The Ladder of Product Awareness
Speaking to customers where they're at.
"NO, GO AWAY."
Imagine: It’s a scorching hot day.
You’re walking down the street to grab an ice cream.
As you near your favorite ice cream place, someone taps your shoulder. You spin around and you see a complete stranger down on one knee.
“Will you marry me?”
Startled and confused, you wonder if it’s a joke. You then wonder if you’re in danger. You look around for either a video camera or a police officer.
Everything in your body is telling you to get out of the situation—to yell:
“No, go away.”
It doesn’t matter how they look, or even if they’re famous and you recognize them. You’re going to think they’re nuts and want to get out of it as soon as possible.
And you’re definitely never going to marry this person now no matter what happens.
So why do we do this in business?
Why do we create ad campaigns that push random people to buy our products?
Why do we ask people to join our newsletter within seconds of hitting our site?
Obviously, nearly everyone will think this is a very bad experience. It seems obvious to say, but many get this wrong:
You absolutely do not want the first touchpoint with you or your brand to be a bad experience.
It’s hard to get rid of the bad taste in someone’s mouth.
In a world of continuously increasing personalization, we need to speak to people exactly where they’re at on the Ladder of Product Awareness (LoPA).
Speak to people where they’re at
Here’s the LoPA
The higher up the ladder someone is, the less convincing and educating you need to do in order to convert them into a customer.
You, trying to get ice cream and getting asked to get married, were at Level 2 or 3. You know that getting married is a thing, but perhaps you aren’t sure if it’s right for you OR you’re at least not sure who the right person is.
Either way, you’re gonna need convincing. A lot of it.
People who do get married are at Level 1.
And you’re definitely not going to be successful asking a member of an alien race where they all self-replicate. They’re not even aware that they would want to get married (or what even the concept of marriage is.)
How to use the LoPA
Eventually, you'll want to create content and marketing campaigns for people at all levels (well, perhaps not level 5).
But you’ll want to start your focus at the top.
Motivated to solve the problem and believe your product/solution is the best.
Upsell and cross-sell your current customers during checkout, or with follow-up emails.
Create “retargeting campaigns.” Ads that target people who have already completed certain actions on your site or app. Push them to the next step.
Nurture people on your email list. Discover their top objections for not getting started and resolve them.
Mostly, you want to strike while the iron is hot and make the buying experience as frictionless as possible. Give them the ability to buy, and don’t give them any excuses to not buy.
Call to action: Buy. Sign contact.
Now onto paid content only
I hate ads and sponsors. I’d like to avoid them in my content.
This is a subscriber-supported newsletter. I do it on the side of running two startups, and I spend 10+ hours researching and creating content every week for my personal brand and newsletter.
Below I dive into the 4 other levels, as well as an example campaign that puts it all together. If you’d like to check it out, consider becoming a paid subscriber for $5/mo.
Thanks to everyone who supports me 🙏
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