B2B Buyer's Journey

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey in Marketing

In most cases, with the exception of impulse buys, an individual begins their journey in an “unaware stage.” This individual likely fits the demographics of your ideal client, also known as your buyer persona, but they are unaware of your product or in need of it.

However, they may experience a triggering event that changes their situation or pain that needs to be solved. This kicks off their buyer’s journey, a key component of the B2B digital marketing playbook.

The buyer's journey

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, the buyer is experiencing a problem or symptoms of a pain, and their goal is to alleviate it. They may be looking for informational resources to more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem.

An example of a search query a prospect might begin with is: "How do I improve my B2B Lead Generation?" In the awareness stage, they are not yet thinking about solutions or providers. Instead, they’re looking for information on their problem first. They are defining their problem and weighing it's priority against other issues facing the company.

B2B buyers journey - the awareness stage

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, the buyer is committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches and/or methods to solving the defined problem or opportunity. In other words, they are considering potential solutions.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the consideration stage is: "What’s better: Google Ads or LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation?" In the consideration stage, the prospect is not yet ready to buy, but they are deciding on the potential solution for them.

B2B Buyer's Journey - the consideration stage

Decision Stage

Once they’ve progressed to the decision stage, the buyer has decided on their solution strategy, method, or approach. Their goal now is to compile a list of available companies that offer solutions, make a short list, and finally make a purchase decision.

An example of a search inquiry a prospect would make at the decision stage is: "B2B Lead Generation Companies" Now they’re ready to spend money, and they’ll likely go with a provider that they like, know, and trust so long as that provider can meet their needs.

B2B Buyer's Journey - the decision stage

Map your Buyer's Journey

Mapping your buyer's journey will guide you in your keyword research. You may want to target the very bottom of the funnel, right at the moment of making a decision. In B2B lead generation, this can get expensive, fast. This is where most of your already established competitors are and CPCs (cost per click) can be exorbitant. We've seen CPC close to $1000 per click for some highly sought after keywords. You're probably going to pay a lot less than that.

Here's a link to HubSpot's template for mapping the buyer's journey. You don't need to complete every template, slide 5 will get you thinking about you're buyer's journey as they move through the marketing funnel. Start there.


B2B Buyer's Journey: Goals and Touchpoints

This comprehensive view of the B2B Buyer's Journey shows the goals and touchpoints used to engage your prospect. It contains slightly different terminology. In this case:

  • Awareness Stage = Trigger
  • Consideration Stage = Review
  • Decision Stage = Purchase Decision
B2B lead generation strategies
B2B buyer's journey

B2B Buyer's Journey: Types of Content for Each Stage

The Awareness Stage:

  1. Blog Post
  2. Whitepaper
  3. How-To Video
  4. Webinars
  5. Ebook or Tip Sheet
  6. Social Media Posts

The Consideration Stage:

  1. Comparison Guide
  2. Case Studies
  3. Checklists
  4. Explainer Videos

The Decision Stage:

  1. Free Trial Offers
  2. Coupon
  3. Live Demo
  4. Consultation Offer
  5. Email Marketing

Matching the:

Content to the stage in the buyer's journey you want to target, along with the content your buyer persona likes to consume is where the magic happens.

Digital marketing strategies - what content does your audience respond to?

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