According to the wisdom of this episode's guest, Pam Didner, the customer journey is best approached by B2B marketers not from the customer's perspective but from consideration of the touchpoints they, the marketers, have control over.

Otherwise, she says, it's easy to become overwhelmed and confused.

"All of us have thousands of paths or options of journeys that we go through before we make a purchase decision," she explains. "The thing that you need to look at as a marketer is what is in your control and how can you craft the journey that you can guide people through."

It starts by asking questions. "You ask...what do they do? They probably search, they probably talk to people, they probably just go ask around."

For every possible way, you write them down, this is what they would do. Then you ask, What would they do next?"

No matter how many touchpoints you start with, there's almost always a convergence point, and that is where you focus your efforts, Pam says.

She also dives deep into the metrics of success, passing the baton between Sales and Marketing, and letting go of what you can't control.

Watch the video for more valuable insights:

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Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 17

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

Transcript: B2B Marketers, the Customer Journey, and Sales, With Pam Didner

Hello to all my marketing smarts live viewers. Today, I'm super excited to bring you episode 17 of the marketing Smarts Live show. This week's topic is all about B2B marketers, the customer journey, and sales.

And our guest is Pam Didner. So if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up. Let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst and host of this year's show, the Marketing Smarts Live show, as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app. Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Pam Didner, and if you know her, you know she's amazing.

If you don't know her, I'm glad to introduce her to you today. Pam Didner is a B2B and tech marketing consultant, writer, speaker and the author of Global content Marketing and effective sales enablement. She specializes in creating successful global marketing plans for local sales and marketing teams and provides internal external communication, consulting, keynote presentations, corporate training and workshops, and might be one of my favorite marketing props webinar people that we get to have on occasionally.

If you're not checking out those webinars, come on. You should now remember the clips of Pam Didner today are pulled from the full marketing Smarts podcast episode. And if you want to listen to the full interview with Pam Didner and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast link in.

The full show will be in the description below after the live show ends. Now, in this episode again, I'm talking with Pam Didner about B2B marketing and customer journey and sales and marketing and working together. So I have to ask, do you have your customer journey mapped out? Do you know the things you can control on their journey to being your customer? Or is the customer journey as elusive as Sasquatch at your company? Meaning you've heard about it but never seen it yourself.

Well, no worries. We have some helpful information in today's show on customer journey for marketing and sales teams. Now, the first question I asked Pam was to set the foundation.

So as we move forward today, we all know what the heck are we really talking about when it comes to customer journey. The first question I asked Pam was what is the customer journey and how should marketing and sales teams be looking at it? Here's what Pam had to share with you. The Marketing Smarts Live audience.


Pam: The way I see customer journey. So if you think about it, the customer journey, like I said before, I was like, oh my God, I need to understand every single possible path that people is going to come to. My website.

For example, like when I buy a flat panel tv and so I went to the best buy first. So check out all of that. You know, they have more varieties than say Costco.

So I go there and I talk to a sales rep. I talk to a sales rep that probably knows Samsung, probably knows Sony, probably know other brands so much better and get your feedback. And then I also go to kind of like online to read the review for different models.

And then at the end I went back to Costco and make my purchase decision because it's probably the cheapest. That sounds so sad. So you can see the customer journey is very disjointed, but you are looking from a customer's perspective.

So when I work with my clients and looking into a customer journey, I always tell them, don't look from customer's perspective because that's going to confuse the heck out of you. And all of us have a thousands kind of path or option of journeys that we go through before we make a purchase decision. The thing that you need to look as a marketer is what is in your control and how can you craft the journey that you can guide people through.

For example, you have no control where I'm going to see the review. The only control that you may have is probably your Amazon product page, probably your website, probably your own community. If these are something that within your control you have to think through, presumably in terms of if they going to review the comments, what can we do to make sure whatever we have in control can serve up in a higher ranking organically? So when you are thinking customer journey, you have to think in terms of, okay, they're going to start doing research.

If they start doing research, what are some of the sites that within our control that we can manage? If it's within our control that we can manage, what can we do it to optimize it. When you are looking into a customer journey, think how you going to guide people through the channel that you can manage and by doing that you will feel so much better and you feel like you are in control and you are doing these things within your power to actually showcase your knowledge to your customers.


Did you hear that Pam's journey was all over the place and your customers journey will also be all over the place.

Instead of looking at it completely from the customer's perspective, put a layer of understanding. That's right, a layer of understanding of the things that you can control in the journey that they will take. I love when Pam talked about craft and guide your customers.

There's something to that. Were you on the right page by the way, like with your customer journey or what you thought a customer journey was and are your marketing and sales teams looking at it in the right way? Put the answer to that in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #MPB2B and of course tag me using George B. Thomas.

Now we'll get back to Pam Didner and her thoughts on B2B marketing, customer journey, sales and all of that good stuff. But first I have to ask, are you part of the marketing process community? If not, become part of the marketing profs community by heading over to

That's Now it's time for one of my favorite sections in the B2B news, where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google news tab related to you and your B2B marketing and B2B business this week the title is what B2B marketers must know in the face of a potential recession article by Andre Cruz on search engine land now don't worry, I'm not a doomsday person today, but this article starts out interesting.

And as a matter of fact, it starts out like this. Talking about a recession isn't always enjoyable, but it's a situation that inevitably requires a shift in strategy and mindset to continue finding success in the face of economic headwinds. Defined technically as a period of a significant decline in economic activity, a recession and the looming potential for one directly affects marketing, in particular.

B2B marketers face a unique challenge in identifying a downturn, with sales cycles expanding beyond 612 or more months into the future and the lacking evidence shifts. Whereas B two C and D to C marketers can feel it more quickly when complete verticals go south. In this article, we'll unpack how a looming recession impacts B2B marketers and the key factors to consider to successfully navigating this landscape.

Now, my thoughts on this and why we brought this article well, talking about a recession isn't fun at all, and I'm not one of the doomsday-thinking people or creating content, but we do need to think about how understanding our customer journey a little bit better may help us during difficult times. And as a matter of fact, I'm working on a future episode of the marketing sports podcast around this exact topic. But if you want to read about things like offering personalized experiences, finally making a move to video, returning to in person events, and more in that article, then check out the link below when the live show is over.

To read more from this resource now let's get back to Pam Didner and her marketing smarts podcast episode. Now that you know what the customer journey is for today's conversation, one thing we need to get straight is why in the heck is it important? You see, we always make time for those things that are important. Therefore, we need to know the customer journey for the sales and marketing team.

Why is it important in today's conversation? We're not just talking, by the way, for B2B marketing perspective either. We are talking from a marketing and sales perspective. How do both departments play nice with each other and focus on the customer journey in a way that ultimately impacts more ROI for the company? Well, to be honest, that's a great question.

And here's what Pam had to say.


Pam: So I'm going to use analogy on this one. And if you actually watch any kind of a track and field races, especially 5000 meters or 10,000 meters, and, and they actually, you have runners that run certain length and they have to pass the baton.

And they have to pass the baton to complete the race, right? Somebody has to take a break and somebody will get on, et cetera, you have to think sales and marketing collaboration, a lot of time is really a long distance running, especially like 5000 meters or 10,000 meters track and field, because any kind of purchasing cycle, especially on the B2B side, tend to be long. So you have to think that it's actually a marathon, not a sprint. And a lot of time is passing baton between sales and marketing.

And for longest time, if you look at the purchase funnel and the top of the funnel tend to be managed and owned by marketing. And the middle and also the lower funnel tend to be managed by sales. And again, you have to pass that patent, right? If you have a lead, and it's a high quality lead, you pass that to a sales.

But the thing is, it gets complicated in the world of digital, and it's no longer that clear cut that people actually come directly on the top of the funnel down. Sometimes they are doing their own evaluation. They come in and talking to you when they are in the middle of the funnel already.

And with that being said, there are times maybe, maybe marketing people needs to engage at the same time as the salespeople. Especially, for example, like George, let's assume that you are like, you know what, I'm ready to buy a flat panel, but I don't know which one to buy. So you will talk to salespeople, but at the same time, marketing probably will serve up some email to you at the same time and kind of convince you that you should purchase or you should take a look.

You know, this kind of element when you make a decision, it's like passing the baton going back and forth. That's why it's also important for the sales team to understand the customer journey as important as for the marketing team.


Ladies and gentlemen, I have to ask, are your sales and marketing teams passing the baton to each other? Is the timing right? Are you winning the race? If not, make sure your teams are looking at the customer journey as a marathon and not a sprint.

As a team sport, not an individual race. You never know when the customer is going to join the race. So both teams need to be ready now.

We'll get back to Pam Didner in a few minutes. But first, it's time for some dope B2B learnings from the vault of marketing professor that's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B Marketer.

Article one this week is a framework for getting started with customer journey mapping by Mike Turner. Yes, that's right, customer journey mapping.

Just how important is it that businesses understand how customers interact with or feel about them, or be able to identify the moments that matter in customer interactions? Well, without that ability, a business cannot see how each interaction relates to others in the communication matrix or instantly identify and recognize pain points. And both are critical. Yes, both are critical to being agile and aligning with the constantly developing needs of its customer base.

So how do businesses achieve that knowledge? With the help of customer journey maps, ladies and gentlemen, learn more by reading the rest of this article after the live show ends. Yes, the links will be in the description article two this week for critical that's right, critical components of your customer journey map by Corinne Stuckey now this one, obviously critical components. Listen, ladies and gentlemen, businesses seeking to improve the customer experience often build customer journey maps, a visual representation of the various interactions a buyer has with a business.

Building that map from the outside in, from the customer's perspective, requires a thorough understanding of the customer's needs, wants and yes, their desires. A common mistake that many marketers make when building a journey map is to operate within a silo, whereas interviewing executives and cross functional stakeholders for their input and agreement on the objectives is a critical early step in the process and will help define the scope of the effort. Want to keep learning more? If so, check out the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing marketing profs articles.

OK, back to Pam Didner let's dive back into the conversation of B2B marketers, the customer journey and sales as you get excited to tweak your current customer journey, or maybe build the first one, you may be wondering, what if I make a mistake? Nobody likes to make a mistake. Now, Pam offers some words of wisdom towards this thinking at the end of today's show. But before we get there, she had a few customer journey hurdles to cover to help you potentially make at least a few less mistakes to get started.

And here is what she had to share about the hurdles:


Pam: There are two things I want to address on this one, when you start asking questions, you will come to realize you actually don't understand your customers as much as you do. And then you have to somehow stopped, and then you have to go research, and then you have to go find information and then you have to come back. So when you are doing that kind of exercise, it's usually kind of like days and weeks.

And then you need to be disciplined about coming back with additional data. And sometimes you have to make assumptions and that is okay. But you cannot make too many assumptions because the more assumptions you make, the less realistic your path the journey is.

So you have to have some sort of data to support it. So that is number one. Number two is you should create what I call it as is, and the to be.

So the things that you are creating initially is very likely to be as is, the way you understand it. But in the digital world, there are always things that can be automated. Then once you create or that you can do it slightly better, then you have to look at that and you have to think through what is to be like and to be like really requires you to think a little bit forward and you have to think in terms of how you can automate certain process and steps.

And that is out of a lot of marketers comfort zone, including myself, because we don't think that way. We are creative, we are about copywriting, we are about creative concepts, we are about demands, we are about writing a great post. But thinking through what can be automated in terms of that customer journey can also be challenging.

So these are the two things I just want to call it out and share with everybody, just to be disciplined and you know that you are going to go out and get the information. And the second thing is what is as is what is to be.


I love, love, love how Pam hits right up front.

You might not know your customer as well as you think you do. Ladies and gentlemen, research, research your customers. Also, please listen to her thoughts on as is and to be the way you understand things and the way things you will change and be in the future.

So good, so good. Listen to Pam and think about how you can step out of your comfort zone. That was another piece of that.

I love that. Absolutely. Getting out of our comfort zone, comfort zone.

Now we're going to get some words of wisdom from Pam Didner here in a few minutes. But right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the marketing profs community. Yep, time for from the #mpb2b community.

We searched far and wide in the hashtag #mpb2b universe to find amazing information and conversations to bring to the masses, aka you. So first, make sure you're using the hashtag. And second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community along the way.

Then we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. Now this week it's Twitter. That's right.

We journey over to Twitter and we get to hear from one of my longtime friends. This week's community spotlight is Douglas Burdett. Or on Twitter, his tweet was new episode all caps in an exclamation mark.

Might I say the marketing book podcast. Everybody Writes, Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley @marketingprofs, its annhandley @WileyBusiness, and yes, there is a link in the show notes. Check out the description and click that link to check out the post.

Listen to the new episode and read or learn more about crafting yourself into a better B2B marketer with Ann's book. It is amazing. Marketing sports viewer, I have to ask, are you going to be or get the next spotlight on you.

Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the marketing smarts live show Pro Tip. It won't hurt if you tag me in your post as well. I'm orb Thomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Pam Didner and some words of wisdom around this topic of B2B marketers, the customer journey, and yes, your sales team. Here's what Pam Didner wanted to leave us with as far as some words of wisdom, take heed. Make sure you're listening. It is some wisdom.


Pam: Customer journey mapping is like relationship. It's complicated.

You will not get it right the first time. It's just like, you know, it's a relationship with your spouse after you got married. I know the first several months is honeymoon period, but the next ten years, it's really, you have to work it.

You have to work on it. You have to work on your relationship right to keep that passion going. Same thing the customer journey.

You are not going to get it right the first time. That is okay. Keep working on it.


That's right. Customer journey mapping is like relationships. It's complicated.

I love the fact that Pam talks about you have to work on your customer journey. You're not going to get it right the first time. Meaning you're going to make mistakes, right? So those are the words of wisdom.

But that's OK. Just keep working on it over time. Keep working on it.

Ladies and gentlemen, have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know. Use the hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on for the marketing Smarts Live show.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

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