- Marketing demand generation programs that focus on generating interest or “leads” and transforming prospects into customers should be modified at each stage of the customer journey including the consideration stage to address the types of questions, concerns, and needs evident at that point of the solution assessment.
- Two-thirds of the touchpoints during the active evaluation/consideration phase involve consumer-driven activities such as internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.
- Interviews help marketers understand customer wants and needs and build a sales funnel that aligns with those needs.
Consideration is the stage when potential customers have identified a problem or an opportunity and are researching their best options. Still not ready to commit, they want to explore different possibilities, compare alternate solutions, and get answers to questions that will help them make a better decision.
At this point, companies should put in place marketing demand generation programs that focus on generating interest or leads, transforming prospects into customers, and then nurturing those customers until they fulfill their long-term needs.
Traditional Lead Generation Tools Provide Key Information about the Customer
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and potential customers into prospects who show interest in a given company’s product or service. At the consideration stage, prospects include returning visitors to a website as well as interested parties that sign up to download specific information, participate in a webinar, or interact with content in some other way.
- Webinars often offer more valuable leads than other, more traditional forms of online content (blog posts, infographics, etc.) as people are more likely to give their email to participate. Webinars increase participants’ trust while gauging their views and intent regarding the product and can also be a starting point for outreach tactics, which, in turn, strengthen the lead generation process.
- Blogs, videos, and infographics also educate their audiences while providing some information and follow-up potential to the seller. Several key metrics can be tracked, such as individual post views, social media shares, and link downloads. Any social activity around the blog accelerates its diffusion and impact.
These tools need to be reinforced by a strong brand awareness; brands that are in the initial consideration stage are more likely to be selected than brands that are not in it. In the same way, when a business has a stronger brand awareness level, its marketing and advertising campaigns are more impactful. Brands may alter the decision-making process and even transform the competitive field, creating opportunities for marketers with additional touchpoints.
Qualitative Market Research Provides Additional Consumer Insights
According to McKinsey, two-thirds of the touchpoints during the active evaluation/consideration phase involve consumer-driven activities such as internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. For the analyst, this change in decision making means that “marketers must move aggressively beyond purely push-style communication and learn to influence consumer-driven touchpoints, such as word-of-mouth and internet information sites.”
Interviews and focus groups help researchers understand customer wants and needs and build a sales funnel that aligns with those needs. Open-ended questions uncover buyers’ motivations and behavior to understand their decision-making process. This type of qualitative research helps marketers validate key hypotheses about their target personas. Questions should center around the product, opportunities, and challenges that come with it, pricing and terms, website navigation, and the purchase decision, including comparisons with competitors’ processes.
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