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In Spain, for thousands of years Christian pilgrims have come to walk the Way of St. James where legend has it that the body of St. James is buried in northern Spain. Today, many take this journey which has several different routes and has different degrees of difficulty. It can take weeks and some say even months if you take such a spiritual journey. For many, it is a spiritual renewal that is life changing.
In our 21st century, the buyer journey is undergoing a transformation and renewal with the advent of digital marketing. The route the digital buyer persona takes today towards making a purchasing decision is a myriad of new paths along the journey brought on by traditional, digital, and social media avenues. Organizations today also are attempting to understand the best mix to offer with many resorting to trial and error. Here are three ways to create a favorable digital buyer journey and mitigate trial and error:
One: Understand end buyer goals
As with the Way of St. James, buyer’s have an end goal. Without understanding the end goals of its buyers, organizations will be hard pressed to lay out the best paths for buyers to reach their end goals. There are plenty of paths that are formulating as a result of digital and social media technology. Understanding your buyer’s end goals will stop the proverbial runaway train of trial and error in trying to connect with buyers in the digital world.
Two: Help buyer’s to navigate the journey
Along the journey in the Way of St. James, there are markers and signs that indicate you are on the right path. Similarly, organizations today need to help buyer’s navigate the digital and social way with key markers and signs. They must provide a sense of direction that a buyer’s goal can be accomplished if they stay engaged during the buyer journey. In the digital and social media journey, engagement in of itself may not be enough. When engaged, buyers must have a sense of navigation.
Three: Provide relevant information at the right moments as a way of refreshing buyers
Pilgrims who take the journey of the Way of St. James encounter townspeople along the way who provide them with hospitality. The pilgrims are greeted and offered refreshments of food and beverages. Others offer small clues where small tokens and gifts can be found by those willing to take a more difficult path. Businesses today must refresh the buyer along the journey to keep them engaged. There are numerous ways to refresh a buyer whether it is through content or other forms of media engagement. The point is that a buyer’s journey can be complex and long. Recognizing when buyer’s need “refreshments” along the way can make a meaningful difference in the long run.
The new digital buyer journey and the rise of the digital buyer persona means companies today must rethink how to help buyers in the journey experience with their organizations. The road to understanding these themselves can be hard and arduous as well. For those who stick with it and climb every hill, the end goal of customer loyalty in the digital world can be a mighty reward.