Are You Wasting Time on Marketing Strategy?

In my work as a Marketing Consultant I often find business owners want to jump straight into tactics. ‘We need to do Tik Tok ads’, or ‘I just need you to do some blog posts’, or ‘we need to start doing Google Ads’.

This tactics-first approach to marketing is akin to attempting to install kitchen cabinetry, sink, and oven before even drafting a floor plan or laying the foundation for the house. It's like putting the cart before the horse, and it doesn't set you up for reliable marketing results.

The dangers of a tactics first approach

Business owners are often tempted to just ‘give it a go and see what sticks’. The truth is, you might occasionally get lucky and happen upon a single tactic that brings some new sales or leads.

But more often than not, you just end up wasting time and money on things that bring minimal results.

And more importantly, a single tactic can only ever be one small part of your broader marketing strategy and ecosystem.

You need to be thinking about how customers engage with you at every stage of the journey from first becoming aware of your business to becoming customers to becoming raving fans.

And be intentional in the way you guide people through this process.

Laying the foundations for marketing success

Mapping out your buyer's journey is a strategic marketing process that helps you develop a clear roadmap for attracting, converting and keeping customers.

It starts with understanding the needs of your customers, then mapping out the customer experience, and defining how your business guides your customers through each of the eight stages of the journey.

This journey looks different for every business. What your customer's journey looks like will depend on many factors, including who you’re selling to, what you’re selling and where / how you do business.

The 8 Stages of the Buyer Journey

  • Awareness: This is how prospective customers find you in the first place. This can include things such as paid advertising, events, word of mouth, social media posts, networking groups.
  • Interest: Once a prospect becomes aware of your business, the next step is engaging with your business and starting a relationship or conversation. This can be through social media comments or messages, reading your blog content, joining your online community, starting a conversation with you after a speaking engagement, making a phone enquiry.
  • Subscription: At this stage your prospect sees value in what you have to say and has decided they like and trust you enough to share their contact details. This could look like signing up for a webinar; downloading an e-book, report or guide; booking a demo, or giving you their business card at an in person event.
  • Consideration: This is a crucial step in the journey where your potential customer hasn't yet gone on to purchase. Your most important goal during this stage is to increase the customer's familiarity with you and your services and build trust in you, your services and your brand.
  • Conversion: This stage is all about gaining commitment. At this stage your prospect is willing to give up some time or money to engage with you further. The best offers at this stage are often low cost - whether it be time or money. This might be an entry point service or product which demonstrates your value for the higher ticket items you’ll introduce later in the journey. Or it could be attending a short demo session or webinar where your new customer’s investment is their time.
  • Engagement: Too often this stage is skipped and it’s soooo important. This is where you make the experience of buying or attending memorable and positive for your new customer. The goal is to surprise and delight them in ways that make them want to keep moving forward with you. This might look like a bonus for attending a webinar, a surprise gift inclusion in a delivery or a free related video training sent following a webinar. This is the stage that helps you build a sustainable business. The better experience your clients have with your business, the more likely they are to stay on (for recurring services) or come back (for single service items).
  • Loyalty: This stage is about generating a larger sale and repeat purchases. The ascend stage is often referred to as the ‘Value Ladder’. The idea is to offer a suite of products or services along a value/price continuum. While the goal of your offer at stage four was about conversions, the goal here is generating profits. This can look like offering a training program related to your webinar content, an up-sell to a high ticket program or any higher value product or service that is a natural step up from your entry point or lower value offers.

  • Advocacy: At this stage you are asking (and/or incentivising) your customers to share their experience with others. Interestingly, the act of writing a review or testimonial or sharing their experience via social media often has the effect of deepening customers’ loyalty to your brand. Advocacy could also look like referrals to their friends, family or business associates or taking part in your affiliate program.

How to Use the Buyer Journey as a Strategic Marketing Roadmap

The Buyer Journey is at the heart of what we do in helping customers develop a more strategic approach to their marketing.

The first step in developing a strategic marketing roadmap is getting crystal clear on exactly who your ideal client is.

Step two is documenting the journey your customers take with your business. This will give you an ideal starting point to evaluate and diagnose where the weak points are in your marketing ecosystem.

Download your free Buyer Journey worksheet to get started.

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