Marketing Center

Understanding the purchasing process

There are various individuals and factors that influence the process of deciding to buy a product or service, and your messaging will be different for each of them.

Published: July 19, 2017

When you start your businesses it's important to define and understand what or who influences the process that your customers will experience to acquire your products or services.

This process should be understood to be able to develop your company and above all, the marketing campaign that you will use to attract, inform, and influence potential customers and consumers.

Identify who and what is part of the process

Depending on how sophisticated the product/service being offered is, there can be many people involved in the decision-making and buying of it.

Generally, you can identify:

  • The user,

  • The person who approves of the purchase,

  • And the person that makes the actual purchase.

For example, in the case of a toy, the needs of the user, which in this case would be a child, are different than the motivations and needs of the purchase approver (perhaps the mother), which are different than the needs of the purchase maker, which could be a different person (maybe in this case it’s the father).

Another example might be the process of buying a drill.

  • The employee who uses the drill wants it to cut through quickly, not leave residue, not overheat, last a long time and not break.

  • On the other hand, the employee’s supervisors who approve the purchase want the drill to be purchased quickly so that work can be completed on time.

  • The third person who could be the purchaser wants to buy on credit, at a good price, and have it delivered.

Other factors that can influence the purchase have to do with the company and the owner's strategies; for example, a special promotion or the ease of finding the company website online (SEO).

Create a message for each person involved in the purchasing process

Depending on the channel and audience, your message will change. Knowing how to focus your message for everyone and everything that influences the purchase is essential, however.

For example, let’s look at a company that offers a training product that has a distinct user, different from the person that decides to make the purchase.

  • User: This person speaks Spanish and might be in a supervisor role. His boss wants him to improve his communication and leadership. For this, she is looking for an online resource to train him.

  • The purchase maker: She only speaks English. She is the manager and realizes she hasn’t trained her employee for this new role. She wants her employee to be a respected leader and to meet the goals of his department without issues.

With this information the training company can create a message in Spanish for the user and create another message in English for the person who decides the purchase.

The company can determine:

  • What is the best way to communicate our message?

  • What words or vocabulary should we use?

The company can use these messages on its website and in any ads it uses in publications or social media. Likewise, the company can use the messages when they make personal calls to people who they think need their product.

You should always revisit who is involved in the purchase because they can change according to societal trends, and changes in technology and the Internet.