3 Buyer Stages That Will Help You Build the Best Personas




Shweiki Media Publishing Company was recently part of a buyer persona interview, a marketing technique that is geared to dive into the consumer’s thought process when making a purchasing decision. During this process, we learned about the following three stages of purchases:

  1. Awareness
  2. Research
  3. Decision Making


The first stage of the purchasing process is awareness. We were looking for a new SEO and keyword tool. We were already aware of many options in the market. Marketing companies analyze how customers become aware of various companies and their competitors.

Additionally, awareness is based on the customer determining that they have a problem and investigating the possible solutions to this problem. When they start to look for solutions, they often find out about the companies that provide a product or service to address their problem.


The next phase is the research phase. This is the stage in which consumers start to dwindle down the options. The team narrowed down the options to their three favorites. There were several research methods that the team used, including:

  • Watching webinars
  • Polling other customers
  • Checking on a referral for one company
  • Reviewing product reviews online
  • Watching short videos that demonstrated the products
  • Asking for key companies to provide sales pitches

Marketing companies help examine how customers narrow down the universe of options. They may ask customers how many companies they viewed online and then how they decided to eliminate some of the options. The buyer’s answer to this final question can provide valuable insight because it shows the key criteria customers were looking at when they ultimately made a buying decision. The purchasing process works as a funnel in which there are many options at first and then these options get narrower and narrower as the customer delves further into research.


The final step in the purchasing process is the decision. Customers review the research that they have completed and determine which product or service will best fit their needs. They consider how much weight to put on different factors. For example, David wanted a keyword tool that offered a local feature. The product that offered this feature and emphasized it ultimately won his purchase. He evaluated other products that offered more attractive price points, additional features, new tools and other characteristics. However, David put a lot of weight into this factor and the company that best seemed to tailor its approach to David’s business ultimately was chosen.

Buyers often feel very passionate about the products that they select. They may be willing to undergo an interview of this nature, especially when the interview is more conversational in nature and seems to respect the customer’s opinion and insight.

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Adele Revella

Adele Revella is CEO of Buyer Persona Institute and author of  Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into Your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business (Wiley 2015), recently named a Top 5 Business Book by Fortune Magazine. Adele’s unique perspective derives from decades of experience as a sales and marketing executive, trainer, researcher and entrepreneur. 

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