The Customer Purchase Lifecycle Part 2

The Customer Purchase Lifecycle Part 2

Customer comprehension. How do you teach someone that “thinks” that they know who their customer is but they are completely off track?

There are particular metrics that are needed and that prove that you understand exactly who your customer is. In a nutshell, it comes down to how well you know your niche. You need to answer “yes” to the following questions:

1. Do you read regularly about your niche?
2. Can you effectively communicate with others in your niche?
3. Do you comprehend customer issues in your niche?
4. Can you come up with your own “pros and cons” for each customer situation (product, service)?
5. Do you understand the core problems within your niche?

You do need to understand all of these or, if you don’t, you need to spend time learning about each and especially customer traits in your niche. Let’s look at an example.

If You Were Selling Golf Clubs

If you were trying to sell golf clubs online, where would you start? What keywords would you try to target?

If you were to search traffic from generalised keywords such as “golf” or “golf clubs”, you would definitely have a low attraction rate. The keyword “golf clubs” won’t convert because you’re searching too early in the purchasing life cycle.

At this stage the target audience is typically looking for information about golf clubs, they’re nowhere near the purchasing decision. They’ll be looking to see what a golf club looks like so they can draw it…who knows. At this point they are not ready to buy and will go on to make several more searches before they do decide to make a purchasing decision.

So we need to catch someone a little further along in the purchasing lifecycle. We now know that “golf” & “golf clubs” won’t convert, so we can visit a few forums, say and look at what people are discussing, for example you’ll discover that people are searching for irons, putters, drivers, wedges or specialize clubs. This will tell us that the keyword “golf clubs” (although seemingly targeted) is actually way too broad.

If you start promoting here, it will take a lot more work to make a sale than if you were to dig a little deeper into the purchasing lifecycle. Drivers, wedges, irons and putters are still too broad and people will want to learn about brand names, types, loft and reviews before they make a purchase. This is where you can capture people in the “decision phase“.

Ping G425 Max Driver Golf Club

Ideally, you’d target someone who’s looking for “Ping G425 Max Driver” or a “Wilson Staff D9 Ladies Driver”. These people that are searching these terms are very far along the purchasing lifecycle and it will take far less effort to convert these into buyers than those searching “golf clubs”.

The ultimate search terms, the ones where the person is in the “action phase” would be terms like:

  • where do I buy Ping G425 Max Driver
  • best deal on Ping G425 Max Driver
  • buy Taylor Ping G425 Max Driver
  • Ping G425 Max Driver ebay
  • purchase Ping G425 Max Driver

It takes a lot more work to walk someone through the whole purchasing lifecycle and typically requires several follow-ups or points of contact, but there is a much larger audience. The key is to understand who your customer is and understand what they are really looking for (ex. understanding all the types of golf clubs if you are promoting golf clubs).

Media Advertising

When you see an ad in the newspaper, hear one on the radio, see one on TV or in a magazine, you should see this as an opportunity to research the customer audience that would be taken by this advertising. Buyers will often learn about products/services offline before they migrate online to do research and, quite often, make their purchase online. Think on your own purchasing lifecycle, that is how most others will do it too.

Brands Banner

People who see advertising offline are also likely to be much further along in the purchasing lifecycle. They have become knowledgeable of the brand, know what the company has to offer and, if the advertisement was effective, may be ready to purchase. This is when they will more than likely move online.

If It Is In A Magazine

Someone that sees an ad in a magazine will typically go online if they want to find out more about the product, the price, offers and where they can get it. This is an opportunity for you to leverage the offline marketing campaign to drive your online business.

Another effective method of using company advertising is to use infomercials to your advantage. Infomercials do a great job of selling and by the time someone is done watching the TV show, they have made the decision whether they want to buy or not. Traditionally, people would have made a purchase by making a list or over the phone, as it was the only method of ordering. Now people go straight online just seconds after they have seen the information.

Many now use the Internet to order infomercial products rather than go to the shops. This is a great opportunity for you to offer people searching the products thay want by keywords, either the product by name or a related product descriptions that will work just as good if not better.

Take Advantage Of Those Late Night Infomercials

To take advantage of big company advertising, you have to use product review type keywords, as well as purchase keywords in your content. Brand awareness is already there, so people will likely be typing in some variant of the brand name if they were to go online for more information. People will be more likely to buy if they are already familiar with a brand and have seen an advertisement prior to visiting your site (which typically do a good job of pre-selling the product).

Wealthy Affiliate

All of this may seem to be heavy and a lot to take in but, at Wealthy Affiliate, the training is designed to take you through these processes in a step-by-step fashion, with practical exercises along the way. You can start with a free membership that gets you two websites and a whole bunch of valuable training that you just can’t get elsewhere. Try it now.

In my next post on this subject, I’ll be looking at product-related keywords. See you soon.

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