The Buying Cycle Stage 1 – Unknown.
Accelerating your buying cycle is all about increasing market share, boosting leads and achieving more sales.
All prospects have a buying cycle, and most are predictable. They can vary between 3 months to 9 months. But, specialist sectors like defence can have buying cycles that run into years.
Profitability can be improved; costs can be reduced and ROI increases by streamlining the processes that help drive prospects to become clients and advocates.
The Buying Cycle – The Six Phases:
There are six phases to the buying cycle. Your prospects move from being Unaware to ultimately becoming Advocates. Moving through these six phases defines the buying cycle. Prospects move from being ill-informed and unaware to being effective and supportive long-term advocates for your business.
The objective of the model
The objective of the model is to raise visibility in new and existing markets. To raise the business profile. To increase perceived value, promote new use cases and bring new products to market.
The focus is on long term strategy using broadcast marketing to increase awareness amongst decision makers and influence decision-making units (DMUs) in the early phases of purchase decision making.
So by developing material that supports the internal ‘sell’ of products and services prospects find it easier to win internal support from their internal stakeholders. Easier to increase their ability to commit greater resources to the project.
Unknown – You Are Working To Make Yourself Known.
Stage 1 – “Unaware” is all about making yourself known to potential prospects. Being visible to those prospects on the platforms and the media of their choice. Not only are prospects unaware of you, they are also unaware of their own issues and problems. Crucially, they are also unaware of the expertise you could supply.
The volume of activity can be at its highest as the key here is to rise above the “noise” of the “always-on” digital B2B world. There are a host of channels available to get an effective message across but to also disrupt what others may be doing. This may extend to reacting to competitors as well as addressing the audience you want.
The Buying Cycle – Media Choices
This can be through one or more of the recognised media. Public relations (PR), social media, advertising and competitions as well as the creation of partnerships with existing prospect partners can add value and increase the awareness of your business.
At this stage it is all about gaining “a share of voice” and building recognition. Research can help to understand the existing perception of brands. But an effective diagnostic can determine where your prospects are in the buying cycle. Effectively, the “points” they have accumulated within a CRM like Sonar and exactly what that means.
There are a couple of health warnings at this stage. The strength of the media adopted will be different for different prospects. But the media dependent on buying space – advertising specifically – will be less powerful than an introduction from a trusted partner. Less powerful than a PR endorsement from a sector specialist.
Similarly, raising awareness is the start of the process and not an end in itself. Business awareness and product purchase can be very different.
It is also important to recognise that the content involved in the first stage of this model is not purely to raise awareness. It is also to disrupt existing relationships between prospect and competitors. So that you are seen, you are visible but also seen to be different and adding an extra marketing dimension. Similarly, at every stage your website represents your “mothership” – the destination for the media action you have taken and part of the proof of your own capabilities.
Let’s talk – and make The Buying Cycle real for your business.
If you want to make waves in your own sector, then please get in touch. Eight thousand projects in twelve years means we’re experts when it comes to B2B marketing. Our main aim is to provide creative, intuitive and innovative marketing solutions for your business, which is why our services include lead generation, website development, content creation and much, much more.
To find out more, contact us today. You can find us at our Northampton Head Office at The East Wing, Burlington House, Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN1 4EU, call us on 01604 239 837 or email us at [email protected].