Studies show that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even takes action for a sale. Understanding the buyer’s journey is important when it comes to a successful marketing strategy. Testimonials have a large impact on moving potential customers closer to deciding to purchase a product or service, but where in the buyers journey are they most influential?
The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. Different marketing tactics are effective in each stage of the journey because of the mind set of the consumer. It’s a smart business practice to find where testimonials fit in your buyer’s journey, and use them to move potential customers through your sales pipeline.
During the first stage of the cycle, the potential customer is becoming aware of the problem or opportunity they have. They are working to research some basic information to attempt to find a solution to their problem. This includes using research reports, eGuides, eBooks, expert or editorial content, and analyst reports to find out more information. Not much action is taken in this stage, its all about becoming aware and browsing through information to confirm that awareness.
The second stage of the buyer’s journey is extremely critical. At this point, the person has a clearly defined problem and is committed to researching and understanding all of their available options. During this stage the search is being narrowed, and consumers are finding the best product or service to fit their problem. This is the golden stage where social proof through customer reviews and testimonials carries a lot of weight.
Testimonials are a great tool to influence potential customers in the consideration stage. These reviews help by giving people the chance to learn details about several businesses, and the products or services they can choose from. Testimonials play the biggest role during this stage because they lead people toward the end goal, making a decision to buy. As a business owner, collecting and displaying testimonials is crucial to close more sales. When these testimonials are put in front of the right people, whom are in the consideration stage of their journey, they can do the sales work for you. Without these, businesses fall behind their competition due to the fact they have no proof that they can solve the target buyers problem better then anyone else.
Last but not least, a decision will be made. At this point, the customer has defined the solution to their problem, or the business they will buy from. All of the research and information found has led to a decision. Buyers have compared vendors and products, read case studies, trials, viewed live demos, and most importantly compared customer testimonials with the competition. Testimonials help lead to the purchasing decision by answering questions that potential customers don’t have the time or resources to find the answers to on their own. Once the research is complete, the decision stage is the final stage of the journey where action takes place.
It is beneficial to understand the buyers journey when it comes to implementing a great marketing strategy. Testimonials play a large role and have a great impact on affecting the buyers decision. Understanding what potential customers to influence with testimonials will give you an even greater competitive edge over companies that are being considered along the journey as well.