Learners, Shoppers and Buyers

A few years back, I wrote a POV for one of my clients outlining some Shopper Marketing basics. In putting together the launch content for tuzag’s new website, it seemed like pulling some excerpts from that POV might be useful. I wrote this up as a blog post back then (the original is in Older Posts), but thought some minor updates were in order.

If you’re interested in pursuing this model for your brand, please contact the EMA Insight team at Eric Mower + Associates. They’ll take excellent care of you.

Excerpt #1: A Basic Integrated Marketing Flow

Each element in an effective integrated marketing communications campaign can be placed into the following hierarchy:

  • Awareness: tactics intended to promote the brand and reinforce recognition when it comes time to generate conversations, engage individuals, nurture potential customers and enhance customer relationships.
  • Lead Generation: tactics that cause potential customers to engage with us, moving from passive media (e.g., an ad) to active media (e.g., online, mobile, social, event tactics).
  • Engagement: active media tactics that allow us to get to know potential customers as individuals, so we can put the right facets of our brand in front of each individual as appropriate; engagement is also where we gain permission to begin nurturing each relationship.
  • Nurturing: follow-up tactics intended to keep prospects interacting with the brand throughout their consideration process; nurturing tactics must take advantage of data collected during engagement to be truly effective, whether the nurturing is taking place via marketing (e.g., email) or sales (e.g., sales call).
  • Transaction: tactics related to closing the deal, including in-store marketing, eCommerce shopping cart experiences and any touchpoint that makes completing the sale easy, efficient and rewarding for the customer.
  • Relationship Enhancement (aka, “CRM“): lead generation, engagement and nurturing tactics targeted at existing customers; these tactics must be aware of each customer’s history with the brand to be most effective.

Through appropriate insight development and strategic planning, a comprehensive impressions-to-revenue model can be developed and tracked to efficiently follow potential customers throughout their lifetime interactions with the brand.

Excerpt #2: Dave’s “Learner, Shopper, Buyer” Stump Speech

Think of lead generation as the leading edge of an integrated marketing communications system, then design tactics to create “connection” moments that drive inquiries to some kind of interactive experience. The first step in developing a brand friendship is making that connection and moving from a passive relationship to an active one. We recommend that clients create lead generation tactics that appeal to three distinct types of prospects: Learners, Shoppers and Buyers.

Learners are the folks who are thinking about making a purchase in the near future but are still trying to understand the solution landscape.

In fact, most of the respondents to an information-based offer, like a white paper or an instructional video, are probably learners. Sales qualification punts them – and gripes that marketing’s feeding them bad leads. They’re not bad leads; they’re just not ready to buy yet. However, they were intrigued enough by our offer to raise their hands, and eventually learners become shoppers.

Shoppers are getting ready to make a purchase and are looking for the best solution. Shoppers are the best audiences for case studies or virtual walkthroughs, since they understand the solution landscape and are beginning to get to know the players within their desired solution set.

Next we have Buyers. These are the responders who are ready to buy and are actively comparing the best alternatives. They’re different than shoppers. Shoppers are trying to position you relative to your competition. Buyers want your best foot forward and your best deal revealed.

So, the next time you’re considering a segmentation strategy, perhaps instead of (or in addition to) clustering based on demographic or environmental criteria, think about clustering your messaging strategies based on readiness to buy. Your potential customers will thank you.

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