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  • Writer's pictureGeorgina

Customer Journey Part 2: Customer acquisition

In the first blog in this series, I shared why I believe getting your customer journey right is the main hack/secret/superpower to being able to select the right marketing tactics for your audience.


I gave an overview of the whole customer journey – from them not knowing about you, right to becoming your biggest fan. Now, we're going to go into more detail about the first part of the customer journey - customer acquisition.


Before taking the next step, you need to make sure you know who your audience is. It only works if you know who they are and what they want from you. That’s a different exercise and you can find out more about it by reading this blog – Who are you talking to?


This blog will cover just the customer acquisition stages of the customer journey – the bit that the sales team is most interested in! We’re going to keep it simple and work with three main stages:

  1. Attract: At this point, your prospect knows they have a problem, but they don’t know what the solution is. They’re problem-aware but not solution-aware. You need them to find you and understand that you can solve their problem.

  2. Nurture: Here your prospect knows there are different kinds of solutions available, but hasn’t decided between them. You need them to understand how you are different from the other solutions out there.

  3. Convert: Finally, your prospect knows that you and your competitors have the solution they want and must choose between them. You need to convince them that you are THE answer to their problem.

Here are the stages in a handy table:

Attract

Nurture

Convert

​At this point, your prospect knows they have a problem, but they don’t know what the solution is. They’re problem-aware but not solution-aware.

Here your prospect knows there are different kinds of solutions available, but hasn’t decided between them.

Finally, your prospect knows that you and your competitors have the solution they want and must choose between you.

​You need them to find you and understand that you can solve their problem.

You need them to understand how you are different from the other solutions out there.

You need to convince them that you are THE answer to their problem.

BIG caveat coming – This linear progression assumes that people will move steadily from one stage to the next. However, because we are dealing with people and not machines, that is rarely the case. Sometimes people get stuck at a stage and never progress, other times, they might take a step back for some reason and cycle through a couple of stages for a bit. That’s normal. Nevertheless, you can continue to engage with them and add value.


Now, let’s look at each of these stages in detail:


1. Attract

If you’ve heard the term “top of funnel”, that’s this bit. You want to make them aware of you and get them on board - and ideally into your marketing machine.


Where they are: Your prospect knows they have a problem, but they don’t know what the solution is. They’re problem-aware but not solution-aware


What you need to do: You need them to find you and understand that you can solve their problem.


Types of marketing activity & content:

  • Website SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) - Step one - get found online. Optimizing your website for search engines is very helpful here.

  • Local SEO - This basically means demonstrating to Google that you are where you say you are and that local people can find you. You can use your Google Business Profile and local directories too

  • Long-form blogs – Blogs give you an opportunity to dig into a topic and show you’re an expert, while also helping with SEO through the use of keywords.

  • Lead magnets (downloadable reports, ebooks etc.) – Providing something of real value (at the price of their contact details) is a good way to start the relationship

  • Webinars - Webinars are great to demonstrate your expertise and introduce your audience to you by giving them valuable information and answering their questions

  • Infographics - Why not give them the data they are looking for in a handy, accessible visual form?

  • Educational videos - YouTube is a search engine in its own right and a source of valuable information for people on specific topics - help them access your expertise through videos.

  • Social media - Last, but definitely not least - the social media platform of your choice can help people find you. Which platform will depend on who your audience is!

The emphasis here is on helping them find you, education, and starting to establish trust.

Ideally, you also want to get them into your marketing machine – often by getting their email address or inviting them to follow you on social media.


2. Nurture

Now they know about you but they’re not ready to buy from you. This is the middle of the funnel. Prospects can spend a long time here before they’re ready to buy. You have to be patient and keep them interested. They know about you and you want to build trust further and prove your credibility. You understand them, you can help them, and you’ve helped lots of people like them in the past.


Where they are: Here your prospect knows there are different kinds of solutions available, but hasn’t decided between them.


What you need to do: You need them to understand how you are different from the other solutions out there.


Types of marketing activity & content:

  • Email marketing - Newsletters help you stay top of mind for your audience. It's something regular that they can rely on. Email sequences following the download of a lead magnet, or attending a webinar is a good way to cultivate a relationship with a prospect.

  • Case studies - These are marketing gold. They show your prospect exactly how you've helped someone like them in the past and prove you know what you're doing.

  • Customer testimonials - Similar to case studies, they prove to your audience that you can make people like them happy.

3. Convert

This is the exciting bit, now you want to convince them to buy. This is the bit that overlaps with Sales and if you do your job right, they become a customer.


Where they are: Finally, your prospect knows that you and your competitors have the solution they want and must choose between them.


What you need to do: You need to convince them that you are THE answer to their problem.


Types of marketing activity & content:

We’re getting into the nitty gritty here, this is the bottom of the funnel. This is probably the part that you're most familiar with and needs the least explanation but you might not have realized that this is also a valuable part of your marketing. However you secure customers, these items should be compelling, on-brand, and a clear articulation of your value.

  • Discounts, offers, and pricing

  • Pricing sheets

  • Proposals

  • Presentations

  • Product/service specifications & prices

  • Demonstrations

At this point, they’re comparing and contrasting. The magic is in the details so you want to ensure that you give them all the information they want – now is not the time to be coy.

In some instances, the main call to action on your website might be to get in touch and talk to you, because you do the selling offline, so these assets don’t necessarily need to be on the website – they might be something you send to prospects.


Hopefully, if this final stage of the customer acquisition journey goes well, you’ve just gained a new customer!


However, the marketing story doesn’t end here. The job of the sales team might be done, but just because you’ve convinced a customer to make a purchase doesn’t mean they’ll stick around, or necessarily buy again. That’s where the Customer Retention part of the journey comes into play. I would argue that this is the more important part. New customers are important for growth, but only if you maintain your existing customer base – otherwise it’s just customer churn. And that’s exhausting for everyone. So stay tuned!


Next time – Keeping your customers, upselling to them, and converting them into ambassadors.


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