Marketing Glossary / Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Map

Illustration representing customer journey maps

Illustration representing visualizing customer journey

While the following customer journey steps are described sequentially on this page, understand buyers loop back and forth between them as they:

  • Identify their business challenge(s)

  • Explore solutions

  • Discover helpful content and information

  • Gather vendor requirements and consensus internally

  • Get recommendations from bosses and colleagues before selecting a vendor


The customer journey map in each of the following sections illustrate how complex the process can be. Let’s take a closer look at each step in more detail.


Illustration representing awareness of business challenges, internal needs and requirements gathering, and brand/content discovery

Illustration representing exploring all possible solution providers and RFP development

Illustration representing vendor requirements gathering, content proposals to validate purchase decisions, peer recommendations and reviews

Illustration representing post-purchase customer experience optimization, account management and customer support, and happy customer brand loyalty and advocacy
Illustration representing optimizing the customer journey

Some common emotions that influence the start of a buyer’s journey may include the following:

  • Seeking better job security and finding a quick solution to boost sales or profits

  • Achieving self-actualization and the drive to find the right strategy, product, or service that highlights the team’s work and success

  • Improving employee job satisfaction by supporting internal resources and stretching smaller budgets

  • Feeling frustrated with current solution providers, services, or products

  • Experiencing uncertainty or doubt that a business can offer the right solution for their challenge


Illustration representing conversions, engagement, pageview, time spent, bounce rate, time of day, referrals, impressions, CTR, open rates, and leads generated

Knowing which social media message, ad format, or piece of content to deliver at the right time in a customer’s journey can be tricky at first.

Businesses should use campaign reporting and web analytics data to track buyer behavior throughout their journey to learn from and optimize the experience continuously. 

Through these reporting tools, B2B marketers can track the following:

  • Conversions: The percentage of people who buy something or complete an action after clicking on a targeted ad unit – to determine which formats and messaging work best for each step in the journey

  • Engagement: Including shares, likes, and comments on targeted ads and content for each step in the journey

  • Pageviews: How many people visited the web or content pages from organic search or specific channels

  • Time spent: Reading a targeted web or content page or watching a video ad

  • Bounce rate: How quickly people left the web or content page after landing on it

  • Time of day: Which ad placements and journey messaging work best at which time of day

  • Referrals: Sent to the web or content page from other sources (e.g., social media posts, shares, and emails) created for each step in the user journey map

  • Impressions: How many times target customers saw an ad format and message

  • Click-through rates: How many people clicked on targeted ad placements and formats

  • Open rates: The percentage of people who opened an email after they received it – to compare which types of messages resonated with each customer journey persona

  • Leads generated: From targeted content downloads and live event or webinar signups tailored to different steps in the customer journey

Using this data, businesses can optimize targeted ad placements and messaging (e.g., headlines, copy, and images), as well as content offers (e.g., ebooks and infographics) alongside A/B testing to boost customer engagement throughout the B2B buyer journey.

Marketers can also conduct user testing on websites, social media profiles, landing pages, and content pages to get real-person feedback from each target persona via speak-aloud walkthroughs.

This strategy helps businesses understand how each persona might begin their discovery journey, where they might go next, and what roadblocks or buying friction they may face.

Illustration representing integrating all channels

Illustration representing measuring ROI

Because customer journeys are complex, it can be challenging to accurately measure the success and ROI of a mapping and optimization strategy.

Using the web analytics and campaign reporting data mentioned earlier, businesses can start by comparing:

  • A change in time spent, along with bounce rates, on relevant content pages, landing pages, and videos targeted to specific points in the customer journey – both before and after optimization strategies are implemented
  • An increase in audience engagement (e.g., likes, comments, and shares) for different social media posts and company pages – before and after they were optimized for specific customer journey map steps

  • A boost in conversions and leads generated (via sales completed online, content downloads, or email and event signups) before and after specific campaigns, landing pages, and content pages were optimized for customer journey interactions and experiences

Another option is to measure the lift in brand awareness for ads and content targeted to the early stages of the customer journey. 

Many social and ad networks offer solutions to help businesses measure the brand lift (or increased awareness) from an ad campaign. They do this by surveying their users before, during, and after a campaign has run.

Some important brand lift metrics include:

  • Ad recall: Whether survey test group members recall seeing an ad in the past seven days

  • Aided awareness: How aware survey members are of a brand or product

  • Product consideration: How likely survey members are to consider a brand or product for their next purchase

  • Recommendation: How likely survey members are to recommend a brand or product for their next purchase

  • Brand familiarity: How familiar survey members are with a brand or product

  • Brand favorability: How favorably survey members view a brand or product

To learn how to conduct a brand lift study, refer to this post.

Illustration representing conducting brand lift surveys
Illustration of professionals shaking hands