Are you wondering what is the consideration stage in the buyer’s journey?
What type of marketing content should you create to cater to the needs of buyers in the consideration stage?
How can you boost your sales by strategically managing your prospects considering your products and services?
In this article, we will discuss this in detail!
We will cover all there is to know about the consideration stage in the buyer’s journey, what it is and the types of content you can create to increase your conversion and sales.
We have divided this article into the following sections for your ease of reference:
- What are the customer journey stages
- What is the consideration stage in the buyer’s journey
- What types of questions do buyers ask in the consideration stage
- What content to create for the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey
- Consideration stages best practices
Let’s dive right in…
What are the customer journey stages
The customer journey stages or buyer’s journey stages are the different stages customers will go through from the moment they become aware that they have a problem, consider how to solve their problem and ultimately decide to buy something to resolve their problem.
There are three stages in the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
For your marketing campaigns to be effective, you’ll need to design marketing assets, content and material designed to appeal to your prospects in each of the customer journey stages.
The content you’ll create for the awareness stage targets a broader audience with the objective of getting people to better understand how to go about solving their problem and determine the best course of action.
In the consideration stage, buyers have decided that they will actively look into ways of solving their problem and will generally search for informational content.
In the decision stage, the buyer has decided on how they will solve their challenges and are evaluating specific products and services suited to meet their needs.
In this article, we will focus on the consideration stage in the customer journey stages.
What is the consideration stage in the buyer’s journey
The consideration stage in the buyer’s journey is when a person has become aware of their problem and has now decided on finding ways of resolving it.
The buyer has advanced from the awareness stage to the consideration stage in the sales journey.
The buyer is now looking at different ways their problem can be fixed, the best approach to take, find products or services that can solve their problem and so on.
Essentially, the consideration stage is when a buyer starts to actively perform research to better understand the problem and to discover what should be done next.
For example, you realized that you can no longer take the bus to go to work.
From the moment you realized that you need to do something about it, you’ve moved from the awareness stage into the consideration stage.
At this point though, you are evaluating your options.
Can a friend give you a ride?
Should you buy a car?
Can you use the subway or the train?
You are committed to finding a solution to your problem and you are exploring your options.
As the buyer learns more about the subject, they may go back to the drawing board and search on newly discovered related topics or subtopics.
Let’s look at how a customer advances within the consideration funnel.
The new research phase
When a customer enters the consideration stage, they recognize they have a challenge and they are committed to solving it.
They may have also quickly developed an idea on broader topics to search in order to learn more about their possible options.
As they do that and as the buyer learns more about the topic, they will most likely enter into a second research phase were they identify other topics or subtopics to research further.
Most customers will conduct additional research on more focused topics or newly discovered topics.
This is a natural evolution of the consideration stage as the prospect is getting more and more educated on the topic and will have the inclination or curiosity to dig deeper on the subject matter.
The comparison phase
As the customer is progressing through the consideration funnel, they’ve narrowed their research and have found some companies and vendors that may provide them with the solution.
At this point, the buyer may reach out to several vendors or companies to get additional material and information on their products and services to learn more about them.
The prospect is not ready to buy at this point but is looking to learn more about your products and services.
Companies will typically create whitepapers, industry reports and case studies and make some of them available on their website.
If that’s not enough, the customer will actually reach out to the company to get further information.
Perhaps the customer will want to get a demo or speak to a sales representative to get more detailed information about their product.
The justification phase
If your customers are businesses and you are in B2B sales, there may be several business stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision.
Before a customer advances too much into the consideration stage, they may want to involve other stakeholders to justify the merit of actively spending the time to evaluate their options and reach out to possible vendors.
This is the justification phase.
You’ll need to have enough content and material helping your business prospects convince all relevant business stakeholders to move forward in the consideration funnel.
On the flip side, if you are selling to consumers in a B2C context, most likely the decision-maker will be the same person as the one in the consideration stage.
However, depending on some types of purchases, like buying a home or even a car, the consumers may want to involve a family member or a spouse to help them decide.
That’s when you’ll need to make sure you have the right marketing material to cater to the needs of the consumers and their purchasing behaviour.
What types of questions do buyers ask in the consideration stage
A customer in the consideration stage will generally ask broad questions to get an overall understanding of their problem and explore possible options in finding a solution.
The buyer may do some research on the problem and come to realize that they don’t need to buy anything.
Another buyer may come to the conclusion that they may need to buy a product or a service to solve their problem and will conduct more detailed research to evaluate possible options.
Here are some questions buyers will ask in the consideration stage:
- Do others have the same problem?
- How did others with the same problem manage to solve their problem?
- Are there products or services specifically designed to solve this problem?
- Who are the vendors?
- What is trending right now?
- How much do I have to spend?
As you can see from the type of questions asked, they are broad questions showing that the buyer is searching for knowledge and information.
The consideration stage is all about getting educated on a topic answering buyer questions.
For example, a person who can no longer take the bus to go to work has evaluated his or her options and is considering buying a car.
The type of questions that the buyer will ask is:
- What types of cars are available in the market?
- Which car manufacturer or model has the best reviews?
- What are the important considerations for a buyer to purchase a car?
- What is the cost?
- Can there be financing options?
- Are there additional features and options that are essential to get?
- What about the safety features?
These questions help the buyer decide whether or not buying a car can be the right decision for them.
Companies and marketers can create useful content specifically addressing these questions.
Many buyers will probably have the same question so finding ways to educate your audience is great in helping them navigate the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.
What content to create for the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey
As a business, you are conscious of the fact that the right marketing content, delivered at the right time to the right person will significantly boost your sales.
You are aware of the buyer’s journey and recognize that your audience will look for information and content to educate themselves and better understand how they can go about solving their problem.
What type of content should you create to cater to your buyers’ needs in the consideration stage?
You can create great informational content that will be perfect for your prospects in the purchase consideration and decision process.
Here are some examples to get you going:
- Comparison reports
- Product overview guide
- Informational videos
- Free trials
- Product demos
- Educational content
- Case studies
- Tip sheets
- Pricing models
Your imagination is the limit.
Working on the basis that your buyer is looking to find information to get educated on a topic, any content you create informational and educational in nature will work like a charm.
Consideration stages best practices
When your customer has reached the consideration stage in the customer journey stages, you know that they’ve identified their problem, they are committed to solving it and now they need to figure out how.
The consideration stage is all about the “how” as opposed to the “who”.
This is the stage where your customer is looking to put all their options on the table and then evaluate the right path forward.
Since the buyer is still looking for how to go about solving their problem, they still have not made a purchasing decision and are not yet ready to buy.
There are some best practices you can implement to cater to the needs of your customers in the consideration funnel.
Define your customer persona
To ensure you create the right marketing strategies, you’ll need to first define what is your typical customer persona.
Another way to look at this is: who do you want to target, how sophisticated are they, what motivates them to buy and what type of information do they need to make a final decision.
Defining your ideal customer persona is going to be quite helpful in providing you the guideline on the type of content and material you should create.
Present yourself as an authority
As you provide content and information to your audience, you should take good care in presenting yourself as an authority in the field.
Presenting yourself as an authority does not mean you are making a sales pitch.
It essentially means that as you provide a comprehensive overview of the industry or products or solutions possible, you will present your company as a leading player in the domain.
Talk about your company and industry in a factual and neutral way using verifiable data as much as possible.
Consider providing your audience with a case study where you showcase an example of how a customer who benefited from your expertise, superior product or services.
Perhaps you should give a comprehensive educational guide talking about all the relevant factors your ideal customer must consider in making a purchasing decision while at the same time presenting your company as a leading organization in your niche.
Don’t pitch a sale yet
The content you are creating to inform your customer persona should not be a sales pitch.
There’s no point in pushing your audience at this point in time, they are not ready to buy.
With whatever content you create, emphasize data, facts, information, education and knowledge.
If you are too aggressive and appear to be pushing your sales agenda as opposed to helping your customers decide what’s best for them, you may lose the opportunity to convert many potential customers.
The consideration stage is all about the customer and not about your company.
Your material will do a lot of selling for you even without a direct sales pitch.
Think about it this way, if you give all the information your audience needs to decide, you will convince those who were actively evaluating your products and services and even those that did not even consider you as an option in the first place.
This, in itself, is a great sales strategy!
Give comprehensive information
The more information you convey helping your customers, the more you can entice buyers in the consideration stage to decide to buy from you.
Prospects in the consideration funnel will be really happy to find and consume relevant information they need to make decisions in one place and in an easy-to-digest format.
The more comprehensive you are, the more credibility you can build with your audience.
Being comprehensive does not mean that you throw millions of options at the customer and refer them to encyclopedias and journals.
If you do that, you will lose the game before the game has even started!
You’ll need to be strategic about the information you give and make sure the type of information you give is comprehensive enough.
We all want things to be easy, simple and straightforward.
Providing charts, tables, graphs and images along with descriptive content will appeal to many buyers.
Give comprehensive material and make sure it’s written in such a way that it’s easy for your target audience to understand.
The consideration stage is an important stage in the buyer’s journey.
The consideration stage of the buyer’s journey is when your targeted customers are looking for options and avenues to solving a problem they’ve become aware of.
Your marketing efforts should be designed to cater to the needs of your buyers no matter in which stage in the sales journey they are located, including the consideration stage.
The types of content you’ll create in the consideration stage is informational in nature and educational.
The idea is to educate your clients and provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the important aspects and decision-making criteria so they make the best possible decision.
You are not actively selling but you are presenting yourself as an expert or authority in the domain.
If you design and execute effective marketing strategies tailored to your customers in the consideration stage, you will increase the number of qualified leads and generate more sales.
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