The Buyer’s Journey: How To Present It In Your Reports

The buyer's journey is the process buyers go through when deciding to purchase a product. Understanding this can help identify the challenges and opportunities that arise at every stage of the marketing process.

What is the buyer’s journey?

In essence, the buyer’s journey can be described as the process buyers go through when deciding to purchase a product. Although it is a concept that many are unaware of, it’s intrinsic to nearly every aspect of our day-to-day purchasing decisions, and ultimately serves as one of the most tangible representations of a buyer’s needs, problems, and behaviours.

By analyzing the buyer’s journey in five distinct stages, one can identify the unique challenges and opportunities that arise at every stage of the marketing process. By understanding how to identify the various stages and what they mean, one can not only influence and direct buyers towards the desired outcome but obtain valuable insights that can help shape the marketing process.

In this blog, we have identified and outlined these five stages and detailed the ways in which marketers can present the information in their reports.

The Five Stages:

1. Awareness:

Buyers have recognized a potential challenge and have begun to look at ways the issue can be resolved.

At this stage, it is recommended to create content that builds buyer awareness, ensuring they are not only aware of the product/service, but understand that it serves as a solution to the problem at hand. Examples of content that communicates directly with consumers and serves to boost awareness include blogs, social media content, and reports.

How to incorporate this:

Different mediums will always yield different results, and it is of great importance to understand how best to apply the insights you obtain and present them in a way that is easily understandable within a report.

Some metrics that serve as an effective gauge of awareness include:

  • Impressions: The number of times the content was viewed.
  • Reach: The number of people that viewed it.
  • Engagement: A measure of how people are reacting to the content, usually measured by likes, shares, and/or follows.

As this stage is concerned with the creation of content, any changes to the metrics above will indicate how effective your content has been in creating awareness. A decrease in the metrics over time would indicate the content is not fulfilling its role and may require an adjustment.

2. Consideration:

By now, buyers have identified their personal pain points and found numerous potential solutions, including yours.

At this stage, the buyer is still in an educational mindset and is actively seeking information that will make them more confident in their ultimate purchasing decision. Here, they may ask: “Of the products/services I have already seen, which one would I consider buying, and why?”

How to incorporate this:

The following metrics are of great importance when measuring consideration:

  • Clicks: The number of people that saw the content and clicked on it.
  • Leads: An indication that a user is a potential customer or prospect.

From a marketer’s perspective, we are specifically trying to measure and quantify interest. It is important to consider that, even if a potential buyer views content, only a very low percentage will then go on to buy the product/service on offer.

Marketers should work towards understanding the audience and their pain points. The audience needs to feel like the brand is reputable, trustworthy, and of high quality.

3. Evaluation:

At this stage, buyers have begun to compare and contrast the features of the different products/services they are considering buying.

These buyers are now considered qualified leads, and the goal becomes enticing them and moving them closer to purchasing your product/service. As a result, all content at this stage should focus on this objective. The buyer will be looking for any content that adds value to the sales process, making it important to provide demos, free trials, representatives, or case studies that highlight the value of your product/service in a way that is tangible to consumers.

How to incorporate this:

Important metrics to consider when assessing this step of the process:

  • Goals: The number of people who have been converted to leads.
  • Qualified leads: Contacts that have qualified themselves for a product/service by taking measures such as opting into newsletters or filling out forms that indicate they are fit to make use of a product/service.

Goals are a particularly valuable metric, as they show that a customer is now one step closer to the desired action we are trying to elicit. Setting up goals for free trials and demos also shows that a customer is now actively trying the product/service to see if it fulfills their needs, which often leads to an immediate purchase.


4. Purchase:

At this stage, the buyer has now made their decision, and your product/service has been bought.

This, however, is not the end of the buyer’s journey. The consumer is still of great use to the marketer after the initial purchase.


How to incorporate this:

While we use purchasing as a blanket term for this stage, it can be anything that measures the success of our endeavors, such as transactional revenue, total revenue, or successful conversion through goals mentioned in the prior stage.

5. Post-purchase:

In this final stage, the buyer is now evaluating your product/service based on their expectations leading up to the purchase and their experience in using it.

This stage is still important, and if goodwill is fostered and nurtured properly, one can turn a consumer into a repeat customer, building critical brand loyalty.

How to incorporate this:

Even after a purchase has been made, it is important to ensure that a client has the best possible experience with a product/service. Negative experiences that follow a purchase can turn buyers away from a brand entirely, and it is vital that they feel valued and have not simply been forgotten.

Content such as newsletters serves as an effective way to continuously enrich a buyer’s post-purchase experience, and the number of subscribers gained from this can serve as a valuable metric to analyze post-purchase success. Customer reviews at this stage become crucially important, as, not only will this help with future leads, but it will help shape the product/service and marketing efforts in the future.

Putting this into practice

Now that we’ve comprehensively explored the buyer’s journey, it’s important to see how this is expressed in a report. Check out our blog for more content on digital marketing reporting.

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