According to many marketing posts and newsletters, one of marketing’s primary focal points is, or should be, the Buyer (or Customer) Journey. By focusing on the Buyer Journey, however, I think we may be making things much harder than they have to be.
To be successful in following the Buyer Journey, marketers need to maximize what they can learn about each individual buyer’s interactions, no matter how random, wide-ranging, multi-channel or illogical they may be. Then, they have to decide how to respond and interact in each instance.
The Buyer Cycle is much simpler. It focuses on the 6 major buying milestones along the way to making ANY PURCHASE, and on EVERY BUYER having to pass ALL 6 MILESTONES no matter what paths their Buyer Journeys may take:
- Entering the Buyer Cycle
- Researching and getting up to speed
- Defining what’s needed
- Evaluating options
- Making a selection
- Completing the purchase
If marketers target content to each of these buyer milestones, and use formats and channels that prospective buyers seem to prefer, they’ll be ready for any buyer interaction, no matter when or where it occurs.
Plus, marketers will know just how far along each buyer is toward purchase based on what content they interact with. And isn’t that one of the primary purposes of demand gen in the first place?
Then, Sales can interact whenever they choose, also knowing each buyer’s progress toward purchase, and working from that.
With all of the focus on Buyer Journeys, the Buyer Cycle presents a shortcut that can save both marketers and buyers lots of time and resources.
Prugh Roeser is President of The Devereux Group, Bottom-Line Marketing.