Originally published on Microsoft Dynamics
The buyer’s journey map is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s kit—and often one of the most misunderstood. When created the right way, sourced from solid insights about buying behavior and motivations, marketers unlock secrets to the steps and decisions that move prospects to customers. When steps in the process are cut short or assumptions replace buyer insights, the result is typically missed opportunities.
Jen Horten, Vice President and Group Director, Demand Creation Strategies, at SiriusDecisions, recently joined me for a webinar to help unravel the myths of the B2B buyer’s journey and share tips to build accurate buyer’s journey maps and use insights to refine your campaign strategy. Explore the three myths we discussed, then watch the webinar to transform the way you interact and guide buyers.
Myth #1: Internal assumptions are just as good as external insights in defining personas
It’s easy to assume we know how buyers navigate the steps and decisions leading up to a purchase. After all, website traffic is strong, people are downloading eBooks and clicking on demo videos. Those must be potential buyers, right?
Maybe so, maybe not. Without solid evidence of buyer preferences, marketers often produce journey maps for buyers that may not exist.
Accurate buyer journey mapping requires multiple sets of data inputs to understand behavior and preferences throughout the buying process, across multiple buying scenarios. This requires footwork. Interviews with recent buyers to determine precisely the steps they took at each stage in the decision process. Interviews with selling and channel partners to validate assumptions. And digital analytics from web, search, and social media channels to further reveal buyer attributes and validate existing insights. Every data point helps bring into focus the intentions of buyers.
Only then, with insights in hand, can you create an accurate Buyer Persona Journey Map to understand the path buyers take at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Myth #2: Buyers are pretty much the same so we can use the same journey map for each audience
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to journey mapping. Each potential buyer in an organization approaches a business problem from the lens of their role. A CMO will have a different set of questions than an IT decision maker and will want to consume different types of content and chat with stakeholders that understand their unique challenges. You don’t need a buyer map for every potential buyer in an organization—but you will need to create journeys for personas with significantly differing pathways to purchase decisions.
Myth #3: The buyer’s journey map is the same thing as the campaign plan
The buyer’s journey map is a guide—just like any other map—that informs the campaign plan and helps orient demand generation programs tailored for each buyer persona’s needs, with unique tactics through each stage of the buyer’s journey.
So, what does it take to transform buyer insights into successful programs and campaigns? Watch the webinar, linked below, to translate the buyer’s journey map into campaigns that drive go-to-market strategies and audience-targeted programs with a mix of inbound and outbound tactics.
Watch the on-demand webinar: Top 3 Myths of the Buyer’s Journey
Tune in to the webinar to learn how to address the myths (and face the realities) of the buyer’s decision-making process. You’ll also learn how to build a buyer’s journey map and how to use insights to refine your campaign strategy, as well as learn how Dynamics 365 for Marketing can help you turn prospects into strong business relationships.
Anantha Ramachandran, Senior Product Marketing Manager Microsoft
Jen Horton, Vice President and Group Director, Demand Creation Strategies, SiriusDecision