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March 30, 2021

How to Use the 5 Levels of Customer Awareness to Win at Marketing

Marketing is essential to building and growing a customer base for your business and to make a profit. In 2021, digital marketing is the most valuable resource businesses can use, but how can you make sure that the effort you are putting into your marketing plan will pay off? Let us introduce you to the “5 Levels of Customer Awareness. “

It’s important to meet your customers where they already are. With the 5 levels of customer awareness, you have the opportunity to do that because you know exactly how to market to them. Throughout this article, we will introduce you to each level and provide you with tips for the best way to use the tools you have to make sales and increase engagement.

For our example solution throughout the article, we will showcase an innovative meal planning app. You will be able to see how the customer’s mindset changes as they progress through each level.

5 Levels of Customer Awareness

Level 1: Unaware

Whatever product or service your business provides ultimately solves a problem. The first level of awareness is for customers who are completely unaware that they even experience said problem. They simply don’t know that a better way exists and are content to live with the pain point they feel forever.

No knowledge of your product or service exists in their mind. This level is the beginning point for your sales funnel. At this level, customers are not ready to make a purchase because, in their mind, they don’t have a problem and wouldn’t benefit from your solution.

Example: You are constantly wasting food and spending money on take-out. You don’t realize that this is a problem and will continue to live your life spending the extra money to keep you and your family fed.

How to Market: Informational articles on food waste, targeted ads to busy parents that might not realize how much money they could be saving, and copy that empathizes with the problem they are facing even if they don’t know it yet.

Level 2: Problem Aware

The second level is for customers who are aware that they have a problem but may not completely understand it or what solutions are out there. They are not familiar with your business or others like yours. The main frustration for a problem-aware customer is that they are experiencing a problem that they are aware of but can’t figure out how to fix it.

Example: You realize that you are wasting food and money and want to change that, but don’t know that a better way exists. You are now constantly living with this pain point.

How to Market: Campaigns to highlight that the customer doesn’t have to experience the problem they are facing. Stress that a solution exists through articles, social media posts, and paid advertising.

Level 3: Solution Aware

When customers are aware of the problem they have and aware that a potential solution exists, they are solution aware. They know the results they want and know that solutions like yours exist; however, they have not heard of your company.

Example: You are finally ready to find a solution for the problem you are facing. You begin to read informational pieces on food waste and learn that digital and manual solutions exist that could solve the problem.

How to Market: Using phrases like “you don’t have to live this way” or “wasting food and money is just plain wrong” helps to empathize with the customer and help them begin to look for a solution. When they are in that mindset then you can present them with articles about your solution and why your business exists.

Level 4: Product Aware

The fourth level of customer awareness is product aware. The customer has an understanding of the problem they face, they know solutions exist, and they are aware that your business offers a solution. This is also called the “researcher” phase, where potential customers are finding themselves looking for solutions and weighing the pros and cons. The only reservation they have is if your solution is best for them compared to others like yours.

Example: You have done the research and read articles on various meal planning solutions. You have found three different meal planning apps but aren’t sure which one will work best.

How to Market: The number one thing to do is to present your solution as better than the others. Through email campaigns, paid advertising, and articles, use strong copy to describe the features of your solution. Use good reviews in advertisements that show your solution as number one on the market.

Level 5: Most Aware

The final level is the easiest to market to: most aware. These are your best customers because they are aware of the problem and your solution. They are also ready to buy your product and are poised to become loyal customers who will naturally evangelize your brand.

Example: After doing research, you have chosen one solution that will work best for you. After purchasing the solution, it becomes a daily part of your life, and you begin to tell your friends and family about it! Your problem has gone away because of the solution.

How to Market: Now that customers know about your solution, it is time to hit them with consistent marketing campaigns that will push them to make a purchase. Send emails that include promo codes, target them through social media advertisements, and make your website easily accessible to shop from. Follow up with customers who do buy from you to ask for reviews.

What Happens if You Market to the Wrong Level?

Think of the five levels as a funnel. If you send the wrong message or the wrong material to a customer about your solution, who doesn’t even know that they are experiencing a problem, they might be scared off. Because they are at the top of the funnel, you can’t expect them to ingest marketing material meant for those at the bottom of the funnel the same way – it won’t fit for them.

It’s also important to note that different audiences take in information in different ways. Someone at level one may retain information from videos better than articles, while a level five customer may see more benefit in emails. There isn’t a straightforward plan. You have to do the research to find the best way to market to the audience in the five levels.

Marketing to the wrong group primarily results in wasted effort and wasted advertising dollars. This can lead to a high rate of failure in your business and can lead you to question whether or not your product is effective. While the process might seem slow, your chance of making sales and finding long-term customers is much higher if you take your customers through the 5 levels.

Are you ready to start meeting your customers on the level they are already at?

Download our ‘5 Levels of Customer Awareness Guide’ to fill in examples for your product and to brainstorm ways to market to them. Get started meeting your customers where they already are and see your sales rise!

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