Consumer behavior is a favorite topic of mine.
Understanding what makes a buyer tick is vital to the marketing and sales process.
This story will take us through the process for a particular marketing persona. If you are not familiar with marketing personas, check out this post. In a nutshell, the marketing persona is an abstract representation of an ideal prospect.
The Persona's Journey is the research process a potential buyer goes through leading up to a purchase.
The prospect travels through three distinct stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
I have a sore throat, fever, and I 'm aching all over. What's wrong with me?
The persona has become aware that a problem exists, but is looking to determine the cause of the problem. In the example above, the person has identified the symptoms, and is looking to identify the cause.
Likening this to business terminology, an attorney might be presented with a different set of challenges. My phone used to ring all the time. I have not pulled my ad from the yellow pages. So why am I getting less calls now?
Aha! I have strep throat. What are my options for relieving or curing my symptoms?
The persona has identified the ailment, or source of their pain, and is now seeking solutions or "cures" to the problem.
In legalese this might go a little something like this: It appears that the general public has largely moved away from consulting the yellow pages, and are now using the internet to find attorneys. What are my options for using the Internet as a new channel for marketing? Getting found online can be achieved through a variety of methods: Pay Per Click Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Website Optimization, Social Media, and Inbound Marketing. Which one is right for my practice and my budget?
I can see a primary care physician, ER, nurse or clinic. The ER costs $$$, but is the fastest option this weekend and I have insurance.
In this stage, the persona has learned about method and solutions to their problem. Now, cost, relevance and "right fit" are important factors in the process.
The lawyer is thinking "There are many Inbound Marketing agencies. Which one is right for my practice and my budget? How will they fit in with my current processes"
It is important to understand that a prospect can enter your website at any of the above stages of the process.
Creating content for each stage in the process is vital. The attorney looking to learn more about the various solutions to his problem will be seeking different content from the attorney looking to evaluate the various providers of a chosen solution.
Keep these stages in mind when creating content for your website, and make sure that people who need to "skip ahead" or "jump back" can easily navigate to the content most relevant to their stage in the Buyer Persona's Journey.
Ready to get started creating your own buyer personas?