to gain commitment to buy.
5. Post-purchase behaviour
At this point as a customer we have been promised a certain experience through brand communications. The best brands align their customer’s experience with their brand promise to exceed customer’s expectations and to ensure future retention. Embrace is an integrated B2B branding and marketing agency. We help clients formulate individual strategies and activities to make the most of the 5-stage buying process. Visit embracemarketing.co.uk for more information.