Philip Kotler devised a 5A framework to map out the journey a customer goes through while making a purchase. While this framework is a study in itself, we are looking at this from the lens of content marketing.
At every stage, what type of content should a brand push to customers so that the information is relevant, timely and pushes them along in this journey.
Here are the 5As and the content checklist for each stage:
This is where the customer might randomly come across your brand. It may actually be random or in the digital space, the customer might have similar interests and might result from paid advertising. However it may be, at this stage, the potential customer knows nothing about the brand or product.
This is typically where the brand awareness campaigns should be focused. Simple, crisp communication that effectively introduces the brand and product/services. Tell the viewer how their problem can be solved. Show them how their life can be easier, better with your brand. The main objective here is to keep the information simple but more importantly, memorable.
The customer has become interested in the brand. He is looking for a solution to his problem and he is making a mental list of who might be the possible problem solvers.
The communication should go one step further now. While the brand has been introduced to the customer, what else can you tell them about your product or service that will win them over? Build trust and credibility through testimonials, case studies, certifications, and media mentions. Customers should perceive the brand as trustable.
The good news is that the potential customer is still interested in the brand and is considering it more seriously. At this stage, the person looking for a solution wants to know more. He has questions and a lot will depend on how effectively and quickly the brand is able to answer their queries.
Now is where a lot of information is good! Ensure your marketing collaterals targeted to this funnel, are comprehensive to answer any doubt that a potential customer may have. More than the content assets, the way you communicate becomes key here. Is it easy for people to get in touch with the brand and answer questions? In addition to telephone numbers, is the ORM strategy in place to quickly answer queries so that your brand is at the top of the consideration list?
Now the customer has been convinced and he makes a purchase. Depending on the nature of the brand/product, the purchase can be a simple checkout process online, or it may be a subscription model, or the conversion actually may happen over the phone.
The simple goal here is to make the purchase seamless and an enjoyable experience. At this stage, you want to assure the customer that they are making the right decision but not bombard them with information that may confuse them.
We like to consider this the most important stage of the journey. Once a customer, always a customer – is a mantra we encourage our clients to strive towards. We’re chanting it almost! This is a longer phase than most others and here is where we have to win over the customers for life. Turn them into advocates so that they not only become brand loyalists but also refer the brand to others.
Remarketing, and retention marketing play an important role here. It is important to keep reminding customers about your brand. Not in an annoying way but in a way that adds value to their life. How can your brand continue to be a part of the customer’s life even after they have made a purchase? Blogs, newsletters, and engaging social media content are a few ways of keeping the customer engaged.
Not every customer or every purchase goes through each of the stages in an identical way. Sometimes the appeal stage might be long-drawn, sometimes it may not exist at all. It is subjective to the nature of the brand and product industry. That being said, none of the stages can be ignored from a communications point of view.
At Beyond The Panorama, we help brands create a checklist of content important for each stage of the journey to effectively convert potentials and turn them into advocates. This exercise is a must for your brand and we can help you do it. Get in touch with us here!