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The 3 Classic Stages of a Buying Process (a.k.a Buyer's Journey)

By Novelle Tham on 14 June 2018

The 3 classic stages


Last updated on 24th January 2023 for content relevancy and freshness.


As internet users spend more and more time on their smart devices, the more access to information they can get.


A report from Google and CEB's The Digital Evaluation in B2B Marketing showed that 57% of purchase decisions are completed before the customer even engage directly with the supplier. Buyers are looking for more information about your products online.

Therefore, business owners need to enhance their inbound marketing efforts by optimizing each stage of the buyer's journey by optimising contents.



Buyer's journey - Awareness, Consideration, Decision


The buyer's journey is the process that a buyer goes through to become aware of, evaluate and purchase a certain product or service.


The journey is made up of 3 processes:

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Decision stage



Awareness stage

[SM] Social media build brand awareness

In this stage, the buyer realizes the need for a certain product or service and terms it as a problem. They also decide whether the problem should be a priority or not.


According to Retail Dive's Consumer Survey, more than 65% of the consumers surveyed did their research online before shopping for them in the store.


The buyers at this stage are looking for top-level educational content to direct them to a solution.

For you to fully understand the awareness stage for your buyer, you must ask yourself:

  • How do buyers educate themselves on these problems?
  • How do buyers determine the priority of products?
  • What are the consequences of inaction by the buyer?


Your digital assets in the awareness stage should answer the questions above. You can address the questions in blog posts, eBooks and reports with original research. This will inform them about the services they need to solve their problems.


Videos are very popular choice of content consumed by internet users. According to Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support compared to newsletters.


Check out our video where we talk in detail about buyer's journey.




Consideration stage

stand out from competition inbound marketing

During this stage, the buyers have already defined their problem and have committed to address it. They evaluate different methods to solve their problems.


To fully understand this stage, ask yourself:

  • What categories of solutions do the buyers evaluate?
  • What are the pros and cons of each category?
  • How do buyers determine which category is right for them?


The evaluation stage is very critical as this is where prospective buyers start eliminating solutions that do not fit their needs. Buyers will choose your services if you present yourself as an authority in the industry.


The consideration stage is enhanced by digital marketing, which involves expert guidance, webinars, live interactions and white papers that sets you apart from other companies.


For instance, EYStudios, an ecommerce Web design and development studio, regularly holds live webinars that includes interactive commentary and user submitted questions that often feature expert contributors. Their interactive content enhances the evaluation of prospective customers and gives them a picture of their services.



Decision stage

Pretty young lady taking a decision with scale above her head_image

In this stage, the buyers have already decided which category best meets their needs. They have also written a list of pros and cons to determine the best options.


To understand the decision stage, ask yourself:

  • Which offerings from your company do buyers like compared to alternatives?
  • Are buyers able to try the offerings before purchasing them?
  • Do buyers need to make additional preparations like training strategies after the purchase?


When you combine the compelling nature of your final offer with all the engagements you've created, it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to convert the prospect to customer.


The most effective types of content in the decision stage include case studies, trial offers, demos and product literature.


Trial offers draw the largest number of prospective customers although not all will purchase the product. Amazon is best known for free trials and once people experienced their services, they might find it hard to let go. This will lead to a purchase.



The internet has made it easier for marketers to engage their customers at various buyer's journey stages using different types of digital assets. This has enhanced the buyer’s journey and converted many leads into customers. Therefore, you should seek to fully understand a buyer’s journey and create an appropriate digital asset to move prospective buyers closer to checking out.



Topics: Inbound Marketing, Buyer Persona, Lead Generation

Author: Novelle Tham

Novelle Tham is a Consultant at Launchpad Marketing. She takes an eager and proactive approach to digital and inbound marketing methods, to help clients grow their businesses.

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