Integrated marketing: You’ve got to grind to shine

Everyone wants results immediately.

Many shy away from the hard grind and time it takes to really make traction.

They want the accolades and success without the hustle and time it takes to get there.

But it’s the law of the universe and you see it in everything; a human grows from infant, to teen, to adult.. a business grows from idea, to startup, to growth, to maturity.

And it’s especially true in digital marketing. Doubly so in the 2020s, where the buyer is more informed, has access to vast amounts of information and has more choices than ever before.

While extremely common, it is not enough for an unknown company to throw up some facebook ads and expect to ring in the sales: The buyer too grows through several stages before making a purchase.

Smart marketers are alert to this and align their marketing activities to each of these stages.

This ensures that they are speaking to the customer with the right message, at the right time.

So what are the buyer decision making stages?

  1. Need recognition: the customer realises they have an issue e.g. “Gosh my teeth look really stained in photos!” 
  2. Information search: the customer starts to research how to fix their issue, usually by heading directly to Google or Bing search.
  3. Option evaluation: the customer considers which fix they will go for, based on factors like results, affordability, reviews and trustworthiness. In the case of needing teeth whitening, this could include home-whitening kits versus a qualified dentist, and comparing factors like the website quality, reviews, effectiveness and costs of each option.
  4. Purchase decision: At this stage the customer has made their decision on which solution they will buy to fix the problem. Provided there are no last minute barriers, e.g. a slow checkout process, or additional fees at checkout, the customer will make the purchase from the chosen vendor.
  5. Post-Purchase evaluation: At this stage the purchase is complete, but the customer is still on a journey. The customer is now considering whether they made the right decision, and are happy with the product. If positive, they may refer the company to others, if negative however this may prompt them to get a refund or leave negative reviews.

How to align with the buyer decision making stages

While the above stages suggest a linear progression for the customer from stage 1 to 5, this isnt always the case. Customers can and do jump back and forth between stages at times.

The key in 2021 is to ensure you are reaching customers at these stages via a number of channels and you have a clear, integrated marketing strategy for nurturing customers at these various stages.

So i.e. you would have informational content available for customers at the Need recognition and informational search stages. You would also want good SEO for the content so that it shows up when a buyer searches for solutions online. And combine this with paid Google Ads for certain keywords.

Work hard to get good reviews and prompt customers to leave them for you on review sites like Trustpilot and Google maps. Ensure you have a modern, fast website that is easy to navigate. (option evaluation stage) 

Evaluate your checkout process and analyse if there are ways to make it simpler to purchase, are there any barriers to sale? Do you have any live offers that can sweeten the deal? (purchase decision stage)

Do you have an after-sales process? Do you contact your customers at all post-purchase, rather than a simple “thank you for your business”?

It’s a lot of grinding.

Our agency Loop 10 has been set up from the ground up to manage all these aspects for your business; we can assist from design, to paid ads, to social media posting, reputation management and more to help you serve more customers, better.

We’d love to learn more about your business and how we can help you grind.

Why not make an enquiry?

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