Now That Prospects Are Aware Your Products Or Services Might Represent A Better Way, How Do You Respond?
You did it — you successfully disrupted your prospect’s status quo and they’re aware that you and your company exist. They are aware there might be different ways of doing what they do and that solutions like yours should be at least investigated. Your prospect has moved from Pre-Awareness to Awareness. Now what?
While “now what” is a good place to start, you should be aware that some prospects are already in the Awareness Stage. They’re already looking for companies like yours, so while moving along those who came from Pre-Awareness, we’re also going to talk about getting your company on the radar for those already looking.
People in the Awareness Stage of the Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ are tuned into the issue or challenge. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re working hard to apply science (and behavioral science in particular) to our understanding of both marketing and sales, specifically as it relates to how and why people buy.
The Awareness Stage is driven primarily by your brain’s reticular activator. This is the part of the brain that stays on alert. Its job is to make you notice some things and ignore others. When you buy a new Audi and it then seems like the whole world drives Audis because you notice them everywhere, that is the reticular activator at work. If you want to learn more about that, click here for more details.
Your prospects are “open” or on alert for anything related to this issue, and you must take advantage of it. This is where marketing should shine.
This is typically the stage that marketers are most familiar with, and it’s the stage where most marketers think their tactics start influencing a prospect’s buyer journey.
Most of the tactics discussed in this article should sound familiar to you, as they are generally the most frequently deployed.
What people don’t know is that those tactics need to be adjusted, configured or tweaked based on an understanding of your company’s unique prospect persona and their unique experience in their buyer journey.
This means that what the software company does to market their software in the Awareness Stage is likely going to be dramatically different than what the data center equipment manufacturer does and what the professional services consulting company does.
Your prospect’s journey within this stage should dictate how and what exactly you do, not a best practices article that talks about top-of-the-funnel marketing tactics or a template you find on the web for converting a suspect into a prospect.
The more you understand the questions, concerns and issues your prospects have in this early stage of their buyer journey, the better the results you’ll produce for your company.
Here’s an example: By understanding what keywords they’re searching (not the ones you want to rank for, but the ones they’re actually typing in), you can better position your website content to rank for your prospects.
Here’s another example: By understanding what questions your prospects have early in their buyer journey (which are different than the questions they have later in their journey), you can create website pages and educational content that answer those questions, better positioning you to be an educational source for their buyer journey.
Remember, you are still in the Awareness Stage, so your content, headlines, stories and high-level messages have to be good enough to grab someone’s attention. We’ll cover the Education Stage next, but right now these people are not active in their quest for information.
Right now, they are still casual observers, with only their reticular activation systems on watch. This is why your website has to be amazing. It’s why your prospects need to see you in five or six different places, like on a review site, on LinkedIn, on Google, in paid content, at an event, on another related website or associated with a piece of thought leadership content that gets shared with you.
They might have to see your brand consistently over a period for them to include you in their educational quest — the next stage of their journey.
This is a common stage for marketers to be working in, so the mistakes are usually limited. But one of the biggest is hoping that people in the Awareness Stage will move all the way to the Decision Stage immediately.
You know what this looks like, because we’ve all seen it — websites with only one action button, like “contact us,” “schedule a call” or “ask for a proposal.” Your prospects are not ready to talk to you.
Giving them only the end of the buyer journey conversion option and expecting them to take it always produces sites with low conversion rates, sites that don’t generate leads or sites that generate leads the sales reps hate. If this sounds like your company, this might be an issue that needs fixing.
Another mistake is not properly nurturing anyone who does convert. I’ve seen companies throw away perfectly good leads because they’re not ready to buy today. The people in the Awareness Stage might be amazing leads, and not properly nurturing them through their buyer journey is a fast track to weak revenue cycle performance.
Here are a handful of highly effective tactics designed specifically for the Awareness Stage. These tactics all have something in common: They’re designed for people who are starting to get to know you but need to know, like and trust you more before they’ll move forward with you.
That is not a comprehensive collection of tactics, but it’s a good start (and there might be some tactics from the Pre-Awareness Stage as discussed yesterday that you could include). In most cases, you might not be able or have the budget to execute all of the tactics outlined here, so choose wisely based on prioritization criteria. At Square 2 Marketing, we select the tactics that will provide the best results for the least amount of effort and work back from there.
While most marketers might not want to be accountable for quantitative performance, we’re encouraging everyone to agree to a set of performance metrics for every tactic, and those in the Awareness Stage are very important to measure. These also give you insights into the health of your pipeline and future revenue opportunities.
Here are a handful of potential metrics you can use to measure the effectiveness of your Awareness Stage tactical execution:
While many more metrics are associated with the tactics we’ve discussed here, these are some of the metrics that provide higher, more strategic insight into the performance of your Awareness Stage tactics, and you can apply them across several tactics highlighted here.
The technology available to make the marketing execution around the Awareness Stage easier is just as rich and challenging to evaluate as the technology in the Pre-Awareness Stage.
Here is a partial list of technologies that you can deploy for your execution of Awareness Campaign tactics:
Regardless of what your Awareness tech stack looks like, it’s going to need to run on top of solid foundational technology like HubSpot, Marketo and/or Salesforce. Marketing automation and CRM software are required for any of the campaign tactics identified above. This means the stage-specific technologies need to be integrated with any of your platform tech options.
Thinking about your revenue generation based on your prospects’ buyer journey stage instead of the tactics you execute is a dramatic change. As marketers, we’ve historically organized around the tactics and not the buyer journey.
By smashing the funnel and applying a new map (the Cyclonic Buyer Journey map), we’re encouraging people to start building more buyer-centric marketing and sales strategies, executing tactics more thoughtfully, tracking the performance of everything and using technology to automate and analyze your results.
The business outcomes? Month-over-month revenue growth and consistent, scalable, repeatable and predictable revenue generation machines. Give it a try, it works! That’s why we guarantee results for our clients.