Organizations that use a mapping program to manage buyer and customer journeys average a 79% increase in cross-sell and upsell revenue, marketing research from the Aberdeen Group reveals.

In the new B2B marketing landscape, buyers are in control of their journeys. According to Forrester, 74% of buyers do more than half their research online before making an offline purchase, and the Corporate Executive Board reports that 57% of executives reach a decision before they contact sales. So understanding what customers are thinking and feeling at each stage of the journey is critical.

As we wrote about earlier in our Customer Experience Management Guide, a customer experience map is a great tool if you are looking to map multiple experiences and overcome silos in your organization.

If the goal is to hone into a particular area of focus or specific customer journey, then consider starting with a buyer’s journey map (also known as a customer journey map).

While there is no single way to create a buyer’s journey map, below are a few that struck our fancy.

6 Ways to Create a Buyer Journey Map

1. The Easy-to-Convince Buyer

This model works best for what CFI’s George Stenitzer’s calls the “Easy-to-Convince” Buyer. This simple cyclical model is ideal for the brand loyal customer, the impulse buy, and the single decision maker. Note that for this process to be repeatable, the customer needs to be inspired both at the initial trigger and at the renewal stage.

2. The Linear Model

Digital Touchpoints created a fun linear map that divides the customer journey into five stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, service and loyalty. Note that this model visually separates digital and physical assets, and managed and unmanaged touchpoints.

3. The Plain Ol’ Chart

Chart-style customer journey map

 

This Plain Jane, but extremely comprehensive, buyer’s journey includes key stakeholders, buyer needs, influencers, most impactful content, and top outlets for each stage of the customer journey.

While it’s possible to cram a lot of information into this chart, remember that research shows marketing messages are more effective when repeated consistently. So be sure to keep the brand’s voice, look and feel consistent across all marketing platforms. This is especially true of large high stakes B2B purchases that have longer buying cycles and more cautious buyers.

4. Just the Basics

Level 3's circular customer journey map.This circular model from the folks at Level(3) examines the points along the buyer’s journey that matter most.

5. Mapping the Buyer’s Journey to the Sales FunnelSales Methodology Customer Journey Map shows different buyer stages.

In order to succeed, your marketing and sales must collaborate during each step of the customer’s experience. This nifty chart from the Digital Distillers shows you exactly how that will look.

6. The Emotional Map

 

This chart maps includes the buyer’s thoughts and emotions at each stage of the journey and provides a great jumping off point for emotion-laden purchases such as purchasing a home or, in this hypothetical case, helping someone through the anxiety-ridden process of doing their taxes.

Other Tips for Creating a Buyer Journey

  • Whatever model you choose, remember to follow Forrester’s suggestion to map the “5 W’s”: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
  • Consider building a separate buyer’s journey map to address the needs of each key stakeholder.
  • For information on buyer personas see Kapost’s “Three Steps to Building Buyer Personas.”
  • Linear charts can be built in PowerPoint or Prezi, and tools such as Uxpressia, Canvanizer, and Touchpoint all provide ways to visualize the buyer’s journey. Smaply also helps out with mapping customer personas.
  • Consider including the end user in the buyer’s journey. They may not make the buying decision, but they will be responsible for renewing it.
  • Tailoring your marketing efforts to each stakeholder’s unique journey will pay off: Hubspot reports that companies with a refined middle-of-the-funnel engagement and lead management strategy see a 4-10% higher response rate.
  • A well-thought-out buyer journey map can help B2B marketers spot the weak spots in their sales funnel – and deliver the right content to the right person at the right time.
rochana.rapkins

About rochana.rapkins

Rochana Rapkins is a Colorado-based marketing professional and digital media strategist. She earned her B.A. at Columbia University and her M.A. at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.