Direct response marketing is a very humbling experience — it’s one of the more ‘honest’ forms of marketing.
Honest! Yup… because it’s designed to measure a response… a lack of one gives direct feedback that the offer just did not resonate with your market.
This is precisely why understanding and using the marketing continuum not only gives insights into markets you want to be in but also how to communicate. Your sales pitch or ad copy is going to be different if your target market at a certain stage. You want to know where your customer is… and then lead him/her by the hand to wherever they will get most value. This is just not about sales but more importantly about serving your prospects and customers.
How to use a marketing continuum
Regardless of whatever segmentation one uses… understanding where your ideal customer from ‘totally unaware’ to ‘knows exactly what he/she wants’ takes your marketing to the next level. The secret is to be relevant.
If your customer knows the brand, colour, modal and size of shoes she wants, the only way to compete is either on price and/or speed.
Compare to someone with nagging back pain who has not had any success with mainstream medical care. This person is nowhere near a product. The conversation with him is not going to start with a product… but much earlier in the continuum.
(Not all stages of a continuum are relevant for every market — because the level of sophistication of the market).
8 Stages of Marketing Continuum
STAGE 1: PROBLEM
A: Doesn’t know
B: Doesn’t believe
STAGE 2: SOLUTION POSSIBLE?
B: Doesn’t believe
STAGE 3: SEARCH SOLUTIONS
A: Didn’t find anything
B: Considers alternatives
STAGE 4: CONSIDER PRODUCTS
A: Doesn’t believe
STAGE 5: BUY
STAGE 6: USE
STAGE 7: CONCLUSION
STAGE 8: POST CONCLUSION
We’ll go into more detail about each step in future posts.