As a consumer, you probably don’t think much about the process you go through as you’re making a purchase decision. Think about it: You’re at the grocery store and you’re craving some mac and cheese but don’t have any elbow noodles at home. You dash to the pasta aisle at your local grocery store grab your favorite brand and checkout.
What made you go to the grocery store in the first place? A craving you needed fulfilled. What were your considerations for the pasta you purchased? It involved healthiness, price, past experience, brand recognition, product placement or other factors that you value. And you bought based on a balancing of those considerations.
So, while consumers may not pay attention to their buyers’ journey, it’s a must for marketers. The three basic stages of the buyers’ journey are:
Believe it or not, it’s really not that different in banking. For example, a landscape business is growing, and employees need to be able to take all types of payments at the clients’ homes and places of business. Your bank offers a service that allows employees to make remote deposits but they cannot see the actual account balance. You want to be the bank that handles their deposits accounts.
The way you ensure your institution makes it at least to the consideration phase: Activation at the Point of Excitement. Some people are excited about mac and cheese for dinner and others are excited about the prospect of growing their business. It’s really no different. Meet your prospects where they are.
Consequently, a simplified version of the marketing funnel includes:
Awareness at the top makes sense. If the consumer doesn’t know you exist when that need strikes, your institution is far less likely to make it to the buyer’s consideration phase. Brand awareness consists of ongoing, simple representation of your brand. Tactics include a sharp-looking digital banner, television and billboard ads, so potential consumers of your products and services have a basic understanding that you exist and what you do.
The second piece to marketing along the buyers’ journey is engaging them with thought leadership content. Thought leadership content such as blogs, hosting virtual events or publishing digital white papers demonstrate your institution’s areas of expertise, such as the steps to launch a new business. This educational content is crucial to earning your institution the role of trusted adviser in the minds of your potential consumers.
And, finally attendees of your event or readers of your white paper are giving you their contact information to register for the event or receive the white paper download. They’ve just read your white paper and their excited about the possibilities, now you must Activate them at the Point of Excitement.
Integrated campaigns across print, digital and face-to-face events are important to reach all of your constituents, but digital is the best method of capturing them at that moment when they’re craving the possibilities for the future of their company because of the expertise and products and services your institution can provide. If you send a direct mailer, add a digital component, like a free hour of consultation for which they have to provide their contact information in your website. If a consumer downloads your white paper on launching a new business, follow up by emailing them a checklist of paperwork that must be filed. They’ll get the idea that your institution has helped them along their journey and turn to you for financial assistance as well. Keep them engaged and excited so you can Activate at the Point of Excitement!