Audience Temperature & The Customer Journey

Avatars (potential customers) will be in different “places” along your customer journey.  Some may be repeat customers while others have never heard of you and aren’t even aware that they need what you provide.

The same messages and tactics won’t work with all of them, all the time.

Audience temperature tells you where your customers are right now (cold, warm or hot) and what marketing tactics are likely to resonate with those people at each step along the way.

customer journey

Think about the FIRST time you heard about a company, product or service that piqued your interest enough to make a purchase.

What was the last thing you bought online?  How did you FIRST hear about the company or that product or service?

Think back all the way to the beginning…

Chances are that you can’t.  You might remember the first time you took notice but that probably wasn’t the first time you were exposed to that company.  Chances are that you had previously scrolled past them on social media or saw a traditional or digital ad that you didn’t consciously notice or immediately disregarded.  Chances are that this happened more than once.

There are lots of ways it could have gone, but at that first, pre-cognitive point, you were a COLD audience.  You weren’t ready to buy yet because you didn’t know you wanted that “thing” and had never heard of the company that was trying to sell it to you.

cold AUDIENCES have never heard of your company and might not be aware that what you do is even a thing.

That company spent money and time to develop that post or ad.  But you didn’t even notice it!

So, did that company make a mistake?  Obviously not—because you eventually became a customer.

So what did they get for their money and time?  Answer: Brand Awareness.

Maybe not the first time (and maybe not the second or third time either) but at some point, you recognized something.  Maybe it was the company name or the name of the product or service that they offered—or maybe it was nothing more than the company’s colors or logo that grabbed your attention.  Whatever it was, something inspired you to take some action.  Maybe you clicked the ad link or jotted down a note to remind you to look into that thing.  In the case of a print, radio or tv ad, it’s possible (though unlikely) that you manually typed in the web URL to go directly to the company website.

At that point, you became a member of that company’s WARM audience.

warm audiences know who you are and what you do.

Now that you were warmed up, chances are about 80% that your next step was an online search on either Google or Facebook to find out more about the company and what others were saying.  Maybe you searched for the company name, the product/service or the industry.  When you ran that search, the company website probably popped up.  You may or may not have taken notice as to whether you were clicking on an organic listing or a sponsored ad but chances are that you found it somewhere on page 1 and probably at or near the top of the page.  At any rate, you found them and then maybe you clicked on the link to “LEARN MORE”.  Somewhere on the web or landing page that came up, there was probably a “BUY NOW” button.

Did you make a purchase at that point?  Probably not.

You needed to think about it or do some more research… maybe ask a friend...

Instead, you might have read a few reviews and taken a closer look at the website or Facebook page.  Maybe you were interested enough to make an online purchase or call the business… but probably not…

You were still thinking about it.  So, instead of buying, you joined a Facebook group, liked or commented on the page/post, filled out an online form to request additional info or signed up for a newsletter, trial demo, free gift or something that let that company know that you were interested.

And that’s how you became a HOT lead.

hot audiences have made a purchase or contacted/interacted with you in some way.

When you filled out that form, you were likely added to an email contact list.  You probably got an email pretty soon after that, with some info and a link to “BUY NOW”.

Did you buy?  Probably not, but you were thinking about it.

Then, later on that same day, you saw another ad from the same company!

Magic?  No, of course not.

What actually happened was that the company was running a digital ad campaign that “retargeted” you (along with everyone else who had filled out that particular form or visited the Facebook page or website).

Maybe you clicked on the ad and finally pulled the trigger.  Or maybe you didn’t click the ad but it registered somewhere in your psyche.  Maybe you got another email the next day with a “SPECIAL DISCOUNT” just for you!  😉 

Of course, there are lots of ways that people find businesses and businesses find customers but chances are pretty good that things went down something like we’ve just described.  And that is the customer journey.

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