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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

The 5 Stages of Customer Awareness: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Nov 1, 2023


If you're in the business of marketing, you know that understanding your customer's journey is key to creating a successful campaign. One important aspect of this journey is customer awareness. Customer awareness refers to the degree to which a customer knows about your product or service. The more aware they are, the more likely they are to become a customer.


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Understanding Customer Awareness

As a marketer, it's important to understand the concept of customer awareness. Customer awareness refers to the different levels of knowledge that potential customers have about your product or service. It's important to know where your target audience lies in terms of awareness so that you can tailor your marketing and sales efforts accordingly.


The 5 stages of customer awareness are: Completely Unaware, Problem Aware, Solution Aware, Product Aware, and Most Aware. Each stage represents a different level of awareness, and your marketing efforts should be tailored to each stage. For example, if your potential customer is Completely Unaware, your marketing efforts should focus on creating brand awareness. On the other hand, if your potential customer is Most Aware, your marketing efforts should focus on closing the sale.


Understanding the different levels of customer awareness can help you create a customer journey map that outlines the different stages of the customer journey. This can help you identify the different customer journey phases and create targeted marketing campaigns for each phase.


It's also important to note that customer awareness is not static. Customers can move up or down the levels of awareness depending on their experiences with your product or service. As a marketer, it's important to monitor your customers' levels of awareness and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.


In summary, understanding customer awareness is crucial for creating effective marketing and sales campaigns. By tailoring your efforts to each stage of awareness, you can create a more effective customer journey map and increase your chances of closing the sale.


The Five Stages of Customer Awareness

When it comes to making a purchase decision, customers typically go through a journey of awareness. This journey is comprised of five stages of customer awareness that every marketer should be aware of. Understanding these stages can help you create content that resonates with your target audience and drives conversions.


Unaware

At the first stage of customer awareness, the customer is completely unaware of their problem or need. They have not yet realized that they have a problem that needs to be solved or a need that needs to be fulfilled. As a marketer, your goal at this stage is to create awareness around the problem or need that your product or service can solve.


Problem Aware

At the second stage of customer awareness, the customer has become aware of their problem or need. They know that they have a problem that needs to be solved or a need that needs to be fulfilled, but they are not yet aware of any solutions. As a marketer, your goal at this stage is to create awareness around the solutions that your product or service can provide.


Product Aware

At the third stage of customer awareness, the customer has become aware of the solutions that are available to them. They know that there are products or services that can solve their problem or fulfill their need, but they are not yet aware of the specific features or benefits of your product or service. As a marketer, your goal at this stage is to create awareness around the specific features and benefits of your product or service.


Solution Aware

At the fourth stage of customer awareness, the customer has become aware of the specific features and benefits of your product or service. They know that your product or service can solve their problem or fulfill their need, but they are not yet convinced that it is the best solution for them. As a marketer, your goal at this stage is to create awareness around why your product or service is the best solution for them.


Most Aware

At the fifth and final stage of customer awareness, the customer is fully aware of their problem or need, the solutions that are available to them, and the specific features and benefits of your product or service. They are convinced that your product or service is the best solution for them and are ready to make a purchase. As a marketer, your goal at this stage is to remove any barriers to purchase and make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy from you.


Understanding the five stages of customer awareness can help you create content that speaks directly to your target audience at each stage of their journey. By doing so, you can increase your chances of converting them into loyal customers and advocates for your brand.


What people are searching at each level:

What your customers are searching for on Amazon or Google can say a lot about what level of awareness your customers have towards your product. Try adding some keywords of the different levels into your campaigns and you might just find a gold mine. For example "better sleep" instead of "melatonin" might have a lot more search volume and cheaper cpcs!


Here are some examples of keywords or phrases someone might search for at each stage:

  1. Unaware

    • "How to reduce stress"

    • "Why is my computer slow"

    • "Healthy meal ideas"

  2. Problem-Aware

    • "Best ways to reduce stress"

    • "How to speed up computer"

    • "Easy healthy meals"

  3. Solution-Aware

    • "Meditation techniques for stress"

    • "Computer optimization software"

    • "Healthy meal prep services"

  4. Product-Aware

    • "Headspace app reviews"

    • "Norton Utilities performance review"

    • "Blue Apron healthy meals review"

  5. Most Aware

    • "Headspace subscription cost"

    • "Norton Utilities discount"

    • "Blue Apron promo code"


It's possible your Amazon Sales Have Dropped because of one of these reasons. Check out our guide to find out the root cause of the decline.


The Unaware Stage


At the Unaware Stage, your potential customer doesn't know they have a problem that needs solving. They are not aware of your brand or your solution. This stage is crucial because if your target audience is not aware of their problem, they won't be looking for a solution, and they won't be interested in what you have to offer.


To reach potential customers at the Unaware Stage, you need to educate them about their pain points. You can do this by creating stories, blog posts, or other educational content that highlights the challenges your target audience faces. By providing this information, you can help your potential customers understand their pain points and realize they need a solution.


It's essential to create content that is relevant and engaging to your target audience. Your content should be informative, but also interesting and easy to read. Use a conversational tone and avoid using technical jargon that might be confusing or off-putting.


In summary, the Unaware Stage is all about educating your potential customers about their pain points. By creating content that resonates with your target audience, you can help them understand their challenges and realize they need a solution. This stage is the foundation for building awareness and interest in your brand, so it's essential to get it right.


The Problem-Aware Stage


At this stage, the potential customer is aware of a problem or pain point they are experiencing, but they haven't yet explored solutions. They may be actively searching for information to educate themselves on the issue, or they may simply be noticing that something is not working as it should be.


As a marketer, it's essential to create content that speaks to this stage of the customer journey. Blog posts, educational content, and thought leadership pieces can all be effective ways to capture the attention of leads who are problem-aware.


When creating content for this stage, it's important to be informative and helpful without coming across as overly salesy. Remember, the goal is to educate and explore solutions, not to push a particular product or service.


Some ways to create effective content for the problem-aware stage include:

  • Identifying common pain points that your target audience experiences and addressing them in your content.

  • Providing actionable tips and advice that readers can use to start addressing their problem.

  • Using real-world examples and case studies to illustrate how others have successfully solved similar problems.

By creating content that speaks directly to the pain points and problems your target audience is experiencing, you can establish yourself as a trusted source of information and build a relationship with potential customers.


The Solution-Aware Stage


Congratulations! You have successfully moved your potential customer from the problem-aware stage to the solution-aware stage. At this stage, the prospect is actively looking for solutions to their problem and exploring different options.


It is crucial to educate your potential customer on how your product or service can solve their problem. This is where your thought leadership and educational content come into play. Provide them with webinars, whitepapers, and other educational materials that showcase the benefits and features of your solution.


Make sure to highlight the unique benefits of your solution compared to your competitors. This will help you stand out in a crowded market and give your potential customer a reason to choose your solution over others.


At this stage, it is also important to explore the prospect's needs and preferences. Ask them questions to understand their pain points and what they are looking for in a solution. This will help you tailor your pitch and ensure that your solution meets their specific needs.


Remember, the solution-aware stage is a critical step in the customer journey. By providing valuable educational content and thought leadership, you can build trust with your potential customer and position yourself as a trusted advisor.


The Product-Aware Stage

Congratulations! You've successfully navigated your potential customer through the first two stages of customer awareness - Problem-Aware and Solution-Aware. Now, they are in the Product-Aware stage. At this point, the customer is aware of your product and has a good understanding of how it can solve their problem.


In this stage, it's important to highlight the benefits and features of your product. You want to showcase what makes your product unique and why it's the best solution for your customer's problem. This can be done through advertising, promotions, case studies, and content marketing.

One effective way to showcase your product is through a webinar. A webinar allows you to demonstrate your product in action and show how it can solve your customer's problem. You can also offer a discount code during the webinar to encourage your potential customer to make a purchase.


It's important to note that at this stage, your potential customer is still evaluating their options. They may be comparing your product to your competitors' products. Therefore, it's important to continue to provide value and answer any questions they may have.


In conclusion, the Product-Aware stage is a crucial stage in the customer awareness journey. It's important to highlight the benefits and features of your product, showcase it through advertising and promotions, and continue to provide value to your potential customer. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of converting them into a paying customer.


The Most-Aware Stage


Congratulations! You have successfully guided your prospects through the customer awareness stages and landed them in the most-aware stage. At this point, your prospects are fully aware of your product or service and are considering making a purchase.


In the most-aware stage, your prospects have a clear understanding of their problem, the solution they need, and the benefits your product or service offers. They have done their research and are now comparing your offering to your competitors'. This is the stage where you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and provide compelling reasons why your product or service is the best choice.


Case studies and success stories are powerful tools to use in the most-aware stage. They provide social proof and demonstrate how your product or service has helped others solve similar problems. Make sure to showcase your best success stories and highlight the benefits your customers have received.


It's also important to provide a clear path to purchase in the most-aware stage. Make it easy for your prospects to buy your product or service by providing a clear call-to-action and a simple checkout process. Consider offering a loyalty program to incentivize repeat purchases and increase customer retention.


Remember, the most-aware stage is the final stage in the sales funnel before a prospect becomes a customer. Make sure to provide exceptional customer service and support to ensure a smooth transition from prospect to customer. By doing so, you will increase the likelihood of turning your prospects into loyal customers.


From Awareness to Advocacy

Congratulations! You have successfully made it to the final stage of the customer journey - advocacy. At this stage, your customers have become loyal to your brand and are willing to recommend your products or services to others. They have become your brand ambassadors and will help you attract new customers.


To turn your customers into advocates, you need to provide them with an excellent customer experience. This means delivering a product or service that meets or exceeds their expectations. You also need to provide excellent customer service, which includes being responsive to their needs and providing them with prompt and effective solutions to any problems they may encounter.


A loyalty program can also help turn your customers into advocates. By rewarding them for their repeat business, you not only encourage them to keep coming back, but you also increase the chances that they will recommend your brand to others.


Personalization is another key factor in turning your customers into advocates. By providing them with relevant and personalized messages at the right time, you can show them that you understand their needs and are committed to meeting them.


Finally, don't forget to ask for feedback from your customers. This not only shows them that you value their opinion, but it also helps you identify areas where you can improve your products or services.


In the retention phase, it is essential to keep your loyal customers engaged with your brand. By providing them with exclusive offers, discounts, and other incentives, you can keep them coming back for more. This not only increases their lifetime value but also increases the chances that they will become advocates for your brand.


E-commerce businesses should pay extra attention to the retention phase since it is often more cost-effective to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. By focusing on providing an excellent customer experience, you can turn your loyal customers into brand advocates and grow your business in the long run.


Implementing the Five Stages in Your Marketing Strategy


Understanding the five stages of customer awareness is crucial in creating a successful marketing plan. By identifying where your target audience is in the customer journey, you can tailor your marketing efforts to meet their needs and guide them through the sales funnel.


Define Your Target Audience and Buyer Persona

To implement the five stages of customer awareness, you must first identify your target audience and create a buyer persona. This will help you understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. By doing so, you can create the right message and deliver it at the right time.


Create Awareness

The first stage of customer awareness is the awareness phase. At this stage, your target audience is not yet aware of your business offerings. Your goal is to create brand awareness and attract prospects. This can be done through various marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, and advertising.


Problem Awareness

The second stage is the problem awareness stage. At this point, your target audience is aware of their problem and is actively looking for a solution. Your goal is to position your business as the solution to their problem. This can be done through lead magnets, promotions, and targeted content marketing.


Solution Awareness

The third stage is the solution awareness stage. At this stage, your target audience is aware of the solutions available and is considering their options. Your goal is to differentiate your business from your competitors and position yourself as the best solution. This can be done through targeted advertising, promotions, and content marketing.


Consideration

The fourth stage is the consideration phase. At this stage, your target audience is considering your business as a viable option. Your goal is to provide the right information and build trust with your prospects. This can be done through targeted content marketing, lead magnets, and personalized messaging.


Purchase

The final stage is the purchase phase. At this stage, your target audience has made the decision to purchase from your business. Your goal is to make the purchase process as smooth and easy as possible. This can be done through personalized messaging, targeted promotions, and excellent customer service.


Implementing the five stages of customer awareness in your marketing strategy can help you guide your prospects through the sales funnel and increase your conversion rates. By understanding your target audience and delivering the right message at the right time, you can position your business as the best solution to their problem.


Speaking of positioning -- check out how to get the Amazon choice badge to catapult you to the top of search results, and improve your conversion and engagement during different stages of consumer awareness.



Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps of consumer awareness?

There are five stages of consumer awareness:

  1. Unawareness: At this stage, the customer is not aware of the problem or the solution.

  2. Problem Awareness: At this stage, the customer is aware of the problem but not the solution.

  3. Solution Awareness: At this stage, the customer is aware of the solution but not of your product.

  4. Product Awareness: At this stage, the customer is aware of your product but has not yet made a purchase.

  5. Most Aware: At this stage, the customer knows your product and is ready to make a purchase.

What are the 3 stages of customer awareness?

Recognizing the various phases that your potential customers go through and their methods of searching for your products/services, whether directly or indirectly, provides you with the precision to target them more effectively. These phases include awareness, consideration, and decision.


What are the 4 stages of brand awareness?

Brand awareness encompasses four distinct levels: recognition, recall, top-of-mind awareness, and brand preference.


What are the 5 levels of buyer awareness?

In "Breakthrough Advertising," Eugene Schwartz delineates five stages of buyer awareness: unaware, problem-aware, solution-aware, product-aware, and most aware.


How can you create customer awareness?

You can create customer awareness by using various marketing strategies such as advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and influencer marketing. It is important to understand your target audience and their needs and preferences to create content that resonates with them.


What is problem awareness and how does it relate to customer awareness?

Problem awareness is the stage where the customer becomes aware of the problem they are facing. It is the first step in the customer journey and is crucial in creating customer awareness. By creating content that addresses the customer's problem, you can attract their attention and make them aware of your product or solution.


What are some examples of problem awareness content?

Some examples of problem awareness content include blog posts, social media posts, videos, and infographics that address the customer's problem and provide information on how to solve it. For example, a blog post on "5 Common Skin Problems and How to Fix Them" is a great example of problem awareness content for a skincare brand.


What are the key aspects of building customer awareness in marketing?

The key aspects of building customer awareness in marketing are understanding your target audience, identifying their pain points, creating content that addresses their problems, and using various marketing channels to reach them. It is important to create a consistent brand message and to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts to optimize your strategy.


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