Targeting customers online can seem daunting! With so many ads and content floating around on the web, how can you be sure your ads and content gets in front of your customer?

One of the more difficult aspects about it, however, is the lack of insight into your reader’s individual status with your brand or product. It can be a difficult balancing act, asking yourself questions like:

  • Have they already bought from me?
  • How can I offer new customers a different deal than loyal ones?
  • How do I talk to somebody who doesn’t know anything about my product, versus somebody who’s well researched?

And maybe the most important question – What stages does a consumer go through before they buy online and how can I target him or her at every one of these stages?

As customers become more intelligent with the assistance of technology and the internet, using one-size-fits-all emails and marketing collateral makes them feel like you really don’t care. Not only is it a bad feeling, but you’re literally just one of thousands of emails they’re getting from brands and businesses with no idea how much they know about your/their product.

It doesn’t work.

Luckily, there’s a better way.

 

Buyer journey

For years, marketers have been trying to better understand the buyer journey. How does a customer’s individual decision path look as they work through the process of buying your product? Think about yourself. How do you buy a product? Here are three important stages to understand (note these can be broken down further).

 

Awareness

You can’t buy something you don’t know about, so the first stage is awareness. Traditional marketing has focused heavily on reaching buyers in the awareness stage.

 

Consideration

Once you find out about a product (or service, for that matter), you may think about buying it or subscribing to it. This stage is called consideration and may include online research, asking friends and family about it, and or visualizing yourself using the product. Modern marketing understands this to be one of the most involved stages as people have unprecedented access to information via the internet and mobile applications.

 

Decision

Finally, after many sleepless nights, you make a decision to either pull the trigger or pass for an alternative. This stage is always informed by the research done in the previous stage and proves the importance of an effective strategy for the buyer’s consideration.

 

We can’t just ask people if they’re aware of our product, or considering it or if they’ve decided to shop somewhere else. We could, but the whole point of understanding the buyer journey is meeting a lead or prospect where he or she is at before they even realize they are there.

 

Lead Scoring

This is where lead scoring comes into play. Lead scoring is the process of judging a lead’s interest in your product or service based on his or her interactions with your site. For instance, if a visitor to your site spends spends more than 5 seconds on two or three product pages, and reads testimonies, it can be assumed that he or she is in the consideration stage.

One strategy is to assign point values to these leads based on their interaction with the site and use those points to determine their point in the buyer cycle. Once we know what stage the lead is at, we are able to send customized emails and even web pages for them!

Let’s look at an example. Say you have a shop called Donny’s Doughnut Delivery, and someone named Jim visits one of the pages and wants to know if your doughnuts are the best in Toledo. Jim is doing research because he has a giant corporate event that he is in charge of catering desserts for.

Years ago, simply putting up a billboard or running a radio ad was enough to get Jim to commit. All he had to do was hear “doughnut delivery” for the first time and he was probably sold. These days, though, Jim wants the best and he knows that he can get it. He has access to Yelp, Google, Foursquare, Facebook, Zomato and even independent doughnut blogs (they exist!).

He’s going to get Mr. Right Doughnut not Mr. Right Now Doughnut.

Jim travels to your site and looks around at the different varieties of doughnuts you have. He’s especially interested in the classic ring doughnuts that decorate the background of Donny’s site. Jim is also thinking about his party planning budget and vegan/gluten-free options for Tim in accounting and Hannah the senior sales representative.

With lead scoring, you would be able to see that Jim knows about Donny’s Doughnut Delivery (because he’s at your site), but you could also see that he is really interested and doing research. He has visited the page talking about Donny’s fresh ingredients. He has visited your “krullers and persians” page and even downloaded your short eBook “How a Great Doughnut Changed the World.” Donny’s lead score would come back as a 186 points!

Wow – Jim deserves some kind of personalized email with a bulk order coupon or free delivery promotion, doesn’t he? It’d certainly help him make the decision and it helps Donny’s save money by waiting to offer a coupon with higher value until a prospective customer is in the consideration phase.

On the other side of the equation, you have Christine who googled “History of doughnuts” and the infographic Donny’s created was the first result! Christine downloaded the infographic from your site to use for a school paper, but wasn’t really looking to purchase doughnut delivery. Her lead score of 28 would reflect this.

 

Unlock the Potential

Let us know how lead scoring as worked for your business. If you have any questions, let us know and subscribe to our blog. Our blogs are packed with information and tips to improve your Internet marketing strategy.