It's much easier to start a journey if you know where you're going—and much more likely you'll actually get to somewhere you want to be.

Marketing has changed drastically throughout the years, but the goal has remained the same—creating long term, valuable engagements with our customers.

Creating useful content and forging relationships with both potential and current customers is now a cornerstone of marketing. It's no longer about simply turning heads; it's about also engaging the customer and driving business value.

After all, the buyer's journey doesn't end with a sale. The sale is just the beginning. And, as marketers, our job is to coach customers throughout the course of their journey.

The buyer's journey can be broken down into three phases: awareness, engagement, and business value.

1. Awareness

You've seen billboards as you've driven down the highway. You've likely stared at posters when you've ridden the train. And you've certainly come across ads as you've surfed the Web... You know the ones—the catchy cartoon or the all-famous cat photo that somehow holds your attention longer than it should.

Welcome to the beginning of the buyer's journey.

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image of Claudine Bianchi

Claudine Bianchi is CMO of zoovu, an AI-driven conversational marketing platform used by over 500 leading brands and retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, L'Oreal, Whirlpool, Kitchen Aid, and Microsoft.

LinkedIn: Claudine Bianchi

Twitter: @claudinesview