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The Three Stages of the Customer Buying Cycle

Thursday - February 16th, 2012

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

The Three Stages of the Customer Buying Cycle

In today’s competitive marketplace, it takes much more than having a great product or service to achieve success. With all the competing products and services out there, it takes a great marketing strategy to connect with buyers. It requires an approach with an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the purchasing process to make one’s business stand apart from the crowd.

But in order to really engage with customers, it takes more than marketing techniques; however. One must first understand that there is a psychology involved with buying a product or service and it is vital to communicate with a potential customer based on their mindset. It is widely accepted that there are three main stages to the so-called “customer buying cycle”: awareness, consideration and purchase. The mindset during each of these stages is very different, and thus, should drive different aspects of your marketing strategy so you can effectively capture customers at every stage in the buying cycle. Here is a breakdown of the three primary stages of the customer buying cycle:

  • Awareness – This is the initial stage of the buying cycle. This is either when a customer becomes aware of the need for a product or service, or when they are simply introduced to your product or service. During this initial stage, it is important not to sell too strongly, as the customer has not yet reached the point where they are ready to buy. This is merely the informative phase where a potential customer becomes aware of either a need for, or the existence of, a product or service. Perhaps the most important part of this phase is when the customer realizes there is a requirement or challenge that needs to be met by your particular product or service.
  • Consideration – This phase is essentially where customers seek information. At this point, the interest in a product or service is heightened and the potential customer is looking for information to help them determine whether or not they want to make the purchase. A potential customer in this stage of the buying cycle is looking for solid information and reviews of the produce or service in order to allow them to make an informed decision.
  • Purchase – At this stage in the customer buying cycle the customer is ready to make a purchase. The main decision involves which product or service meets there needs (i.e., price, quality). This is the “closing sale” portion of the buying process where businesses use their marketing campaign to help convert the sale. All in all, your strategy needs to focus on answering those burning questions the customer has right before they select “buy.”
  • Understanding these three stages of the buying cycle helps a business tailor their marketing strategy. Based on the customer’s mindset, you can more effectively target potential customers in each stage of the buying process. This not only improves conversions, but it also helps to create trust with customers and build a relationship beyond just the initial point of contact.

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