Remember the 80s — the sweet, glorious days of VCRs, Saturday morning cartoons, and memorable TV commercials?
Fair enough — how much do you remember of pagers and fax machines, the high-tech devices of the day? These devices probably look silly to a great majority of us, but back in their heydays, they were widely deemed as the future of high-tech.
Asked to dish out great marketing ideas back then, these devices could have been at the heart of it all.
Take fax machines, for instance. They were widely considered as one of the fastest and most effective ways to communicate with prospective customers and clients. The lowly, now phased-out machines that no one really pays any attention to today were considered a gold mine. They had some great marketing power that every serious marketer back then could have killed for a slice.
But a lot has changed along the way. It started with pagers taking over, and then along came cell phones, which would shortly after usher in the age of smartphones.
Back then, a great majority of the world’s population had fax machines or on the very least, a direct access to one. So it made sense to mass shoot advertising messages to a targeted group of potential customers – a perfect comparison is today’s mass-email marketing. And surprisingly enough, this tactic worked.
Nowadays, no one seems to remember fax machines. Nothing you say about them has any significant value to a millennial whose age allows them to only know about smartphones, emails, and social media.
The devices evolved to what we have now, and so did consumer behaviour. The marketing funnels that worked in the 80s and 90s no longer hold water at present, so it makes more sense to ditch them for something more viable.
This article introduces you to a marketing model that would perfectly work with the present time. Think of a tested digital marketing framework that has been broken down into do-able chunks, with real-time examples that you could easily follow and be sure of making an impact.
First, we start by walking you through the mind of a modern buyer. How’s their online journey like? And how best can one market to them at each stage of the process?
Stages Consumers pass through before making the decision to buy
Think of digital marketing funnel as a framework, whose purpose is to help you understand the different stages buyers go through before finally making the decision to go through with a purchase.
It’s the journey consumers pass through during their customer lifecycle.
The modern marketing funnel doesn’t operate like a real funnel, but a looping journey featuring with a set of twists and turns.
Starts with consumers being made aware of their pain points. They’ll then take it into consideration, but instead of them expressing their purchasing intent straight away, they resort to doing their own research on the best possible solution out there, hence the first loop.
Once satisfied with the results of their own research, they can then proceed and make a purchase, and based on the experience they get, decide if they can be loyal to you by making a point to make another purchase with you.
Here’s a real world example:
Some guy going by the name Leo learns about SEO from a friend. He also learns that in order to gain from it, he first has to consider developing an online portal for his business. That’s awareness.
- Leo decides to search for the best web developer in Singapore. That’s consideration in the sense that he’s considering to hire one.
- Leo decides to call the friend again and ask for some recommendation on the best web development agency to go for. He checks with Facebook and other online platforms for more recommendations. That’s awareness, again – in the sense that he’s learning about the options he has in order to make an informed consideration.
- Leo decides to again scour the internet for reviews, prices, and everything else regarding the suggested companies. That’s consideration, again.
- Leo then decides to go with the company. The decision could be influenced by price, discount or quality of service. Whichever the case, Leo has to research more about this company before fully deciding to hire them. He’s still at the consideration loop.
- Later on during the day, Leo decide to contact the company and request for the service. He clears payments with them and he’s told to wait for about a week.
- A week later, the company contacts him and informs him that his site is done and that he can actually check it out online. He’s also told to inform the company in case he needs some changes done. However, upon checking the site out, Leo learn that it’s everything he’d envisioned.
- He’s so excited about the job that he goes on social media and any available platform to leave a raving review for the company. That’s loyalty in the sense that should there arise another opportunity to hire the company again, he’ll certainly do it with no second thoughts.
A month later, Leo learns through an email he receives that the company is also involved with SEO. He decides to hire their services again.
The Best Digital Marketing Model to Try Out
There are so many digital marketing frameworks that you could adopt today and expect tremendous results. But you have all the reasons in the world to ditch them all in favour of this one simple framework.
Labelled as SEE-THINK-DO-CARE, the model focuses on the intentions consumers have whenever they’re contemplating to go through with any kind of purchasing decision. Each stage of the customer lifecycle is usually broken down into audience clusters, as shown below:
This is largest group of potential audience that you can address. The only difference is that they have NOT displayed any form of commercial intent.
This is another large group of qualified consumers that you can address. Almost similar to the SEE group, except that they have expressed some commercial intent in what you’re offering.
Another large group of potential consumers with loads of commercial intents.
This group includes all returning customers or any past customer with more than two commercial transactions with you.
Strategies for Targeting the SEE audience
This is the topmost funnel on the model, consisting of the largest group of qualified audience, but who’ve already decided that they don’t need your product or have yet to make the decision.
All you have to do to connect with this group of potential buyers is raise some awareness. Expose your product to them, clearly stating all of its benefits, and all the possible reasons they need to consider buying it.
Your chief goal would be to try and convert them into the THINK group. And one way to tell you have succeeded in achieving this feat is when they start to show the intent to make a purchase.
Two digital marketing strategies that have proven to work magic for this kind of audience are PPC display ads and social media.
This group of audience has NOT made any effort to look for your product or service, so we can assume their level of intent is close to zero. Their first stop should be the different social media channels – that is, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. And that’s mostly because people visit these platforms to discover new things.
You just need to let them know that your products exist in addition to lining up all the reasons they need to consider trying them out.
Here are some important stats to consider taking full advantage of:
- About 88 percent of all the adults between the age of 18 and 29 can be found on Facebook. Same goes for 84 percent of all the adults between the age of 30 and 49.
- About 59 percent of all the adults between the age of 18 and 29 can be found on Instagram. The same can be said for all the adults between the age of 30 and 49.
- About 81 percent of all millennials are active on YouTube. The same goes for 58 percent of all Gen X.
For every six minutes people spend online, one will be on Facebook. For mobiles however, five minutes of online browsing comes with one minute of Facebook browsing.
An average YouTube user spends about 40 minutes per session on the platform.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Think Stage
Once your target audience learns about your products and develop some interest, they’re automatically converted into the “think” group of audience. That’s the stage where majority of the research on your product happens. Buyers gets tangled up in the research and discovery loop with every new information they get to learn.
You’re advised to establish a strong authority during this stage. This is important as it helps direct a good chunk of your target audience to your website so you can get them to the ‘DO’ stage of the model.
Here are some important stats for this stage:
About 71 percent of all consumers you’re likely to get begin their online research on search engines.
92 percent of all online shoppers have been found to scour the net for online reviews before they can finally decide to go ahead and make a purchase.
About four times the number of online readers prefer watching a video description about a product or service than reading it.
Of all the clicks made on the SERPs, 41 percent go to paid ads.
The best digital marketing strategies to employ for this stage of the model include:
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
- PPC Search Ads
SEO for the THINK audience
Once your audience is aware of your products or services, their next course of action is research. In most cases, they begin by Googling it, and that’s where SEO comes in.
The thing is – try to come up with blog content for every possible question a potential buyer might be tempted to ask.
You can also write some detailed reviews about the products you offer and even stack them against other similar ones in the industry.
Video Marketing for the THINK audience
Videos attract four times more watchers compared to written content. Better, almost half of all internet users prefer looking for relevant videos before deciding on whether or NOT a particular product is good enough for purchasing.
PPC Ads for the THINK Audience
PPC ads help to rank your web content atop the SERPs quickly enough as opposed to SEO. A recent study also shows that about 41 percent of all the clicks you get will be from PPC Ads.
Other than that, PPC plays a very crucial role in increasing your brand awareness.
Email Marketing Strategies for the THINK Audience
Opt-in email marketing is one of the most effective ways to target the THINK audience. That’s because it offers you the perfect opportunity to wave directly at a prospect, right into their inbox with your message and everything else.
Digital Marketing Strategies for the “DO” stage of the Model
This is the stage where you convert an audience with loads of commercial intents into actual customers. So it’s important that any marketing effort you apply should be directed into triggering the targeted person to take action.
The most effective digital marketing strategies you can employ at this stage include:
This stage demands that you consider optimizing your web content and PPC ads to include the following list of search terms:
For purchasing, use search terms such as buy, package or quote. A simple approach would be to structure your statement along the lines of “let’s talk about price as we try to figure out which package best suits your needs.”
- Use branded terms.
- Use contact-related keywords such as call, contact, or request.
- Use price comparison terms such as the cost of, how much, save and so forth.
- Be specific by mentioning your exact location.
Strategies for the Care Stage
You’ve succeeded in convincing a prospect to make a series of transactions with you. What next? You want to convert them into returning customers by getting them to be loyal to your brand.
Start by getting this one particular customer to review your product or service. A simple email asking them to, should be enough to make them consider writing the review.
Another approach would be to offer them a generous insider-only discount, but with a condition that they first review your product.
Lastly, learn to personalise your online interactions with the customers, not forgetting their experience with your business.
It’s a Wrap
By mastering this digital marketing funnel, you’ll be eliminating all the strategies that failed to work in the past. You also get to become a master of calibrations. Makes more sense considering the model is designed to help you understand your audience at a much deeper level for an easy targeting.
If you’re still having trouble understanding any of the funnels we’ve mentioned, kindly consider contacting MediaOne today for a free SEO consultation.