you know

Our respondents are clear: buyer behaviour has seen a seismic shift. And the interesting part? Where you focus your creativity makes a huge difference to results.

Question 01

To what extent has audience engagement increased or decreased in your marketing comparing 2021 to 2020? (answers for net increased)

Question 02

How has audience behaviour impacted the following over the last 12 months? (answers for net more frequently)

Expert Perspective:

How is the buyer journey changing – and how can marketers respond?

Judy Wilks

International ABM and Executive Content Lead, Autodesk

For a good few years now, we’ve seen the sales cycle becoming much longer and more complex, with many more people involved. The funnel is completely squiggly these days, so it’s no surprise that people are dropping out at odd times; they’re probably going two steps forward, and one step back.

Ideally, if someone’s going to drop out, you want them to do it at the beginning, before you’ve invested loads of time in them. You want to look at the data and ask if there’s a pattern, and figure out what’s happening.

There are a lot of statistics showing how far people are through their journey now before they even want to talk to you as a company. So it’s about having the right content out there for them to self-select what interests them – whether that’s something really technical, or a case study, or some thought leadership. It’s about being able to offer a whole gamut of stuff, so they can pick and choose.

“The funnel is completely squiggly these days, so it’s no surprise that people are dropping out at odd times.”

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Chapter 07: Key Findings

Significant changes are happening throughout the customer journey. At every stage we asked about, a clear majority of respondents reported a change in buyer behaviour.

This change becomes even more apparent when you compare this year’s findings with last year’s results. The proportion saying customers are responding to different content types has increased. So has number saying they’re getting more leads – and those leads are converting most often – and that renewals and upsell frequency has improved. In fact, all these indicators have increased between 25% and 59%.

The proportion saying potential clients are dropping off the sales cycle at different times is also up by a half, year on year (from 51% to 77%).

And here’s the cool bit: the results show the creative investments you make will significantly affect your chances of success.

Respondents who put creativity into enhancing customer journeys were 12% less likely to see prospects fall off the sales cycle. Those who prioritised creative customer advocacy were 11% more likely to have seen an increase in leads. And creative investments in tactical promotions saw uplifts in both lead conversion frequency (12%) and renewals and upselling (10%).

The evidence is clear: focused creativity moves business levers.

More than 50% of respondents say their audience engagement has increased this year.

But more than 75% also say customers are dropping off the sales cycle at different times.

81% are getting leads more frequently than a year ago.