According to SeriusDecisions up to 67% 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 buyer journey steps as new information is consumed or offered.
But it gets even more challenging:
You must engage with your anonymous audience right from the start (and while they are still anonymous) – because you can’t afford otherwise.
The digital buyer journey gap
It’s common knowledge that most of your online audience is anonymous and stays this way. So how can you be sure buyers take you into consideration when they are doing their anonymous online research and before they contact you? Conventional online marketing typically neglects that phase of the process – the time between when your audience finds you (AKA Awareness) and the time they become known to you.
According to ParDot, even in the Consideration phase, once buyers identified the short list of vendors to consider working with, 70% of the buyers will return to Google at least 2-3 times for more research.
This means 2 key things:
The buyer journey can be much more dynamic now, where your 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 (website, blog, landing pages…) can be much more fragmented and less uniform, where different individual buyers consume different content items 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. You need to offer each person with 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.
Obviously if the buyer moves from the digital research to becoming a known prospect and having a dialogue with your Sales things are 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 take them back in the buyer journey or shift them to 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-journey funnel
To create a dynamic funnel, which can automatically address buyers that move back and forth and consume your content un-uniformly, consider these must-have elements:
Content Targeting. Use intelligent profiling and tracking as many parameters of the individual visitor so that you can take into consideration all of their interests and behaviors. This way you get a better profile of the anonymous visitors and respond with the best possible targeted content offer. Look for solutions that target individuals vs. segments or personas. Parameters might include visitor behavior, crowd behavior, textual hints such as content read or search engine keywords.
Automation. 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 and 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 a 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, or even when they leave your website as they haven’t found what to do next) 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 and show it to the right individual at the right timing…
Integrations. Last but not least, be sure you’ll be able to consolidate control and reporting so you can 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 “Learn how Seculert increased online content conversions by 30%.”