A buyer journey is the way your customers go from identifying the problem to solving it by purchasing the right product. The cornerstone of the buyer journey is to provide people with all they need at each communication touchpoint.

The Importance of a Buyer Journey

People owning businesses often wonder why the buyer journey is important. Understanding the principles of a buyer journey is essential for every entrepreneur for various reasons. First, it allows marketers to have a clear picture of customers along with their problems, needs, challenges, preferences, and interests. It results in a more personalized approach and more relevant offers made to the right audience segments. Secondly, based on the received data, companies can make more well-informed decisions regarding their marketing strategies and incorporate best practices that work with their target audiences.

Thirdly, when company owners know customers’ needs at every stage of their buyer journey, they can ensure a consistent and pleasant experience. It helps establish customer satisfaction and encourage customer loyalty. Even more, when marketers know every touchpoint with prospects and ensure everything works right, they can successfully nurture leads. As a result, marketers get better conversion rates.

These are only a few reasons to consider when developing a buyer journey. It will help you establish a profitable business with loyal and happy customers.

Now it’s time to talk about the two terms that are closely related and often misused. In the next section, you’ll find some distinctive features of the buyer and customer journey.

Buyer Journey vs Customer Journey

These terms are often mentioned and used interchangeably regarding businesses and their marketing strategies. However, they have distinctive features you need to be aware of. We’ll unveil them in detail in this section.

The buyer journey encompasses the time when potential customers realize they have a specific problem and buy a product to solve this issue. It focuses on converting potential clients into customers by guiding them through the decision-making process.

During the buyer journey, marketers educate leads about the product and find reasons to choose it over competitors. Business owners ensure various content formats, including blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, product comparisons, and demonstrations, to prove that their product is the best in the market for solving this problem.

The customer journey involves the entire lifecycle of the customer relationship, which begins with a potential customer's initial contact with a brand and continues even after the customer has completed the purchase. It aims to build a positive and seamless experience at every interaction, contributing to long-term relationships, happy customers, and word-of-mouth promotion.

Besides being educational, content during the customer journey supports and encourages engagement and loyalty-building initiatives. It covers onboarding guides, customer support, email newsletters, loyalty programs, and feedback requests.

While the two concepts might look similar, they still differ regarding the stages, purposes, goals, and ways to reach them. When the buyer journey pays close attention to pre-purchase processes, the customer journey covers the customer lifecycle. However, the two terms are essentially important for developing successful strategies to attract prospects and convert them into clients effectively.

Now that the difference is clear, we’ll review the stages of the buyer journey in detail so that you can also understand how it differs from the customer journey.

Buyer Journey Stages

Marketers pick out three phases of the buyer journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Customers go through each of these stages.

Let’s take a simple situation as an example — buying a mattress — and see how people go through each stage of the buyer journey.

Awareness stage

Let’s say a couple decided to move in together. They’ve just bought an excellent antique bed, but the old mattress didn’t fit, so they are aware of their need to buy a new one.

The situation is simple, but if only a few people knew what to make their beds with, they would google ”how to sleep right” or “how to make the bed less hard.” At the awareness stage, share helpful educational content and make it easy to find on Google and other search engines. Promote a solution to the problem right in that content and follow up with contextual advertising to move people to the next stage.

Consideration stage

Since our couple has never bought mattresses before, they want to find out which properties mattresses usually have, like size, materials, and softness. During the consideration stage, they decide which mattress would meet their needs and fit the bed.

At this stage, provide how-to videos and instructions, justify why your solution is worth considering, and link to well-structured product pages. It will transfer people to the next stage.

Decision stage

At the decision stage, a couple compares mattresses with specific properties in different shops based on the quality-to-price ratio. They are finally ready to buy.

Help ensure the smooth checkout process at your online shop by emailing to confirm the order and email notifications to update the delivery status.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that the buyer journey is finished. If everything goes right, people will return to you with any issues your business can solve.

Now that you know the stages, you need to find out how to combine them and create a buyer journey strategy.

How to build a buyer journey strategy?

Developing your business's buyer journey is about stepping into your customers’ shoes, so focus on the next best practices to achieve that goal.

  1. Develop your buyer persona. Find out what barriers may stand in buyers' way that your product or service may solve. Analyze your customers’ age, location, and gender. It will give you options for personalization and segmentation.
  2. Analyze your audience's behavior. Using Google Analytics or email campaign statistics, point out common user behavior patterns. Pay close attention to the stage where they leave you.
  3. Create targeted content. Consider crafting different types of content to meet various needs, challenges, and preferences. When sending content, pay attention to topics and products relevant to your potential customers. You can conduct a short research to help you identify leads’ browsing history and products viewed. This way, you’ll be able to deliver content subscribers need. Ensure you have all the necessary content for each stage of your buyer journey, encouraging conversions.
  4. Develop a content calendar. Map out the content and time when you need to share it with your audience. Consider creating a content calendar containing all this information so you can send your email campaigns, SMS, and chatbot messages promptly and at the right buyer journey stage. You can use a marketing solution like SendPulse to schedule your email campaigns, SMS, or chatbot messages and send them on autopilot effortlessly.
  5. Optimize content for SEO. Consider conducting keyword research to find out what keywords your target audience uses at different buyer journey stages. Use these keywords when writing your blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and other content to make people find it faster. You should also add relevant keywords to your titles, meta descriptions, and internal links.
  6. Use marketing automation. Use email workflows to send follow-up emails to share content that will move a user to the next stage. Depending on the first touchpoint with the user, it’s a good idea to send a series of welcome emails. With behavioral triggers, you can send messages containing relevant content and offers subscribers are interested in.
  7. Use a CRM system. With its help, you can track the path of each of your clients. The SendPulse CRM allows you to store personal information about the clients and the history of their interactions with your brand, handle orders, monitor the progress of each transaction, and launch marketing campaigns on one platform. This way, you can create an effective sales funnel and speed up the deal-closing process.
  8. Motivate for further relationships. Don’t abandon the user after the purchase. Share valuable content via emails, SMS, chatbots, or any other channel convenient for them.
  9. Collect feedback. After communicating with customers, you need to understand what works well and what doesn’t with your company, website, and product. You can do it by gathering feedback from your customers. Consider asking customers for their reviews at different buyer journey stages to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your support, user experience, email campaigns, automated messages, etc. This information will hint at where to look when incorporating improvements.
  10. Improve your strategy. Collect all customer feedback and use it to your advantage. Pay attention to the comments and suggestions when considering optimization for your company. Data analytics tools will also help you move in the right direction.

Since the buyer journey can differ slightly for B2B and B2C companies, we need to pay attention to this topic. In the next section, we’ll discover the main differences between them.

B2B and B2C Buyer Journey

Different businesses target different customers, and sometimes, these customers are business clients who need to be treated differently during their buyer journey. That’s why we’ve created a table that contains all these peculiarities to consider.


B2B Buyer Journey

B2C Buyer Journey

Decision makers Business clients and stakeholders (managers, executives, purchasing committees) Individual customers, colleagues, or family members
Sales Cycle A long and complicated process requiring company reps to communicate with decision-makers for months or even years, depending on the product Short and faster than a B2B buyer journey, usually completed within minutes, hours, days
Decision criteria Suitability of a product to requirements, ROI, company reputation, and total cost of ownership Price, quality, brand reputation, trustworthiness, emotional appeal, and customer feedback
Communication channels Professional social media like LinkedIn or Facebook, offline industry events, or professional webinars Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, search engine advertising, email campaigns, etc.
Purchase goals Needs and goals of a specific business as well as ROI Immediate solution to problems and needs and customer satisfaction
Relationships Long-term partnership with future perspectives, relationship-based buyer journey Instant customer satisfaction and convenience, transaction-driven buyer journey
Type of research customers do before taking action Detailed research focusing on various points, including consultations, product comparisons, and demonstrations Quick research covering product reviews, ratings, and friends’ recommendations
Content and interaction Detailed, educational content emphasizing product benefits, providing case studies, and estimating ROI Engaging and interactive content, focusing on product perks and reviews, establishing an emotional connection with the target audience
Content types Case studies, webinars, free demos, ROI calculators, webinars, and more Posts on social media networks, blog posts, articles, influencer social media posts, product reviews, user-generated content
Post-purchase communication Dedicated managers, instant support, training, and relationship management

Follow-up messages through email campaigns, SMS, chatbots, loyalty and referral programs, and personalized recommendations

Now that you know the key differences between B2B and B2C buyer journeys, you should take a look at the examples provided. They will help you figure out what you need to do at each stage of the buyer journey to drive conversions.

Buyer Journey Examples

Besides reading the theory, you should review some examples to understand how the buyer journey works with real brands and products. In this section, you’ll find some great examples of different stages of the buyer journey. So, let’s dive in.

Cali Tiger — Sponsored Content for Awareness Stage

Cali Tiger educates potential buyers about its brand and products using sponsored content on Instagram. When users are interested in such products, they will find the ad while scrolling their news feed. Users can follow the link to explore the company’s Instagram profile and the products it offers or instantly proceed to the “Shop Now” button to take action. The “Buy one, get one free” promo entices prospects to take the desired action faster.

Brevo — Product Comparison for Consideration Stage

For the consideration stage, Brevo uses a comparison table to help customers choose its services over others. The company demonstrates how much money a business can save when selecting Brevo over Mailchimp. Users can check out the number of contacts they can interact with and the price of using Brevo and Mailchimp. This can be one reason potential customers prefer subscribing to Brevo’s paid plan.

MAC — Limited-Time Offers for Decision Stage

MAC cosmetics helps potential customers take the desired action by providing enticing offers. These best deals usually have countdown timers, encouraging fear of missing out and more conversions. The company sends these offers using email campaigns and allows subscribers to simply click the call to action button and proceed to the checkout page.

Congrats! Now you know what the buyer journey is and how it differs from the customer journey. You also have a guide on creating a buyer journey and some excellent examples to get started. Hope that they will serve as a hint into developing an effective buyer journey and marketing strategy.

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