When was the last time you saw an ad for a completely new-to-you product and without any hesitation, you just went ahead and clicked “Buy Now”. I’ll admit that this only really happens to me in the impulse buy tunnel of TJ Maxx/Homegoods (gets me every time).
In actuality, that is not how the typical customer journey unfolds. There are typically four stages in the customer’s journey as this chart by Dynamics 365 Marketing illustrates:
As you can see, it doesn’t go from awareness straight to purchase. Between the two is a stage that is often the longest, the consideration phase. After recognizing a need, customers become aware of a product or service and then analyze if that product or service is the right solution. They google, they read reviews, and they ask friends and family. All of those touchpoints are opportunities for you to present your brand’s messaging, controlling the narrative.
In fact, in the field of marketing, there is one widely acknowledged rule that even marketing guru Neil Patel says is the “only marketing rule that’s should not be broken.” Tutorialspoint.com says the rule states that a “prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you.”
So let’s discuss some options for these touchpoints.
In the awareness stage, you are just trying to get consumers to know that your brand exists in hopes of having them consider your brand during the next phase. Here you can focus on:
SEO: Investing in good SEO can help your company appear higher in search results, organically which feels more genuine to consumers.
Paid Search Ads: These can help buyers find out about your brand’s solution when they’re already in-market.
Social Media Presence: Appearing organically on social media through your own content or user-generated content is great for getting your name out there. If prospective buyers come across your product while tagged in a friend of theirs’ post, even better.
In the consideration stage, you have many options. Consumers know you exist, now you just have to show that your brand’s solution is the right one. Remember though, this is the longest stage so be patient and provide paced communications.
Newsletter/Whitepaper: Capture an email address or text in order to build your marketing database, but do so by providing some kind of added value. No one wants to give out their info for nothing in return. A well-thought-out downloadable item can do the trick.
Landing Pages: Direct prospective customers to a landing page that provides more detail about your product, USPs, and even customer testimonials. This will help them to better assess if you’re product is right for them.
Explainer Videos: Long-winded landing pages can be boring. Consider presenting your information in a short-form explainer video format. These can be included within your landing page and break apart the information while increasing engagement.
Email Marketing: Whether someone abandoned their cart or you noticed they interacted with your site without making a purchase, remind them that you exist with good emails. What is a good email? Reallygoodemails.com has some great examples.
Time-Sensitive Discounts: When trying to make that final push for a purchase, draw in customers with a time-sensitive discount. You’d be surprised how effective a countdown timer or expiration date can be.
Whatever combination of these messages you choose, remember to plan for at least 7 and to space them out comfortably. That’s the sweet spot and you don’t want to miss out on a sale simply because you didn’t follow your customer’s journey. Developing a good strategy and having your message follow along with the thought process of your potential buyers can help them decide at their own pace, without feeling pressured or bombarded.