Monday, September 24th, 2012

Eyes Without a Face: Planning the Ultimate B2B Buyer Experience

Some things can’t be unseen. Several years ago at the Bodies exhibition, I was thoroughly surprised by what I saw. There, displayed before me under a glass on a viewing table was the entire human nervous system. It included the brain, the spinal cord and all nerves of the body, but it also featured something I wouldn’t have expected: a pair of unblinking, perfectly preserved and perfectly creepy eyeballs. The eyes were not presented as a separate sense organ; they were regarded as an integral part of our sensory nervous system that connects directly to the brain.

As established by Ed Tufte, “the godfather of data visualization,” the intelligence built into our sense of vision enables complex concepts, inordinate amounts of data or even interrelated cause-and-effect phenomena to become readily intelligible when expressed in a visual display.

What does this have to do with B2B marketing? In our practice of buyer experience planning, we use a visual diagram to capture the brand/buyer interaction over time, as well as multiple touchpoints with multiple dimensions of information. By covering how the buyer thinks and feels, and by recording what the buyer is doing at each brand touchpoint, we give our clients three distinct benefits in each infographic: We enable, establish and evaluate.

1. Our clients and agency teams are enabled to behold the behavior, thought patterns and sentiment of the buyer in a single unified artifact.

2. A foundation is established upon which we can rationalize an integrated marketing program.

3. The quality of a brand’s paid, earned and owned media can be evaluated in comparison to the type of buyer experience it can provide.

The infographic model is to B2B marketing what a building model is to architecture or a design prototype is to industrial design. The visual representation of the purchase decision cycle is a critical tool that enables brands to build their marketing efforts more accurately, leading to better results.

In an upcoming webinar, gyro is going to share some of the basic steps for creating the buyer journey. We’ll cover techniques to help your marketing organization accomplish these three objectives:

1. Understand buyer behavior, sentiment and thoughts.

2. Elevate campaign persuasion and trust across the buyer journey.

3. Establish your brand as a thought leader.

By applying the methodologies of the buyer journey, you’ll soon be seeing ordinary customers converted into customers for life.

Cristina Heise is Director of Buyer Experience at gyro Cincinnati.

Originally published at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network

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