Journey Map

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What Is a Journey Map?

A journey map or user journey map is a visual representation of the stages a persona will move through during the course of their relationship with your organization—and their content needs at each stage.

This is different from a task flow, which maps a journey through a specific task by showing how individual pieces of content connect. A journey map is more expansive: It shows how a customer moves from awareness to consideration to purchase and ultimately loyalty—including the questions they have along the way and all the content that helps them answer them. It’s therefore a useful tool for identifying gaps and opportunities for creating targeted, effective content. The journey depicted is alternately known as the purchase journey, buyer’s journey, customer journey, or user journey.

It’s important to note: The buyer’s journey doesn’t end at purchase! Subscription models are increasingly common in B2B, which means that the customer’s experience with a product continues beyond purchase. Businesses must continue to provide a positive content experience for regular users of a product so that they continue to come back.

Journey Mapping Elements

An effective map usually begins with a detailed buyer persona. From there, consider:

  • The user’s needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey
  • The content that can help fulfill those needs
  • The channels where they’re most likely to discover that content
  • The goals of your organization, or what you want the user to do

Different organizations will have different needs for journey mapping, so you’ll probably want to customize your map with additional criteria or information specific to your business. Once you’ve mapped these out, you’ll have a good idea of how to move a customer through the stages of the buyer’s journey and what content to create to help them advance to the next stage.

Mapping Examples

buyer journey stages overview graphic
Here is a high-level overview of the buyer journey and what to consider at each stage. These stages may vary from company to company based on the specific purchase process for that company.
More detailed view of journey stages
This journey map example zooms in on the awareness and consideration stages and explores triggers, user needs, content, channels, and outcomes at those stages.

Why Journey Maps Matter for B2B Marketing

Done properly, journey mapping is a valuable process that can reveal gaps and content needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This map is a foundational document that can be used to plan your organization’s content marketing around user needs. It allows you to understand the user, identify opportunities for targeted content, and build a cohesive content experience.

Journey mapping is particularly important in B2B situations because there are multiple people involved in the B2B buying process. Different personas influence the process at different points, so it’s important to understand which personas come into play when so that you can be sure you’re targeting the right audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

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