Build customer relationships, not sales funnels
That sales funnel you’ve been using to convert prospects into sales? It’s out of date. Today, in the age of always-on comms, consumers expect more from brands than ever before. And who can blame them. The sales model of today is not a funnel, but a cycle, also known as the ‘Flywheel’ model. Customer relationship marketing requires multiple touch points that begin before consumers consider a product and keeps going after they’ve purchased.
Understanding this form of marketing doesn’t mean re-inventing the wheel, however. The five stages of customer journey marketing below will likely sound familiar. What matters most is how you use them.
1. Awareness. Capturing your audience’s attention.
Potential customers may find your brand before they’re ready to purchase. They may be looking for a solution to a problem, and searching for educational content ahead of preparing to invest in a new product. At this stage, position your brand as thought leaders with educational offerings such as blog posts (like this one), e-books or benefit-lead adverts.
2. Consideration. Getting ahead of the competition.
By now, your customer has their budget locked in and they’re ready to purchase. But they don’t want to make any rash decisions. Before hitting ‘buy’, they’ll be comparing your services to competitors. Get ahead by inviting your audience on a nurture journey where you can share the benefits of your product in more detail. Automation can work for you here, priming your audience with helpful content that highlights the best bits about your product or service. This is your chance to display the edge you have over your competitors before…
3. Purchase. Persuading the customer to invest in you.
This is where your brand needs an edge of the competition. Building a relationship with the customer is key. At this stage, they’ll be asking you for quotes, samples, demos or a chat with a sales rep. They’re ready to commit, so all you have to do is help them make their final decision.
4. Retention. Keeping customers loyal.
This is where the bottom of the funnel would spit out your customers, and the cycle keeps them with you. Invite purchasers to leave a review of your product. Ask them how it’s going, and whether they can suggest feedback. Invite them into the fold of product owners with more exclusive benefits or offers.
5. Advocacy. When customers share their great experience.
Word of mouth and social proofing are powerful sales tools, especially in the age of user generated content. Encourage your audience to recommend your product with referral schemes. Case studies and success stories are excellent ways to demonstrate the success of your product or service. Since customers are likely to make decisions based on the success of their peers, showcasing good work can be a route to more sales.
Customer journey marketing is a continuous cycle – and we can help keep it turning
Remember, the cyclical nature of the Flywheel model means that the journey doesn’t just stop at purchase, or advocacy. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us at Flourish and we’ll be happy to have a chat about optimising your customer journeys to deliver the best customer experience, and ultimately grow your business.