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The Journey: Just how dark is the anonymous journey?

In this edition of The Journey newsletter, we’re about to shine a light on the dark buyer journey. More specifically, we’ll share data about how many touch points, sessions and page reads do buyers actually go through before sharing their real contact information.

Flying Blind

A 2022 Gartner CMO survey found that 67% find that orchestrating buyer journeys today is significantly more complex and difficult than just a few years ago. It’s a bit puzzling considering that marketers today have so much more data and access to technology than a few years ago.

One explanation for this increased difficulty is changes in the way buyers, well, buy. We’ve been discussing the Consumerization of the B2B buyer journey at our recent presentation at the Gartner Marketing Symposium last week. You can view a recording of the session below.

Linkedin research shows that only 25% of B2B buyers say that they’re willing to share details to access interesting content. We’re preventing people engaging with our content even when they find the content engaging. Our data shows that the current figure is closer to 9% and even that is only after several sessions and some basic trust has been established.

The Darkness Illuminated

Let’s cut to the chase – on average, 91% of people visiting your website from identified companies stay completely anonymous! 

Every company has on average 2 focal points visiting your website during the buying process. One of them will probably remain anonymous even if the deal is finalized. 

When we compare the journeys on Known vs. Unknown visitors we see the following:

  • Known visitors visit 3 times more web pages compared to unknown visitors
  • Known visitors consumes 3 times more content compared to unknown visitors (*actually reads the pages)
  • Known visitors spend almost twice as sessions on your website compared to unknown visitors

Reading In The Dark

We see that over 85% of the journey of known users is anonymous. That means that out of the 4 sessions, 3 of them were in the dark. 6 out of the 7 of the pages they read were done in the cozy comfort of their anonymity. 

The Light At The End Of The Funnel

So what is the most effective way to get your visitors to reveal themselves and openly communicate with you?

The truth is that your buyers don’t want to stay in their anonymity forever. They just want you to give them a good reason to get closer… In other words, they need to trust you. Our best advice here is to establish trusting relationships between you and your buyers.

Build value paths

One proven way to build trust is to provide genuine value without requesting anything in return. 

According to Gartner’s research, learning has the biggest contribution in converting B2B journeys. This means that prospects are more likely to buy if you make them understand something new about themselves and how to accomplish their own goals.

As we always recommend to our customers, guide, rather than gate. Yup, these are tough habits to break, especially with the ongoing pressure to generate a constant inflow of leads. Marketers now realize that in a buyer-led world, just like a partner in a delicate dance, they have to follow their buyers’ lead rather than force them through artificial cattle chutes.