Your potential buyers begin their quest to find the most suitable product or service to address their business needs long before they ever make contact with your brand. As a result, each one of your prospects will be in a different stage of their journey by the time they interact with your marketing collateral—e.g. downloading your infographic, attending your webinar or opening your email.
Thus, marketers need to account for these various phases when crafting their strategies. You must have personalized content on deck that will engage everyone from a very interested buyer to a frequent website visitor that is just starting out on the buying journey. Researching and documenting your buyer persona, a detailed profile of an example buyer that represents the real audience, can help to inform—and transform—your strategy in ways you may not have thought possible.
With that said, it’s no surprise that 87% of senior marketing executives’ top goals for the next three years is to better understand the customer buying journey. After all, understanding your potential customers’ buying journeys puts you in a better position to provide premium content that addresses their needs and concerns.
What’s more, 76% of senior marketing executives feel their second most important goal is to educate and influence purchasing decisions by mapping the right content assets and distribution channels to key stages in the customers’ buying journey.
So how does one effectively map out the buyer’s journey? It requires gaining customer insight, or focusing on buying behavior patterns, and leveraging a savvy team of marketers who can strategically match actionable messages to specific groups of buyers. Because your buyers are the source of the insights that will differentiate your content and clarify all decisions, we’ve created a Buyer Persona Guide to help you through the process (view here).
Before you can begin drawing up your map, you need to derive customer insights from your marketing database and tactfully organize these findings into groups based on demographics, firmographics and behavior.
Segmenting your data will enable you to extract more valuable information that will help you to streamline your investigation of the buyers’ journey. For instance, you can group together CMOs from businesses with 100 plus employees and a budget of $500,000. At the same time, you can group smaller businesses with smaller budgets. Doing so allows you to spot trends and patterns based on demographics.
When it comes to content engagement, you might learn that CMOs from larger companies are more responsive to sophisticated market research-based email marketing messages that inform and inspire action from the recipient. Conversely, representatives from smaller businesses may spend more time engaging with content such as thought leadership blog posts, case studies, or whitepapers.
By segmenting your data, you can pay closer attention to a specific group’s behavior and determine what makes them respond to your brand quicker. By continuing this process, marketers stand to gain acute insight as to what types of content stimulate most buyer interest and ultimately expedite the buying cycle.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the NetPerspectives Blog and was reposted here with the author’s permission.