Writing out the buyer journey for each of your key personas is definitely the right next step. How do turn it into the gift that keeps on giving?
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. Keep reading if you want to know more than soundbites...
- 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.
- Increase conversion rates – 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 to gauge - even predict - their speed through the funnel.
- Audit your content – With 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.
Let's dive in deeper.
Building Your Buyer Journey
If you Google “buyer journey” 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 organization? Put simply: it’s the buyer journey you finish.
Rogue’s buyer journey is linear (though not all are), with the caveat that prospects and leads can and will backtrack constantly. But you know that leads don’t see ads and emails and immediately make a purchase—if they did, we’ve have ads landing directly on credit-card-ready purchase forms. So if 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 also 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 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 path to purchase.
Use Their Language in Your Communication
The “sounds like” row of your buyer’s journey 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.
Increase Conversion Rates
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 they may be ready for forfeit their contact info for a downloadable; then they may want to see a calculator; then they can be ready to watch a pre-recorded demo; and then they’ll be ready to talk to a sales person. The order and process of each call to action will depend on your specific customer journey.
No customer has the goal to make a purchase—if that were the case, then gum ball machines would be a marvelous investment. But every customer has 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 know what your audience wants to achieve.
You know 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. You’re 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?
If this is important to you but it’s sitting at the bottom of your priority list, ask yourself if building and deploying buyer’s journeys like the one you just read about will you move further fasterTM than something else on that list. Since you already know you want to do this, but think you can’t, then something is getting left by the wayside. Make sure that if you have to drop something, it’s not the thing that’s going to make the rest of your work more efficient.