Why does the buying cycle seem to be upside down to the marketing cycle in most ads? Why does it seem that our first instinct is to pick some arbitrary feature or benefit and immediately use it as a basis to make a sale?

For example, every Sunday, my local paper runs an ad for a local tire store. These ads showcase tires from various manufacturers, showing the great deals to be had if I buy now. No mention is ever made about how to know whether I actually need new tires, just how much the new tires will cost. The ads are clearly using a shotgun approach — someone, somewhere MUST need tires. But it’s not effective and it’s not very efficient either.

A better way to work is to consider where your prospect is in their buying cycle and then provide them with the appropriate marketing content to move them along to the next stage in the cycle.
Jeff Ogden at Find New Customers Now says this about matching marketing content to the buying cycle:

“So what does sales really need? Content that moves deals forward.” and he suggests that you “use the customer buying process as your road map for developing compelling marketing content.”

It’s great advice. It means that you need to consider that some people may only be vaguely aware of their need for a product or service (let alone the fact that you provide such a product or service). Others may be near the point of choosing options (“Does it come in black”). You must have appropriate marketing content at each stage.

And more to the point, you must make it available only at the point when it is needed. Back to my tire store example, when I am ready for new tires, that’s when I want to know the cost. When I need more computing power, I want to know what choices are available.

Let me know what you’re doing in your business to match your marketing content to your buyers’ cycles.