Trying to understand the steps your maritime (potential) clients take in the journey of purchasing a boat, big ship or maritime service is essential in your marcom strategy and relationship management.

By starting simple you can build the basics for a digital marketing strategy:

  1. Which stages can you define in the buying process
  2. Which persons (personas) are involved
  3. What can trigger them in each stage to move on to the next step

1 Which stages can you define in the maritime b2b buying process?

If we look as the complete process of buying a ship we can define different stages where prospects and existing clients can be active.

a. Buyer stage Exploration
b. Buyer stage Decision making
c. Buyer stage Purchasing
d. Buyer stage Advocacy

If you translate these stages to you maritime business model, there are 2 things you need to do:
1 connect business stages to the buyer stages
2 define actions per stage

Example
If a (potential) client wants to have green fleet, and wants to lease the new ships
Then first they will make a shortlist with companies who can build/provide eco friendly hybrid ships, and offer this as a lease possibility.

PHASE: exploration
QUESTION: how do we come on this short list?

It helps by understanding WHY they are active in a certain phase, and also the reason behind. Many marketeers forget that the NEED and time frame also play an important role. Where does the NEED come from?

a. Changing regulations
b. Unexpected damage
c. New projects
d. Industry demand
e. Cost saving and efficiency
f. Environmental issues

By putting out potential NEED triggers in relation to personas the whole content and marketing perspective can take a whole different approach as doing it the standard way.

2 Understanding the actions under step 1

Brings us to the understanding of the persons we have to talk to.
QUESTION: which persons are involved in the buying process, what’s their position and by who are the influenced. On which channels are they active?
Defining these personas, creates an open field for the content, channels and conversions.

3 The triggers

When we know the personas, we have to fill in their needs per stage.
The need in the orientation stage can be completely different then in the decision making stage. Also the amount of persons involved can differ per stage.
Defining the triggers and call to actions, is based on the mapping of the buyer journey with the business journey, and corresponds with basic NEED.