Navigating the Customer Buyway

As marketers and salespeople, we all love the moment when we close the deal. It’s exciting. It’s energizing. It marks a point of completion for what may have been a lengthy and difficult process.

That said, the actual booking of a sale or completion of a transaction tells you very little about the health of your business or the effectiveness of your marketing.

Think about it for a second.  You closed the deal, the check is deposited in the bank, but the prospect was incredibly difficult and the journey from start to finish was frustrating. What has been gained? You might have ruffled a few feathers and generated some ill will on both sides. You may have planted a few seeds that will blossom into full-blown buyer’s remorse post-sale. Referrals and favorable reviews of the customer experience will be unlikely. In fact, you may have just created new detractors to your brand. Intuitively, we all know that you have to think about your customers as more than just monetary value, and to do that, it’s helpful to analyze the entirety of their experience with you and your brand.

The Customer BuyWay isn’t just about the moment in time when a customer decides to buy something, make payment, and complete the sale. It begins long before that, at the point that Google refers to as the Zero Moment of Truth.  The ZMOT encompasses the moments before prospective customers even begin to think about a specific product or service, and long before they are even aware of your brand or your company. The BuyWay also has a long post-purchase tail.  This tail is comprised of experiences of actual consumption or usage, as well as important events that can trigger repeat purchases, reviews and referrals, sustained loyalty and even brand advocacy.

What else should you know about the Customer BuyWay?  This recent infographic from Salesforce gives a more detailed and sophisticated view of what’s going on in the mind of the customer as they encounter your brand story – and more importantly, how they experience it.

You can learn much more about the Customer BuyWay in my new book, Marketing, Interrupted. In the book, you’ll find stories from transformative marketers who made The Customer BuyWay the cornerstone of their brand strategy and generated remarkable results. Learn more from the experts on Transformational Marketing by ordering Marketing, Interrupted by Dave Sutton.

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