Customer Journey Vs. Buyers’ Journeys: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Tom Davis on August 03, 2021

There’s no doubt about it, marketing terms are confusing for us inside the industry - let alone those outside of it. While marketing terms and buzzwords are often used interchangeably, there’s generally vast differences in what they actually mean.

Two phrases that are commonly used interchangeably but are completely different are the buyers’ journey and the customer’s journey.

In this blog, The Brit Agency is going to explore what both of these phrases mean, why they are so important to your B2B Inbound Marketing strategy and how they are different from each other. 

So, let’s get started with the buyers’ journey.

What is the buyers’ journey?

The buyers’ journey is the process that a customer goes through in order to purchase a product or service from your company. It’s their entire journey from researching their problem, finding potential solutions to solve it, and then choosing one of those solutions.

The buyer’s journey is broken down into three stages; awareness, consideration, and decision. Here’s what each of those stages mean.

Awareness: The buyer is experiencing a problem or pain point, and they are looking for information to understand and name their issue.

Consideration: Now that the buyer has a clearly defined name for their problem, they have started to research and understand all of the methods that could solve the problem.

Decision: The buyer has decided what solution they want to use to fix their issue, now they are comparing a list of available brands to make their final purchase decision. 

Why is the buyers’ journey important?

The buyers’ journey gives your brand the information it needs to create the right content that helps prospects move through their buyers’ journey seamlessly. By mapping the buyers’ journey, your business will be able to understand the process that customers go through to select a product, helping you to better solve their problems by providing them with the right information.

By creating the right content at the right time, you can provide valuable resources that answer your potential customers' questions right when they have them. 

Want to learn more about this process? Check out our blog, Content Mapping: Creating a Link Between Buyer Personas and the Buyer Journey.

What is the customer’s journey?

Unlike the buyers’ journey that focuses on prospects, the customer journey is a process that strengthens the relationship that your brand has with existing customers in an effort to ensure they are more loyal to your brand and to increase customer lifetime value (CLV).

The customer journey focuses on targeting existing customers with post-purchase content that enhances their experience as a customer of your brand. The aim is to improve customer retention rates.

By making all of the experiences a customer has with your brand delightful, even after they’ve made their purchase, and you will increase the likelihood that a customer will buy your products or use your services again in the future. 

Why is the customer journey important?

Did you know that it costs up to five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one? Meanwhile, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent can increase profits from anywhere between 25 percent and 95 percent (Harvard Business Review). 

These figures show just how important it is for your business to think about the customer journey.  If you don’t focus on the customer journey, your business is missing a huge opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty and grow revenues. 

What’s the difference between the buyers’ journey and the customer’s journey?

So to summarize, the buyers’ journey is about the steps a prospect goes through to come to a purchasing decision, while the customer’s journey is a strategy used to retain customers after they have already made a purchase with your brand.

The buyers’ journey focuses on creating content that nurtures a prospect through their decision-making process - answering the questions they have at the exact moment that they have them. 

Once they have gone through the buyer journey and have become a customer, your customer journey strategy will kick in. This is where you will focus on establishing customer loyalty and retention, ensuring your customers continue to buy your products or services in the future. 

Both of these strategies focus on valuable content that genuinely help your prospect or customer with the answers they are looking for.

Want to learn more about how content can be used to improve your buyers’ journey and customer journey strategies? Get in touch with The Brit Agency today. Our team of Inbound Marketing and content specialists would love to help.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Customer Experience