Driving the new business effort is a critical component of operating a successful business. And marketing is a key ingredient that helps move the new business needle. You knew that, right? Sure you did. But did you know that there is an art to using marketing to drive conversions? Leveraging this art begins with understanding how your consumers make purchases and business decisions.
There are five key stages within a purchasing decision. We can outline these stages in a funnel. As the customer moves from stage to stage, they get closer and closer to a positive buying decision. And as they get closer to that positive buying decision, they also get closer to becoming a cheerleader for your brand; someone that influences other to also consider your product or service.
In order for this model to work, it’s imperative that you’re effectively marketing through each stage:
There is almost always a large population of potential customers who are less than familiar with your brand, or perhaps have never heard of your brand at all. In order to win new business, these customers need to be made aware of all your brand has to offer. Public relations (PR) and search engine optimization (SEO) are key in the awareness stage. PR effectively spreads positive brand messaging to a mass audience. SEO drives how and when your company’s web site appears in search engine results. If someone is blindly searching for a company that offers your product or service, your company shows up in the results. If the potential customer has already heard of you through PR, BINGO. You’re officially credible.
In order to get these potential customers to consider making a purchase, your web site, email and direct mail should all be speaking directly to them. Your web site shares all of the highlights that would entice customers to consider your company. And you can personalize emails and direct mail communication to the receivers’ needs and interests in order to get them to consider doing business with you.
The engagement stage is all about communication and helping customers get a better feel for your brand and its value to their lives. Social media is a great marketing tool to use to build relationships with your existing and potential customers through two-way communication. Whether you’re using LinkedIn or a corporate blog, your customers will appreciate the ongoing conversation. These customers are already waiting in these media, looking for the conversation. You should be the one facilitating it! If not, someone else will.
Assuming they like what they’ve seen so far, the potential customer makes a purchase. From a marketing perspective, offering discounts and specials that drive them in-store or encouraging them to pick up the phone and call you are great ways to help seal the deal.
Finally, and most importantly, happy customers will spread the word on your behalf, effectively driving more customers into the top of the marketing funnel. Review sites such as Yelp!, Google Plus Local, and other forms of word-of-mouth are key to this advocacy.
As you can see, it takes a fully integrated marketing effort to successfully drive conversions through today’s new media channels. Potential customers are moved through the marketing funnel using a variety of different tactics. It’s up to you to figure out what will work best for your brand.
Interested in more information on how to use marketing to successfully drive conversions? Let’s start a conversation! Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @VitaminIsGood.