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Analyze That: The Consumer Staircase

In this week’s meeting, our marketing team discussed the various levels that consumers can be interested in your brand. To clearly demonstrate the various stages of engagement and interest, a simple staircase was drawn on the conference room whiteboard. At each step was a different stage of consumer interest, engagement, and ultimately likeliness to purchase the company’s product. The staircase looked something like this (just not nearly as straight, even, or staircase-esque)

 

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The Levels 

By understanding these levels, your business should be able to identify and accurately market to consumers they want to move up the staircase.

Non-consumers

At the very bottom of the little staircase lies the non-consumers. Here, lie the many people (or few, depending on how well you have mastered the staircase) that do not interact with your brand at all. If you have a Facebook page, they do not “like” it. If you have a twitter, they do not follow you. To them, your company is nothing but a mere combination of letters that form an uninteresting word. This is where many marketing tactics begin. How do we get people to notice us? Companies spend huge portions of their marketing budget to try to expand their brand name and this is very important. How many people are willing to buy a car from a company that they have never heard of? Once your company is born in the eyes of the consumer, they move to the next step.

Light Users

At this point, the consumer is at least familiar with your product. They are possibly visiting your website and might even purchase one of your products. This is where a majority of many company’s consumers will stay, and sometimes it is enough. However, according to research done by SJ Insights, individuals come in contact with nearly 5,000 advertisements and brand exposures per day. So, in order to reach the high revenue that many companies seek and stand out from the ever-growing crowd, companies should move their customers as far up the staircase as possible.

Medium Users

Here are the consumers that are following your social media sites, liking some of your content, and are willing to visit your site multiple times to gain new information. This is a great place to have your consumers! They are much more likely to purchase your products because they understand them, and understand your company.

Heavy Users

The highest point of the staircase, the heavy users. These are the customers that are going to buy any product your company produces. If you’re a clothing company and your logo is on a cellphone case, they have it. This is the highest point on the staircase for a reason, it is difficult to get customers here! It takes a product that consumers can’t get enough of, and a brand culture that the consumer aligns with and believes in. The more customers you can get here, the more stable your revenue becomes.

Moving Up

The goal of marketing, then, is to move your consumers up the staircase to become heavy users. There are simply ways to do, such as working customers up one stair at a time, or unique ways that can get customers to high levels fast. Most importantly, each company needs to be sure that they have a staircase for their customers to climb. Don’t expect a non-user to randomly become a medium or heavy user without some serious strategy and perfect execution.

Overall, be mindful of the different levels of customers you have and make sure to focus marketing techniques on not only increasing brand recognition, but moving your customers up the staircase.

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