Understanding the buyer journey for each of your key personas is definitely the right next step. But how do you create a buyer journey map that keeps on producing results?
While every concept in this 1300 word post is worth the five or six minutes it will take to read it (and really should be read in its entirety), here's the TL;DR version. Before creating your buyer journey, you'll want to consider these four major components:
- Use their language in your communication – When you understand what your prospective customer is going through, you can articulate the stage they’re in...sometimes better than they can. You know what? That makes them trust you.
- Define the next step – People will gladly—evenly subconsciously—accept your call to action...if you’ve done the job of presenting to them the action they want to take in order to achieve their goal at this moment.
- Track the funnel more accurately – Combining data from your CRM with your forms and content tracking, you can tell who is clicking on what calls to action... allowing you to gauge - even predict - speed through the funnel.
- Audit your content – Now that you have defined CTAs, goals, and psychology per persona per stage, you have a more direct way to audit whether or not you have the right content, at the right time.
Keep reading if you're ready for more than just soundbites...
Creating Your Buyer Journey
If you Google “buyer journey,” "buyer journey map" or “customer journey” you’ll find lots of information—it may even be how you landed here! How do you know which buyer journey is most right for your business? Put simply: it’s the buyer journey a prospect finishes.
While Rogue’s buyer journey is linear (not all buyer journey maps are), it is clear that prospects and leads can and will backtrack constantly. In most situations, leads don’t see ads and emails and immediately make a purchase—if they did, we’d have ads landing directly on credit-card-ready purchase forms. Knowing activity must transpire between awareness and purchase, Rogue considers that to be, at least to some degree, a linear process.
Your buyer journey, no matter its format, should deliver key psychological info into your customer’s purchase decision. Remember, buyer’s journeys and their personas are built on insights, not assumptions. Conduct interviews, send surveys, read reviews, and get feedback in order to record the journey they are actually going through...not the journey you think they are going through.
“Get feedback to record the journey they are ACTUALLY going through... not the journey you THINK they are going through”
Buyer Journey Format
Every organization will have slightly different buying phases. Depending on your audience mix, different personas may even have different stages... But when you use the Rogue Buyer Journey template, you can count on recording a persona’s progress through key categories.
Below, you can see a sample from a B2B buyer journey.
As you track these categories across each stage, you see how your audiences come to purchase your product or service so that you can lead more down the funnel to purchase.
Use Their Language in Your Communication
The “sounds like” row of your buyer’s journey map is where customers’ natural language informs the voice and tone of your messaging for each stage of the journey.
Your voice of the customer (VOC) research, recordings of conversations with leads that make progress, and research into online reviews will show you how customers are talking about their pains and concerns. You become their consultant when they hear themselves in your content. This section of the buyer’s journey is at the top, because the way that the customer speaks will inform everything that comes below it
Define the Next Step
No customer moves from one stage to the next of a buyer’s journey until he or she has resolved the goal in their current phase. Many prospects will move backwards and forwards between stages, especially in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
You can help customers move more quickly down the funnel when you know the goals of each stage. The more they feel that they are making progress toward solving their overarching problem, the more satisfied they will be with the resource that led them to the solution.
Those goals then inform the calls to action you choose to provide at each stage. Not everyone is ready to “Get a Demo Now” or “Add to Cart.” But, depending on their stage, they may be ready to:
- Read the next, related article then
- Provide their contact info for a downloadable then
- See a calculator or other valuable tool then
- Watch a pre-recorded demo until finally they're ready to
- Talk to a sales person.
The order and process of each call to action will depend on your specific customer journey.
While it may not be a customer's goal to make a purchase, they do have the goal of solving a key problem. When you are the solution to all of the smaller problems that each solve a facet of the larger problem, then you become the obvious purchase for your audience.
Track the Funnel More Accurately
As you increase conversion rates, you can track who is moving and at what pace. You will be able to predict, for example, how many people you need at the top of the funnel, and at what pace 39% will move through; and how much faster or slower that is than the next 22%; and then how many fall off or take X months or longer to close.
These measurements work beautifully in theory, but in practice they are incredibly difficult to achieve. You need a strong CRM strategy, with data analytics that cross between sales and marketing, in order to get an accurate read. But when you do, your efficiency has nowhere to go but up.
Audit Your Content
Congratulations! You now know what your audience wants to achieve.
It's now more clear what they’re afraid of, and what they want out of the process.
You know how to give them the CTAs that they want to accomplish.
So where does your content stand?
Many content organizations create the content that they know how to create. No one can blame them, either—without conversion rate data, VOC interviews, and other inputs feeding them customer insights, how could they know beyond reasonable assumptions exactly what to create, for whom, and where to publish it?
When you map content to your buyer’s journey, however, you’re able to see gaps. You’re able to see where your most popular content fits, and where bottlenecks in your process may be tied to a lack of content that helps your audience fulfill that stage’s goal.
Resist the Urge to Get Overwhelmed
Even though this sounds right to you, getting from where you are to where you want to be can be a monumental task. After all, you’re probably not twiddling thumbs, wondering how to spend your time when you get into work each morning. Your plate is full, and heaped high. And your team is as busy as you are. How are you supposed to fit this into the mix?
Ask yourself if downloading Rogue's Buyer Journey Template could be your key to creating a foundation that makes the rest of your work more efficient.