Have you ever wondered what makes a customer purchase any product? Is it a need or a desire? How do they go from indifference to being convinced to become your customer?
Converting a prospect into a customer involves multiple stages. Consumers evaluate if a product meets their needs or wants before purchasing. Businesses do not have to wait for their prospects to buy a product to interact and engage with them. They can assist prospects’ purchase decisions by mapping their behavior (actions and concerns) at every step of the buyer’s journey.
A buyer awareness matrix is one such tool that allows businesses to understand the dynamics of each buyer awareness stage and cater to their audience’s different needs at a particular stage. They can use it to strategically tailor their marketing efforts to meet their audience’s needs and preferences.
This article provides an in-depth understanding of the buyer awareness matrix, its various stages, and how you can harness its power to drive engagement, conversions, and customer loyalty.
What is a buyer awareness matrix?
Buyer awareness refers to a potential buyer’s knowledge and understanding of your product, service, or brand. And the buyer awareness matrix is a framework to categorize prospective customers into different groups based on their awareness level. Generally, four awareness levels are represented in the buyer awareness matrix as follows:
- Unawareness - In the first stage, potential buyers do not know your brand, product, or services. To initiate a purchase, consumers must first recognize their needs or wants. At this stage, they are unaware of an unmet need or desire that can be solved (in the form of your product or service).
- Awareness - In the second stage, potential buyers gain awareness of their problem and need and know that a product exists that solves their problems due to the business’s marketing efforts.
- Solution-aware (consideration) - At the consideration stage, the potential buyer actively explores the various products or services to seek more information and evaluate the value proposition of different businesses’ offerings.
- Product-aware (purchase intent) - In the final stage, the potential buyer intends to purchase the product after successful evaluation and research. They make the intention of buying the particular shortlisted option.
This four-stage framework allows businesses to understand where their potential buyer is standing in their buyer’s journey so that they can tailor their marketing and communication strategies accordingly to move them down the conversion funnel. It is a generalization framework. Therefore, you may need to customize the framework according to your specific context, target audience, and product industry to reflect buyer behavior.
Let’s explore the different groups of potential buyers, as mentioned in the buyer awareness matrix, and how to integrate them into your marketing strategy.
1. Unaware of the problem
In this initial phase, potential buyers do not know a specific product or service. They may not have yet encountered marketing material, advertisements, or product-related information.
Businesses can use this opportunity to introduce their product by creating awareness. The goal is to capture their attention and move them into the next awareness stage. Businesses can focus on the following efforts to expose potential buyers to their brand messaging or communication and bring the offer to their attention.
- Conduct thorough market research to identify your target audience and understand their needs, preferences, and behavior.
- Invest in advertising and promotions utilizing various platforms such as online, social, print, television, radio, or outdoor advertising to generate awareness depending on your product and industry.
- Focus on content marketing to develop high-quality content that educates, entertains, and informs your target audience using blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.
- Build a strong brand positioning that differentiates you from competitors and communicates your unique selling proposition.
- Optimize your website and use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your visibility on the search engine. So potential buyers discover your business when they search for relevant keywords or topics.
- Other focuses include public relations, social media presence, networking, partnerships, and more.
Efforts in the unawareness or any stage of the buyer awareness journey shall be integrated with your overall marketing strategy. To ensure it, you can consider the following checks in mind:
Define clear objectives: Start with clear objectives by determining what you aim to achieve, such as increasing brand awareness, reaching a specific target audience, or generating leads for future nurturing.
Ideal customer persona and target audience segmentation: Develop your ideal customer personas to better target your audience and segment based on demographics, interests, behaviors, or other relevant criteria to tailor your reach.
Measurement and analysis: Continuously monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts with key metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, reach, brand mentions, or lead generation. And optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
The problem-aware stage is where the potential buyer becomes aware that they have a specific problem or need that requires a solution. During this stage, individuals recognize that they are experiencing a challenge, pain point, or unfulfilled desire that they want to address.
But potential buyers are unaware of specific solutions or products to resolve their problems. However, they identify and acknowledge the existence of a problem or need in their lives.
Businesses can leverage this stage by positioning their product as the solution to the problems or needs of their target audience. They can focus on the following:
- Identify target audience pain points by conducting customer surveys and interviews.
- Tailor your messaging so that it resonates with the identified pain points.
- Create content that educates your audience about their problem, its impact, and potential solutions.
- Increase your discoverability by potential buyers actively seeking solutions to their problems with SEO techniques.
- Present yourself as a thought leader in your industry by sharing insights, advice, and expertise related to the problem your target audience is facing to build credibility.
- Provide social proof, testimonials, case studies, and success stories to build trust and compel potential buyers to try your product confidently.
To ensure your efforts at the problem-aware stage are in line with your marketing strategy, consider the following steps:
Targeted Messaging: Clearly articulate how your product solves the buyer’s problems with messaging that resonates with their emotions.
Retargeting and Remarketing: Perform retargeting and remarketing to stay on your buyer’s mind. Display targeted ads or send follow-up messages that remind them of their problem and present your solution.
Collaboration and partnership: Leverage the presence of complementary businesses or influencers to reach a broader audience in the problem-aware stage. Use guest blog posts, cross-promotions, and joint webinars to expand your reach.
3. Solution Aware
The solution-aware stage refers to buyers gaining awareness of the various available solutions to meet their needs. They actively seek product information and explore multiple options in the market to find their fit. They engage with content such as product reviews, recommendations, product features and benefits, and more to make an informed purchase decision.
At this stage, the focus of the businesses should be on the following:
- Providing detailed product information highlights its features, benefits, and how it addresses potential buyers’ needs or challenges.
- Showcase value proposition to make your product stand out from competitors.
- Establish yourself as an industry expert by sharing relevant insights, thought leadership content, case studies, or success stories.
- To assist decision-making, offer comparison tools and resources such as comparison charts, product demonstrations, or guides.
- Provide social proof to show how your product successfully solved similar problems.
- Engage with potential buyers to respond to their queries promptly and provide personalized recommendations and customer support.
While executing your marketing strategy, you can integrate the following methods at the solution-aware stage efforts:
Personalized Recommendations: Use customer data and generated insights to deliver personalized recommendations using data analytics tools and customer relationship management tools.
Lead Nurturing: Implement lead nurturing campaigns to stay engaged with potential customers considering your solution. Use email marketing, personalized content, and targeted messaging to provide ongoing information, address questions or concerns, and guide them through decision-making.
4. Product aware
At the product-aware stage, the buyer clearly understands a product or solution and its relevance to their needs. They explore multiple solutions and evaluate features, benefits, pricing, and other factors. Based on their research, they narrow down their options to particular solutions that meet their needs.
Businesses need to focus on the following at this stage:
- Highlight unique selling points emphasizing what sets you apart from competitors, why it is the best choice, and what features, benefits, and advantages it offers.
- Provide in-depth product details, such as descriptions, specifications, user manuals, or demos, to build buyers’ understanding of your product.
- Address potential concerns about guarantees, free trials, or other frequently asked questions about your product.
- Facilitate the buying process by making it seamless and convenient with secure, multiple payment options and a user-friendly buying experience.
- Create urgency or scarcity to prompt the buyer to take action with limited-time offers, exclusive deals, or promotional incentives.
Businesses can also effectively implement their marketing strategy by incorporating the following efforts at the product-aware stage.
User-generated Content: Push your customers with user-generated content highlighting the product experience of satisfied customers. Amplify their positive feedback to demonstrate real-life usage and satisfaction with your product.
Upselling and Cross-selling: Look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell related products or services to existing customers already in the product-aware stage.
Why is consumer awareness needed in the market?
Consumer awareness is critical because of the following reasons:
- It provides individuals with the necessary information to make informed purchase decisions after carefully evaluating and comparing alternatives based on their needs and preferences.
- It protects consumers from exploitation and unethical practices. When consumers are knowledgeable about their rights, consumer laws, and fair market practices, they are less likely to fall victim to scams, false advertising, misleading claims, or substandard products and services.
- It promotes healthy market competition, and businesses strive to improve their products and services, resulting in quality.
- Consumer awareness empowers individuals to advocate for their interests and hold businesses accountable.
What are the four stages of buyer awareness?
The four stages of buyer awareness are as follows:
- Unawareness - The potential buyer does not know your brand, product, or services. They are unaware that a solution to their problems and needs exists. They are usually unaware of the problems or need they have at this point.
- Problem-aware - The potential buyer becomes aware of a problem or need they have. They may not have yet found a solution to their problem, but they identify the presence of a need in their life.
- Solution-aware - At this stage, the potential buyer actively seeks the solution and explores the potential options. They perform research to determine the option that best fits their needs.
- Product-aware - In this stage, the buyer clearly understands a specific product or solution to their needs. By this point, they have narrowed their options to a product they intend to purchase.