When thinking about your marketing strategies, whether seasonal, immediate or long-term, businesses need to think about the consumer purchasing funnel. This is the process that consumers go through before they take an action (‘purchase’) your product or service. There is a 6-step process that a consumer goes through, with some additional steps following that can make a big difference for your business. It takes time for the consumer to go through each of these processes, especially step 1, so make sure you plan out your marketing strategies and tactics and timeline in order to see and measure your results.
So how do we get them from step 1 to 6? Through marketing strategies and tactics. A lot of times the first step is the hardest, and what costs the most money. Is someone aware of your product or service? If they are not, there is absolutely no way to get to step 6. Awareness can be accomplished through a multitude of ways, including marketing campaigns, consumer research, events, advertising, trade shows, blogs, webinars, direct mail, viral campaigns, social media, search, media mentions and more.
The next steps are as follows:
Interest = engagement and introduction to positioning. Utilize emails, targeted content, classes, newsletters, and more, to get your service or product back in front of those who are aware.
Consideration = product information specials, automated email campaigns, free trials, etc.
Intent = product demos and shopping carts. Sales team adds to nurture stream.
Evaluation = marketing and sales work to prove their product or service is best.
Purchase = sales transaction is completed. But you are not done!
The next two steps include Loyalty and Advocacy. Do you have repeat customers who become your brand ambassadors? Have you collected testimonials from your customers and/or seen them share about your product or service on their social media channels or do their network? Loyalty and Advocacy can truly set a business apart from its competitors, and your loyal customers will help make a huge difference.
In the tourism marketing world, we also see this process take shape in the Dreaming/Inspiration phase, Planning, Booking and Experiencing/Sharing.
For a more in-depth look at a presentation given by David Wells on ‘Seasonal Marketing Strategies’ at the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership Small Business Forum click here.