Targeting your Audience Throughout Their Buying Decision Process

Now that you've done your diligent research into who your true customers are, it's time to start creating effective content marketing. Typically, a customer will go through a 5-stage process when making a decision on a purchase - whether that be for a reliable contractor or a microwave oven. To be most effective in your marketing, you must capitalize each stage.

The first stage is the problem or need discovery. This is when the customer realizes they have a potential need, or maybe they don't and you need to raise their awareness! You can do this through help guides, white papers or instructional/demonstration videos. I'll provide my own example of 'discovering' flakes of my window frames from my 100-year windows covering my window sills. Everyday. Couple this with the thin layer of ice on the windows over this last arctic winter. Yah. I don't need to Google this one...

The second stage is in researching solutions. The customer may peruse various avenues such as hiring internal resources, looking to outsource or seeking alternate options. For my example, I am researching window manufacturers. My dining room table is covered in brochures, catalogs, spec sheets and testimonials. I have the option of hiring a manufacturer who also installs their own windows, or shopping at the hardware store, purchasing the windows myself and then hiring a contractor, or kidnapping my master carpenter brother-in-law and forcing, or rather having him install the windows. I'm weighing my options (and their consequences).

The third stage is making the purchase. By now you are at the edge of your seat waiting for my big decision. I went with the safest, highest quality solution. And I can still attend family events without the dirty looks. The manufacturer/installer offered the most reliable solution, but also came through with a deep discount if I signed with him that day. Discounts, offers and any other special benefits - tangible or intangible - that you can offer - put them on the table now! (Just not on my dining room one - it's full).

The final stage is the post-purchase. And some of this marketing material could come into play in conjunction with the third stage. What kind of services will you provide to keep our relationship going? This window manufacturer offered me 10 years installation warranty and then a minimal fee for any visits thereafter. I'll be thanking myself in 15 years. But it's peace of mind for me right now.  Also, it's a good idea to continue with follow-ups and support. I just signed up for Canva - a new web based design software. Every so often, they send me helpful instructional emails that help me maximize the software's potential and solidify my future relationship with them.

It may be helpful to start with a matrix of your target audience and their buying process. Add your super strategic marketing items to each box.