60% of all purchase decisions are made before the customer even speaks to you. Through the previous stages of the buyer’s journey; Awareness & Consideration the customer has identified their problem or opportunity and gathered data for possible solutions. In the decision stage the customer is doing a side by side comparison of the solutions to their problem.
As we continue with the toothache theme we established in our previous posts, our customer has identified they have tooth pain, most likely caused by an infection requiring antibiotic treatment and a visit to the dentist. Our customer has gathered data about the dentists in their area (most likely through a google search) and is ready to book an appointment. This is where our buyer asks the questions that matter most to them:
This is where content marketing begins to overlap with traditional methods, because at this stage of the journey the customer is ready to be sold to. Most businesses have plenty of decision stage content readily available on their website, social media feeds, paper products, and signage.
This is your repeat customer. Do not assume that this customer will automatically return to you. Keep in mind your completion has spent 10x more advertising to this customer than you have. Customer retention is the primary purpose of content marketing. If you offer great service, and have great relationships with your customers they will have no reason to leave you at this stage of the buyer’s journey.
Turn your customers into promoters of your business. Allow them to promote your products and services for you through social media, and word of mouth. Gather testimonials from your best customers and share them publicly for strangers to see.
You will not always be able to control your location in relationship to your customer, but you have the power through the internet to make yourself readily available to help. Make sure if you have a contact form on your website, that you are responding to it. If you offer a product add an online store to your website. If you offer some form of service, create a referral partnership with a similar company in other regions and recommend your customers shop there if its closer to them.
If you offer a value based product or services, you have already made sure you are offering great service at a great price. Other methods of attracting price based shoppers include coupons, discounts, and free trials. Its difficult to content market to a price point shopper, all you can do is sell the value of your expertise. Hopefully through the first two stages of the buyers journey you have created enough value that your prices are not the deciding factor.
Buyers in the decision stage are ready to be sold to, unleash your full sales efforts on them, and convert the shopper to the customer. Delight them with an experience that converts them to evangelists of your brand and begin to convert more strangers into customers.