Printed Materials Can Guide Audiences Through the Buyer's Journey
Electro Image LLC

Every business, big or small, faces a marketing conundrum. Even though it wants and needs to consistently promote its message and core value proposition to potential customers, these customers will be in very different mindsets as they receive printed or digital marketing messages.

Some may have never heard about your brand, and need a general introduction. Others are close to making a buying decision, and just need that final push. This post will examine how printing in St. Louis can help you successfully reach your audience in all four stages of the buyer’s journey.

Generating Awareness

The first step of convincing any member of your target audience to eventually become a customer is to make them aware of your brand. It seems obvious, but if they don’t know about you, they won’t ever impact your business.

To generate this necessary ‘first touch’ with your audience, you can take advantage of a variety of printed materials. Yard signs, for example, can inform people in specific neighborhoods about your business and its benefits to their lives. Similarly, advertising flags – placed strategically around the physical location of your business – drive attention and awareness.

Rather than driving specific action (such as becoming a customer), both of these options accomplish a simple goal: to get your brand into your audience’s mind. This awareness building will be crucial for the second step in the buyer’s journey.

Aiding in Consideration

At this stage, potential customers have seen a need arise for the solution to a problem they have. Their refrigerator may have broken down, or they need new clothes. Recalling the brands and businesses they know who can help them solve their specific challenge, they begin the comparison process.

To even make it to this stage, your brand needs to be in your audience’s mind. Now, it’s time to make it stand out. Using printed pieces such as brochures or postcards, take the time to tell your audience exactly why your business is the best possible solution to their need. Don’t be afraid to compare your value proposition to your competitors, which allows you to directly influence the comparison process of your target audience.

At this stage, your audience actively seeks out information about the options they have and the brands they recall. That means your outgoing print pieces should match the content and value proposition you list on your website, which is what 81% of consumers use to determine their best options. Consistency is key, as it is throughout your marketing strategy.

Driving Decisions

desktop-publishing-materials-logoHaving done the research necessary to know their options, your audience now decides on the perfect product or service for their need. But here is the key: they may delay the decision based on how confident they are in the validity of their choice. Even if they determined your brand to be the best solution for their problem, they may still need an impetus to actually make a buying decision and become your customer.

And again, printed pieces can help your brand communicate with customers in this final step. Most importantly, your printed pieces aimed at customers in this step should come with very clear calls to action, which may range from ‘buy now’ to ‘become a customer.’

You may have spent most of your time delving into details about your business benefits in the previous step, but you will still need to convince your audience to become current customers. Your message should reiterate the main points you made through brochures, postcards, or other more in-depth printed materials, summing them up more succinctly.

A number of print marketing pieces can help you accomplish that goal. The key is to choose materials that your audience will encounter as they feel the greatest need for your product or service. Door hangers, for example, serve as perfect reminders of your business’s benefits, especially when connected to a relevant service.

Imagine being a consumer who just came home from work, and has been considering options for his lawn care. Exhausted and unable to do the work themselves, they find a door hanger from one of the companies they had been considering, prompting them to sign up for the service today. Given their situation in that exact moment, they will be likely follow that call to action.

Encouraging Retention

Most experts consider the Buyer’s Journey complete at the point of purchase. But in reality, and as we have pointed out in this space before, customer retention is just as – if not even more – important than convincing your target audience to become customers in the first place. A number of statistics point out the increased ROI and positive impact of customer retention on your business.

As you might expect, your print marketing efforts can help you in this final (and recurring) step of the buyer’s journey as well. You know more about your current customers than you do about any other audience, which opens the door to a variety of opportunities.

For example, you can send custom postcards based on specific products they have bought in the past, letting them know about a sale for the product that encourages them to come back. Or, if you offer a loyalty program, you can let them know about its benefits and simply send them a loyalty card after their first purchase. By considering repeat purchases as a part of the buyer’s process, you can optimize your customer retention and maximize your ROI.

In short, segmenting your audience and print marketing strategy according to the various steps within the buyer’s journey allows you to better streamline your efforts, and maximize the success of printed pieces like yard signs, postcards, and door hangers. As a result, you will be able to create a more focused marketing campaign that considers the individual situations of your potential and current customers and ultimately drives your success.

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