The Customer Journey Starts With 2 Kinds of Awareness

At the beginning of each customer’s journey is the awareness stage. Before they can consider you as an option, before they commit to buying your product or service, and before they can become a loyal advocate of your brand, their journey starts with awareness. There are two types of awareness: awareness of your business and awareness of their problem(s) that they have. 

Awareness Type 01: Awareness of your business. 

Whenever you watch a 30-second commercial on TV and often on the Internet as well, you’re watching an awareness type ad. These ads are simply telling you who the business is. There’s generally no pricing mentioned, no detailed descriptions or pressure to get you to buy. It’s just making you aware. For example, Geico car insurance. You see a cute gecko talking. You see wood chucks chucking wood into the water. It’s humorous. It’s creative. There’s brand awareness. That’s all they’re trying to do at this point is make you aware of their brand. You can’t approach a customer in the awareness phase with a push to buy. That’s the equivalent of moving too fast on a first date and we know where that can end up! Just make them aware of your business & brand and as they warm up, you can move them to the next stage of the customer journey.

Awareness Type 02: Awareness of their problems.

The customer also needs to be aware of their problems & pain points that your product or service can solve. In some cases, it’s pretty easy. If they hear a pop in their back, they’re aware they need a chiropractor. If the kitchen sink starts spraying water, then they’re aware of the need for a plumber. That’s the awareness of the customer’s problem. But sometimes it can be more subtle. Take window tinting for example. You may not even know that you have a problem that window tinting can resolve! When marketed correctly, a window tinter can remind you about the glare from the sun, how hot the interior of your car can get, how easy it is for thieves to see your valuable items in the back seat, etc. That’s how you let the customer know of the problems or potential problems they may have … which of course leads them to you (awareness) to resolve their problems. 

Awareness is the first step in the customer’s journey. They need to be aware of the problems or pain points that they have as well as being aware of you as the brand or business that can resolve those problems. Once awareness has been established, you can market to them in a way that will move them along in their journey to the next phase: consideration.

Storytime 🙂

When Jared realized that his auto glass business in Hamilton needed a new line of service to offer his customers, he decided to add custom tinting as an option. The problem was no one knew that he offered this service. 

Steve, from Victor, was driving behind a dump truck when suddenly BAM! his windshield gets nailed with a rock. Steve yells out a string of profanities while he shakes his fist in the air. Knowing that a simple chip can quickly turn into a cracked windshield, he decides to get the rock chip repaired … but where? 

When Steve does a quick search on Google for “rock chip near me” he soon finds a number of options. After being made “aware” of the different auto glass repair companies that are out there, he decides to visit The Glass Guy and drives to the shop to have the repair made. 

Now, how can Jared make Steve aware of the new custom tinting options he offers? He can simply mention it in conversation (“Been pretty hot outside lately hasn’t it? It’s surprising how hot your car can be when you get inside.”). Maybe Jared notices a flyer in the waiting room at the shop that mentions the new tinting service. Perhaps Steve has a Facebook ad campaign that targets previous customers like Jared with his new service. Once Steve has Jared aware of the new service, he can move Jared further a customer like Steve down the path towards a purchase or sell. 

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