Every market has 5 segments...
The first segment is the biggest. This is where the most opportunity is, because there are more prospects.
The last segment is the smallest. This is where the least opportunity is, because there are less prospects.
Each segment requires a different message.
Most companies are only speaking to one segment… and it’s usually the “most aware” segment because it’s the “low hanging fruit”. These people are ready, willing & able to buy, right now… they only need a special deal to get them to buy from their company.
This means they are only capitalizing on 1/5th, or even 1/10th of the market that is available to them.
Each segment is in a different place in their journey, as it relates to your product.
The first segment is known as “least aware” because they have the least awareness, as it pertains to your market. They don't know about you, your competition or any of the solutions in the market.
This is the biggest group of prospects. They may be on the fringes, and barely interested in your topic, but they are not outside the market.
For example, in golf, people who have never played golf are "not in the market". People who have any interest in golf are "in the market".
If you target nature lovers because golf is played in nature, you are going to have a difficult time. You are going to find yourself persuading people to play golf. This represents an opportunity, but unless you are a big brand, it's not a smart opportunity, because you will go broke trying to convince people who have expressed no interest in golf.
On the other hand, if you target people that have liked a page about golf on Facebook, or typed a keyword about golf in Google, or watched a video about golf on YouTube, then you have yourself someone who has expressed some interest in golf. You don't have to sell them on golf.
You only have to sell them on your product & yourself. These are people that already have a demand for your product or service, they may just not know it yet. Which is why the least aware segment of your market is the biggest opportunity. It includes everyone who has any interest in golf. In terms of Google search, this would be like someone typing “golf” into Google.
With the least aware segment of your market, you have your work cut out for you in terms of the size of your marketing campaign, but if you have the budget of energy, money & time, this represents the biggest pool of prospects & therefore, the biggest opportunity.
These people don’t even know they have a problem, so you have to start there and educate them on the problem they have, even though they don’t know they have it.
This could be like your mechanic telling you that your brakes are getting low, even though they feel like they are working great.
Then, you have to educate the prospect about the solutions available. This is the first time they are hearing about their brakes being bad & they haven’t done any research. So the mechanic says, “here are some common ways our customers go… you can either replace the whole brake system, you can replace the pads & have the rotors cut or you can do nothing”... and then goes on to recommend that you get the pads & rotor solution. They are now in the solution aware segment of your market.
If they agree with the recommendation, the mechanic goes on to explain the different types of brake pads. He is educating them on the products in the market. They are now product aware.
And FINALLY, he can make an offer… “ok so you want XYZ pads, the price is $100 and we can have that done for you in the next 2 hours, will that work for you?”. Now the prospect is most aware. They know they have a problem, they know what the solutions are, they know what the products are & they know how much the products cost. They are the most aware… because they are more aware of your market than any other type of prospect.
You would talk differently to somebody who knows all this stuff, then you would talk to someone who doesn’t even know they have a brake problem.
When you are targeting the least aware segment of your market, you are targeting people who have no awareness about their problem, the solutions in the market & the products in the market, including yours. So you have to educate them from start to finish. The more aware the segment of the market is, the less education they need.
If they are most aware, they already know their brakes are bad, they already know the different ways they can go about fixing it & they even know which brand & model of brake pads they want, they are simply looking for a mechanic who will charge the best price & offer the best terms.
That is why you see so many ads saying “buy my stuff for 20% off”.
This is known as the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), or the most aware segment of the market.
If you only market to the bottom of the funnel, you have the smallest pool of prospects.
If your competitor markets to all segments of the market, they may have 10x as much customer acquisition potential as you.
Now you can create an ad that says “3 common mistakes car owners make” and an ad that says “5 best brake pads” and another ad that says “20% discount on brake pads”... all in the same newspaper, at the same time, attracting different prospects, in different segments of the market.
If you only run one of those ads, you only attract that segment of the market.
If you run all three of those ads, ad #1 still attracts the same volume of prospects, ad #2 attracts the same volume of prospects AND ad #3 attracts the same volume of prospects.
Think about it…
Would you be interested in a 20% discount on brake pads if you had no idea there was anything wrong with your brakes?
No, because you are least aware. You are not aware of your brake problem. But if you saw a least aware ad that informed you that you may be making some mistakes, and I offered you a free inspection, would you BECOME interested?
That is what it’s like in the least aware segment of your market. You are attracting the most amount of people and drumming up new business using ideas, good marketing & technology to do most of the heavy lifting.
The least aware segment of the market is known as TOFU, which stands for top of the funnel.
An actual funnel is biggest at the top. Then as the oil goes down, the funnel decreases in size so that it gets channeled through one small hole that allows you to pour the oil into your engine without spilling.
That is where the word "funnel" in marketing came from. At the top of the funnel is the greatest number of prospects. The middle of the funnel is medium in size and the bottom of the funnel is the smallest segment of the market.
The big pool of prospects at the top of the funnel, goes through a qualification process in order to find the few who are ready, willing & able to buy your product/service… and then follows up with everyone else in an effort to build a relationship so that your brand is the one they think about when the timing is right.
The second segment is problem aware. These folks know something is wrong with their brakes, but that’s all they know. They have never heard of you, your competitors nor any of the products in the market.
Your message changes.
You are not educating them about the problem, the possibility that their brakes could be bad, you are educating them on the various solutions. They know they have a problem, but they don’t know how to get rid of it yet. So you have to educate them on the solutions to their problem.
Once they are aware of the different ways to fix brakes, they are moved into the solution aware segment of your market, and it’s time to educate them on your product.
If you are an expert marketer, you can make the sale as soon as they become product aware. If your message is so irresistible and/or they trust you so much & money is not a problem, they won’t even think about research & looking up your competition. They would rather take it easy & do what the expert says.
If not, they go into the most aware segment of the market, where they know what the problem is, they know about all the solutions & all of the products & services, including yours.
They have made some adjustments in their mind about which product is best & why. But since the best product is the most expensive, they are willing to purchase the middle grade product to save some money.
They are being patient and waiting for the right moment when they see an ad that says “20% discount on brake pads”.
That is a person you don’t need to educate. They are ready to buy. They want to buy. They have the money. They are just shopping for the best deal.
And this represents the smallest segment of the market. Not only are their fewer buyers in this segment of the market, but there are more competitors saying the same thing… not to mention, you had to reduce your margin by 20% to get them.
Yet, it still represents a stream of income. It’s a viable way to get new customers.
And so are each of the segments.
The right way to go about this in your business is to create 1 campaign for each segment, run them at the same time & track your numbers to see where you can improve each campaign so that they are all profitable.
This is how you get 10x more customers while increasing profit.
Thanks for reading, I hope you put this to good use. Whatever you do, don’t let it distract you. There are many good ways to achieve your goal, but only 1 best way.
Think of it like a bridge. If you had to build a bridge to get you from where you are at, to where you want to be, what would it look like, how much money would it cost, what material would you use?
This should help you decide...