Understanding the buying cycle of consumers - Showtime Digital

Understanding the buying cycle of consumers

13 September 2018 Read 1121 times

Reward for effort or failure

Everything we do, whether it has a negative or positive impact on us, we repurpose as a reward. Wow, that’s deep! But it’s true, we are justified by our actions.

One person is competitive another self-harms: both are reinforcing a pattern established earlier in life. 

A toddler taking the first steps falls and cries and the parents run to comfort the child. Here the child has been rewarded for failure and identifies crying as the trigger to receiving a reward.

Another child, after trial and error, successfully takes their first steps and the parents clap joyfully. Here, the child sees achievement as the path to reward. 

The thoughts of buyers

How does this pertain to your buyer? Well, it’s important to acknowledge that buyers come to us with baggage prior to engaging us. As marketers it’s important we understand this because we deal with these people daily…in fact, we are those people.

thoughts feelings actions results

The image above gives us clarity on the mental journey consumers take. Much of it happens even before they talk with us.

Buyers have ingrained beliefs they carry with them. Politics, Societal and Religious, these are the bedrock of what we hold true. From these beliefs we have thoughts. These thoughts are often based on a belief we have built around previous actions, influences and outcomes.

Thoughts create feelings

From these thoughts come feelings and from a single thought, a volume of feelings can be established. You can’t see it, but buyers come through your buying process with suitcases of the stuff. Feelings such as joy, hope, fear or despair.

These thoughts and feelings are now their truth. These truths are like jigsaw pieces inherent to each buyer’s decision-making process.

Whether this person is investigating you online or you’re sitting with them face to face. It’s the same person and you’re still dealing with the same beliefs and underlying issues.

SD blog Airport scene

So, by the time this person comes to investigate you as a solution to their problem they have a pile of baggage coming along for the ride.

The greatest advantage you have is in knowing more than the next person about why your buyers think the way they do.

Even when they get it right there can still be a huge misalignment between theory and practice as many companies skip the important components and take consumers directly to the Call to Action button. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet earnt the right to ask for the consumer’s details and the strategy often falls over.

Taking action

This is the first place we meet with our consumers.

Because we’re online and at arm’s length, don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole.

square peg

When you connect with these people, you’ve got to be in line with their expectation. Presenting a paradigm idea, or an alternative, will be foreign to them and harder to sell because they’ve already created their own reality.

To take them some way to your offer you must show them the benefits, talk on their level and future pace them by showing them what their tomorrow will look like with your product or service.

Two examples of these are airlines sell the destination and not the journey. We buy into sunny beaches not airport queues.

To encourage you to act Realestate.com.au incorporate tour videos on their listings. They know many of their buyers are emotional right brain thinkers and they want you to feel the feelings of excitement and ownership. And just in case you’re a left-brain thinker they still make the floorplan available to you.

realestate video image

Now let’s say in this instance you move to the action phase of the cycle, by calling the real estate agent to inspect the property. What are you thinking about as you are walking through the home? Are you owning the experience or are you thinking about the monthly repayments?

Your owning the experience…not the mortgage.

The Result

The result of our actions can either enforce previously held assumptions or they can, as a challenger brand, be a paradigm shift. The outcome of your product/service can be where we meet consumer expectation. This is where we can create a new belief which becomes part of their psyche. This belief also becomes the foundation of the thoughts and feelings associated with the next buying cycle.

Therefore, the conversations at the top of the funnel and at the bottom are different. Because you’ve already secured the client and proven yourself, the conversation changes because the client now has proof of purchase. They become an advocate spreading the word about us through friends and social channels.

None of this would be achievable had we not first understood the needs of the consumer, at least in a broader context. With an ever-increasing importance placed on specialisation and more refined database segmentation, we can make further leaps and bounds into the consumers' world.

The Takeaway

The takeaway is there’s always a reason behind the reason. Understanding your buyer on this level will produce better conversations and win you more business when you have that conversation.

What’s the reason behind the reason?

Let’s walk this consumer back up through his consumer journey.

Interviewer - Mr consumer, ‘Why did you buy the UE Boom bluetooth speaker’?

Consumer - ‘Well my stereo is broken in the car and listening to music helps pass the time’.

Interviewer - ‘And what was the aha moment for you’?

Consumer - ‘When I realised the product was also portable’.

Interviewer – ‘And why was that important to you’.

Consumer – ‘Well my family enjoys singing and playing games and this product helps us do that’.

Interviewer – ‘Where else can you use the UE Boom’?

Consumer – ‘Well, I can also use it in my garage at home, tinkering with my cars (wink, wink), which is the real reason why I bought it’.

So, the purchaser told everyone he was buying it for them, but he really wanted it for personal reasons.

There’s always a reason behind the reason.

If you’re open to taking the first step to understand your consumer base our Creative Strategists can help you identify your consumer’s needs, pains and gains through a process we call the Audience Discovery.

Give us a call.