Customer journey: from brand awareness to brand advocacy in 5 steps

As a marketer, you fulfill a crucial role in the growth of the business you work for: converting prospects into qualified leads for the sales department. The best way to do that, is to provide your contacts with relevant content at exactly the right time and place. This is what we call moving your communication from ‘push’ to ‘pull’. And the best way to get there is to map and use a ‘buyer journey’.

The buyer journey is the active process which leads a potential buyer to an actual purchase. This online scenario runs through 5 different stages. Ideally, the first three (awareness – consideration – decision) are consolidated by stage four and five (retention – advocacy).

During each of these stages, your prospect will be looking for specific information. The type of content you provide in each stage is crucial to hand people the answers they are looking for.

Now let’s look at the stages of the customer journey, one at a time.

1. Awareness

Your prospect has a specific need or problem. Yet he can’t clearly define what it is. In response, he or she will do some broad research, trying to get the right answers. At this stage, it is way too soon to expect a purchasing decision.

2. Consideration

The need or problem has been clearly defined. Now your prospect extends his or her research to different angles and approaches to solve the problem or fulfill the need. The result of this research is a longlist or shortlist of options. Your job as a marketer: be on that list!

3. Decision

The prospect has chosen a strategy — an approach or a solution — to solve the problem. Now he or she will most likely make a list of providers/suppliers. After comparing the different options, the prospect will make a final purchasing decision.

At this point a sale is closed and you could consider the cycle to be finished. From a brand and business perspective however, there is still an immense value in what follows.

4. Retention

At this point you have worked hard to gain your prospect’s trust and to turn them into a first-time buyer. At this stage of the customer journey you’ll focus on follow-up purchases.

The good news is, that it’s far easier and 5 times cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. However, this means that some of your most important work is still to be done. Make sure to follow up with your new client and encourage repeat purchases by:

  • thanking your client for his or her purchase

  • getting their feedback on the product/ service they purchased

  • showing them that you appreciate their loyalty and are willing to reward them for it

5. Advocacy

This is the last stage of the customer journey and the hardest one to achieve: to turn your customer into an active advocate for your brand. They give you great reviews, refer their friends and family, and generate the most powerful kind of marketing there is: word-of-mouth.

How do you get your customers to advocate for you?

  • By nurturing them every step of the way with personal value, attentiveness and respect.

  • By delivering a great product or service that does exactly what it promises.

  • And surprisingly: by simply asking them to recommend what you’re selling.


Prospects and customers have a different need for information in every stage of the buyer journey. It is crucial for your business to deliver the right content at the right time and place. Tailoring your content to your audience’s needs enables you to gain insights and steer the purchasing decision process. Map out a buyer journey and design your marketing activities accordingly. This is the foundation for every successful Inbound Marketing strategy.

Dit blog is geschreven door de specialisten van Raak.

Inmiddels is Raak onderdeel van iO. Meer weten? Neem gerust contact op!

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