Marketers know that the customer journey is more than a linear path. It's an intricate web of touchpoints, each with the potential to influence how someone feels about your brand.
The goal is to create an experience that starts with awareness and results in advocacy. But it can be challenging for marketers to know where their prospects are on this journey - and what they need next from you!
There are many stages in the marketing funnel. What's most important for marketers to understand is that consumers don't go through each stage at the same pace - they can bounce back and forth between them or get stuck somewhere along the way.
Marketers need to personalize their user experience based on what stage of the buying process a person might be in. That's why it is crucial to analyze visitor data and predict which stage of the buyer's funnel visitors are in - so you can personalize the experience accordingly!
This playbook has some great tips on how to do that.
Suppose you have a long purchase cycle and your prospects visit your website several times. In that case, you should personalize your website to prospective buyers so they receive relevant content and messaging at each stage of the marketing or purchase funnel.
Determine which services customers are most likely to want at each stage of the buying cycle. Then, based on their purchasing cycle, these customers should be segmented:
Awareness (Top of the Funnel): Potential customers are learning more about a product offering at this point. All outreach should emphasize how a product fills a need.
Consideration (Middle of the Funnel): If a customer is interested in a product, they will usually look at what competitors have to offer before deciding. This is the time to explain how a service differs from others and to provide customer testimonials.
Decision (Bottom of the Funnel): In this stage, the customer is ready to make a purchase. They frequently require a simple path to purchase or perhaps a special offer to create a sense of urgency.
Assessment of Choice: The buyer's journey does not end when they purchase, particularly in service-based industries. They will provide useful content regularly to help people make the most of their offerings and avoid losing them to competitors.
Since B2B sales can take a long time, the sales cycle can last several months. Each step of the funnel is critical and requires special attention.
Potential buyers want to understand what you do during the awareness stage and should have a "hook" to engage in a conversation. A clear value proposition and relevant social proof can frequently do the trick.
Visitors in the awareness stage are at the top of the funnel. So that it is safe to assume all first-time visitors will fall into this category. You could add additional conditions based on what makes sense for your business, but targeting all new visitors should be a safe bet to start.
To sum up, you can personalize the experience based on:
campaigns you're running for the top of the funnel
During the consideration or evaluation stage, buyers gain insight into how your product compares to competitors, how implementation will go, or how you will affect the workflow and KPIs of their larger team.
Making content available about how various stakeholders can use your product or highlighting a competitor comparison can be beneficial in this situation.
Returning visitors who have been identified with an email address, whether to sign up for your newsletter or to book a demo, are all intent signals that they are in the consideration stage.
This is a good starting point, however, you can make your audiences even more powerful by enriching these identified visitors and utilizing firmographic personalization.
You can personalize the experience for the middle of the funnel based on:
campaign data you're running for the middle of the funnel
email and newsletter data
page engagement and activities
Suppose you attract a large number of leads to your website and keep them engaged. You'd like to concentrate your efforts now on improving someone's experience at the final stage: the decision phase.
These are the people who have made it through, they have shown interest and invested the time to learn more about you, and you now need that closeness.
What the decision stage entails will differ from one company to the next.
To begin with, a visitor must be an identified lead to be considered at the bottom of the funnel.
ROI information or calculators could be beneficial as the prospect seeks budget approval during the decision phase.
You can use the following signals to personalize the decision stage experience for prospect customers:
email and newsletter data
click and conversion events
The more personalized your user experience is for the stage of the buying process a person might be in, the less friction you will have to overcome.
This type of personalization can help reduce customer drop-offs and increase conversions - but it requires some work on your end!
You need to analyze visitor data (and not just engagement metrics) and predict which stage each visitor may be in so that they get given an appropriate message at the right time. Last but not least, by personalizing the experience, you can:
increase brand awareness for the top of the funnel
increase the engagement level for the middle of the funnel
increase the conversion rate for the top of the funnel