6 Reasons You Need A Strong Online Presence in Minnesota
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Brand advocates don’t happen by accident.
Companies build them by methodically thinking through every touchpoint.
The key to advocacy is in the buyer’s journey experience. Once you understand what happens between Point A and Point B, you’ll be able to offer more value.
Let’s start with the less glamorous stuff: definitions.
The overall buyers journey is a general set of experiences the buyer goes through when they start interacting with your company. It acts as an umbrella over their lifecycle.
But the journey itself is personal to the customer.
It's divided into three sections:
This is where the marketer steps in.
The customer lifecycle is the process driven by a company's actions to turn someone with a pain point into a brand advocate.
It’s usually called a funnel because it starts with a large group of subscribers that trickles down to a few loyal customers.
Moving them along is an active process that can take a long time.
So, some people compare it to climbing a mountain.
At the bottom, you find potential customers who heard about your company. They can choose to either hike up to loyalty or turn back.
As the mountain gets taller, more people decide your company isn’t a fit and turn around.
The ones that stay are all in -- as long as the top of the mountain still looks promising.
When it comes to your company, everything they experience has to be seamless.
All that customization-makes-a-great-experience stuff?
It comes into play right now.
You get to decide how difficult your company mountain is to climb. It all depends on what feedback you’re willing to hear and the data you use to your advantage.
Take them on the path that will be best for them. Less friction, higher conversion rate.
So, what happens on the way up?
The goal is to show them how your company will fit their lifestyle.
Before the customer’s journey ever starts, you need a plan to grab their attention. You’ll use that plan to customize every touchpoint and control experiences on the journey.
As they travel, your potential customer reaches decision milestones. These are the base camps that add up to the customer lifecycle.
If you’ve been around marketing for a while, you’ve seen different variations of the lifecycle.
Here’s how we look at it.
Awareness is the beginning.
The potential customer notices your company for the first time. They see you on something like social media or an ad.
They’ve just started up the mountain.
If you offer something they believe will solve their problem, they might consider working with you.
The more times they’re exposed to your company, the more likely they are to engage.
Tip: Increase engagement by marketing where your ideal audience hangs out.
At this point, they’re interested and want to see if it’s the right fit.
They subscribe and explore your website or socials. That leads them to schedule a call.
So, now you’re in.
You can start drip and nurture campaigns to educate them. That will inch them closer to making a decision.
Tip: Introduce yourself and start giving. Free resources and familiarity help them learn more.
This is a big day and arguably one of the most difficult camps to guide them to.
At this level, the potential customer has become… a customer!
If they’re still satisfied with their purchase, it will be the beginning of an ongoing customer relationship.
Tip: Customize messaging based on what they purchased. Tailor it to what you’ve learned about them.
At this point, your new customer wants to stay on the journey with you. They’ve moved past one-time purchasing and have been activated as a regular buyer.
This doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to keep them, but now, you have more opportunities to customize.
Tip: Take advantage of customer feedback. Use it as a tool to improve their engagement.
Things should be ramping up. You’re getting closer to the top, where your customer will see the full potential of your business.
They’re subscribed and interacting, they’re buying consistently -- they’re engaged.
But this is also a tricky phase.
If you’re not careful, some customers will get frustrated and turn back. They need to continually see what’s in it for them.
The lifecycle is nonlinear. At any point, they could change their mind.
Keep offering value to keep their interest.
Tip: To counteract boredom, keep up with the customer’s needs. Offer them relevant messaging and fresh products. AKA: upsell and cross-sell as much as possible. But keep them at the center.
Congratulations! You have guided those dedicated few to loyalty.
Your focus shifts from guiding the customer to the top, to keeping them engaged where they are.
They’re satisfied with your product … you know… unless the weather gets bad, the view changes, or it gets dangerous. Typical mountain things.).
Basically, they want to see that you didn’t bring them all this way to leave them stranded.
They should be ready to evangelize about your life-changing product.
Tip: Make sure you treat your existing customers like (or better than!) your new ones. Offer rewards programs based on referrals.
Of course, you want your brand advocates to take this trip again as recurring customers.
The only way to do that is to make them feel delighted that they chose your brand.
Your job now is to offer benefits that make them want to renew the cycle. Make it harder to go back down than it was to climb up.
Tip: Keep being authentic. Continue interacting with them and asking for feedback. Show them you care.
Guiding customers on a customized journey takes work. But with integrity and a solid strategy, you have what it takes to bring them to the top and keep them coming back.
What brands are irresistible to you? Is there something about them that makes you want to spread the word? What has your lifecycle been like?
Let us know what you’re thinking!
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