Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (2023)

Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (1)

The last few years and especially the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly changed the customer journey and customer experience. People today expect more from brands: a smoother bridge between digital and in-person interactions and deeper, more authentic brand-customer relationships.

As companies realign their operations for a post-pandemic world, they need to review their purchasing journeys to re-evaluate how the sales and marketing process intersects with them. Importantly, businesses need to consider the post-sale relationship they maintain with their customers. Companies that don't consider retention, advocacy, and loyalty strategies will miss out on important branding and revenue opportunities.

In this month's virtual panel, we interview Authentic Brand Fractional's CMOsBarb Bertsch,interest kiger, SheKris Paulsonto learn more about the critical role marketing plays in defining the buyer's journey and facilitating the connection along it. Fractional CMOs shared tips on how companies can better support prospects on their journey, increase conversions and build lasting customer relationships.

Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (2)
Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (3)
Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (4)

1. What advice would you give to growing companies trying to better understand the buyer journey and identify ways to support buyers more effectively?

Tongue:Documenting the buyer's journey is a fundamental element of marketing. Knowing how and why your customers are buying from you helps marketers understand how best to target them and helps sales know how best to engage with them. It's also an effective tool for determining which messages are needed to capture customers' attention and drive their actions through the purchase funnel, ultimately leading to a purchase decision.

When marketing fully understands the buyer's journey, it is better equipped to support the sale. The same applies to sales. When sales understand exactly what their buyers are thinking and feeling at each step of their journey, they are better equipped to respond more effectively, thereby shortening the sales cycle.

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Interest:The shopper journey starts with raising awareness of your product or service. This means you need to activate strong awareness marketing activities, including search engine optimized content to attract potential customers to your website or strong brand messages at trade shows to attract them to your booth.

Understanding your buyers' pain points at each stage helps your business create the right content at the right touchpoints, which ultimately helps you nurture loyal customers. By knowing your audience and the channels they use, you can establish clear communication with them and build strong, lasting relationships.

Another important way is to build trust with your brand through the content you create for each stage of the customer journey. Trust is an essential part of the purchase decision. consequentlyEdelman Trust Barometer Message81% of consumers worldwide said they must trust a brand before they buy it.

Kris:A deep understanding of your customers is essential for any business. Not just who they are, but also how they find you and what they need from you. Once you have that idea, you can influence them so that buying from you is in their best interests.

Your potential customers find information long before they contact you. They need to answer questions and provide value at every stage of the buyer journey. That means developing content that helps them move in your direction.

Without them, you're missing out on potential customers you didn't even know existed.

2. What are the lasting impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the buyer's journey, and how should businesses continue to address those impacts?

Interest:Before COVID-19, most consumers were already preparing to use technology more easily in their lives. The digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic in everyone's life. The workforce needed to be productive from home, and Zoom and Teams calling became the new way for sales teams to showcase their products to clients. Talk about old students going to a new school and having to quickly adjust to all the changes at once!

Customers now want a digital experience and expect seamless transactions and personalized experiences throughout their journey. It's important to align all customer-facing departments (eg, sales, marketing, customer service) and ensure they have the tools they need to continue to build trust by listening to customer needs and delivering solutions that to fullfill expectations.

I think the last few years have taught us that we need to adapt and adopt new strategies and technologies while keeping our customers' priorities in mind.

(Video) Understanding consumer behaviour, from the inside out

Kris:The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely taken a toll on marketing and sales, but the stages of the buyer journey haven't changed. The difference is that shoppers are now doing more online research than ever before.

Marketing and sales have to adapt to changing buyer needs. This means companies need to invest in the creation of digital assets to remain more competitive than ever. Online content should be a focus area to ensure potential customers can access the information they need about your business to gain trust and influence them.

In short, marketing and sales must adapt their strategy to the needs of today's buyer.

Tongue:on onerecently published McKinsey article, COVID-19 was observed to have changed the way B2B buyers and sellers interact:

"B2B companies view digital interactions as two to three times more important to their customers than traditional sales interactions."

B2B companies need to change their game when it comes to digitalization. Buyers explore businesses across multiple digital channels (i.e., omnichannel). We must react accordingly. Don't have a chat option? find one Not appearing on social media? You might want to reconsider this.

Customer preferences for interacting with sales have shifted from phone calls to digital engagement. One of my clients experienced a dramatic shift from selling via outbound calls to communicating via email and online chat. In addition, they experienced greater interaction with digital ads. This customer structures their BDR program with far fewer outbound calls and higher spending on paid advertising, more automated email, and maybe even text messaging.

Understanding the buyer journey today and having a documented plan to adapt to the new ways buyers are coming to your business has never been more important. Businesses need to respond quickly to this shift and “emerge” differently to serve customers where they are. Shoppers want to be a little more self-sufficient and rely less on human interaction.

3. What do companies often overlook when it comes to the customer engagement, advocacy, or loyalty stage of the buyer journey? How should they think more strategically about these phases?

Kris:We've all heard it a million times: it's cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. Yet many companies continue to focus their resources and money on acquisitions and neglect efforts to improve customer retention.

(Video) How to Engage Buyers and Build Deeper Human Connections

Every business needs new customers, but retaining them is just as important. The customer journey does not end with the sale. You've done the hard work to acquire them, and now you should be working hard to keep and feed them.

New customers are critical to growth, but if you focus primarily on acquisition and neglect existing customers, customer churn is inevitable. Yes, churn will always exist, but it's also manageable.

Therefore, you need to find the right balance between the two.

Tongue:I can only agree with Kris. Existing customers are affordable fruits that need nurturing and regular follow-up to strengthen that relationship and generate additional revenue. It's no different than cultivating friendships.

What happens after the sale? When sales and marketing are aligned, a post-sales process should be in place for all new customers. Whether it's setting up a QBR in 3 months to track sales, tying marketing into an advocacy campaign, or something as simple as setting up a follow-up call in a month. How you manage the relationship should depend on how that customer or end user prefers to communicate with them.

Interest:Now it's time to start the lifecycle process and start tracking Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Part of the lifecycle process is determining how often you target customers after the sale. This could be sending out an email newsletter, inviting them to a webinar, calling customer service to make sure the product or service is what they expected, or sending a sales manager to visit them and find out if it other ways to help them are you. you. You can get customers to share their experiences and advocate for your brand by continuing the conversations with them after the sale.

Data is also very useful and important for these stages of the buyer's journey. Use the data as a tool to continue the customer relationship. For example, one of my clients used data from their CRM to gather information about clients who 1) haven't bought anything in a long time, 2) bought a product but not another, and 3) bought a product but not a service. Realizing the opportunities found in this goldmine of information helped the client make plans to create an even stronger customer experience. Defining the buyer's journey and identifying opportunities for greater engagement and connection with the customer is complex and requires a holistic and strategic view.Authentische Branded Fractional CMOsThey have mapped journeys for companies of all sizes and types across multiple industries. Contact us to discuss how our strategic leaders can help your business rethink the buyer's journey and find new ways to drive growth and nurture customer relationships.

Buyer Journey - Engage and connect when and where it matters most - Authentic branding (5)

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Authentic Brand is a community of fractional CMOs helping growing businesses overcome Random Acts of Marketing® and take the right next step to confidently generate revenue.

Our unique approach combines marketing professionals + methodology + mindshare to build strong, strategic, sales-centric marketing teams and programs.

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What are the 3 main steps of the buyers journey? ›

In general, every buyer follows three main steps in the buying process before becoming a customer: awareness, consideration, and decision. Understanding the buyer's journey allows companies to finetune their marketing strategies to attract the optimal target audience for their product or service.

What are the steps of the buyers journey? ›

Traditionally, there are three stages of the buyer's journey; awareness, consideration and decision.

How do I create an engaging buyer journey? ›

Define Your Buyer's Journey
  1. Step 1: Awareness. The first step is always awareness. ...
  2. Step 2: Interest. At this stage, the buyer has begun asking questions and performing preliminary research. ...
  3. Step 3: Consideration. The next stage is perhaps the most critical. ...
  4. Step 4: Decision. It's decision time.

What are the 4 elements of the customer journey? ›

What are the Four Elements of the Customer Journey?
  • Audience engagement.
  • Leads converting into customers.
  • Nurture the customers.
  • Fulfill the customer expectations.

What are 4 types of buyer behavior explain? ›

There are four types of consumer behavior: habitual buying behavior, variety-seeking behavior, dissonance-reducing buying behavior, complex buying behavior. Consumer behavior types are determined by what kind of product a consumer needs, the level of involvement, and the differences that exist between brands.

What are the 4 kinds of buying process? ›

The 4 Types of Buying Behaviour
  • Extended Decision-Making.
  • Limited Decision-Making.
  • Habitual Buying Behavior.
  • Variety-Seeking Buying Behavior.

What are the 5 A's used for building a customer journey? ›

Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 3 basic buying motives for customers? ›

Buying Motives are the reason(s) you buy the goods and services that you choose. There are 3 categories of buying motives: Emotional, Rational, and Patronage. Emotional motives are reasons to purchase based on feelings and emotions.

What makes a successful buyers journey? ›

The buyer's journey can be broken down into three steps or "stages" that describe how they advance along their path to purchase: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. Here's how to conceptualize each stage: Awareness Stage: The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem.

What is the buyer's journey? ›

The buyer's journey (sometimes called a purchase journey) describes the process a customer goes through to purchase a product or service.

What is the buyer's journey answer? ›

The buyer's journey is a concept that seeks to map the path taken by a person until they decide to buy a solution from your company. It begins with the prospect's first contact with the brand, which can come from friends' referrals, online content, or other marketing efforts.

What is an engagement journey? ›

Stage 4: Engagement Journey

This stage focuses on the period when couples who have been in stable relationships discern and commit to marriage and become engaged. Important points for relationship development and understanding include: greater focus on more serious, emotional and physical intimacy.

What is engagement in customer journey? ›

Customer engagement is what the brand does to build and maintain a healthy relationship with customers, while customer experience is what the customer goes through in their journey with the brand.

How do you engage with customers? ›

Here are five key tips for companies looking to authentically engage their customers:
  1. Offer customers real value. “Engagement marketing means leading with content, not products,” Sawhney says. ...
  2. Build a community. ...
  3. Inspire people. ...
  4. Provide entertainment value. ...
  5. Keep the conversation going.
4 Apr 2016

What are the 7 stages of customer journey? ›

Broken down, the customer journey consists of 7 phases; Out of market, trigger, initial brand consideration, active evaluation, purchase decision, experience and loyalty. Let's take a look at each phase (and the customer's mindset) in more detail – starting with the out-of-market phase.

What are the 4 C's of Customer Relationship Management? ›

Managing 4 C's: Customer experience, Conversation, Content and Collaboration. CustomerThink.

What are the 3 essential pillars of the customer experience? ›

  • Satisfy customer needs. Initially, it is essential that the service is able to meet / meet customer needs. ...
  • Offer a good customer experience. ...
  • Agility in problem solving.

What are the 6 stages of consumer buying behavior? ›

Let's look at the six stages of the buying process below:
  • Stage #1: Problem Recognition. ...
  • Stage #2: Information Search. ...
  • Stage #3: Evaluation of Alternatives. ...
  • Stage #4: Purchase Decision. ...
  • Stage #5: Purchase. ...
  • Stage #6: Post-Purchase Evaluation.

What are the four 4 factors affecting business buying behavior? ›

Four main influences impact the business buying decision process: environmental factors, organizational factors, interpersonal factors, and individual factors.

What is model of buyer behavior? ›

The buyer behavior model is a structured step-by-step process. Under the influence of marketing stimuli (product, price, place, and promotion) and environmental factors (economic, technological, political, cultural), a customer understands the need to make a purchase.

What are the five methods of buying? ›

There are five essential methods of purchasing:
  • Bulk Purchasing.
  • Hand to Mouth Purchasing.
  • Speculative Purchasing.
  • Blanket Purchasing.
  • Reciprocate Purchasing.

What are the 8 stages in buying process? ›

8 Phases Involved in Organisational Purchasing Decision Making
  • Phase 1: Recognition of a Problem: ...
  • Phase 2: Description of the need: ...
  • Phase 3: Product Specification: ...
  • Phase 4: Supplier Search: ...
  • Phase 5: Proposal Solicitation: ...
  • Phase 6: Supplier Selection: ...
  • Phase 7: Order Routine Specification: ...
  • Phase 8: Performance Review:

What are the 6 pillars of customer experience? ›

Developed by KPMG Nunwood of the UK following research involving more than one million customers across three continents, the system spotlights six key principles as the building blocks for customer experience success: personalization, integrity, expectations, resolution, time and effort, and empathy.

What are the 7 steps to developing customer service strategy? ›

  1. 7 steps to creating the ultimate customer service strategy. ...
  2. Establish your vision for great customer service. ...
  3. Ask your customers what they want and need. ...
  4. Hire the right employees. ...
  5. Set lots of goals. ...
  6. Train your staff. ...
  7. Make sure everyone is held accountable. ...
  8. Reward exceptional customer service.
21 Nov 2018

What are the 4 P's that improve customer service? ›

Promptness, Politeness, Professionalism and Personalization: these 4 characteristics are the key ingredients to any successful service interaction, and when you think about it, they are the basics you expect to receive as a consumer.

What are the 5 main factors that influence purchasing decisions? ›

Typically, there are five core factors that influence the decision to buy which are:
  • Psychological Factors.
  • Social Factors.
  • Cultural Factors.
  • Economic Factors.
  • Personal Factors.
1 Dec 2022

What are the top 3 reasons of consumers buying behavior Why? ›

Categories that Effect the Consumer Buying Decision Process

A consumer, making a purchase decision will be affected by the following three factors: Personal. Psychological. Social.

What are the 3 major factors that affects the customer buying behavior? ›

There are three categories of factors that influence customers buying behavior: Psychological factors. Social factors. Situational factors.

Why is it important to understand the buyer's journey? ›

When your company understands your buyer's journey, you're able to meet customers where they are. You'll be able to avoid the mistakes that turn customers off—like delivering a hard sales pitch—and nurture their buying decision at every phase.

What are the most important skills for a buyer to have? ›

To become a Buyer, you will need to have:
  • excellent communication skills.
  • negotiating skills.
  • an aptitude for figures and the ability to manage a budget.
  • an analytical mind.
  • IT skills.
  • an interest in the activities of your own organisation.

What are the four types of journey? ›

There are four major types of journey maps that you can design to understand various scenarios your customer may encounter: Current state, Future state, Day in the Life, and Service Blueprint. There is no need to chart all four, but it can be helpful to understand each depending on your goals.

What are engagements strategies? ›

A customer engagement strategy organizes interactions and activities into a streamlined plan to create the ultimate customer experience, including before and after the purchase. The process involves various communication channels to build a relationship, improve satisfaction, and proactively nurture your customer base.

What is the goal of customer engagement? ›

The goal of customer engagement is to offer customers something of value beyond your products and services. High-quality products initially attract customers; relevant content is what keeps them around. Marketers do this through a strategy known as customer engagement marketing.

What are the 5 Areas of engagement? ›

The engagement model has 5 areas of engagement:
  • exploration.
  • realisation.
  • anticipation.
  • persistence.
  • initiation.
27 Jan 2020

What is the meaning of brand engagement? ›

What is brand engagement? Brand engagement refers to the creation of attachments between consumers and brands. These attachments may be emotional or rational, and they produce brand loyalty over time. This solidifies the brand and helps to improve the customer experience.

Which are the 5 e s in the customer journey? ›

The 5 Es is a map of the five stages that customers go through – Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit, and Extend.

What are the 5 parts of the customer experience cycle? ›

What Are the 5 Stages of the Customer Life Cycle?
  • Reach or Awareness. During this phase, a consumer becomes familiar with a company's goods or services for the first time. ...
  • Acquisition or Consideration. ...
  • Conversion and Nurturing. ...
  • Retention. ...
  • Loyalty or Advocacy.
10 Aug 2022

What are the 5 stages of the customer interaction lifecycle? ›

Marketing analysts Jim Sterne and Matt Cutler have developed a matrix that breaks the customer lifecycle into five distinct steps: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention and loyalty.

What are the 5 As of the customer path? ›

Named by Dr. Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 7 types of customer expectations? ›

Types of Customer Expectations
  • Implicit expectations. ...
  • Interpersonal expectations. ...
  • Static performance expectations. ...
  • Dynamic performance expectations. ...
  • Digital expectations. ...
  • Technological expectations. ...
  • Situational expectations.

What are the 4 phases of the customer relationship? ›

The four stages are awareness, exploration and expansion, commitment and dissolution. Not all customers pass through all four stages, and as noted previously, firms can have important, profitable customers who are not committed to them.

What are the 4 pillars of customer service? ›

Gartner, the world's leading research and advisory company, breaks customer service down into four pillars: Getting Connected, Process Orchestration, Knowledge & Insight, and Resource Management.

What are the 6 key elements of service in customer engagement? ›

6 Key Elements to Include in Your Customer Service Strategy
  • A Company-Wide Mission.
  • A Recruitment Process to Hire The Right People.
  • A Commitment to Ongoing Training.
  • A Customer Service Policy.
  • A Focus on Empowering Your Team.
  • An Effective Feedback Loop.
17 Apr 2020

What are the 5 key customer interaction skills? ›

We've come up with the acronym PLACE to describe the top five customer service skills and attributes needed for success: Positive, Listening, Adaptable, Calm, Empathetic.

What are the top 3 5 priorities in customer success? ›

Customer Success Empower and enable your CSMs. Product Create elegant product experiences. Customer Experience Identify trends across the customer journey. Revenue and Sales Drive a high performing renewals process.


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