The following article is based on a recent Industry Report, “How great content engages your customers early in their buyer journey”, published by CXFocus.
Initiating early engagement with customers serves as a vital strategy for brand awareness and product visibility. When potential customers are aware of your offerings, they are more likely to consider them when their needs arise.
Imagine this scenario: You walk into a massive department store. It’s filled with aisles upon aisles of products. You’re on a mission to buy a new smartphone, but the options are overwhelming. You haven’t done your research yet, so you’re left fumbling through a labyrinth of choices.
Now, picture a salesperson who greets you right at the entrance. They’re friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help. They ask you about your needs, your preferences, and your budget. They guide you through the store, explaining the features of various smartphones and offering recommendations based on what they’ve learned about you.
Which experience would you prefer? The second one, right? Well, that’s precisely why early engagement with customers is so crucial in today’s business world. It’s like being that helpful salesperson who guides customers through the maze of choices.
Why early engagement matters?
In our digital age, communication happens in an instant. But, as Katrina Troughton, VP and Managing Director for Adobe Australia and New Zealand, aptly puts it, not all messages have a real impact. We’re constantly bombarded with information, advertisements, and offers.
Troughton comments, “We live in an age of instant communication, but only a handful of the messages we come across have a real impact. Today brands compete for both mindshare and dollars, and consumers will not give everyone equal attention. When we take this one step further and focus on the digital economy, personalised insights and interactions set the foundation for customer relationships”.
Troughton further emphasises the importance of personalisation, noting that a one-size-fits-all website experience can leave users feeling like a drop in the ocean rather than a unique individual.
She says, “A universal website experience leaves users feeling like one among a million rather than one in a million. People expect an increasingly customised experience when interacting with brands from the beginning, especially brands they frequently engage with”, adds Troughton. “For businesses to grow, they must focus on engaging customers early in the buyer journey by delivering consistent, personalised, connected interactions across every channel and touchpoint”.
Matty Sirois, Head of Marketing at Atomic.io, reinforces the idea that early engagement is pivotal. According to him, it typically takes a minimum of eight touchpoints before a customer feels comfortable engaging in a conversation. He says, “Providing relevant and engaging interactions while potential customers are in the early stage of researching their options, builds trust and authority in your brand. From there, you will stay front of mind as the customer progresses to making a decision”.
The benefits of early engagement
Engaging customers early in their buyer journey, as Sirois highlights, offers a multitude of benefits:
- Educate and inform customers: Engaging early allows you to provide information and content that helps customers understand their problems.
- Influence decision-making: When you engage early, you can shape the customer’s perception of their problem, thereby guiding them towards your product or services.
- Identify needs and pain points: Engagement enables you to identify specific customer challenges. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your offerings and communication strategies to address those challenges effectively.
- Nurture leads: Keep customers interested in your products and services until they are ready to make a purchase.
- Gain mindshare over competitors: Engaging early gives you a competitive advantage by capturing mindshare over your competitors. You’re not just one of the many options; you’re the option that’s top of mind when customers are ready to decide.
Engaging customers early in their journey is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity for businesses that aim to thrive in the digital age. It’s about building relationships from the very beginning and delivering personalised experiences. In the race for customers’ attention, being early to the game might just make you the winner.