When it comes to your customer's purchasing journey, no two itineraries are the same. Each individual begins at a different location in the classic “purchasing funnel” and each has their own set of preconceptions, misconceptions, and reservations about making that purchase.
As a marketing manager, it's your job to envision the various routes these journeys can take and to address customer needs with targeted financial inbound marketing content. Here's how you do it.
First off, take a specific service or product and brainstorm ways different types of buyer personas get from the top to the bottom of the financial purchasing funnel. You'll quickly see that for each step of the process, multiple and alternative steps emerge. Let's take something as simple as refinancing an auto loan. Write out the ways in which customers approach your firm with the goal of refinancing their auto loan. We can think of three. One, they saw a Google display ad and clicked on it. Second, they conducted a Google Search. Third, they were referred by a friend and walked into a branch.
It becomes obvious that each of these prospects are unique. The first customer didn't actively seek you out but instead, clicked an ad. The second indirectly sought you out by entering “refinance auto loan Sacramento” in Google. And the third most certainly sought you out because their friend told them to. Ask yourself: how do we address these three leads?
The one who found you more or less by accident may be familiar with your brand, but only in passing. Therefore, they likely reside at the top of the funnel and as a result, your team needs to educate them about your brand. This means pushing financial inbound marketing content like white papers, FAQs, or blog posts.
The second lead found you via Google and we can infer from their search terms they value the idea of working with a local bank. They reside towards the top of the funnel as well. Dial up your bank's role in the community and pass along customer testimonials. The third is further down the funnel because a friend referred them. As a result, they inherently trust you and most likely want to do business with you quickly and efficiently. Here a “bottom of the funnel” financial inbound marketing deliverable like a free rate quote and consultation makes sense.
One last thing, be aware of the channel by which the lead found you. As we just saw, it's relatively easy to address a referral who walks into a branch. But keep a close eye on your website analytics and keywords, as they'll determine where the lead is finding you — e.g. Web search versus social media referral — and how you'll design your ever-important landing pages to effectively capture these leads.
Now we'd like your feedback. Does your firm actively map financial inbound marketing deliverables to a customer's position in the purchasing funnel? What types of inbound marketing content has proven to be the most effective?