Buyer Journey and User Journey: Understanding the Differences to Master Your Marketing Strategy

Two different concepts

The Buyer Journey, sometimes called “Customer Journey”, means the purchase journey. It is a natural and instinctive process, in which a buyer researches, informs himself and then decides to make the purchase that seems the most relevant to him according to his needs and problems.  

The User Journey, on the other hand, refers to the purchase experience. The result is the same, since in the end the buyer makes a purchase. But here the route is guided from the outside via a defined strategy, and not instinctive as in the case of the Buyer Journey.  

To master your marketing strategy, increase the generation of traffic on your blog or social networks, you must distinguish between these two concepts. 

The stakes of the buyer journey

The Buyer Journey is a key piece in the development of an inbound marketing strategy. By mastering this concept, you can intervene in the purchase process from its beginnings, and thus influence the buyer until its final decision.  

The earlier the business-buyer relationship is established in the process, the more likely you are to retain the buyer’s attention and favors 

Key differences to know

The buyer journey already exists, while the user journey must be created  

As we saw just before, the Buyer Journey is a purchase journey that is carried out on the sole initiative of the buyer. It is he who sees a need and then starts the purchase process.  

This does not mean that you have no role to play, quite the contrary! 

Knowing the steps of the purchase journey, from the awareness of the need to the final purchase decision, allows you to know where, when and how to position yourself. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, your goal will be to lead the buyer to choose your products or services.  

There are differences depending on the context (B2B or B2C), but you can always rely on the three main steps defined by HubSpot, a software and marketing expert.  

The three main steps:  

To better understand the three stages of the Buyer Journey, imagine the case of a company’s website that generates little traffic.   

  • Awareness: The Marketing Director realizes that the website is producing unsatisfactory results. Before making decisions, it must already understand where the problem comes from and how to solve it. He will therefore learn about the different solutions and approaches available on the market.  
  • Reflection: At this stage, the marketing manager has discovered different methods to generate traffic, but there is still a lack of knowledge. He therefore refines his searches via more precise keywords, such as “content marketing”, “SEO” or “Inbound marketing”.  
  • Decision: The Marketing Manager is now aware of the available solutions and has weighed the pros and cons of each. He can then choose the one that seems most relevant to him. This is the last step, where he will compare the different offers on the market to make his final decision.  

Content for each step  

The “Awareness” and “Reflection” stages both involve research, but the content is not the same. For the first stage, more general content is expected. The buyer does not yet master all the subtleties or vocabulary. While in the second stage, he became familiar with different concepts and is now looking for more precise content. 

Once all the steps of the purchase journey are known and analysed, you can invite yourself into each of them! How do we do that?  

Let’s keep the example of the marketing director and his site that does not generate enough traffic. Imagine that you are proposing solutions to improve the traffic of professional websites. 

You can reach this potential customer by offering for example blog articles that address these issues. When he does research, he will naturally come upon you, at a stage where he is not yet in the buying process. It allows you, in a way, to plant a seed in his mind.  

It’s up to you to use your resources effectively so that once on your blog, this potential customer will discover your solutions and choose you rather than a competitor at the time of their decision.