The online marketing challenge
A lot of potential is wasted in online marketing. Why? Many decision makers focus their activities merely on fast sales or the generation of leads. In the short term, this may produce positive results, but in the long term it drastically limits your growth potential.
The number of users who are actually ready to buy is rather small. Target groups that are still at the beginning of their decision-making process will not be targeted this way. It is therefore crucial to reach and address potential customers at the very beginning of their decision-making process.
The SEE-THINK-DO-CARE framework as a solution
In the different stages of the purchasing decision process, users have very unique information and interaction needs. The SEE-THINK-DO-CARE framework – according to Avinash Kaushik – is a model for mapping these stages.
The basic approach of the model is that the user’s level of knowledge and the current status in the purchasing decision process is at the centre of all measures.
In the SEE stage are the people who probably don’t even know your product yet, but who are fundamentally interested in topics related to it. We are talking about the largest possible target group that can be reached.
Just one step further – in the THINK stage – are the people who think about actually buying a product. This target group indicates their buying interest through their web browsing behavior.
In the DO stage you will finally find the people who want to buy exactly your product. These people are ready to buy and all you have to do is to convince them of your offer.
In the CARE stage there are users who have bought from you more than once or who recommend your offers for other reasons. They are loyal fans of your product or brand. Although the group is small in relation to the total target group, it can have a major impact on your success.
Measurability of the individual stages
The target groups must be addressed very differently in the individual stages. In the SEE-THINK-DO-CARE model, each stage is assigned its own key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess its success.
In the SEE stage, a concrete request to buy rarely leads to success. Here, it is important to make your company known and to invite the target group to deal with your products and your brand. Conversion rate and turnover are not suitable success indicators in the SEE stage.
It is better to build awareness, reach new users and re-direct them to your website. These visitors start their first interactions for example via discussions on social network channels or in blogs.
The performance of a campaign is evaluated completely different in the THINK stage. Here for example, click rates on Google Ads or SEO snippets are taken into account. When it comes to evaluating the behavior of website visitors, the session duration or the scrolling depth are the right key indicators. They show how deeply the user has dealt with your content.
More detailed information is provided by micro-conversions such as newsletter subscriptions or white paper downloads. These conversions do not have a monetary value but they have an important preparatory influence on sales. As an important indicator, you should keep an eye on the preparatory clicks and conversions of the THINK stage in your tracking.
The DO stage is the hour of hard KPIs. For this purpose, we measure the success of our activities e.g. the conversion rate, sales or profit. Is the cost-per-lead profitable? How many users cancel their shopping cart and how high is the average shopping cart value or the return on advertising spend? In the DO stage, you reap the harvest of what you sowed in the previous stages.
The aim of the CARE stage is to turn satisfied customers into loyal regular customers and multipliers. The success of this stage can be measured with the help of KPIs such as the customer lifetime value, the number of positive ratings or the rate of follow-up purchases.
Analytics as the foundation for measuring success
In order to be able to record the key performance indicators reliably, an error-free tracking system is required. Analytics is at least as important as online marketing itself. You can only make the right decisions if you have valid data to back them up.
Interactions between different measures and the movement of users from one stage to the next must be made visible in order to be successful. The most important factor here is that the traffic is measured error-free across all channels.
Online marketing channels in the SEE-THINK-DO-CARE framework
Within the the SEE-THINK-DO-CARE model, target groups with very different information needs are addressed. Accordingly, the different online marketing channels have to be chosen carefully in order to fit to the respective goals of the stages.
The following diagram outlines, which measures are suitable for the different stages throughout the decision-making process. It is important, that this classification differs depending on a product, industry and target group. Furthermore, there is no clear differentiation between the stages – the transition is fluid.
In the SEE stage, a brand or product wants to get noticed and to achieve a higher level of awareness. Channels with push character like display and programmatic advertising can reach the relevant target groups. Video advertising via YouTube generates high reach and provides complex and emotional information. With content marketing, you can satisfy the user’s need for information and position your company as an influencer on a topic. Social media enables easy interaction with your potential customers. These measures combined with the most accurate targeting possible ensure high and precise coverage.
In the THINK stage it is all about providing the potential customer with more detailed information and inviting him or her to consider your offer. The observer becomes a user with actual purchase interest. Search engines have a strong impact on the THINK stage. SEO and Google Ads can be used to serve highly relevant search queries. Social advertising, e.g. via Facebook Ads, enables interaction with those users. A newsletter provides content and information via e-mail. Intelligent remarketing ties the target groups more and more closely to your company and leads the user to the purchase.
In the DO stage, it is crucial to become very transaction-oriented, especially via Google Ads, Google Shopping and remarketing. SEO delivers a positive user experience, e.g. through optimized product pages. And you can offer shopping cart abandoners a discount via email marketing in order to encourage them to buy after all.
Email marketing and marketing automation are extremely valuable in turning buyers into enthusiastic regular customers during the CARE stage. Fairly easy and completely automated, you can give users targeted impulses again and again. E.g. to inquire about satisfaction, to place follow-up offers or to ask for recommendations.
You can combine these measures with intelligent retargeting via banners, Google search and within Facebook. But watch out! Make sure to contact the user selectively and not too penetratingly.