a business, content and marketing structure – WAU
This post is a translation of the amazing article by Avinash Kaushik, which you can check out here in English. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The world does not need new business structure. I get about 269 million results (0.25 seconds) every time I search for it on Google. Most of the business models we have today […]
This post is a translation of the amazing article by Avinash Kaushik, which you can check out here in English.
The world does not need a new business structure. I get about 269 million results (0.25 seconds) every time I search for it on Google.
Most of the business models we have today do not capture the complexity of digital marketing and how to measure the results obtained from its business structure. For example, these models do not invest in the ability to develop a scale relationship via mobile and social networks with former customers, current customers, and, most importantly, with future customers.
What today’s world offers is beyond your imagination (the solution to the long tail theory at scale, not just thinking about the bigger tip, the chance to be part of customers’ lives, in addition to every part of your business existence be able to generate great and good results, things that no one thought about 5 years ago … and much more!).
I was very concerned about this recently, so today’s post came out of a deep desire to create a new, simpler perspective through which we can look at all of our activities and responsibilities (which is so difficult) in order to to be able to move and streamline everything we do as a company, in order to generate greater profits.
Why is it important to build a model?
I love business models, as they allow you to teach and encourage people to think, instead of just delivering something ready. From the moment I can teach you how to reflect on a problem, the whole process of considering what are the unique aspects and problems of your company’s reality will be much easier and you will be able to create a customized solution for your entire set of variables (that probably no one would ever know but you).
This would be a great solution for you, as there would be no need for the evaluation of a consultant or marketing guru to solve your problems.
When I started thinking about this latest model, this is what I was trying to solve:
- We talk about customer focus, but we rarely put strategies into practice.
- We don’t think about how expansive our marketing can be or whether it is enough. Besides worrying, it makes me go crazy, because there are not so many opportunities out there, and we are simply wasting a great opportunity.
- We (as I hate to think about it) tend to have a narrow view of measuring the results of strategies in order to know which ones were successful and which were not. And as you know that your business is what you really measure, if you mess up that data, you will easily make a mess with the good data, the bad data, and also the glorious data (which means a lot to the business).
Only three major problems.
I will share with you a model that will change the way you think about various aspects of your business. Here are the four subsections:
- See – Think – Do: The model
- See – Think – Do: Content Strategy
- See – Think – Do: Marketing Strategy
- See – Think – Do: Measurement strategy
- Epilogue: See – Think – Do – [Uma surpresa para você]
At the end of this post you will have a new perspective that will simplify and a lot the immense complexity that is dealing with the day to day work. I promise.
See – Think – Do: model
(The model has four steps and I will reveal the fourth one at the end of this post. Don’t rush and run there to see it. Stay here with me and the three who will follow.)
My solution to these problems was the development of a simple framework that we can use to always put customers first, being able to evaluate marketing strategies, in line with what we expect from the business (metrics).
The fundamental elements of this model are the stages of consideration and the audience at each of these stages.
What stage of consideration could a person be in? What kind of unified view defines the audience at this stage?
For this example, suppose I am working as part of a company that sells clothing. My definition of the audience at the “See” stage is “all people who wear clothes.” This is the best possible way in which you can fit your prospect. The biggest.
If you don’t have a clothing company, your audience definition could be “everyone who wears shoes”, for example, or “everyone who is connected via the internet”, or even “everyone who uses phones ”.
The “See” stage is exclusive. For example, it won’t include anyone who doesn’t wear clothes, or anyone who doesn’t wear shoes, to make it clear.
This is the “See” stage.
In the “Thinking” phase, we can consider “everyone who wears clothes and thinks they may need others”.
This is a subset of the “See” stage audience that is outlined by even the smallest amount of intention (which we can infer from their behavior, for example). We don’t know exactly when they will need other clothes, but we do know that they certainly think they will need new clothes in the future.
In the “Doing” stage we can think “all the people who wear clothes and who think, who think they may need some and who are looking for clothes to buy”. This is a subset of the “Thinking” stage and probably the most desirable audience in the world. All companies want a piece of them, that’s when they don’t choose to want them all!
Three distinct stages of consideration are: See, Think and Do.
It is quite possible that the consumer’s buying behavior is not always that of the model I presented just above. It is possible for a person to wake up in the morning and decide to go into a store to buy new clothes. Many people exhibit this type of behavior, but for the majority of the public, each step of the buying process is presented separately.
We have three stages of consideration and three audiences, determined from their point of view, not ours.
This simple model allows us to look at our digital strategies with this structure and:
- Identify flaws in our content / engagement / strategies in our online marketing channels.
- Reflect whether our marketing and advertising initiatives are broad enough to reach each stage of customer consideration.
- Answer the question: are we really measuring the effectiveness / result / value of each stage or are we just producing, without thinking about what we are really doing?
See – Think – Do: Content Strategy
If we work in sales, everything we care about concerns the touch points. If we work in marketing, we will be concerned with the marketing touch points. If it’s customer service, all that matters is trying to answer the phone quickly and in the most effective way possible.
Fairly and strategically well done.
The key to the success of any company is to ensure that there is an attractive product and a very attractive content strategy, so that the public is involved in each of the three stages: See – Think – Do.
This attractive product strategy and attractive content must be thought of long before other efforts in marketing / sales / advertising / posters / TV and the like.
When applied to the digital environment: if your website, mobile site or mobile app has only points related to content and engagement that are intended only for people who want to buy a product or service from you, your company’s success will be limited, as you will be directing the effort only to one step of customer consideration: “Doing”
If your intention is really to grow your business you will need content / engagement strategies for the “See” stage (which is as wide as possible in terms of audience) and also for the “Think” stage (fill your funnel) sales to the top, convincing people earlier, building customer relationships, converting, and all at a cheaper and more efficient acquisition cost).
That way, when an audience chooses to engage with you through digital platforms, you will have the perfect fit point for each phase of consideration, regardless of which one it is. As much as people are not yet ready to buy, there you already begin to build a relationship, even if it is provisional.
Take ModCloth as an example. This is a big deal for a number of reasons. The main key is that it is not just a business that focuses on the “do” stage. He also “sees” very well and works “thinking” strategically. This fact is clearly evident when you visit any product page on their website.
There is a very clear strategy regarding the point of “Making” engagement, such as the call-to-action in uppercase and with strong colors, which are excellent, in addition to several other things.
If the person is in the “See” or “Think” stage, there are plenty of points designed exactly to engage them, marked in green and orange, as you can see in the image.
Maybe the person is passionate about clothes (or shoes, accessories, furniture and the like) and would like to get a little more involved with the brand, becoming a virtual fashion buyer on a certain day, or maybe he just wants to follow the content of company blog or follow the brand on social networks, among many other possibilities.
These potential customers can sign up to receive notifications of new posts when the company produces new types of content and this is a great strategy. Many can still create a “wish list” that will possibly lead to new conversions for the company, in addition to numerous other possibilities.
If your business knows how to put together a great content strategy in the “See” and “Think” stages, your company will certainly be ready for increasingly effective marketing.
It’s very simple.
I want to give you another example of another area that most companies do not think much of when we talk about engagement strategies with the public. This area is called Mobile and concerns the largest platform known to mankind at the moment.
THE @WalmartLabs managed to generate an impressive number of followers, who today reimagine the future together with the brand. One of its three key areas of innovation is the focus on Mobile.
In the Walmart app you can buy products, check ads, in addition to knowing product prices and finding stores in your city or country. In addition, the company built a widget where you can see a product that is on sale on a certain day, right on your home screen. In addition, you will also be able to obtain an online receipt for the products you have purchased, but which cannot be used when returning or exchanging products.
Everything you could hope for is right there, in front of you. A strategy totally focused on the “Do” stage of the customer journey, very well applied.
But what about people who are not yet Walmart customers? What about those who just aren’t ready to buy right now (or even through a mobile device)? Are they a lost cause? What about innovation? How about clinging at once to the incredible opportunity that is to sell and relate to your customer through smartphones and tablets?
Okay, let’s stay focused. What about the “See” and “Think” stages of the customer’s consideration funnel?
We will now focus on another company. Walgreens already has a mobile app, and I believe this is an example that could not be overlooked when it comes to the funnel strategy: See, Think and Do.
It is nothing new that they are as good as Walmart in “Doing” strategies in the customer’s purchase journey. In addition to being a very cool and interesting application (just like Walmart), you can also buy products and the shopping experience is quite satisfactory, by the way.
Only now it gets even better. For the “Thinking” stage of the funnel they even have a product that reminds you when to take your medicine. And this is a very smart way to stay connected with the customer.
Walgreens also works to optimize the “Watch” consideration strategy (which contains the widest possible audience). They also integrated Instagram, immediately bringing in a large audience that may or may not interact with your app. In addition, they also have a photo editor where the public can edit any photo that is on their phones or Facebook.
Great, isn’t it?
There is also a very interesting feature where it is possible to create an account (look at engagement again) where people can earn rewards for doing physical exercises. This is an excellent way to connect with a growing audience, than just being in touch with a store customer, as this is an audience that maybe they didn’t want to buy now, but that they can buy later on.
There are a number of other things that Walgreens could do to increasingly engage audiences at the “See” stage of the sales funnel. In the middle part of the image above you can see some ideas that would possibly be attractive to an audience that is not yet ready to buy, but that are willing to pay attention and spend time connecting with the brand, clearly thinking about the possibility of turning customers in the near future.
- Why not invest in a resource like an app about decision? Many people simply do not know when to buy something, it may be possible to receive an alert when there is a good promotion.
- Why not help people get rid of those countless members-only cards? In addition to obtaining competitive data, it would be of great help to many customers.
- Why not let customers simply scan materials in the kitchen, then give suggestions on what to cook?
- Why not improve the lives of customers through incredible ideas, but that people never tend to think? This is a great idea to convert customers in the future.
All of these ideas can make a huge difference when it comes to a good marketing strategy. In addition, they could all be exceptional solutions for the customer’s “See” consideration phase.
Walgreens has done a fantastic job of applying the thinking known as “not normal”. Now that they work (and very well) the strategy See – Think – Do: Content Strategy (as well as ModCloth) I am sure that your company’s next step will be to discover how to create a marketing strategy that is as worthy as this one .
See – Think – Do: Marketing Strategy
The first step in creating a great marketing strategy is to study step by step what you are practicing today. It can all start with a simple question:
For example: when we buy advertising space on the internet, who are we offering it to? Is it for the audience that is in the “See” stage of the customer journey? Or will it be for the audience of the “Think” stage? Or would it be for the “Do” stage?
The answer to these questions has an incredible impact on the execution strategy of your entire marketing program.
If the answer is for the “See” stage, your ad must be creative, broad and the targeting of the ads must be thought demographically or only geographically (when it is based only on the city or region where you operate). Initially the purpose of this type of ad is to work on the branding of your brand.
If it’s for the “Thinking” stage, your ad should be a little bit narrower (there are several ways to detect the initial hint of intent), it should also be more specific (specific types of sites, ads with content focused on a certain audience , stronger ties to a specific category) making you truly showcase the value your brand has.
This strategy has the main intention of making the customer feel involved with the brand in this initial period. Your intention will be to generate micro-conversions such as email addresses, videos, download mobile applications, etc., in order to shape a path of possibilities with your potential customer, whether online or offline.
Now, if your audience is in the “Make” stage, your ad will be much more focused and complete (with as many signposts as possible), your targeting strategy will be specific, full of smart strategies and the purpose of your ad will be to leverage sales and profit. If the intention of customers is to spend, chances are you want to be the first to appear in front of them and offer good products, good services and profit from sales.
If you are doing SEO using a set of keywords, what are you really doing with your strategy?
Sometimes you will even be able to reach the now famous “See – Think – Do”, but many times you will find that working on keywords means working with the intention of delivering the right content, to the right customer, at the right time.
That is why it is important to create differentiated content for each stage of purchase, invest in good landing pages, work well with call-to-actions, in addition to investing in different types of strategy to see which works best for your business.
So it works for PPC ads (cost per click) and all email marketing programs and strategies. Your new goal will be to send type A emails to people in the “See” stage and type B emails to people in the “Think” stage.
Put all your marketing strategies on the table, study them and ask yourself: what are you really gaining from them and what is each of them for in terms of creativity, target audience, goals and results obtained.
After that, assess whether each of them is really appropriate for each of the customer’s consideration phases.
The clarity and objectivity of marketing comes from your total understanding when evaluating what it is helping and contributing, looking from the customer’s perspective. Yes, I know you want to sell, but it’s horrible to practice the old-fashioned “buy from my company right now” marketing right at the “See” stage of the customer’s buying journey. This is one of the rudest ways to practice marketing these days.
At the end of this goal, I am sure that you will understand what your marketing strategy is really providing for you and your company.
And if you have the power and willingness to discuss this with your company’s top management (this can often be impossible), you will likely need to ask rather complex questions about it. Consider only the pink box in the image above. It is focused only on the “See” stage of the customer’s journey (people who wear clothes).
You need to ask two simple questions:
- Is your ad creative, well-targeted and with purpose properly aligned with each stage of public consideration?
- Are these all the results we can get from advertising on the internet?
The answer to question number 1 will undoubtedly improve the effectiveness of the actions, which is very important when it comes to showing the immediate impact of the efforts that were applied by you. This way you ensure that the ad is creative, well targeted, with a good purpose and suitable for both computer users and mobile users. And all this at the “See” stage of your audience.
The answer to question number 2 may be more complicated. Certainly, with all the data we have access to regarding user behavior (in addition to all the creativity that can be implemented on digital platforms) it is not profitable to use online advertising in the same way that we use large commercials or billboards. It is possible to do much more!
So why aren’t we doing this? Why limit the way we display ads? Is it our public’s fault? From our agency? Is it our team’s lack of ambition? What is really going on?
These are difficult questions to answer (and you should now understand why it would be important to talk to your company’s top management). However, these are the main strategic questions that need to be answered in order to maximize the impact of our marketing on the market, making the most of the opportunity that is offered in these three phases of customer consideration.
Thinking about this type of discussion is important so that you can fully understand your marketing strategies and your budget, just as it is also important to rethink the budget of a future strategy, in order to solve small existing gaps in marketing that could be improved. In this case, for example, discussing these issues would result in a more complete way of thinking about possible new ways of viewing in the future.
Now we’ll cover each of the customer’s consideration phases (just because online ads can be present in each one), showing what kind of ideal ad each phase requires.
Forget now the idea of publishing ads just thinking about the “Doing” stage, the one in which the company almost obliges users to buy products through various communication channels.
An ad strategy that puts your audience and the stage they are in the buying journey involves a good investment in creative advertising (in terms of content), correct targeting and all the essential purpose that revolves around it.
You can create a strategy map for your company. Maybe people are wrong and Facebook really is the missing key to leveraging your company in the online environment, as it is full of people who are part of the “Do” stage of purchase consideration. It is possible that if you create ads for the “Do” phase, with creativity and assertiveness your company will also achieve positive results.
Focus on all the steps that were covered in this article, in addition to all the questions that should be answered, without forgetting any of them. The important thing is that you can use this model for all other marketing strategies that your company will practice going forward.
Take a look at the original image once again.
Remember the two questions below. Once answered, they will soon lead you and your team to good discussions on the subject, in order to arrive at a common denominator.
Why are PPC ads (pay per click) targeted only to people who are looking to buy immediately if there are 14.6 million queries possible also in the “Think” and “See” purchase stages?
Why is SEO only focused on brand terms and product names, when there are 9 million queries in the “Doing” stage and 14.6 million queries identified in the “Thinking” and “See” stages?
Why are SEO strategies so limited and focused only on the top of stocks? What is the company really trying to achieve and why is there still nothing concrete in the “Thinking” stage?
In addition to these, there are also other possible questions to discuss, such as: why don’t we have Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus pages? And, if so, do we use these networks the right way in our business? No? Maybe it’s time to set up a meeting and find out all these issues and outline a good strategic plan for each of these actions, right?
For each area that you ask these questions and answer each one of them, it is important that there is an optimization process regarding everything that the company currently does (question number 1) and then find out what is the best way to expand the efforts applied in each of them, in order to take advantage of all the opportunities that are available (question 2).
When you try to minimize the time spent on these processes, you end up practicing the strategy we mentioned throughout this article, all based on good ads, remarketing, product-based ads, social ads.
And the best: always taking into consideration the ideal purchase stage for each of them.