What makes the difference between a marketing campaign that performs so-so versus one that is spectacularly successful? When does a little lead generation endeavor produce extraordinary numbers of satisfied, paying customers? The answer is: when the marketer takes the time to trace, understand, and speak to the customer's steps along the way. Here's how you do it right.
What Initially Motivates the Customer to Begin the Journey Towards Awareness and Research?
What is the exact point at which the customer enters the awareness stage at the top of the marketing funnel? There are several points at which this can happen. Sometimes the customer self-starts the journey. They realize there is a need and set out to find a solution. Other times, this process is put into motion by the marketer: a wisely placed banner ad, just the right social media post at the perfect time, or even a well-written blog post that speaks exactly to the customer's needs. Marketers need to understand how customers become aware of their needs and begin their search for the right answer.
What Actions Does the Customer Take in Response to That Motivation?
Once the need (awareness) is established, how does the customer respond? Some customers do a Google search, others turn to product review sites or social media. Still others might pop off an email to friends, or visit your website or blog for more information. The marketer needs to understand these steps so that they can be there offering the right information along the way.
What Questions Does the Customer Have Along the Way Toward the Buying Decision?
As the customer begins their research process, what questions do they have? This is where a solid content marketing campaign comes into play. The smart marketer develops articles, infographics, videos, blog posts, and other content geared toward answering these questions. Also, understand how the customer will respond to those answers: if they wonder about the price, explain why it is what it is. If they are curious about an unusual feature, make sure they can see how it works and understand how it benefits the buyer.
What Obstacles Stand in the Way of the Customer's Decision to Buy?
What are the points at which the customer has uncertainties about buying? The marketer needs to identify those obstacles and knock those down -- or at least build a nice bridge so customers can make their way over the obstacles. For example, if they are having trouble conveying to management why the product is valuable, arm them with information on your product's ROI.
What Happens After the Purchase is Made?
The best marketers don't abandon their customers once they get them through the sales checkout. They continue to track the important customer metrics after the purchase, and don't stop offering content, communications, and incentives after the lead becomes a customer. This is how marketers turn solid leads into loyal brand ambassadors.
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