Need a quick refresher on the seven stages of the buying cycle? They are:
Relating the buying cycle to digital marketing
For a long sales cycle, these seven stages can be paired with the digital marketing funnel in a simple format. For example, here’s how the buying cycle for a new apartment relates to the digital marketing funnel.
|Marketing Funnel||Buying Cycle||Digital Channel||Strategy|
Digital Advertising on Local Media Websites
|Making your brand recognizable and memorable.
Ex: Luxury Living
Social Media Advertising
|Lifestyle topics, photography, strong unique selling proposition, and capture data|
|Incentives to take action.
Ex: First month’s rent free.
|Low Funnel||Action||Local Directories
|Strong call-to-action. Reiterate brand, USP, and incentive.|
In the digital world, it’s possible for a buyer to move through the entire buying cycle wherever they may be in the sales funnel.
For example, if you have a free weekend coming up, you may see a display advertisement and decide you’re going to attend that event this weekend. Alternatively, you may do one search for “things to do this weekend” and the first listing/event you see may catch your eye and you’ll go through your entire buying cycle in that one search engine listing.
Evaluating your digital strategy
Every business should evaluate how their marketing strategy lines up with their customers’ buying cycle.
If you haven’t yet, follow these easy steps.
- List all the marketing channels you’re currently using. Be specific.
- List all the additional marketing channels you’d like to be using. Be specific.
- Define which stage of the buying cycle your audience is in.
- Evaluate your messaging.
- What’s the next step in your prospects’ buying cycle?
- Is there a logical next step they could take?
- Complete or refine your strategy / messaging.
- Invest in channels to bridge the gaps in your consumers’ buying cycle.
- Eliminate channels that fail to guide the consumer through their buying cycle.
- Create more effective messaging for channels in relation to your consumers’ stage of the buying cycle.
There’s really no other way to draft a digital marketing strategy. This will provide clarity, spark creativity, justify budgets, and help you weed through an overwhelming number of marketing options.