What is a buying cycle? The buying cycle is the process a building owner goes through when buying a roofing system or service. Building owners move through a series of buying stages in the cycle as they educate themselves and move closer to making a final buying decision.
The 5 stages of a buying cycle.
- Awareness Of Problem (roof leak etc.)
- Commitment To Solution
- Decision Time
Awareness Of Problem (roof leak etc.)
The first stage of the buying cycle is when a building owner or maintenance manager realizes that there is a leak or a problem with their roof.
Do building owners know your business exists?
Perhaps your competitors own a huge amount of the market share. Or, you’re introducing a roofing system that people don’t even know about.
The Awareness Of Problem Stage works by defining, creating and talking to your core audience. This is where you start the branding process, and usually defines the content on your website.
This is where you build your audience, which can be done through Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, SEO, PR…the list goes on!
This is one of the most impacting stages in terms of your company's status with a buyer. During this stage, the building owner or their maintenance manager starts considering the options available to fix his roof.
Would a building owner choose you over a competitor?
Let’s say a building owner has spent a few minutes googling for your roofing service, listing out their top 3 choices on a sheet of paper. Would they choose you? Why? What makes you stand out, and how could you improve?
You may need to be more focused with your marketing at this stage, if people already know your brand and are choosing not to go with you. Where are your weaknesses, and what are your strengths?
When in the Consideration Stage, you need to send a message to building owners that you have the best roofing systems. This can be done with a re-marketing campaign, roof systems comparison landing pages (for example: shingle vs metal, rubber vs TPO tear off vs restoration etc.) or a combination of both.
Commitment To Solution
After researching the different options a building owner will decide on the best solution for their business. This could mean the building owner decides on a specific roofing system or roofing company to help them implement the desired solution to get their roof fixed.
What separates your roofing systems from your competitor?
In digital marketing, this is where a you will want to hone in on product-specific information such as detailed feature descriptions, quality product photography or video demonstrations.
This will allow a brand to talk about price points, inclusions, and the benefits of buying your roofing system over another.
Marketing activities to help lead customers toward a purchase include re-marketing, email newsletters, landing pages, paid search, display advertising, social media activity and advertising, search marketing (SEO), special offers price points, value propositions and promotions.
At this stage of the buying cycle, the building owner or maintenance manager needs to justify the decision they are making to themselves and any upper management. This is when the tough questions can get asked, and you must prove to the building owner that choosing your business is the best solution for their problem.
The final stage of the buying cycle is when the building owner makes a decision and purchases the roofing services and/or roofing system. From this point forward, excellent customer service should be the focus. Happy customers lead to repeat customers and referrals.
Would building owner bother to buy your roofing system or service?
Lots of building owners drop off at the Consideration Stage. Maybe they can’t be bothered to make a purchase. Perhaps they simply forgot about you. They could have been really excited at the start of the search, only to lose interest at the end.
The Purchase Stage is where you have to be proactive in re-engaging your most likely customers. Using an element of urgency, value, or excitement, you want to make the final push to ensure building owners go through with purchasing a roofing system from you.
This could be a seasonal sale, a monthly newsletter, an email announcement, or a social media update. You’ve spent so much work on building your brand; it’s time to reap the rewards.
How long will it take a building owner to go through the buying cycle?
The time it takes for a building owner to go through buying cycle will vary pretty much every time. Usually the trigger for a building owner will be a leaking roof and depending on how major the leak is will determine how fast they will go through the buying cycle.
If it is only a small leak they might enter the consideration stage, do some research on the bed way to fix it but then decides to let it leak and sets a bucket underneath to catch the water, in this case that building owner might be in the buying cycle for 1 to 2 years or maybe even longer.
Now lets use the example of a building owner that has a roof that was damaged due to a storm and has a big leak, that building owner is going to progress through the buying cycle very fast, in few weeks or few month and maybe even as little as a couple days.
So what should your goal be as the roofing contractor?
Your ultimate goal should be to is to be in front of the building owners all the way through the buying cycle, lets say you decided to some google ads, facebook ads or some other marketing at the time the building owner with the small leak is entering into the buying cycle, he sees your ad and he might like what you have to offer but for some unknown reason decides to just let his roof continue leaking, now if you decided to stop your ads or whatever marketing that you were doing in a month or 2 because you think you aren’t getting results you will have lost that potential customer because he is progressing through the buying cycle a lot slower he won’t continue seeing your ads and if a building owner doesn’t know you he can’t buy from you.
Now lets look at the second building owner that is progressing through the buying cycle a lot faster, if you are doing some google ads, Facebook ads etc. but are only focusing on Consideration stage of the buying cycle he will see your ad, maybe visit your website but will probably not fill out any contact form, now as he continues to the next step in the buying cycle he probably won’t see your ad or if he does he won’t click on it because it isn’t relevant to where he is in the buying cycle and if he doesn’t continue to see your brand all the way through the buying funnel the chances that he is going to hire you to do his roof aren’t very high.
So what have we learned?
- If a building owner doesn’t know you he can’t buy from you.
- Make sure you are marketing for each step in the buying cycle.
- Make sure that the way you are doing sales matches with the buying cycle.
- Have a long term marketing plan and budget.
- Don’t jump from one marketing strategy to another.
- Take a holistic approach don’t just focus on one marketing strategy. (Google ads, Facebook ads, re-marketing, email marketing, mailers, cold calling, LinkedIn, yard signs, bill boards, etc. etc.)
- Don’t try to do everything on your own, running a business makes you busy enough without trying to be good at marketing.
- Don’t expect a lot of leads with a low marketing budget.
If you’d like to find out more about how your brand can have more touch points throughout your customer’s buying cycle, get in touch.
Troyer Websites can assist with all aspects of digital marketing, from content creation to social media to online advertising.