MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

The Formula for Increasing Sales: The Awareness Stages [#mpb2b Speaker Series]

When a customer chooses to purchase your product, their decision isn’t just based on you having the right pricing or even whether it’s the right product. 

It’s also about how important the brain thinks your specific product is—how valuable that product is to that consumer at that moment in time.

In other words, when people are seeing your products and services, how valuable does the brain think your product and services are relative to how valuable your competitors’ products and services are? 

The implications for this are absolutely massive, because what we really need to be doing as marketers is rather than focusing on mitigating the pain that customers feel when it comes to our products and services, is instead increasing the amount of reward activation their brains get. 

And that’s what Nurture does, but good nurture goes even further than that because it taps into Awareness.

As consumers, we all go through something called the General Buying Process. 

And many years ago, Eugene Schwartz, put together Awareness Stages, and that’s what I use to demonstrate what we’re talking about here, because it maps what the brain does really well. They are:

Awareness Stages

As eventual consumers of any particular product, we start off Completely Unaware (Stage 1) that we have a problem.  Then something happens, there’s a catalyst. We realize all those symptoms we’ve been feeling, they’re this problem. And once we are Problem Aware (Stage 2), we tend to go off and research to learn more about that problem.

So we start to become aware that there are solutions available to help us—we become Product Aware (Stage 3). And as we learn more about those solutions, we start to realize that there are specific products out there that will help us with our specific challenge, thus making us Product Aware (Stage 4).

So we create our own criteria and then eliminate different types of products and services until we come to the product that we want the most. And that’s when we become Most Aware (Stage 5).

We all go through each and every single one of these stages as consumers, and that’s regardless of whether we’re B2B, B2B, or B2G.

The best way we can help our potential customers is to help them understand what their problem is, to help them quantify it. This is what Google calls, the Zero Moment of Truth. It’s the moment at which we return to the internet to get a better understanding of what we’re dealing with, so it’s also the point that drives massive amounts of search traffic. This is a great time to get in front of people with great content marketing. 

Once our audience becomes Solution Aware, we can help them really understand how to solve their problem, understand what the industry has to offer, and all the various different options available to them as they get down to the Product Aware stage. We can help them understand the individual product options, not just broad solution options.

And then as they become Most Aware, that’s when people want to speak to the Sales team and when you need to handle objections and help them commit. 

So the thing we need to do as marketers, is be aware of the Awareness Stages and provide good quality nurture that takes in all these different stages—and nurtures your customer where they are at any particular time.  

Taking these Awareness Stages into account when we plan our nurture—enabling us to provide information relevant to our potential customer at the exact stage they’re in—is what helps to increase the reward activation in the customer’s brain. By helping people understand the solution process, we’re increasing that reward activation. And using nurture is one of the best ways we can do that.

—Kenda Macdonald, CEO, Automation Ninjas and MarketingProfs Demand Generation Practice Lead

You can watch Kenda’s video about The Formula for Increasing Sales (The Awareness Stages) here.


Published 1/23/23

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