Make no assumptions and take nothing for granted.
In our process, discovery forms the foundation for future growth, starting with a detailed understanding of your prospects and customers.
As your marketing team, we have many questions, but not all of the answers. Our years of experience working with manufacturing and industrial clients, however, means you won’t be paying us to ‘learn your business…’, rather you’re investing in our people and proven processes, which enable us to uncover insights into your prospects, customers and competitors, to deliver results which are often surprising and always actionable.
Shouldn’t we already know what our customers want?
Again, make no assumptions and take nothing for granted. The discovery process has been proven to produce insights from customers and prospects, often surprising, which inform your path going forward.
Discovery, as a key component of an effective marketing roadmap generally seeks to uncover these key insights:
- Not the what, but the why. How can you create your WHY story to break through the clutter and truly resonate with your customer so they purchase what you sell? People don't care as much about what you do, but how what you offer can help them.
- People buy from people. It's important to invest in understanding who your prospects and customers are and what their motivations are for purchasing (or NOT purchasing) your solution. Don't guess, ask questions and gather insight.
- Make sure you’re in the ‘right place’. We seek to understand where your best prospects and customers are:
Geographically: to ensure you're able to deliver your products and services without logistical problems.
Channels: whether you sell to or service your customers directly, through dealers or a combination, unique messaging and needs apply to each channel.
Platforms: online, social media, trade shows, industry publications... It's important to define where your clients and prospects are searching for information and solutions to their challenges.
The Discovery phase will typically produce the following deliverables:
Essentially, a Buyer Persona is a profile of your target customer. Creating buyer personas helps to refine and align your marketing strategy and tactics around your target customers. Once established, every marketing activity must keep the buyer persona in mind.
Personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier to tailor marketing content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different buyer groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research, as well as on insights we gather from your actual customer base (phone, survey or in-person, dependent upon client availability and location).
At Custom Direct we follow the Buyer Persona Institute’s methodology to deliver an incredibly informative tool, centered around the ‘5 Rings of Buying Insight’:
- Which buyers are receptive, and which will ignore you no matter what you say
- Which aspects of your solution are relevant to them, and which are irrelevant
- Which attitudes prevent your buyers from considering this approach
- Which resources your buyer will trust as they evaluate their options
- Which buyers are involved in this decision and how much sway they have
Key to understanding how to benefit from a Buyer Persona Profile Report is to understand what they are NOT: These are not profiles, which seek to identify individuals through their unique demographic or psychographic traits (age, race, ethnicity, education, hobbies, etc.).
For example: we may interview a customer of yours who is a 40-something Hispanic woman or a 62-year old white male. Narrowing a persona into these demographic ‘buckets’ is not beneficial. And while the Buyer Persona can be a highly effective tool, it is not meant to replace individual relationships, but to serve as a starting point for the conversation...
The process of defining your customers’ journey is uncovered during the questioning phase of a buyer persona.
The customer journey, from a stranger to a lead, customer to advocate, generally consists of three stages: AWARENESS to CONSIDERATION to DECISION. Customer Journey Mapping is the process of auditing the marketing content you’re currently using and identifying missing content as needed, which includes but is not limited to:
- Awareness - Webinars, eGuides, eBooks, White Papers, Editorial Content, Blog Posts, Social Media Publishing
- Consideration - Webinars, Video, Solution Comparison White Papers, Case Studies, Editorial Content, Landing Pages, Web Forms, Email Newsletters, Social Media Publishing
- Decision - Case Studies, Product Literature, Web Forms, Workflow Process and CRM Tools
We seek to understand how and where your prospects and customers learn of your products and services, how they decide whether (or not) to engage further and ultimately make a purchase.
Audit Reports are important tools in helping you to determine which challenges and opportunities you should focus your efforts and resources on.
An SEO audit, for example, can help you to identify opportunities to boost your website's performance, gain insight into your competitor's marketing strategies, and ultimately make your business more money. Even if you think your website is perfectly healthy, you might be surprised by what an audit can reveal.
Additional audits may include a Competitive Analysis and a review of your Social Media presence and effectiveness (LinkedIn in particular) to uncover opportunities to create and build upon your competitive advantage.