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How to Target Customers Based on Their Awareness Level

1700 words · Reading time: 8 minutes

No matter how far along your funnel your customers are, you’ll need to be able to present them with offer value. In other words, you need to be able to tell people how your product benefits them. However, with different people at different stages wanting different things, this can be quite tricky. Luckily, it’s possible to split your prospective customers into 5 levels of awareness, to make your life a little easier.

Marketing mogul Eugene Schwartz outlined the 5 stages of reader awareness in his 1966 book Breakthrough Advertising. These were:

Most Aware: The customer knows about your company and have bought your products. They are fully onboard with what you do, but need to be kept in the loop to understand why you should remain relevant in their lives.

Product Aware: The customer knows the product you are selling but they aren’t sure how it will help them or if they need it.

Solution Aware: The customer knows what they need, however, they are unsure if your product can provide the results.

Problem Aware: The customer thinks that they may have a problem, however, they don’t know whether or not there is a solution.

Completely Unaware: No awareness of any potential problems, products or solutions.

Each of these 5 stages of customer awareness will influence what works and what doesn’t when it comes to advertising. However, when choosing which stage to target, it’s important to find a balance so that you don’t alienate people who are at other stages.

Here’s how to target people at every level:

Most Aware


Your most aware consumers will be those who have known about your company and products for a long time and have repeatedly purchased from you.

In digital marketing, these will be people who have signed up to your newsletters, follow your blog, purchased your products and regularly check in with you for updates and new offers.

It might seem like at this stage they are already doing everything you want them to do, so there’s no need to advertise to them. Wrong! You definitely need to keep this sector happy, after all, they are your top customers. So how should you advertise to them? Here are a few methods you can use:

Reward Loyalty


If you have customers who regularly purchase for your site, then why not give them something extra? You could offer them discounts on your site or additional bonuses. You could even give them the opportunity to sign up to an exclusive newsletter with extra bonuses.

First Look


For customers who are motivated, you could pre-release your products by directing them through your email marketing campaigns. This way, you can also gain insights into your offers before you release them into the wild.

Create Brand Ambassadors


If people really love your company and your products, then they are best-placed to tell other people about what you have to offer. One of the benefits of social media is that you can now bring your most loyal customers into the fold as brand ambassadors and get them to help you advertise your products to the world. You can do this by turning them into sub-affiliates and rewarding them for the conversions they deliver.

There are a lot of ways of keeping your most loyal customers happy, and the chances are, if you have a lot of them you already know what they like. Don’t be afraid to get a bit creative, but remember to stay on brand. After all, there’s a reason they like you, so keep up the good work.

Product Aware


These are the people that know what you’re selling, but haven’t yet made a purchase. In order to turn these people into buyers, you need to convince them that your product solves their problems better than your competitors. To do this you’ll need to:

Highlight the Benefits


You need to show your customers how their lives will be dramatically improved if they buy your product. Think about how it will make their lives easier. Is it more cost-efficient? Will it save them time? If you can target your your product aware audience with the answers to these questions, they will be far more likely to convert.

Special Offers


Product aware customers tend to be those looking around for the best deal. Giving them a special, limited time offer should be enough to persuade a large portion of product aware audience to convert. For example, imagine you are torn between two products and don’t know which one to get. If you were to then receive an email saying that one of them was 20% off if you buy it today the decision would suddenly become a lot easier.

Solution Aware


People who are solution aware know that products like yours exist to solve their problems, however, they don’t know that your product exists. This means you’ll have to target them based on their knowledge of your competitors.

When it comes to introducing your product to people who are aware of alternatives, you’re going to need to hit the ground running. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Establish your USP (Unique Selling Point)


If there’s already competition then you need to set yourself apart and show people what makes you special. Why should people buy your product, rather than the one they have already heard of? There could be many reasons for this e.g. less-expensive, lasts longer, extra-features for added value or it just does some tasks better. Whatever the reason, make sure it’s front and centre in your campaign.

Use Customer Reviews


Using customer reviews at this stage will help you to establish some history and trust with your customer. If they see that other people are already using your product, then it becomes less about you being a novice company and more about the customer simply having missed your awesome brand.

One of the tricks when it comes to entering this market is to use numbers. New customers are likely to respond to large numbers of reviews at this stage, than they are to a low number of positive reviews. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t worry about the quality of your reviews, you should, but maybe try placing an emphasis on the numbers rather than the content.

Problem Aware


People who are problem aware know that they have a problem but don’t know what the solution may be. They will therefore be searching for products relating to how to fix the problem. In other words, they’ll be looking for solutions without knowing what the solution will be. This means they won’t be looking for your product directly, but searching their issues which should lead them to your product.

Here are some of the ways in which you can target people who are problem aware:

Blog Posts and SEO


When people are looking for solutions to problems, they’ll generally make a search query based on their issue. In this event, they will be looking for articles or guides which help them. This is where blog posts really come in handy.

If you can write an informative blog post that shows people how to solve their problems and links your product to being the best solution for them, then your product will become the answer they are looking for and give them a good reason to buy.

In order to get people to your blog post, you’ll need to make sure you use the right keywords in your article and provide as clear an answer as you can. This will help people to find your article when they search for it. If your article is relevant when people search, then you will also reduce your bounce rate which will make your site more favourable for Google’s algorithms.

Use additional sites such as Quora


Quora is a platform designed specifically for answering people’s questions. To gain more attention to your product from prospective customers you can search through the list of previously asked questions and then provide an answer. Quora already ranks highly on Google, so you can piggyback off of their success to reach people more easily. This is a great way to get organic traffic.

If you don’t see your question listed on their site then you can ask it and answer it yourself.

Completely Unaware


People who are completely unaware know nothing about your product or the problems it solves or that such a problem even exists. It might seem like there’s no way to target these people, but there definitely is. Here’s how:

Make Problems for People


Just because people are unaware of problems doesn’t mean that they don’t have them. For people who are completely unaware, your primary job is to introduce the problem into their lives and then provide them with the solution.

You can introduce problems through many different channels, but social media will probably be your best option, as you can place ads directly in front of people who aren’t aware of any issues but might have associated interests which would lead to those problems.

Here is an example of how you might generate a campaign for people who are completely unaware:

Imagine you are selling earplugs. There are a lot of people in the world that go to concerts, live in busy cities or who travel a lot. Now, for example, if you know that people travel a lot and like to get some rest while flying and know that earplugs could help a passenger sleep 50% longer, then you can use this info to target people. These travelers might not be aware that they don’t get enough sleep while flying, but they’ll certainly be grateful to get some more.

By targeting your product at a wider audience, you can provide people with a great piece of advice and a great product to solve their newly acquired problem. It’s a win win.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to take every level of customer awareness into account in order to drive customers to in the ‘most aware’ level. Once they are there, you can then focus on making loyal customers who will help to promote your brand by word of mouth and help to solidify your image in people’s minds.

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