Six Steps to Passionate Customers

At the turn of the century John Wannamaker was quoted as saying something that has resonated with advertisers for over a decade – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” All businesses are interested in maximizing their advertising investment, but how?

I encourage businesses to think about their customer relationships in terms of a funnel. As they go down the funnel, their relationship with your business gets stronger and stronger. Understanding the customer mindset in each part of the funnel is important, because certain media and marketing techniques are best suited to filling the funnel, while others are better for relationship building. The best businesses maximize the flow of customers into their funnel, and then build strong, lasting relationships.

Fill Your Funnel

  1. At the top of the funnel is attention. Customers get between 500 and 3,000 advertising messages a day. Your first step is to break through that clutter and get their attention. Whatever medium you use, you have to have a clear, compelling message.  Don’t pack lots of messages into your advertising.  Keep it simple.
  2. Next down the funnel is interest. To move customers from attention to interest, you must deliver a message that’s relevant and compelling to them. What pain point are you solving for your customers, and why are you their best choice? If you get a great ad in front of the right people at the right time, it can keep your funnel full.
  3. Third in the funnel is trial. The goal of your ad is to move customers from attention, to interest, right to trial. Getting a new customer to give your product or service a try is the big payoff from creating and delivering that great advertisement.

Deliver On Your Promise

  1. The fourth level of the funnel is repeat. After they’ve tried you out, will they come back? This is when you really have to deliver on what you promised in your advertisement. The ad gets people in, but your product and service is what gets them to come back again and again.

Build Your Relationships

  1. In the bottom of your customer funnel, you move from bringing in new customers, to building the relationship with them. How do you move from a repeat customer to a real relationship with them? This is where tools like social media can be helpful. Many business owners misunderstand how to best leverage social media. Customers are on social media because they want to be in conversations and build relationships. If you’re using it like a one-way advertisement, you’re missing an opportunity. The big idea is to create a dialogue. Ask your customers questions, and give them value. An occasional promotion is great, but if that’s all you do your customers won’t be interested in the conversation.
  2. The final layer of the funnel is referral. You know you’ve delivered on your promise, and built a great relationship when your customers refer other customers. Personal referrals are trustworthy and effective. However, if you’re relying only on referrals to build your business, you’re leveraging the smallest part of your funnel. Great businesses grow by continually increasing the number of customers in that make it into the funnel, and all the way down to relationship and referral.

Maximize Your Investment

To maximize your marketing efforts, think strategically about each part of your mix. Is the medium you’re using best suited to the goal your trying to achieve? Take a step back, and lay out a plan for achieving success in each part of your funnel.

Gerry O'Brion - Keynote Marketing & Branding Speaker


Gerry spent his career growing big brands such as Procter & Gamble, Coors Light, Quiznos, and Red Robin. Now, he translates strategies from billion dollar brands into techniques that any company can use, regardless of their budget.

I just attended the Natural Products Expo East. Thousands of new and unique products screaming for the attention…
Unusual Local Experiences Create Passionate Customers The local movement has gained a lot of steam in the past…