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Be Aware of Your Customer's Awareness

Posted by Brian Jones on November 15, 2023

If you’re lucky...

You have prospects knocking on your door asking for help with a specific issue. They know you. And they know you can fix their problem. For a solution-aware prospect like this, you just need to convince them that you offer the best remedy because you have the secret sauce (the old “CONVINCE_______ THAT___________BECAUSE_________” proposition).

Then there is the prospect who is walking around unaware of you...

They have a problem but don’t know anything about you, your company, your product, your secret sauce, or your solution.

And then there are still other prospects who don’t fully understand there's a better way to do what they are having issues with. iStock-1203592692For this group, you need to pull back a bit. Here it’s not about brand-specific education; it’s about showing this prospect the bigger picture and better alternatives.

The point is, that different prospects are at different points in their solution search. So, let's see what these different stages look like in the real world and how we should approach prospects in each phase.

We’ll use disposable razor subscriptions as an example.

The solution-aware prospect knows about these products–they may have even tried one or two. They understand how a subscription works and how it could make shaving easier, smoother, cheaper, and more convenient for them; they just haven't found the right brand at the right price point yet.

The problem-aware prospect is frustrated by the quality and the irritation of disposable razors, as well as the expense and hassle of going to the store to restock. They may have tried a few new products, but nothing has solved their problem yet. They’re ready to explore their options.

The unaware prospect doesn’t know they have a problem that a shaving kit subscription could solve. After all, their life is hectic, they don't stop running all day long. And isn’t razor burn and nicking yourself and paying through the nose for this equipment all part of the "joy" of shaving? Maybe that’s why so many men are wearing beards these days.


Now as you can see, these guys and girls are all potential customers but they are at quite different stages of their solution journey. The solution-aware person could very well sign up for the right subscription tomorrow.

The other two groups need more time.

So, how do you take prospects from unaware to ready-to-buy?

Alright, let's break it down, first you have to:

Get the Word Out

Imagine your prospect as the leading man/woman in their own movie, but they haven't seen the full script yet. They've got a problem, but they don't know you hold the solution. Time to grab the director's megaphone and let them know. Forget the nitty-gritty details; focus on deeper emotions. What's the "real" solution you offer? How does it make a difference in their lives? For our shaving kit provider, it's the road to a smoother, easier shave without breaking the bank — and more importantly, it's the first step to a better start to their day, every day. Let the world know that through ads, social media, and PR. Make some noise. 

"They've got a problem  but they don't know you hold the solution."

Easy Does It

In the early stages of this process, you don't want to dive right into hard-sell tactics like it's a cannonball competition. Instead, become the prospect's trusted advisor and mentor. You're the expert, so share some friendly, knowledgeable advice. Maybe throw in a tidbit of your solution for free. Be generous with insights, and you'll build trust. And hey, if you've got top-notch content like proprietary research or a webinar bursting with great advice, ask for an email address to get it. A little give-and-take goes a long way. Reciprocity is powerful at this stage. Add the prospects to your email flow, but keep it educational, not salesy. Give them the right information and they will "sell" themselves. Email segmentation is your secret sauce here.

Sharing Is Caring

Now, your once-unaware prospect sees there's an answer. They've acknowledged the problem, and you've won their trust. It's time to gently unveil your solution. Emphasis on "gently." No one likes a brand going all Jekyll-Hyde on them. Keep offering advice and giving away pieces of content, just like you have all along, but start weaving in how your offering is the answer they've been waiting for. Bring out the case studies, white papers, eBooks, brochures, and customer testimonial videos.

Give Them the Personal Touch

Ok, now it's time to turn on the charm. They've gone from clueless to solution-aware, stayed engaged, and now you want to create a personal offer. Tailor it based on what you know about them and what you do. You could do a product demo or send a personalized email with razor recommendations based on their browsing history and include a no-strings-attached invitation to sign up.

"Keep offering advice... but start weaving in how your offering is the superhero they've been waiting for."

Your objective here is to move them from considering the big benefits of your product to showing them exactly, specifically what it can do for them. Again, product demos, personalized email offers, and one-on-one calls or meetings are your best bet here.iStock-1407122965

Finally, remember nurturing prospects is like tending to a hothouse flower. It takes time, care, and attention. These people have a pain point, but they want to be treated like more than just another name on a list. Stay empathetic, genuinely support them across these awareness stages, and be patient. If you can do this, you're on your way to earning a brand-new customer.

How To Get Started

Are you looking to generate more quality leads and improve the results from your next campaign? Run a test? Or maybe you’re looking to increase the performance of a program you’re already running. Well, J&C has over 40 years of experience and would be happy to learn more about your company and your goals. Contact J&C today. That way, we can give you an honest assessment of how we can work with you to achieve better results. 

Topics: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail, Creative

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