Understanding How the Wheels of the Buying Cycle Turn

15 Nov
2016

No matter how wonderful your product, how clever your marketing strategies, or how popular your brand name, a sale depends completely on one thing – the customer’s buying cycle. You can bait them, cater to them, draw them in…but you can’t force them to buy against their will.

The Buying Cycle Itself:

This process repeats for each purchase of every buyer – either rapidly or longer mulled over. A buyer can be in any one of the stages at a time. Generally speaking, of the number of visitors landing on your site, about 3% will convert. Sometimes you may be selling the solution to their problems but because they are at a different level in the cycle they may not respond. This is why marketers harp on understanding the customer’s buying cycle so that your site relevantly caters to different people, engaging them at whatever stage of the purchasing journey they may be in.

The basics of the cycle are such:

  1. A person is aware of a particular need or desire and seeks a solution to it.
  2. They start researching options to solve or cater to this need.
  3. They narrow down the list to the most appealing choices.
  4. Carefully weighing the pros and cons of each possibility, they pick out what they feel best suits them.
  5. They then make the decision to purchase.
  6. They then evaluate the result
    • If it’s a winning result that’s up to their expectations and answering their need, they will return to the same decision when the need arises again, skipping the first few steps of decision making.
    • If the result is mediocre, they will keep an eye out for a better option the next time round.
    • If the result is dismaying, they will re-evaluate their options and the cycle repeats.

Now this basic purchasing pattern works for small, large, tangible or vague goods and services.

Know Your Customer:

The buying cycle acts as a check list in order to define where your customers stand, what sorts of options they might be looking at – which could be your competition, and how you need to understand their position to target them efficiently, as opposed to the hit-and-miss style of trial and error.

So what are the questions you need to be asking? Here is a list:

  1. Problem faced and previous solutions
    First you need to understand what their problem or need is. Then remind yourself that your potential customer may not necessarily be experiencing the need to a particular solution for the first time. Understanding what solutions they have tried and why it worked or didn’t will help you position yourself accurately.
  2. Demographics
    This helps you get a grasp of who you are dealing with, their behavioural and psychological characteristics, and from what angle they can be reached out to.
  3. Who makes decisions – This person may not always be the purchasing party but they directly influence the client’s choice. They need more convincing than the person who might want your product.
  4. Earning & spending capacity
    This might seem like a subsidiary point to demographics but earns the right to stand out as a separate pointer because without moolah your marketing persistence is moot.

 

What do you do?

To put it simply, once you know the buying cycle and your customer parenthesis, you put the two together to easily channel people down the marketing funnel with properly tailored material that is well aimed at each category.

  1. You understand how not to price yourself out of the market
  2. You pare off extraneous material and, thereby, expenses
  3. You leverage the stages of buying
  4. You create stellar marketing material tailored to catch your audience at the right junctions
  5. You create FOMO (fear of missing out)

Logically speaking, once you know your customer’s buying patterns, you just need to fit your designs.

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