The Buyer’s Journey (TBJ) should be the foundation of every Internet marketing plan for every business on the face of the earth, regardless of that business’s size. It should be used not only as a guideline for setting up the marketing strategy, but also as a framework for interpreting data and diagnosing problems within the strategy as it works within real-time based on that data.
If you’ve read the previous articles of this series, you already know that there are ultimately three stages to TBJ: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Of course, if you do a Google search, you’ll find different renditions of it from other marketers trying to rehash it in different ways in order to come off as more unique than they really are, but that’s basically what it consists of.
- The awareness stage pertains to people who either don’t realize they have a problem, that you have the solution to their problem, or are just learning about either.
- The consideration stage pertains to people who are fully aware of their problem, that there is a solution out there for their problem, and they’ve begun actively searching for it.
- The decision stage pertains to people who have already determined a finite range of options and have made the inner decision to convert into a buyer, yet are in the process of eliminating all competitors to their perceived best option.
You follow a certain series of steps to build the awareness stage of your strategy, while you follow a series of steps to set up the consideration stage, and thereafter the decision stage.
Asking The Right Questions
For instance, people surfing the Internet in the awareness stage are most often not actively looking for you. This is the segment of your strategy that relies heavily on educational content that opens people’s eyes and needs to be pushed out to them with good copywriting and graphic design to draw their attention to it. This is usually executed with PPM ads, and forms of organic link-building that require the marketer to go out and respond to people, such as they would in the form of Quora responses, and/or contextual social media marketing.
In the ad manager of the PPM campaign, you can see the reading on your target audience’s engagement rate. Quora keeps analytics on views and engagements for your responses, and so does the common contextual social media marketing software. From this, you can draw conclusions based on a combination of your goals and industry averages for what would be considered healthy ROI. For example, anything over 20% engagement rate is typically considered excellent for PPM ads.
While it may be a bit unrealistic to expect that every PPM campaign will have these kinds of results depending upon the nature of your content and how well it’s being targeted, if you’d like to tweak it to have higher ROI, then you’d refer to TBJ in order to gain a deeper understanding of why your target audience may not be engaging with your boosted post (or whatever other content assets you’re using for the awareness stage.
Troubleshooting and tweaking are all about asking the right questions:
- Are you using video content as part of the boosted ad?
- If so, at what point do users lose their attention?
- Is the video truly high-quality content? Not just any video will do.
- How is the copywriting for the textual element of the post?
…and many more questions, a seemingly infinite amount that could be used to draw conclusions about the data presented forth.
The same concept applies to potential buyers in the consideration stage. For instance, to attract leads in this stage, a strategist is more likely to use PPC ads (instead of PPM), but the same steps apply: take in all of the data, and never stop asking the right questions about it in order to draw conclusions of interpretation that will lead to you tweaking your campaign for the better, in an iterative process of hitting the sweet spot required to get you the ROI that you’re looking for.
Sometimes that may mean performing an act as simple as revising the copywriting of a social media post; other times, it may call for the entire re-filming of a video.
The Difference Between Strategy, Launch, And Management
Every aspect of your marketing should be open to evolution over time as the business evolves to its market. Initial strategies should be used as a guideline to set up a foundation to work with that gets tweaked over time based upon the feedback of data about how the market reacts to you.
Launching the business, or at least the strategy for the marketing of at least one aspect of the business, is the inciting incident that leads to data mining.
Management of a campaign is the actual tweaking and interactive process of getting the strategy from point A to point B, making whatever changes may be necessary in responsive form.
You may have a Nobel Peace Prize-winning business idea, but you should always be responsive to the market just as much as you want to influence it. If your business were a living organism and the market were to be considered the wild, then it is “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” — Charles Darwin
This means that being responsive to the market should be a first principle that’s kept in mind throughout every stage of your business’s life cycle.