Many of my posts allude to the “buy cycle” and I have a series of posts on this blog that cover the various phases of the buy-cycle in pretty deep detail; but I was recently asked to summarize my thoughts as part of an executive presentation.
I thought my simplified version was worthy of a post – so here you go:
“As someone involved in the Industrial Marketplace – when researching or reading or searching online – are you doing this with a mouse in one hand and a credit card or purchase order in the other hand just itching to buy?
Chances are – probably not; and neither is anyone else online.
There is currently over 150 years of research on HOW and WHY consumers of all kinds make decisions about WHICH and WHAT products to buy and well over 10 years of this research dedicated to just online “buying” behavior.
The results of this vast amount of research consistently reveal that there is a process or “buying cycle” to how people behave…
1. People become aware of, or INTERESTED-IN a particular product or service
2. As a next step, they CHECK IT OUT by doing some kind of RESEARCH
3. They then COMPARE & DECIDE which to buy; if any
This simple buying process reveals two big things:
- Not every visitor is ready to buy all the time
- “Impulse Buying” does not generally exist in the Industrial B2B space
Of course this isn’t meant to imply that these people have no value; in fact the opposite.
Potential B2B buyers spend a lot of time online and see a lot of ads. Their purchases are therefore generally the outcome of multiple influences over time. We know that the impressions and results from the first few exposures and searches by a potential customer create the baseline used to compare all options under consideration as final selection nears.
As a result, a marketer needs to build awareness, consideration and purchase intent before the purchase is made.
If you aren’t marketing to all aspects of the realities of the buy cycle; your marketing plans and media campaigns will fail to reach their full potential.