I’ve lapsed on the Buzzword Friday feature, so it’s time to resume it. Today’s buzzword, or to be more correct, buzzphrase, is: “The Buyer’s Journey.”
This one has taken over in marketing and sales technology circles. If you are a marketing or sales professional, you’d better have this one in your bag of tricks. It refers to how people search and purchase products, especially using online tools. The “Buyer’s Journey” is that winning marketing phrase that glamorizes the process of doing research before a business transaction.
I have news for you: It’s not nearly that glamorous. The real Buyer’s Journey means you’ve got your head down, slogging through a ton of data and a vetting process to buy a product.
Let’s take a look at the Buyer’s Journey in the wild.
Hubspot, one of the gorillas in the marketing software space, defines it as the “active research process a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase.” Hubspot even has this handy Buyers Journey cheat sheet.
The Buyers Journey has become popular in marketing technology circles, because you can track it. Customers leave a lot of trails on the Internet these days, and if you hook up your marketing materials and software collection process the right way, you can collect lots of information on various Buyer Journeys.
The marketing automation companies such as Marketo and Salesforce.com love the Buyer’s Journey because it implies that people will want more software to track this journey-like process. This, to a certain extent, is true.
But don’t be hoodwinked into thinking the Buyer’s Journey is like a trip to some exotic island paradise. It’s not. Mostly it’s about data, and information, and tracking it. Limit your discussion of Buyer’s Journey’s to marketing conferences and presentations, don’t bring it to the bar. It’s not going to get you a date, okay?
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey Through the Sales Cycle (Salesforce.com)
Marketing Content Isn’t King Without Buyer Relevancy (CMSWire.com)