Customer knowledge and stage of sales funnel for complex solutions

Marketing Complex Solutions-StratoServeComplex solutions and offerings are by definition well..complex…. and difficult to market.To us complex solutions are those that are difficult to explain in less than 2 minutes to a qualified prospect. Complex solutions also tend to be new to the market and sometimes new to the world. Sometimes complex solutions involve integrating several existing products in a novel and new way that can impact customers in significant ways. In some ways complex solutions are similar to explaining the “it’s complicated” relationship status on Facebook. It’s not as simple and clear as either married or single!

Yet businesses tend to assume that all prospects will understand quite quickly what their complex solution does. This seems to be true whether the business is large or  small. Here are some ways to think about the segments of potential customers by their problem knowledge levels.

  1. Customer does not know that there is a problem: This one is the most challenging because the customer does not know that there is a problem for which you have the solution. Bringing the customer through the AIDA stages is a long educational process. Content and appropriate Google AdWords advertising can help but be prepared for a long sales cycle. It’s really worth investing in web content development to deal with these customers who don’t even know that there is a problem for which you provide a solution. There is some nice content advice at Kapost Community. Keep in mind that your content will start working only when the customer has at least a mild interest to do a Google search. The good part is that the interest needs to be just enough for the (very little effort) effort to do a Google search. We know many businesses who haven’t got around to even Googling  back-burner issues because they are too busy with fighting the fires of today. Direct mail and email can help with this group. Direct mail can sometimes help more than email, as there is much less competition for attention.  Remember even trashing  junk mail involves the customer for at least a minute compared to the deleted (1-2 seconds) or spam folder for the email.
  2. Customers who know that they have a problem: These customers are actively searching online for solutions. If you have awesome web content that allows the customer to find you – it’s great. If your content is less than awesome but at least relevant to this segment -search advertising like Google AdWords can help to get a conversation started.
  3. Ready to buy customers: The ready to buy customer are those who know that they have a problem and have evaluated some alternative solutions at least through web searches. Few customers are ready to buy complex products and services immediately unless there is a referral from an existing delighted customer. So it is a good idea to ensure that existing customers are so delighted that they talk about the improvements they have seen among their industry friends. These industry friends have similar challenges even if they fall into to the first category who were not aware of the problem they were facing. Industry friends typically meet at conferences and trade fairs which allows interactions that discuss common problems.

To summarize, examine your target market for your complex solution and divide them up into the above groups and recognize that each needs a different marketing approach.About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.

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