The Buyer’s Journey: Where And How To Spend Your Digital Marketing Budget – The Buyer’s Journey 97

If you’ve listened to our last two episodes, you know the importance of the lifetime value ratio and what your marketing budget should be*. But how and where do you spend that budget? On The Buyer’s Journey, of course!** We breakdown the five steps of The Buyer’s Journey and discuss some key strategy points for each step.

So, on our last two episodes we cleared up a lot of marketing confusion. You’ve got your customer acquisition costs and lifetime value ratio down pat. We’ve helped you determine a marketing budget, and we’ve let you know that 50-65% of that should be spent on digital marketing. So, how do we use that 65%? 

The Purple Cow In the Room

Well, hold up. There’s still one missing piece. Your Purple Cow. 

The purple cow is a common marketing term that originates from Seth Godin’s book The Purple Cow. In essence, your business’s purple cow is something that differentiates it from the competitors. That could be exceptional customer service, super low pricing, types of warranties, etc. Without a purple cow, there’s nothing to make you stick out from the crowd.

So, if you don’t know what your purple cow is, you need to figure that out fast!.

The purple cow is particularly useful because marketing is built around explaining why your business is the best. Strategy and proper budgeting can only get you so far without a unique spin or without a good product.

LTV Ratio (Competitive Advantage) + Purple Cow (Unique Quality About Your Business) + The Buyer’s Journey = SUCCESS!

Now, that’s not to say you need to have an in-depth explanation about why your business is better. Knowing your purple cow is enough. Now, it’s our job to help you sell it.

The Buyer’s Journey: Finding Where Your Clients Are

Now that we know your budget/LTVR and know what makes your business unique, we can start marketing your business on The Buyer’s Journey.

The Buyer’s Journey is the journey a potential customer/client takes one the path (their journey) to discovering your brand, buying your product, etc. The Buyer’s Journey is broken up into five stages or steps: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy. Each stage uses different tactics, strategies, and platforms to guide the user/potential client. Strategy and creative become our focus during this stage.

Here’s a brief look at each of the five stages of The Buyer’s Journey:

Awareness Stage

During the Awareness stage, a would-be customer is becoming aware of a problem they’re having, and therefore need a solution to, or they become aware of your brand’s products or services. Here’s an example of both of these scenarios:

Becoming Aware of a Problem:

Jenny is a 35-year-old woman who is married to Mike, and they live together in Philadelphia. Jenny and Mike’s marriage has been rocky the last few years. After a particularly nasty argument one night, Jenny finally decides that she wants a divorce. Now, Jenny needs to find a lawyer. 

Jenny’s failing marriage is the problem in this scenario, and the solution would be to find a lawyer. Jenny can now move to the Consideration phase.

Becoming Aware of a Brand or Business:

Jonathan is a 45-year-old family man. One day during his drive to work, Jonathan sees a billboard for Smith & Smith law, an elder law firm. The billboard ad focuses on the difficulties of losing a loved one and the importance of creating a will. Jonathan, wanting to make sure his family is taken care of should anything happen to him, realizes he may want to create a will of his own. He keeps the Smith & Smith law firm in mind and continues to drive to work. 

In this scenario, Jonathan didn’t realize he wanted or needed a will of his own. Now, he is aware of the services of the Smith and Smith law firm and may move onto the Consideration stage shortly.

Some platforms that work well in the Awareness stage are Facebook/Instagram and YouTube and Google Display. The goal here is to raise awareness of your brand and the pain-points potential customers may be facing. Keep in mind the “ten touches” we mentioned a few episodes ago.

Consideration Stage

In the Consideration stage, your potential client is doing one of two things: researching a solution to their problem or considering your business’s products and services. For many, this will involve Google searching for your business, reading the content on your site, and reading reviews. So, where does that leave Jenny and Jonathan?

Jenny

Jenny begins Googling for “divorce attorneys Philadelphia.” Many local divorce attorneys appear in her search. So, she clicks onto the website of each of them. One particular firm stands out, Erve Levin Attorneys at Law. Jenny likes their informative website content.

In another tab, she decides to look at some reviews. Most of them are four and five-star reviews, with a handful three-star and below reviews. Every review, however, comes with a personal reply from Erve Levin’s page. For the three-star and lower, there’s even responses offering solutions to the complaints or issues. “Huh, that’s nice of them,” she thinks. 

Jenny goes back to the Erve Levin site and decides to fill out a contact form. Later that day, Martha, an attorney at Erve Levin, reaches out to Jenny. She offers Jenny a free 30-minute consultation to discuss her options. Jenny agrees to the offer and schedules the consultation. 

Jonathan

Jonathan has been really busy. Between his hectic work days and the kid’s activities, he hasn’t been thinking about creating his will. One morning, Jonathan sees the Smith & Smith billboard, again. While brewing his morning coffee from the break room, he decides to look up Smith & Smith on his phone. He looks at their homepage for a few moments, reads their About page, and then closes his phone and returns to work. What Jonathan doesn’t know, is that he’s now apart of Smith & Smith’s re-targeting campaign because he visited the site. 

A week passes. Throughout the week, on different days and at different times, Smith & Smith ads begin appearing on Facebook, Google Display, and YouTube. Each time Jonathan sees one he thinks, “Oh, yeah, I need to do that.”

Finally, a Smith & Smith ad appears one night while Jonathan is scrolling through Facebook. Jonathan scrolls past. Then back up. Then past. Back up. And past, again. Jonathan just put the kids to sleep a few minutes ago and his spouse is curled up on the couch reading a book. “This is a good time for me to do some research, I guess.” 

Not wanting to click on the Facebook ad in front of him, Jonathan googles Smith & Smith’s firm. He decides to read some of the pages related to wills and probating estates. He clicks on the blog and reads a few articles there, too. Finally, he looks at a few of their reviews. Satisfied from what he’s seen and read, he decides to fill out a contact form. Later, he will schedule a free consultation.

From a strategy and platforms standpoint, Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is key here. Having ads appear when users are researching their pain-point or your brand is important. In addition, reviews and testimonials can go a long way to making a would-be client trust your business. E-mail marketing can be effective too, though some users may be hesitant to give their e-mail address to brands this soon.

Purchase Stage

The purchase stage is exactly what you think: when someone is making a purchase. Here your customer or client is making the transaction, subscribing to your service, or signing the contract. During this stage, an important factor is having messaging that pushes someone to buy. That can involve PPC ads with copy focusing on sales and discounts, such as “Buy Now!”. This can also take the form of Facebook ads with promo codes and special offers. If you have access to potential customer’s e-mail addresses, e-mail marketing can be incredibly effective for encouraging a purchase.

In the case of Jenny and Jonathan, a lot of their purchase stage decisions are going to be based on how their free consultation goes.

Both Jenny and Jonathan’s free consultations go swimmingly. They decide to hire each firm for their respective needs. 

Ah, it seems it everything went quite well! Now, Jenny and Jonathan will move to the retention stage.

Retention Stage

The Retention stage comes after your customer has made a purchase and you’re looking to retain them in some way. This can be as simple as keeping your brand top of mind or ensuring consistent quality service for purchased products/services. Maintaining a client’s retainer or subscription payment also falls under this stage. So, where do Jenny and Jonathan fall into this? 

Jenny

A few months have passed since Jenny’s divorce was finalized. At the time, everything seemed amicable, or as amicable as a divorce can be. Unfortunately, Jenny and Mike are having a dispute over ownership of some property that wasn’t covered during the divorce proceedings. Every few weeks, Jenny receives an e-mail newsletter from Erve Levin. She decides she’s going to give Martha a call and see if she can get some help. 

Jonathan

A year has passed in Jonathan’s life since making his will. Knowing his family is secure in case anything happens has eased Jonathan’s mind. Now his worries are on the condition of his aging mother. She lives alone in a little apartment and recently had an unfortunate and nasty fall. She’s recovering in a physical therapy facility and Jonathan visits her everyday. However, he’s becoming increasingly worried about her future health and financial situation. 

Jonathan doesn’t know it, but the physical therapy facility is actually being geo-targeted by the Smith & Smith law firm. And so, he ends up seeing an ad on Facebook one day for their services. This ad focuses on ensuring quality elder care for clients from a legal perspective. Curious, Jonathan clicks the link. Once again, he doesn’t know it, but just by being on Smith & Smith’s website he’s now a part of a re-targeting list for elder care. 

He’ll see Smith & Smith ads again for the next few days and decides to check out their Facebook page. He sees a consistent amount of posting and even reads a few of their blogs focused on elder care. He remembers how much he appreciated the good work they did for him during the creation of his will. And just like the first time, he’ll sign-up for a free consultation. 

 

Many of the best platforms and strategies for the Retention stage involve e-mail marketing and organic social media platforms. Ideally, you’ll already have a good relationship with your clients and customer. Now is the time to keep them informed and up-to-date on what’s going on in your business. At times, you’ll be able to make sales opportunities for your previous customers. This will push the client back into the Awareness and Consideration stages, as we see in the above examples.

Advocacy Stage

The Advocacy stage of The Buyer’s Journey is where a customer or client is advocating for your brand. Often, this means writing reviews, posts on social media, word-of-mouth with friends and family, participating in testimonials, etc. A key practice in the Advocacy stage is being willing to ask for a review. Remember: a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Don’t be afraid to ask for a review.

Jenny

Jenny’s additional divorce dispute has finally been settled. After a week, Jenny receives an e-mail from Martha asking if she’d be willing to write a review on their Google and Facebook pages. Jenny, immensely satisfied with the firm’s work, writes them two glowing reviews.

Later that year, Jenny’s friend Peter considers filing for divorce and asks Jenny for advice. She tells Peter all about her experience with Erve Levin and recommends the firm to her friend. Peter will eventually research Erve Levin and schedule a consultation. 

Jonathan

Jonathan’s mother is living happily in her new retirement facility thanks to the help of the Smith & Smith firm. One day while Jonathan is dropping off a payment at the Smith & Smith offices, the owner of the firm asks Jonathan if he’d be willing to be in a video testimonial discussing the help and service Jonathan and his mother received. Jonathan agrees.

A few months pass and the testimonial video is completed. It is embedded onto the Smith & Smith site and helps bring more business to the firm. 

Coming Full Circle

While it may seem like we’ve extensively covered The Buyer’s Journey here, we’ve only scratched the surface. There are a ton of platforms, strategies, and creative ideas that can fit into this concept. If you’d like to learn about how your business can use The Buyer’s Journey most effectively, feel free to contact us for a consultation. 


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