What is awareness and why does it matter?

By Beka Ventham | Behaviour

Jul 23

Really knowing your customers is the difference between being a forgettable business and a truly memorable business. It’s the difference between healthy profits and repeat purchases, or paltry conversions. If you don’t put time and effort into getting to know your customers then they will seek out a business who will. 

Doing your customer research and you know who your target audience is and you’ve created a smashing indoctrination campaign, is a good strong start. People remain unique though, and you’ll need to treat them uniquely to build relationships and get the conversions you’re after.

Each prospect and customer will not be at the same point on their journey and whilst a welcome campaign is a nice blanket introduction, as people invest themselves and align with you it becomes super important to approach them according to where they are in their awareness level.

Knowing their awareness level helps you;

  • Know what conversations your customers want to have

  • Give them the right information at the right time

  • Join the conversation they are having in their head

It’s personalisation for where they are in their journey. It’s also vital for valuable copy, which we’ll talk about a little later.

Levels of Awareness

The definition of awareness is;

“knowledge or perception of a situation or fact”

Wherever your prospect or customer is on their customer journey, their perception of your business and the solutions you offer, in relation to their problem, is what makes your business successful. 

For example, If they had a negative perception they wouldn’t purchase anything from you and the cash money wouldn’t transact.

There are five levels of awareness, and where they are in that journey dictates what information you give them, and whether or not you’ll get the conversion;

  1. Completely Unaware - customer doesn’t know why they have a need ad has no ties to you or your product

  1. Problem Aware - customer is aware there is a problem but doesn’t know your product is the solution

  1. Solution Aware - customer can see the benefits but still doesn’t know your product is the solution for them

  1. Product Aware - customer knows there is a product but isn’t ready to commit

  1. Most Aware - customer knows about your product, knows it will solve their problem and they want it

Let’s say you had 100 new prospects come in. You’ve sent out a wonderfully welcoming indoctrination campaign and these prospects now know who you are and are picking up what you’re putting down thanks to how well your welcome campaign has worked. (If you need tips on how to create an indoctrination campaign, visit this blog).

Out of these 100 new prospects, 30 of them don’t even know they have a problem - they’re completely unaware. 

You’re hot on your reporting and you know who is clicking on what and who didn’t open any emails past the first one. They get the welcome emails and some open them, none of them click. Then they land in your Long Term Nurture campaign that is beautifully choreographed for people in the “solution aware” level…

You’re sending out copy that is highlighting benefits and outcomes. Focusing on how your solution can help them and make their lives better. Blasting out any pains stopping them from moving forward. It’s good, nourishing copy...but not for those who are completely unaware.

You’re having the wrong conversation, at the wrong time. This would be like trying to have a conversation with someone about car servicing when they are still using the bus... 

The levels of awareness act as goals in many ways. You want to move your prospects through the stages until they know all about you, love you, trust you and need your product.

This isn’t American Football but more interpretative dance, gently encouraging, nudging and building them up to alter their perspective and feel ready to identify with the next level.

Awareness for awesome content

Awareness is all about perception, as we know but why should this guide our content? Is it even worth spending time on dedicated copy for people who are completely unaware?

Earlier we touched on why knowing your prospects awareness level is important. We now know that it is important for segmentation because not everyone is the same, and we know that joining the conversations people have in their head means we need to understand where they are at.

Low awareness is obviously point zero. You’re turning a football fan into a rugby fan. It’s going to take time to educate and build trust. This is a slow spoon feeding process with low level calls to action.

We don’t want to ask too much of them or overwhelm them because we don’t want to lose them. The most effective way to get the low awareness funnel moving is by focusing on emotion. 

You want to connect to them, show them you get who they are and you care. You’re a friend having a chat.

Whilst low level is based on emotion, the most aware is far more logical, and much simpler. 

Most aware is all about benefits, results, strong call to actions, testimonials and case studies - we’re talking about shoving them over the finish line. Addressing any final pain points such as cost and time (the biggies) and having that sacred handshake.

You must plan your copy to reach all levels of awareness or you’re going to end up playing content roulette and spinning the wheel on who may or may not engage with what you’re sharing.

The 100 Audience Formula

Even if you aren’t entirely convinced, the 100 Audience Formula will show you precisely how to view your prospects and who may be slipping through the net if you aren’t considering their awareness.

For every 100 visitors;

  • 3 are ready to buy now (most aware)

  • 6-7 are open to it (product aware)

  • 30 don’t think they’re interested (solution aware)

  • 30 know they’re not interested (problem aware)

  • 30 are not thinking about it (completely unaware)

Imagine you’re a toy maker and you sell bespoke wooden toys for £50 a pop. 

Your copy is relevant to most aware, product aware and solution aware, using the formula - you’d have 3 who are most aware, 7 who are product aware and 30 who are interested.  That’s around £2000.00 in revenue if you have a 100% success rate. 

But you’re  missing out on a potential £3000.00 by ignoring your other visitors.

When it’s in pounds and pennies, it suddenly becomes more important doesn’t it?

Awareness Segmentation

You should be segmenting your list because people want different things and are at different stages, awareness levels allow you to start that process. 

You could have a fresh prospect and a loyal customer who has purchased from you three or more times getting the same copy...it doesn’t add up and you’ll turn one of them off.

An easier way to think about is to treat each list as completely independent of each other. This way you can brainstorm goals for each list and build content plans that are focused on where they are. 

Not only should the copy be unique to the list but so should the offerings. You wouldn’t offer a £50 toy to someone who was completely unaware, just like you wouldn’t offer a free PDF to someone who was most aware.

We have a great blog about other ways to segment here.

Give them what they want. 

And if you aren’t sure where they are...ask them to segment themselves. Send out a survey, design a quiz or offer them different content streams and let them identify their own needs.

The rule of ONE

Awareness is critical. You get it, I’ve banged on enough about it, but it isn’t the only thing to take into consideration.

The rule of ONE goes hand in hand with awareness level, you need one to successfully nail the other, they work interdependently and when synchronised will help you write some of the most relevant and useful copy for your list.

The rule of ONE is;

  1. ONE reader

  2. ONE big idea

  3. ONE promise

  4. ONE offer

This keeps your copy focused. 

Use the awareness levels to segment and to know what stage your prospects are at in their buying journey. 

Then you build a profile of your ideal reader in your mind and write to them. ONE reader, not all two hundred of them, just the ONE.

You pitch ONE big idea.

You make ONE promise

You make ONE offer...whether this is a paid solution or a free download…

Per awareness level. And now you have a great, optimised funnel that moves people strategically through their awareness stages. 

Why does awareness matter?

Awareness matters because it helps you;

  • Know what conversations your customers want to have

  • Give them the right information at the right time

  • Join the conversation they are having in their head

This gives you the insight you need to create content that matters to them.

It also gives you the knowledge to segment them effectively.

Most importantly it gives you a starting point and helps you establish a goal for your prospects. Doesn’t waste them time and gives you a promising platform for establishing trust and building relationships.

How aware is your list?

Awareness plays a huge role when you build your customer journey and if you need a ninja to guide you through your customer journey, we’re here to help.

We’re also offering free marketing therapy sessions so you can get expert solutions on how to improve your content strategy

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