5 Stages Of Customer Awareness

5 Stages Of Customer Awareness

Navigating the customer awareness journey: Understanding the 5 stages

In today’s highly competitive business world, it’s important to understand the journey your customers take from being initially unaware of your product or service to eventually buying it. That’s because this understanding will help you create marketing strategies that target them more effectively.

The concept of the 5 Stages of Awareness is a copywriting framework that came to prominence through Eugene Schwartz’s 1966 book, Breakthrough Advertising. The basic idea behind his framework is that having an excellent product or service is not enough on its own to achieve successful sales.

Schwartz maintains it’s just as important to connect with potential customers where they’re at in their journey from unawareness to full awareness and understand their state of mind as they progress along this path.

His 5 Stages of Awareness concept addresses the degree to which a potential customer understands the problem they’re trying to solve, the existing solutions to their problem, the various choices available to them, and the rationale behind choosing your product or service above all the other options.

In the 5 Stages of Awareness, the customer journey is broken down into five distinct stages – each of which needs a unique approach to content creation and engagement. During each phase of this awareness journey, your content’s objective is to move your potential customer further along the path to purchase.

You need to transition them from a state of unawareness of your product or service to the highest level of awareness, which will ideally culminate in a sale.

During this process, your content gently guides your customer audience towards a purchase decision but also establishes a rapport with them. You’re positioning yourself as a reliable source of help and expertise while presenting your product as the obvious solution to their specific problem.

The 5 Stages of Customer Awareness

Here is a summary of the 5 Stages of Awareness, as described by Eugene Schwartz:

1. Unawareness: A blank canvas

The first stage of the customer awareness journey is Unawareness. At this point, potential customers have no knowledge of your brand, product, or service. Your main challenge at this stage is to capture their attention and leave a positive and memorable impression. This point is also known as the top of the marketing funnel.

Potential content strategies for this stage:

  • Strong visuals. Captivating graphics, videos, and images are important for standing out from the crowd, drawing potential customers in, and sparking their curiosity.
  • Engaging headlines. Attention-grabbing headlines will make your audience curious and entice them to learn more.
  • Concise messaging. Keep your message short and sharp to communicate your brand’s essence succinctly.

2. Problem-Awareness: Identifying needs

In the Problem-Awareness stage, customers recognise they have a problem or need but aren’t aware yet of potential solutions. Your content should address their pain points and position your product or service as a potential solution.

Potential content strategies for this stage:

  • Informative content. Consider creating blog posts, videos, or infographics that empathise with the challenges your customer is facing and provide helpful and valuable insights.
  • SEO optimisation. Use relevant keywords and phrases to optimise your content for search engines, which will make it discoverable when potential customers start researching solutions to their problems.

3. Solution-Awareness: Presenting your offering

In the Solution-Awareness stage, customers are aware of potential solutions, including your product or service. In this stage, your content should focus on showcasing the unique benefits and features that set your offering apart from your competitors. This is also known as the middle of the marketing funnel.

Potential content strategies for this stage:

  • Highlight USPs. Consider creating content that highlights your product’s Unique Selling Propositions (USPs), focusing on what makes your solution better or different.
  • Social proof. Use customer testimonials and case studies to build trust and credibility in your product or service.

4. Product-Awareness: In-depth information

At the Product Awareness stage, customers are well aware of your brand and the specific products or services you provide, however, they now need detailed information to make an informed decision. This stage is also known as the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Potential content strategies for this stage:

  • Detailed product information. Give your customers comprehensive details about your products, including pricing, specifications, and user guides.
  • Interactive content. Consider using webinars, product demos, and comparison charts to engage with potential buyers and address their specific concerns or questions.

5. Purchase-Awareness: The final push

The Purchase-Awareness stage is where customers are ready to make a decision but may need a final nudge to get them to take action. At this point, your content should focus on driving them towards conversion.

Potential content strategies for this stage:

  • Strong CTAs. At this stage, you should create compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that guide your customer to make a purchase or take another desired action.
  • Incentives. Consider offering limited-time discounts, free trials, or exclusive offers to create a sense of urgency and motivate potential customers to act promptly.

Build a community of loyal customers

As your prospect moves through the stages, the marketing or ‘selling job’ gets easier. Schwartz says, “In its natural development, every market’s awareness passes through several stages. The more aware your market, the easier the selling job, the less you need to say.”

This means that, as you go through the 5 stages of awareness in your marketing, you don’t have to use as much copy for customers who are in the later stages of their journey.

You also want your Purchase-Aware customers to become repeat buyers and loyal fans. It’s common knowledge that it costs much less to retain a current customer than it does to attract a new one and research shows that current customers spend 67% more than new ones. So, you definitely want to keep your relationship with existing customers going well.

Understanding and applying the 5 stages of customer awareness is a great tool for boosting sales and building lasting relationships with your customers.


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