The goal of every marketing, sales, and communication pro everywhere is to find a way to get our customers to do what we want them to do. We develop elaborate strategies and define calculated tactics to lead customers to the finish line. It can be really difficult. How do we develop an effective content strategy that drives customers through the communication funnel quickly and easily?
I’d like us to challenge the traditional business paradigm and see the process in a new way: the consumer decision journey is just like dating.
Let’s be honest, dating can stink. How do we sift through the millions of potential partners and find our match? And to make matters worse – it is becoming harder and harder to find that perfect someone now that the majority of our country interacts with more people online than they do in real life. How can we make that real connection? These are the same challenges that we face in the communication world.
First, we start with the “Reach” – this is when we put ourselves out there and try to “land a fish”. The goal is to make ourselves findable for those that may be looking – maybe through friends and family references, social media engagement, and developing content online that will help prospects find us. We let people know that we’re available and we want them to be able to discover our wonderful qualities.
We then want those that find us to really consider us as a match in the “Educate” process. We provide information that establishes our credibility and hopefully appeals to that potential prospect. We tell them about our talents and positive attributes. It’s also important to be as honest and transparent as possible in this step – we wouldn’t want that perfect someone to go in the other direction because they were misled. This is exactly why we use real photos instead of cheesy stock photos…
Now we want that match to “Contact” us. Our prospect has decided that we are potentially the one for them – and it should be as easy as possible for them to get a hold of us. The process of how to start the relationship should be welcoming and easy to understand. It would be a shame if the perfect one missed us because they couldn’t figure out how to make that first connection.
Everyone knows that the first impression at your first date is everything! The “Trial” phase is where we put our best foot forward to start off the relationship the right way. We reach out with our location, directions, and even what to bring with them for our first encounter. During our first meeting, we are welcoming, friendly, hospitable, and our guest leave with the desire to return. Both of us end our encounter with that warm and fuzzy happy feeling.
Afterwards, our new connection goes home and hopefully tells their network about how great everything was in the “Engage” stage. They share about how easy it was to find us, how honest we were about what we were like, how fantastic it was to finally meet us in person, and how they can’t wait to see us again. They have become ambassadors for our brand and influence others on how great we are. Everything is perfect!
This whole dating process matches how we marketers seek our perfect customer. From the reach to the engage stage – we make every effort to catch those looking for us. Hopefully everything works as we plan, and we don’t lose many prospects along the way. And if everything works out, we now have a great new relationship.