When it comes down to it, if the customer doesn’t purchase your product or service, nothing else matters. You may have a great idea or offering, but if you can’t get customers to notice you and purchase, then you’re in trouble.

It’s important to remember that marketing is not just advertising, or selling, or persuading. It's about having the right combination of smart strategy, a thorough understanding of who is actually buying your product or service and a brand story that opens all the right doors. 

We know that:

  • Adhoc and reactive marketing is a waste of your time and money
  • 90% of plans fail due to poor execution

The secret to marketing plans that work is the science of what makes your customers buy and an actionable plan to reach your ideal customers with the right message, at the right place and at the right time. 

 

The Science of Marketing

So, this year, we want to help you get the best value for your marketing dollar. In this blog series, we will take you through each step in the customer buying process, help you understand why it is important to plan your approach to each and every step, and explain how this will transform your business.

Before we begin the series, you need to first understand the following two important points:

1. Who are your ideal customers?

Before you start any marketing activity, make sure you have identified your ideal customers – i.e the people who care most about what your business cares about. Make sure you know who they are, what they like, dislike, their age and stage in life, where they live, what they like to do in their free time, etc. Find out as much as you can about your ideal customer as this will give you a blueprint for reaching them with your marketing activity. Basing marketing activity around your business goals does not make people want to buy! Understanding your customer enables you to better reach them with tailored and relevant messages.  

To help you define your ideal customer, click to download our FREE worksheet

2. What makes you so special?

To get noticed, you need to strike an emotional chord with your potential customer otherwise they will look right past you. Your branding (how you look and feel, the words and images you use, the way you answer the phone, your logo, etc.) is essential to creating impact and an emotional link with your customer. Make sure you understand your uniqueness (what makes you special) and ensure this is represented in your branding.

 

The Science to Buying

Now that you know who you are (your brand) and who your ideal customers are, you can create a marketing strategy that works using the science of what makes customers buy.

When a customer is buying a product or service, they follow a clear process from when they first notice you and evaluate your offering, through to when they decide to buy and beyond. It is easy to lose potential clients throughout this process. For example, they may not know you exist in the first place and never consider your product; or they may have heard about you but can’t easily find out more information; or they may not trust the information they have been given.

Successful marketing meets your customer at every step of the buying process so that you retain as many prospects as possible, capture your customers and generate sales.

Mapping your ideal customers’ buying process and devising marketing activities around this is what differentiates a successful marketing plan from a waste of time. Let’s talk about this in more detail. 

 

The Buying Process

Oh no, your fridge just stopped working! What do you do? You’ve already decided to purchase a new one, but like most people, you won’t just walk into the nearest shop and buy the first one you see. It’s much more likely, whether you realise it or not, that you will follow what is known in the marketing world as the consumer buying process. It’s the steps that almost everyone takes before they buy.

  1. Identify the need (in this case a new fridge)
  2. Conduct a search for possible options (this could include an internet search or visiting a variety of shops)
  3. Evaluate the alternatives (which one will best suit your needs for a price you are are willing to pay)
  4. Make a decision and buy
  5. Assess and review the purchase decision (are you happy with your new fridge?)

To have your product or service considered and successfully purchased, you need to have the right message, in the right place and at the right time so that your marketing is relevant and interesting to your ideal customers. This is the marketing equation. It is the science of marketing.

We have mapped out six key stages within the buying process where it’s important to ensure you have an effective marketing message to help people go from possibly not knowing you to buying and loving your brand!

The best marketing plans ensure there are no holes in the buying process and create strategies to make sure customers notice you, like you, trust you, try you, buy you and then love you.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Buying-process---Muritai_20160127-214659_1.png

There are a range of strategies you can use successfully at each stage to guide your ideal customer through to loving your product or service. It is not an easy task and takes some time and effort, but the end result is an actionable and measurable marketing plan that works.

In our next blog, we will talk about step 1 and the types of messages and marketing channels you should use to get noticed.

  

Follow our blog series for tips and advice on getting customers and keeping them.