Before starting any marketing action, it is essential to define a fundamental aspect: the buyer person . It is a detailed description of the potential clients of a company, which gathers sociodemographic and behavioral variables. This profile will be key to knowing, not only the interests of the target customer, but also what factors influence their purchase decision and how they ultimately carry out the purchasing process. In this article I will tell you which profiles are involved in the process and the decision.

What is the purchase process and what are its phases?

Before looking at the profiles involved in the purchase process, we are going to review this concept and its phases. The purchase process, or customer journey , are the phases that a customer goes through from discovering a need until he hires a product or solution to solve it .

These phases, in summary, are the following:

  1. Awareness : the user realizes that he has a need that he wants to solve.
  2. Research : the user collects information about their need or problem, and how to solve it.
  3. Decision : the user selects, among the different alternatives, the solution that best suits him.
  4. Action : the user purchases the selected product or service.

Determinants in the purchase process

In the purchasing process there are several factors that influence the purchase decision phase of a product and / or service. In general, we could classify these factors as internal or external:

  • Internal factors are directly related to the user , for example: their expectations, motivations, personality, concerns, etc.
  • In contrast, external factors do not depend on the user himself . In this phase it is important to understand the real decision-making power of the consumer and who are the other people involved in the decision-making.

The impact of these factors on decision making will depend on the case and / or the product or service in question.

5 key profiles involved in the purchase process

As we have just seen, there are several people who can intervene in the decision making of a purchasing process. Here are five main profiles that usually intervene in the process :

1. Target audience

This is  the person for whom the product is intended . That is, the one that has the need that the product solves. For example, in the case of a toy truck, the target audience would be boys and / or girls from 6 to 8 years old.

2. Decision maker

It is the person who decides to purchase a product or service . In the case of the toy, it would be the child’s parents, since they are the ones with the purchasing power. In many other cases, the decision maker and the target audience coincide in the same profile, but it is important to note that there may be exceptions.

3. Prescriber

This concept corresponds to the person who recommends the product. Continuing with the indicated example, a prescriber could be the child’s teacher. 

4. Influencer

The term influencer refers to people whose opinion positively or negatively influences the purchase decision . Returning to the case of the toy, they would act as influencers, for example, the grandparents of the minor to whom the product is directed.

5. Buyer

This concept refers to the person who finally makes the purchase . In this case, it could coincide with the person who has made the decision to purchase the product and / or service, but it could also be a different person.

Continuing with the example: in the case of the toy, it could be that the parents themselves, once they have decided which toy truck to buy, go to the store to buy the product. But it could also be that it is another family member or friend who is in charge of making a gift and buying the truck. This profile is in charge of deciding where, when and how they buy it (physical or online store, cash or card …).

In short, to define a good strategy it is important not only to analyze well what the user’s purchasing process is like, but also to understand who the people or profiles involved in decision-making are and what impact they may have . In this sense, it is essential that the company designs its actions paying attention to all the actors involved in the purchase decision. In this way, the chances of success will be much greater. On the other hand, before finishing, I wanted to make things a little easier for you thanks to this template to create your buyer persona .