Have you ever heard that saying about relationships, “It’s all about timing?”
How many times have you known two great people that would have been a match made in heaven: similar disposition, background, belief system, but just weren’t in the right place in their life or headspace to be able to truly come together as a couple?
This same dynamic is at play when it comes to marketing your business or service.
To better understand what I mean, take out the concept of “not the right timing” and replace it with idea of the consumer mindset. Not everyone is ready to address the need that your product fulfills in his or her life.
To borrow again for the dating analogy, “He would be so good for her, but she is still dating assholes.” (Of course, replace “assholes” with any number of things like cheap substitutes for your product, bad partners, or worse – they are doing nothing at all.)
Great marketers know this about defining a target customer. They know the group of people who might be interested in their product. And what is more, they know where that customer is in the purchasing process and how to catch their attention and drive them further down the funnel.
To understand the purchase process, and in celebration of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to use online dating as a way to talk about one of marketing’s most beloved constructs: the purchase funnel. I’ve broken it down into each stage and what a consumer who is looking to date might be thinking.
Awareness: “I’m ready to settle down in my life, I want to date” and “I’m considering online dating.”
Opinion: “I’m researching online dating options on the Internet and asking friends about different sites and their experiences”
Consideration: “I’ve heard good things about MatchMakerHeaven.com. My friend told me it has a younger crowd, and it seems pretty easy to use.”
Intent: “I’m signing up for a free trial on MatchMakerHeaven.com because I can just look and see what this is all about.”
Purchase: “I’m going to pay for services and start asking people out.” and/or “I’m dating someone I met on MatchMakerHeaven.com”
This is where many have the purchase funnel as ending. But your brand’s perception is still forming, and there are many other important ways to continue.
Experience: “The date was amazing”
Repeat Customer: “We’re going on a second date” (They liked you so much they are coming back!)
Evangelism: “I met my wife on MatchMakerHeaven.com” (It worked, they are telling folks about it.)
Referral Source: “I’m signing you up for MatchMakerHeaven.com. If it worked for me, it can work for anybody.” (They are pointing others directly to you.)
Understanding how you need to appeal to a customer at every level of your brand and the experience of your brand is key. You also want to know the ins and outs of your ideal consumer and what kind of offering, experience, and reward will really appeal to them.
So now that you’ve seen a purchase process in action, what can you do as a business owner to put this lesson to work? Add a comment below!