How to Have Better Conversations with Buyer Journey Mapping
Anytime you purchase a new product or sign up for a service, you go on a journey. This experience is made up of many things which, ultimately will impact your decision to buy (or not to buy).
In the world of business, a huge part of any successful marketing strategy is understanding the process customers go through which leads them to choosing your product or service. This is called the customer journey or the buyer journey.If you know where your prospects are along this journey, you can have conversations with them that are not only relevant, but also useful.
Mapping the Customer Experience
Obviously, we understand what the buyer journey is. But what does it look like when we map it out?
This visual representation of the customer journey is most easily understood when looked at through the eyes of your customer. It’s helpful to break down this process into some variation of these three stages:
- Awareness: this is the first stage of the customer journey, in which the customer has realized that they have a problem.
- Consideration: in this stage, the prospect has identified their problem and is now researching ways to solve it.
- Decision: from their research, the customer has found a few possible solutions to their problem and is now ready to make a decision about which one to use.
The Importance of Buyer Journey Mapping for Effective Marketing
This all sounds simple enough, but why does any of it matter?
When you understand what motivates people to engage with your business, you can adjust your marketing to make sure it supports them on that journey. People don’t want to be sold to, they just want to find viable solutions to their problems.
By mapping out the buyer journey, you might even discover a completely new demographic of customers in the process. Serving that new audience could bring you business you didn’t know you had the potential to gain, opening the door to opportunity and growth.
How to Get Started With Buyer Journey Mapping
By now, you’re probably thinking, “This all sounds really great, but where do I start?” A quick internet search brings back a seemingly endless number of suggestions for creating a buyer journey map.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s start with the basics. If you do these things, you should have a good foundation to start with–as well as a pretty decent understanding of your customers and what leads them to purchase your product.
- Create a buyer persona
- Do your research
This is basically an avatar of your typical customer. Who are they and what does their daily life look like?
What problems are you solving (or not solving) for them? This is more than just guesswork. When it’s all said and done, your marketing should speak to this one person, rather than a group of a hundred.
Now that you know who your customers are, you need to find out what motivates them. The best way to do this is to start listening to them.
Start by reading the reviews they’re writing–either about you or your competitors. Then start engaging with them, either through questionnaires and reviews, via social media, or even in person. Start trying to uncover their pain points. Which emotions or problems do they face that most inspire them to take action?
All of this research will help you figure out the different touchpoints (sort of like milestones) that customers will likely experience throughout the buyer journey.