So, you have a product or service and a target audience to sell to. Think this is enough for you to make profits in your business and scale it?
Irrespective of how top-notch your offering is, if the customer isn’t convinced to buy from you, they won’t. And not always would they know whether they even need the product or service or not.
Sometimes the need for a product or service is clearly defined. And sometimes, that need has to be created.
Some entrepreneurs have a hard time educating their customers about the value of their offer and why someone should pay for it. The problem here is the lack of customer awareness.
Many small businesses fail because they don't have a sufficient understanding of the level of customer awareness of their products or services.
Oftentimes, they’re trying to solve a problem that may not exist in the first place, so no one is looking for that solution. Or that the problem is not large enough to attract a lot of customers.
Let’s look at the different stages of customer awareness you need to know to get your messaging and positioning right.
Case 1: When the customer is problem-aware
The audience knows that a problem exists, but isn’t sure if someone can solve it for them.
This is a potentially lucrative stage for your business because this customer's problem may be an opportunity for you—if and when they become aware of the solutions available.
Case 2: When the customer is solution-aware
The solution-aware customer understands that they have a problem. They are actively looking for solutions that will help them solve their problem, and may even be open to contacting businesses who offer those solutions.
This is your best bet for lead generation because you know these people are interested in your product or service and are ready to buy into it.
In this stage, it's important for you to be visible so that your customers can find you easily.
Case 3: When the customer is product-aware
The customer knows what the product or service does, why it’s valuable and the price. They may not yet be sure if the price is worth it but they know what is available, where to buy it and how to purchase it.
Let’s take an example.
Ritu wants to control her blood pressure and is looking for a certified dietician that can guide her on a 1:1 basis. She knows that there are such service providers available on Instagram that can provide her with exactly what she’s looking for. She has even made a list of 3-4 certified dieticians that she’s super impressed with.
Now, all Ritu has to do is compare prices, check for reviews and pick the best that suits her budget and needs. This makes Ritu a classic example of a product-aware customer.
If you run a small business that sells products or services, then you probably want consumers like Ritu to become aware of your business! One great way to do this is by advertising such as on social media platforms or on Google or drive leads through organic content marketing.
Case 4: When the customer is most aware
At the top of the awareness ladder is the *Most Aware* customer.
This person knows exactly what he or she needs, who supplies it, and how to get it.
You may think that because these customers are so aware of your product or service, they don't need your help.
But they do!
In fact, they rely on you to provide them with the exact item they want, in addition to delivering on your other promises like quality and value. Focus on supporting the customer in the best way possible here, answer all their queries and make their buying experience memorable!
Case Study - Finance Coach
Customer awareness is a crucial concept for any business, but it's especially important for startups. To succeed in that, the marketing pitch needs to be revisited to see exactly what would click with a wider group of people.
An entrepreneur friend of mine offers financial services to individuals and companies.
Now, her potential customers know that the problem exists and are well aware of it, but they aren’t confident that someone can solve it for them. For individuals to invest in her services, they need to understand the importance of financial planning and how it works. This gives them the confidence to invest their money as per the guidance she provides.
So, her marketing strategy is to create knowledgeable (and fun) videos about various aspects of financial planning. This helps her audience understand and relate to what she’s saying. Moreover, they have something to take away from every piece of content she publishes.
As they’re becoming more and more aware of the solution that she offers, they step up from the stage of merely seeking knowledge from her to actually investing in her to grow their finances.
Hope this helped you gain some insights into the various customer journey a business has to plan for. Which awareness stage are your customers at?
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