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Buyer Journey Mapping: How to Create One

October 31, 2022

Karen Chandler

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What is a client journey map?

A client journey map, also called a user experience journey map or buyer journey map, is a name for the process of defining and mapping out the journey or steps that your consumers go through. This process goes from your customer finding your product or service through to purchase.

Why do we need buyer journey mapping?

An effective buyer journey map can help you understand your target consumers’ needs and wants. Understanding their requirements better allows you to improve your processes and identify things that may be difficult or could run smoother.

7 steps of the complex customer journey map

There are many things to consider when creating a buyer journey map and certain factors to take into account. The following things need to be considered in order to cover all problems and examine all types of buyers and possible situations, here are the 7 steps of the buyer journey map.

1. Decide your buyer journey mapping persona type

Creating a buyer persona is essential when creating a product or service, this process puts everyone in the business on the same page, with the same end goal.

You need to have a buyer in mind to effectively target individuals to gain consumers that will need and want your product or services. Creating a buyer persona should be the first step before outlining your buyer journey map; this ensures a seamless and successful end-to-end user journey. It’s also important to add goals and difficulties so you can overcome these potential obstacles.

Factors in a persona type include age, location, gender, job title, events they attend, and interests. One example of a buyer persona type could include:

A female living in London, she is 26 and likes the theatre, cooking, and rock gigs. She works in marketing from home and owns one dog. Her goals include creating engaging and easy-to-understand marketing campaigns, and she struggles with finding one at a suitable price that is simple to use.

From this, you can then work out how your service can overcome these problems, such as having a lower-cost design template to use than your competitors, with tools that are easy and simple to navigate, avoiding complications.

Another example could include more specific traits of a buyer persona. For instance, as well as the basic demographics you can add questions that narrow down your persona into a more specific example. Some questions include ‘What obstacles do you encounter frequently when looking for a marketing tool?’ and ‘What makes you, as a consumer, happiest and why?’. Then you can aim to answer these questions to eradicate any future concerns other consumers may have.

2. Identify what problems could arise from these buyer types

There’s always a risk of problems becoming apparent during the buyer journey map. This could be because buyer personas are specific, and so it can be difficult to suit each buyer’s needs.

3. Work out how we can combat these issues

The great thing about a buyer persona is that once issues have been identified from creating different target consumers, you can tweak your customer journey map to come up with effective solutions.

4. Ask yourself, do other companies compete for this?

It’s a good idea to list other companies that offer a similar product or service, then see what solutions they offer their consumers. You can view their solutions and see how they compare to yours, conduct a competitor analysis, or review to clearly identify differences.

5. Explore what you can do differently

Once you have outlined the differences between you and your competitors, ask yourself some questions your buyer will have when they search for each of these competitors. For example ‘does this company offer a free version or trial?’. Use the analysis conducted to spot gaps in the market that you can offer your consumers as a unique selling point.

6. Map out the buyer’s journey

Now is the time to refer to the 3 stages of the buyer journey map, but what are the three stages of a buyer journey map?

Awareness stage

The awareness stage involves your consumers experiencing issues or problems, however, they are unable to identify what the issue is. The seller’s aim here is to address these problems and identify what can be done to resolve them. This could include visual infographics, informative content or guides, and questionnaires.

Consideration stage

The consideration stage takes place once the individual finds out the problem and starts researching how to solve it. This stage is just as important as the other stages, however often gets overlooked by businesses. It is a great chance to create detailed content that answers all of the questions your consumer might have, this can be created based on the factors learned within the awareness stage.

Decision stage

The decision stage starts once the approach has been agreed upon. You can promote your service or product at this stage and show how you responded to issues and solved them. This allows the person to choose you and make their final buying decision. For example, if someone is looking for a restaurant near them, they may also be looking for a restaurant that has disabled access and vegan options.

7. How to use a customer journey map to create new content

Now that you have successfully identified where your existing content or solution fits into your buyer’s journey, you can now look into fixing any gaps that have been discovered in the previous stages.

It’s sometimes recommended to work backward from the end of the journey to the beginning, this ensures you always have the next step and can spot discrepancies with how the user got to that stage. For example, a user can’t get to step 4 without step 3, and so on, it ensures that for every new step or content piece you create, you already have the next step to direct to.

Always refer back to your client journey map

You should keep referring back to your buyer journey map to ensure each piece of new content touches on all of the questions and difficulties raised when creating the map.

If you need help understanding your journey map and want advice on consumer marketing, get in touch with Nepa today.