Not every potential customer visiting your website, reading your blog, or checking you out on Facebook is at the same place in the buying cycle. And yet, many businesses treat every prospect in exactly the same way. That doesn’t make sense. People want information that’s appropriate for where they are in the decision process. For example:
“Clueless Clem”: Clem may not even know he has a problem or a need. He certainly doesn’t know you or your product. Your job with Clem is to make him aware that what he doesn’t know can hurt him. You’re not trying to scare him (or sell him)—you’re simply trying to make him aware.
“Who-Are-You?” Sue: Sue is aware of a specific business need or problem (one that you address), but she doesn’t know you or your solution from Adam. Sue needs good content that is independent and not a sales pitch. You need to build trust by demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about. You want to get Sue to turn to you regularly for information (sign up for your blog or newsletter).
“What-Can-You-Do-For-Me?” Lee: Lee actually knows who you are and generally knows what your product or service is about. He may be a regular visitor to your website and/or your blog. Lee understands his need but may not be aware that you offer a solution that meets his specific need. Lee needs content: white papers, special reports or webinars. These are things that will build your credibility with him.
“Hard-to-Get” Hannah: Hannah knows you and your product. She’s educated herself (at least partly from your content), but she’s just not sure that what you have to offer is exactly the right solution for her. Hannah may need more specialized information that addresses specific questions and objections. Case studies may be helpful for Hannah.
“Almost” Andy: Andy has been hanging around your site for a long time. He’s read everything you’ve published. Andy probably needs a bit more of a customized approach. He may respond to a more personal touch, such as a link to a high quality email newsletter, or a personalized note that indicates an attached article might be of special interest to him because it addresses his specific needs (which means you need to know what those are). Andy may even be ready for a phone call in which you mention that you’ve noticed his interest and wonder if there is specific information you can provide him that will help him.
“Customer” Calvin: Sometimes companies forget about marketing to existing customers! Just because someone is already a customer doesn’t mean they don’t need to be “touched.” You may have additional products or services that they are not aware of. You may have upgrades. Or they simply may not know everything your solution can do for them. You need to make them aware. Even if you don’t sell more to existing customers, if you help them get the most out of your product, they will become advocates for people who are at an earlier stage in the process through testimonials and case studies.