The Design of Buyer Experience


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The expression “monumental shift” is a powerful one.  It is filled with connotations that represent and implies transformational changes are occurring.  In the world of books we see the title of Shift as perhaps the new trendy title for business as well as personal self-help oriented books.  Two notable books in the business and self-help categories are Peter Arnell’s book Shift: How to Reinvent Your Business, Your Career, and Your Personal Brand on how to change your life and your business and Shift: Harness the Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers by Tibor Shanto and Craig Elias in which the authors make the case for timing and path dependency understanding to transform selling.  Both offer illuminating perspectives that will cause us to think differently.

In the global business and digital world of today, and particularly in B2B markets, a monumental shift is occurring in our percepts of buyer behavior and buyer strategy.  Such a shift is creating new buyer experience economics for buyers and sellers alike.  B2B buyers today desire the totality of end-to-end experience in addition to products and services that help them to meet goals and solve challenges.

These monumental shifts occurring are calling for organizations to think differently and to design buyer experiences that create long-term buyer retention and buyer loyalty.   As products and services are subjected to increasing entry into the level playing field we call commodity, differentiation is made in designing innovative buyer experiences.  In the Buyer Experience Innovation framework, the design of buyer experiences is one of its most important elements.  There are three central aspects to Buyer Experience Design that provide the necessary roadmap:

  • Confluence of Buyer Insights, Buyer Persona Development, and Buyer Experience Journey:  This is the bed rock of understanding that offers insight on whom your buyers are, the buying journey they take within their own organizations as well as yours and competitors, and the sequential views that are critical to understanding the current buyer experience.  In this series, I have presented the Seven Principles of Buyer Experience Journey Mapping and the Seven Stages of the Buyer Experience Journey as primers. 
  • Buyer Interaction Modeling: For every stage in the buyer’s journey, interactions that correlate to a buyer’s journey lead to successful buyer experience design.  Interaction modelings not only embodies the touchpoints encountered, such as web sites, channels, selling teams, and call centers, but involves modeling end-to-end processes that are designed to create adaptable buyer experience journeys for buyers who pull the levers on different paths to take.  Interaction modeling, as described in the brief Buyer Interaction Shapes Buyer Experience Design, allows for the ability to shape buyer interactions to the different buyer personas, channels, and industries.
  • Buyer Experience Ecosystem: Originally presented in the article The Four Elements of Buyer Experience Ecosystem Thinking, this aspect of Buyer Experience Design seeks to provide integrated thinking on four experience planes:

Relationship: the design of relational capability that directly correlate with the different relationship avenues that exist such as existing buyers, prospective buyers, and renewal buyers
Engagement: the design of direct, indirect, digital, and social engagement that not only enhances the buyer experience but helps buyers to move along the value-chain and create loyalty
Brand: integrated thinking on how to incorporate brand experience along the buyer experience journey and the buyer experience interaction model that is inclusive of strategies related to thought leadership, content marketing, public relations, sales messaging, and packaging
Technology: identifying enabling technology that enhance the overall buyer experience and can be inclusive of digital as well as social mediums for buyers, technologies related to sales enablement, marketing automation, demand generation, and interactive media technologies

Build blocks of buyer experince design Collectively, these three essential aspects represent the building blocks of Buyer Experience Design.   B2B executives in B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, and B2B Support know that a buyer transformation is occurring and that a “monumental shift” in the buyer-seller relationship is evident.  The recent advances in technologies related to the Internet, interactive digital media, and social media represent the coalescing “tipping point” that is shifting buyers to have expectations for improved experiential opportunities that have not existed before.  This “tipping point” is placing demands on businesses to not only provide high quality products and services but to also build an end-to-end circle of experience around them that creates a wall of loyalty.  To achieve buyer retention goals and keep buyers loyal, businesses today have an action plan: build and design buyer experiences that provides robust engagement and keeps buyers as a community within the walls of loyalty.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


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