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Enhance Your B2B Buyer’s Journey for Successful Pipeline Growth

By: Andrea Panno

Over the past couple of years, the Buyer’s Journey has evolved significantly due to the pandemic and technological advancements in digital marketing. A 2021 B2B Buyers study from Forrester reveals a 59% increase in meaningful engagements. Driven by self-guided research and increased personalized vendor interactions that followed the remote-work paradigm shift of 2019 and 2020, buyers have become savvier about gathering the information that informed their business decision-making.

For this reason, B2B marketers must understand the flow of a successful Buyer’s Journey and how to define goals at each stage properly. Keep reading to understand what the Buyer’s Journey is and what should be happening in each step to generate leads and sales.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

The Buyer’s Journey lays out the specific path or funnel consumers take to find and purchase your products and services. The path that best informs your campaign should include all the touchpoints that prospective customers interact with your content and list the pieces you believe best resonate at each stage. The basic Buyer’s Journey consists of three key stages (Awareness, Consideration, and Decision), but the extra complexities and longer timelines of B2B engagements and partnerships may require more points of engagement throughout the consumer’s lifecycle.

When building out your Buyer’s Journey, consider what your audience requires at each stage. For example, an educational whitepaper or neutral blog are ideal Awareness stage pieces, while a simple infographic could help differentiate vendors in the Consideration stage. Understanding your end-to-end sales cycle means understanding and outlining your company’s specific Buyer’s Journey.

The 3 Main Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

1. Awareness

B2B buyers seek resources to solve a clearly defined problem in the awareness stage. During their search, they may be looking for educational resources and guidance that helps to understand, frame, and define their specific problem. Awareness stage content pieces often include blogs, articles, videos, infographics, and social media posts. To get the most out of that content, every business also needs a strong online presence, typically in the form of a responsive, user-friendly website, engaging with audiences on social, and expanding your target reach through SEM/SEO campaigns.

2. Consideration

During the consideration stage, buyers begin to define what a solution could look like. Sales teams offer advice and work with prospects to create customized action plans unique to each customer’s situation. Compelling content for this stage often includes detailed product information sheets, user guides, and technical reference information mixed with thought leadership. Having a wide range of content, from product info to case studies to whitepapers, is vital to give your prospects a clear picture of how you can solve their problems, make their lives easier, help them save time and money, etc.

3. Decision

The decision stage is where buyers choose whether or not to buy a particular product or service. Salespeople educate prospects on specifics, explain competitive benefits, and help them evaluate whether their product or service is the best fit. At this phase, consider expanding your content marketing and outreach efforts through various channels such as email, display advertising, and mobile. Active customer engagement is critical! Directly follow-up with leads, help them evaluate whether your product is the best mutual fit and encourage prospects to take their final action with content like demos, testimonials and reviews, and consultations.

With these stages and tactics in mind, you can engage in genuinely strategic marketing. Here are some ideas for specific strategies to focus on.

  • Marketing Objective: Generate awareness
    • Strategy: Raise awareness of the company with integrated marketing campaigns
    • Strategy: Increase industry recognition through event participation and public relations
  • Marketing Objective: Acquire 3 new clients
    • Strategy: Distinguish the company from competitors by communicating differentiators
    • Strategy: Leverage relationships with existing customers for case studies and testimonials
  • Marketing Objective: Create market need for service
    • Strategy: Educate key markets about the service through free demos and consultations
    • Strategy: Gain recognition as an authoritative service provider with thought leadership

Once you’ve organized overarching strategies for how you’ll accomplish each marketing objective, you can begin crafting targeted content pieces for each of the stages discussed above. Think critically about the key pain points of your ideal audience members and speak to those needs in a clear, direct, and intelligent way. It can be tough to get started, but there are a wealth of resources available to help. If you want to skip the search and get straight to business, we can help with that too.

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