Last week, I shared the first two ways to link your business activities to a customer’s purchase decision making process. This week, I’ll touch on the final steps to increase brand awareness by meeting customers where they are — along the purchase path.
Once a customer has identified a need, and started down the path of seeking more information the next few decision making steps are critical.
This is where your company can truly shine and here’s how:
3. Alternative evaluation.
As a small business owner, it’s important to step into the shoes of your consumer. Once we identify a need and start searching, we run across several options — one of them possibly being yours. But the journey doesn’t stop there — many of us seek out alternatives.
Why? Because we want to make smart decisions based upon our motivations – quality, function, price, timing, etc.
As your customer seeks out alternatives, it’s important to reinforce why you’re product or service is the best option. This is where the value creation battle takes place. If you have an opportunity to showcase the unparallelled value of your offering — in comparison to competitors, now is the time to do it.
Tip: Utilize online marketing to maximize brand awareness and deliver social proof, as customers seek to evaluate your competitive landscape. Your brand should stay top of mind while customers are searching for competitive brands. Strategic use of organic SEO and SEM, content marketing and social media marketing can deliver on both objectives in a cost-effective way.
4. Purchase decision.
This is where small business owners prematurely celebrate — that is if you’re brand comes out on top. It’s premature because there are several underlying areas that your customers may consider before exchanging their hard earned dollars for your valuable offering.
What are the terms of your sales transaction? Do you make it easy or hard for people to buy from you? Was your customer’s past experience pleasing — or were they disgruntled. What’s your return policy? These are a few factors that impact whether or not you gain their business.