Whether you are targeting B2B or B2C consumers, the job of every marketer is to convince potential customers to buy their product or service. Easy in theory, but the golden bait can remain elusive and thousands of companies fail every year without the bites they need to stay in business.
Technology has changed the playing field, and it has always been up to the taste of marketers in how they want to reel their customers in - inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or a combination of both. Though tactics may be scrapped, new or improved, the principle behind all marketing is the same: You must raise consumer awareness of your brand.
It's as simple as this: convince your potential customer that they have a problem, then present your product or services as the solution. Potential customers that are aware that they have a problem or are actively seeking a way to solve a problem can be gently pushed to your side with a little product demonstration, pricing competition, case studies or fact-based statistics.
But what about the potential customers that don't know they have a problem or need? Who cares if your organization has the best solution?
Thus, selling any product/brand to the former requires a bit more effort, and a 3-stage consumer awareness strategy can help.
Consumer Awareness 1, 2, 3
Businesses that think consumer awareness walks hand in hand with brand awareness are hugely mistaken. It puts the cart before the horse, and no amount of marketing, investment, emotional arguments and/or logical evidence will make a person 'without a problem or need' care about a solution. They can know about your brand, but they don't think they need it.
So what should you do instead?
Convince your potential customers that they have a problem. Raising consumer awareness can be broken down into 3 simple stages, the first being discovering your potential customer's issues and needs.
1. Discover their problems.
Your brand won’t stand out until your customer believes that little annoyance they don’t care about fixing is actually a huge hindrance. Don’t focus on yourself, but focus on the customer instead. The best way to do this through emotion or logic, or a combination of both.
Ask questions and do your research. What is holding back this type of customer? What frustrates them? If it's B2B, what are their competitors doing better?
Patiently discover all their problems. If you are meeting with them or a focus group of B2C customers, listen and get ALL the facts before even thinking about what you can do. If their problems don't relate to your services, so what. Listen anyway. After you discover all their issues, you will have ideas of how you can help.
2. Provide solution-based ideas
This stage implies that the customer is now aware of their problem but doesn’t know how to go about fixing it. Thus, your job now is to demonstrate an effective solution to their problem/need utilizing your product or services to make their lives easier or improve their efficiencies - in essence, solve their problems.
3. Sell your brand as the best
Now your customer knows they have a problem, they know there are solutions, but they don’t know from who. This is where you sell your brand and convince them your product is the best.
Be helpful, honest and educational. Today's consumer sees through sales pitches and they don't respond to pushy tactics. They want something different. They want simple. How will your brand help?
Be thoughtful, creative. Present something different than the next guy. Think of ways you can stand out.
Easy as 1 2 3, right? Don't rush the bullet yet.
Take it Step-by-Step
Many brands trip themselves up by trying to do too much. There's a lot of temptation for products to try to combine all 3 stages into one, but they seldom succeed. Instead, hone your marketing strategy and focus on one stage at a time. It doesn't mean your brand has to hide behind the curtains until the applause, but lasering in on the message wields greater results in quicker time rather than trying to push your product down a customer's throat.
Brands are meaningless to people without a need or problem. You can squeeze emotion until its last drop but people won't budge. Your product might be the best, but its wonders will be left unknown to a world unaware of its need. So follow the three stages to customer awareness: discover their problems, provide a solution, sell your brand.
No message will reach all ears, so tailor your approach and speak to individual groups and distribute your campaign efforts accordingly. If you want to learn more about strategies we've used to specifically help our customers grow their sales, contact Alternative Advertising today.