In a nutshell, Marketing is all about guiding consumers to your business- driving demand for your product or service, with the end goal being to gain customers.
However, your marketing efforts need to be tailored to fit the steps in the customer buying journey.
Whilst there are numerous channels and tactics you can use to achieve your marketing goals; key consideration must be given to the marketing funnel. This funnel is the consumer’s journey through the buying process. When you can clearly identify the different stages of the buying process, you can set specific goals to help to move consumers through this funnel.
The stages are awareness, consideration, conversion and finally loyalty/advocacy. Each stage plays a key role in bring customers to your business.
If you work in marketing, if you are a business owner or if you work in management, you should understand the customer’s journey from the moment they become aware of your offering to the moment they become a customer. Below I share some insight into how each stage works:
Stage 1: Awareness
Think about the shape of a funnel. The top is the widest section and that’s the first stage. This stage is about increasing awareness of your brand or your product/service. Consumers must become aware before they consider buying. At this point, you should be creating a buzz about the brand and your focus should be on content and marketing materials that promote brand awareness; events, social media, trade shows, marketing campaigns and viral campaigns to name a few, all form part of the awareness stage. Remember this is your lead generation stage.
Stage 2: Consideration
After the awareness stage, the funnel begins to shrink. Why? Because consumers must now consider purchasing and buying into your brand. Once potential customers are engaged in a meaningful way with your brand e.g., by following you on social media and interacting with your content, signing up to receive updates etc) they will enter the consideration stage but remember your brand is not necessarily the only one they are considering so you need to earn their trust and set your brand apart. Not everyone who becomes aware of your brand considers purchasing from you for various reasons including perhaps your offering not being a fit due to cost, for example e.g. I may be aware of a particular luxury item but I may not necessarily consider buying it because it’s out of my budget or it doesn’t offer me value. Don’t become complacent, many people may be aware that your brand/product/service exists but how many of them are actually considering using it? Consumers won’t purchase at this stage; they compare and evaluate their options. Only the most interested customers will move further down the marketing funnel.
This is where you should show how your product/service solve the consumer’s problem, show how to use your product/service, have consumers participate in a survey to learn more about what might deter them from purchasing from you e.g., customers browsing your website but not placing an order or maybe beginning an order but abandoning the cart or walking into your establishment, browsing but not purchasing. The consideration stage also requires targeted messaging and content e.g. the messaging for a consumer in the awareness stage is very different to the one sent in the consumer stage.
In next week’s column, I will go delve into the other stages.
Candice Sealey is the Founder & Principal Consultant at Ignite! a Full-service
Marketing & PR Consultancy that helps businesses/brands to stand out and
communicate the right message to the right people at the right time through
Strategy, Marketing, Media services and Design solutions. She is also a freelance
content writer, advertising copywriter, voiceover talent, media personality. Follow
us on FB & IG @igniteresults Phone:784-432-2223. Email: