Whether a person is looking for a new pair of sneakers or searching for a new industrial machine for their manufacturing company, they go on a buyer’s journey.
As a salesperson, it’s important to understand where the buyer is because you can easily overwhelm them with too much information if they are just starting out. Or miss the boat by not clinching the sale when they are ready to make that purchase.
Understanding your buyer extends from in-person meetings to content for your website. Your content marketing strategy should focus on pieces that will engage each step of the buyer’s journey.
To grasp this path, let’s take a look at each stage and what types of information is useful.
When a company starts looking for potential growth opportunities, it is in the awareness stage. Whether the business wants to expand its current production line or enter a new market, it starts doing preliminary research to figure out what options will work best.
The company is aware there is a problem or opportunity within its current business landscape, and it’s beginning to address ways to improve. The business is having internal and external conversations with key thought leaders. It is all about gaining knowledge in this stage to make educated decisions down the road.
Here is an example:
A flexible plastic manufacturer wants to expand and is thinking about entering the fast-growing medical device field. If a medical device company catches wind of this thought and immediately starts to heavily pitch to the manufacturer, it can easily get overwhelmed. The flexible plastic manufacturer is in the beginning stages of its growth ideas and doesn’t need to be bombarded by an aggressive salesperson. And the company will remember the behavior when it is time to decide and go elsewhere.
There are better ways to reach buyers in the awareness stage than pushing a sales pitch.
Create purely informative content for your website, including:
- Analysist reports
- Research reports
- eGuides & eBooks
- White papers
- Educational content
Allow the buyer to sift through your resources and understand that you are the thought leader in the market. As they move down the funnel, they will remember where they got information and who had useful statistics.
At the consideration stage, the buyer has a clearer picture of what they are looking to do. They have defined their problem or opportunity and are beginning to look at how to achieve their goals.
The consideration stage is where the flexible plastic manufacturer has looked over its growth options and picked its route. After research, the company decided to extend its services into the medical device market.
The company is now researching how to best grow into a new industry. Are there particular end products that will work best for their compound? Are there tradeshows they can visit now to get a better feel for the trends in the market? Will the customers be the same or a completely new clientele?
A medical device manufacturer looking to go into business with the flexible plastic manufacturer still doesn’t want to push with a distinct sales pitch at this stage. Supplying comparison white papers, expert guides, videos and podcasts will prove very successful in this stage. Whereas the guides in the awareness stage are strictly informational, white papers in the consideration stage are comparing different products, ideas or processes.
Get ready. It’s decision making time. Buyers have fully defined their solution strategy, method or approach and are ready to make a move.
In the decision stage, buyers are putting final touches on their plans. They are researching data, benchmarks and endorsements.
Buyers are looking at what their expectations are, what their criteria is, concerns, etc. For a flexible plastic manufacturer going into the medical device market, they are now ready to select partners for their materials into end products. They are looking through vendor and product comparisons.
The type of content geared for the decision stage include case studies, trial downloads, product literature and live demonstrations.
The medical device manufacturer can now approach the flexible plastic company and pitch why they should work together. The buyer has traveled through their whole journey and are ready to make sound and efficient decisions for their company.
If you need help creating content for any stage of the buyer’s journey, we’re here to help. Contact us today!