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29 May 2024
Marketing | 5 min read

What You Don’t Know About Your Buyer Journey Could Hurt You

Rockerbox - Maggie Tharp Written by Maggie Tharp
on May 29, 2024

How well do you understand the paths your customers take to convert? What are their common first, last, and middle touches? What are the fastest conversion paths? The highest value paths?

The answers to questions like these are key for optimizing your buyer journey, but many marketers don’t have this level of insight. But not through any fault of their own. The fact is it’s difficult to construct a complete picture of the buyer journey. But it does matter and it is still relevant to modern marketers.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the state of the modern buyer journey and why a lack of accurate insights could be hindering your marketing efforts—and of course, what to do about it.

Is the Traditional Buyer Journey Model Still Relevant?

Marketers are fond of periodically pronouncing various aspects of marketing obsolete—and the same goes for the traditional buyer journey—the awareness, consideration, and decision stages that mirror the sales funnel from the customer’s point of view. Some voices in the space claim this model was never helpful to begin with and others say it will never change, even as marketing evolves.

Opinions aside, what we do know is that modern buyer habits have changed. They:

Our take? Modern buyers are unpredictable, but digging into their journey and having a rough framework for how to categorize their touchpoints with your brand is helpful, even if not every individual will follow a defined path to purchase.

The point is, you can’t guess how your customers will act and you can’t be sure they’ll always fall into what looks like a straightforward awareness, consideration, decision cycle. That’s why it’s even more important to have a way to map out the actual steps they take to purchase.

Downsides to an Unclear Buyer Journey

Ok, so imagine that you ignored the buyer journey altogether. You only looked at the last touch that drove buyers to conversion and focused your efforts there. For crafting your larger strategy, you went on instinct or trends or the whims of your CEOs. What would the downside be?

First, considering buyers often have multiple interactions with your business before making a purchase, you would miss out on insight into all the different channels that impact a buyer’s purchase decision. You’d miss not only the channel that made them discover you, but also all the touchpoints between first and last touch that helped them determine that your company was the best option for their situation.

No measurement of the impact of your top of funnel channels means that it’s impossible to truly know what’s working or not among all your marketing channels. On top of that, you might be missing out on key chances to drive users down the funnel with mid-funnel tactics.  

You’d also risk over-use of a channel in the wrong stage—unknowingly hurting your marketing efforts. For example, if CTV is an awareness channel for you and your customers rarely convert directly from it, you would be way off base if you focused on hard sell CTV campaigns that drove users to purchase immediately after seeing the ad. Similarly, you’d be remiss to remove CTV from your strategy all together. These are core insights  you would be able to discover by looking at the data around your user journey—but how do you find and analyze that data?

Roadblocks in Creating a User Path to Conversion

Even if you’re fully on board with the importance of a clear user path to conversion, building one is often easier said than done. While ecommerce and digital sales have become simpler over the past decade, marketing measurement has only become more complex. Changes to where advertisements can be placed, who is allowed to collect data on marketing performance, how the collected data can be used, and where to find the insights makes it difficult to create and sustain a data-driven marketing approach.

To get a granular understanding of the customer journey and the customer, it’s necessary to have a first-party, user-level dataset. While this is fraught with difficulty if you’re trying to build your own solution, a company like Rockerbox can streamline the process.

Rockerbox’s Track product gives brands the tools, technology, and processes to create and own a first-party, user-level dataset that is designed to help them understand their marketing. This dataset powers Rockerbox’s Journey platform, which is loaded with helpful views to help you dig into the user journey.

Myth: The Loss of 3rd-Party Cookies Obscures the Buyer Journey

One thing that won’t hinder your efforts around building a view of the path to conversion is the loss of 3rd-party cookies. The idea that third-party cookies were or are essential for MTA is a myth. Historically, third-party cookies were primarily useful for retargeting ads but weren't necessary for most measurement purposes. Despite this, many early attribution companies relied on them, leading to misconceptions about their importance. In reality, the vast majority of ad spend channels, such as search, social, TV, and others, don't rely on third-party cookies for measurement.

Rockerbox’s approach to MTA and the buyer journey is built on first-party data and identity resolution systems. We use various methods, including first-party pixels, direct data partnerships with social platforms, and statistical methodologies like Synthetic Events to build a full picture of the user journey and path to conversion. This allows for full tracking of clicks and views and their impact on your bottom line across multiple channels.

Rockerbox Journey: User Path to Conversion Insights Like Never Before

So now you know how important (yet also difficult it is) to understand the path to conversion—what’s the next step? With Rockerbox, you can use our product to simplify the process of constructing a first-party, user-level dataset, and gain a greater understanding of the buyer journey than ever before. You can accomplish this through three of our products: Track, Collect, and Journey.

Collect and Track provide the data foundation necessary to get a full picture of the buyer journey and each individual channel's impact on conversions. Then Journey leverages each of these datasets in user-friendly UI views that help you:

  • Review the various paths your users take to conversion and uncover the most common ones, the highest earning ones, the fastest ones, and more.
  • Understand what role each of your channels plays in the funnel, and assess your marketing performance through that lens.
  • Understand the overlap between different channels in your strategy so you can make sure you’re making effective investments with no redundancy.

Get Next-Level Buyer Journey Insights With Rockerbox

Ready to finally understand the path your customers take to conversion? Explore Rockerbox for reliable data and a full picture of the buyer journey.

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