The forgotten customer

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A few weeks ago I read an article by Robert Rose, “An Alternate Approach to Developing Content Marketing Personas” that caught my attention.  This article was full of information on how to create a buyer persona based on the target audience, the “jobs to be done,” and your niche. Identifying these three areas is the first step to creating content customers want. It also nurtures those customers through the buying process. 

What stuck out to me in this article though wasn’t the degree of information on developing customer personas, it was this quote:

“Others will never buy from us but may provide more long-term value than a customer.” @robertrose

Why do focus only on customers at the bottom of the funnel? What about the ones at the top? They are also valuable. When we give them relevant information, regardless of if they buy, they can be our biggest advocates.

What would it look like if we weren’t so focused on PUSHING a customer through a sales funnel? Instead, let’s develop a plan that nurtured everyone regardless of if they ever paid for our service?

Of course, you should continue to nurture and encourage customers to buy. Afterall, we all need to make a living. However, providing content geared towards each level of the sales funnel shows you care about ALL your customers, top to bottom. Providing content where everyone benefits also build your brand as someone who is focused on teaching others rather than getting the sale.

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What would a ‘Top of Funnel’ strategy look like?

The article referenced above provides a step by step process of identifying the different buyer personas and then creating a content strategy to reach them.  What will separate you from your competition when creating your buyer persona is the content “tilt” or different perspective you bring to the information you are sharing with your customers. 

“What if we started with the audience’s interests, challenges, and questions – and then figured out what our unique answer to them might be.” @RobertRose

Start with your customers need that brought them to your social page, website, or internet search.

  • What do they want?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • Why are the searching the internet for a solution?
  • What might keep them from moving through the funnel to buy?
  • How can you get them to share more of your content?

Once you have identified their problem, next, decide how you can help them solve those problems?

  • Identify 4-5 Topics that you can address consistently with authority
  • Determine the frequency you want to provide information
  • Determine the medium you want to answer those questions (Blog post, video, podcast, etc.)

Once you have identified the person at the top, the topics they want to learn about, and how often you are going to publish, it’s time to set a schedule and get to it. I’ll be honest it is hard because we are all busy and the customer needs trump our desire to work on our actual business goals.

So let me give you a tip. Start by blocking out 1-2 hours a week where you shut off all communication (notifications, cell phone, and other distractions) and focus on creating the content. Make it a regular part of your routine.

Friday mornings are my time to work on my business. During that time, I don’t take client calls, make appointments, or answer the phone. Sitting at my desk (or coffee shop), I work on articles that I believe will be helpful for my readers. Keeping my list of topics in front of me, allows me to stay focused on the 4-5 problems my audience faces so I can create articles or other social posts. For me, I find that morning is better for getting things done. Your schedule may look different based on what you do or the frequency you want to share with your audience.

When focusing on the “top of funnel” customer, remember to keep their needs and problems at the forefront of your mind as you write.  The goal is to provide them with the information they want to help them solve their problem. Do that, and even if they never buy a single product from you, they may be your biggest “engaged” or “influencer” reader that draws people to your brand. Who is your top of funnel buyer?

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