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How to Evaluate and Benchmark Buyer Journey Velocity

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Marketers need to keep up with some things every day. Like monitoring specific campaigns, emails that people open, the call-to-action, the forms that people fill, the events attended, and so much more. In the midst of this, there are numerous measurements that we often tend to forget. But we have the primary marketing metrics that are highly effective. It will measure your result across the strategy. Buyer Journey Velocity is one such metrics.

In this blog, I will discuss more on the buyer journey conversions. It involves the purpose, application, technology, and benchmark.

Before we go further, consider the fact that linear buyer journey hardly ever takes place. Also, there are different paths that each contact goes through before they decide to purchase your product. For instance, a lead may read your blog’s content, subscribe to your newsletter, respond to your email nurturing campaigns and evaluate your products and services. Or a lead may attend a webinar, fill out the form, read a follow-up email, browse your website, and get a call from your sales team. From there, they convert to an opportunity.

I have mentioned two examples where both the leads are heading towards the same direction. However, they use different routes to get there.

I know it is important to understand the content and campaign that significantly impacts the customers on their buying journey. This brings us to the point that we need to have a crucial marketing metric- Buyer Journey Velocity. This metric will help in measuring the performance of a journey regardless of the path. So let us see in brief about Buyer Journey Velocity.

Buyer Journey Velocity

Marketers wonder how to track the progress as they head towards their preferred outcome. Others questions like how to align their communication so that it reaches their target audience at any point in the buyer’s journey also haunts them.

To do the above, have a journey tracking approach that is flexible. Use tools that measure the forward progress of contacts. Use tools that enable you to compare the campaign and communication impact to your journey status. The metric I am talking about is the buyer journey velocity, also known as the funnel velocity. You can measure the Buyer Journey Velocity by comparing the time in buying stage and the amount and content type consumption.

By measuring Buyer Journey Velocity, you will know the gridlocks in your sales and marketing process and their location. You can also determine the effectiveness of a campaign over different communication efforts with target segments. This is vital in helping you optimize your marketing ideas.

Starting your Buyer Journey Tracking

The first thing you need to do is to identify the standard stages of your buyer journey. This includes the pre-sale and post-sale setup. Look at your previous wins and define the marketing campaign that was the most effective. After this, work with your sales team to identify the different stages that were highly effective for the company. From there, you can create a buyer journey that is for the general public.

Buyer Journey Velocity is an essential marketing metric that helps you to spot the strengths and weaknesses of an approach so that you can make practical and targeted improvements. Click To Tweet

There are several instances where some audiences will need personal tracking. For such prospects, you can create specific journeys as time goes by. For typical products and lines of products, you can identify a collective journey.

Below I have mentioned a standard buyer journey example. We will review marketing scenarios that are basic. Through the review, we will know how Buyer Journey Velocity helps in identifying stages that have maximum marketing results.

Marketers need to identify the stages that resonate with their customers to move towards the planned outcome. You can monitor a customer’s progress only after they meet the first objective. For instance, after the first purchase as customers, you can measure how many times they repeat the purchase and the customer advocacy. The buyer journey can help sales teams to measure other things apart from customer acquisition. They can monitor the nurturing of the current relationship and also the creation of lifetime customer value (LCV).

After identifying the stages, the next step is to create campaigns and content that target conversions in these stages. Once you monitor results, you will realize that the content can have a residual or adjacent impact on the outcome of the target. What this means is that the content and campaign can influence other stages within the buyer journey. It can significantly impact the stages and surpass the initial set of goals.

Defining a baseline by benchmarking

By tracking the results, you will be leveraging this marketing metric; Buyer Journey Velocity. Use previous results to identify benchmarks. Buyer journey velocity is a marketing metric that can be specific to an industry or a company. Therefore, you will need to team up with your fellow marketing peers in the industry or company to establish a baseline.

As you define the benchmark, you have to define the conversion criteria. Ensure that the criteria are tightly knit with what defines the forward progression of the journey. With the right platform, you will have all the flexibility you need to identify the conversion criteria. You will have an appropriate specificity level while doing this. For instance, it can be particular digital actions like pages visited, and emails opened. It can also be targeted instructions like sales, score-based thresholds like scores achieved or the points of data collected.

If you define your buyer journey appropriately and the criteria for measuring the progress are realistic, you can start capturing customer interactions and results for the test period. An initial testing period will depend on the average buyer journey lifecycle. However, two or three months helps the marketing team to gain a starting idea of what is going on within the campaign. The data they get from this journey will help the team to identify the stages that take too long when compared to others.

Evaluation of the buyer velocity journey

The primary purpose of this marketing metric is to help the marketing team identify the average speed for the audience to flow towards the expected marketing outcome. Compare the time spent in a stage, the touches per stage, and the type of interactions. You will learn a lot about a campaign contribution. As a marketer, start at the stage level, and you will be able to compare the conversion rate to numerous marketing dimensions. This will help you note the working contributions, those that need improvements, and those that you should eliminate.

Marketers will be able to identify the content that performs highly, places with best content consumption, and areas to cut down unnecessary marketing expenses. Learn to cross-reference the stage, time spent there, and the number of successes that occur at different stages. This will help you identify interactions landscapes that are highly impactful, make a small impact, or takes too long.

The following comparisons and reports will help your case.

  • Average time spent in a stage
  • The contributions of a campaign by stage
  • The contributions of a channel by stage
  • The last touch by stage
  • The type of audience by time in stage whether industry audience type or otherwise

These are simple comparisons, yet they can give lots of insights into the performance. They can also identify the gaps in follow-up and maximize the investments in marketing communications plans. The content and campaigns that that are highly impactful will show you additional opportunities.

The number of touches for the delivery of a stage-level conversion is our last comparative value that relates closely to buyer journey velocity. It is imperative that one reflects on the investment they make on the forward velocity and not speed of conversation alone. Marketing requires a perfect balance between investments and results. Therefore, you have to determine the number of touches you need to get the outcome you desire.

Average touches for stage level conversion

Benchmarking is crucial for determining whether programs represent the maximum marketing mix. It is also essential for comparing efforts to results. When the buyer journey takes longer than average, identify touches within the journey that may be behind this or is routed to separate customer interaction.  This can be in sales touch or marketing touch.

Final thoughts

I am sure you understood the value and use of buyer journey velocity. There are many other opportunities for leveraging buyer journey velocity. Use the steps given above, and your team will be able to implement the best practice journey that is perfect for the audience and your objectives. With the funnel velocity in place and ability to track velocity and touches per conversion, your team will become more efficient.

You can also apply buyer journey velocity in account-based marketing. You can compare account-level velocity at any time. This comparison will give you an insight into the marketing campaign impact on driving revenue.

Buyer journey velocity is a key metric for your marketing and sales. It can optimize your campaigns and customer engagement. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, experiences, and comments concerning buyer journey velocity.

Pritha
Pritha Bose is the Marketing Content Specialist at Aritic where she writes and edits for their marketing and sales blog. She has an eye for details and likes to do in-depth research for her articles. In her free time, Pritha likes to travel and post pictures of beautiful locales on her Instagram profile. Follow her on Twitter @prithabose
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3 Comments
  • Brandon Price
    1 month ago

    Good work Pritha, as a marketer you must always be aware of a buyer journey velocity. Thanks a lot for putting a clear idea about it.

  • Ann Garcia
    3 months ago

    If a marketer avoids buyer journey velocity, then that person is missing out on a key metric for their marketing and sales. That can have a bad impact on the overall ROI. Surely your article helps in understanding this fact that most marketers forget to address.

  • Betty Bennett
    5 months ago

    I was aware of buyer journey velocity but had a very blurred idea about it. You have explained everything very well. Good work.

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