According to SeriusDecisions up to 67 percent of the buyer’s journey now occurs digitally. This means your audience is spending the majority of their time interacting with digital content that you created or someone created about you or your industry. This makes the buyer journey much more complex and much harder to control.
With so much information available online from vendors, brands, magazines, analysts and review sites, of course buyers can do a lot of research on their own. But it also represents a risk for confusion and for moving back and forth between steps in the buyer’s journey as new information is consumed or offered.
But it gets even more challenging: You must engage with your anonymous audience right from the start – while they are still anonymous. It sounds daunting, but there is a solution: the dynamic buyer’s journey funnel.
The Digital Buyer Journey Gap
Most of your online audience is anonymous and, until they convert and join your database, they will continue to stay that way. So how can you be sure that buyers take you into consideration when they are doing their anonymous online research prior to contacting you? Conventional online marketing typically neglects that phase of the process – the time between when your audience finds you (aka the Awareness stage) and the time they become known to you.
According to ParDot, even in the Consideration phase, once buyers identify the short list of vendors to consider working with, 70 percent of B2B buyers will return to Google at least two or three more times for more research.
This means two key things:
- The buyer journey tends to be much more dynamic now. Buyers move back and forth between phases based on the latest information they have found.
- Being more dynamic, the buyer journey interactions with your owned media can be much more fragmented and less uniform, where different individual buyers consume different content pieces from your marketing content as part of their online journey.
You now need to take extra steps to make sure that you can support a dynamic online journey that includes moving back and forth, up and down the funnel. You need to offer each person the most relevant content to support their individual buyer journey. Anything short of that means you don’t have the best possible chance to stay in the final consideration set with your audience.
If the buyer moves from the digital research phase to becoming a known prospect and having a dialogue with sales, things become a bit easier. You can use nurturing, marketing automation or a CRM to extend your relationship with that person. However, there is still a chance that this person will read something new about you online that will shift them backwards in the buyer journey or push them in a new course of direction online. In both cases, however, you will not be able to respond to this quickly enough without the right tools in place.
Creating A Dynamic Buyer’s Journey Funnel
To create a dynamic funnel that can address buyers that move back and forth and consume your content un-uniformly, consider these must-have elements:
Use intelligent profiling and tracking for various parameters of individual visitors so that you can take into consideration all of their interests and behaviors. This gives you a better profile of the anonymous visitors and enables you to respond with the best possible targeted content offer. Look for solutions that target individuals versus segments or personas. Parameters might include visitor behavior, crowd behavior and textual hints such as content read or search engine keywords.
Setting and managing rules or loading content manually is virtually impossible to sustain over time, especially in complex buyer journeys that are dynamic. Consider only solutions that can do the profiling automatically and discover your content automatically.
Analytics & Insights
Anonymous visitors comprise 95-99% of your traffic – a group for whom you don’t typically have solid analytics. Now add on top of that the dynamic behavior of the modern buyer. With the right anayltics capabilities, you can tap into the buying patterns of this huge audience group and leverage that information to generate more business
Cross Channel, Across Every Interaction
Make sure to engage your audience with the most compelling offers on every digital interaction (blog, website, landing pages), across behaviors (browsing, researching, bouncing) and across devices (mobile, tablet, desktop). There is always a second chance to engage your anonymous visitors, it’s just a matter of offering the right content to the right individual at the right time.
Last but not least, be sure you can consolidate control and reporting to have a full picture of your buyers’ behaviors before and after they become known to you.
To learn how BrightInfo can help you manage the anonymous visitor relationship read this mini case study to learn how Seculert increased online content conversions by 30 percent in less than 20 minutes.