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How marketing messages change for each step of the customer journey

How should you change a marketing message for each step of the customer journey, and what does that look like in practice? Learn more in this article.

So we’ve now seen the journey that customers undertake to become your customer, and looked at their impact on your marketing message.

This is how your marketing message can change for each step of your customer journey.

Phase 1: Awareness

This is the stage where your potential customer moves from being completely unaware about your brand to being aware of who you are.

Your marketing messages here are about your value proposition. This isn’t about them solely being aware of your brand name or product line, it’s about why it’s the RIGHT brand name of product line.

So your marketing here could be:

  • Your value proposition articulated through slogans, taglines and imagery that shows (rather than tells) the prospective customer that you are the solution for their problem or need.
  • Introducing your product line through social media by sharing some customer stories about who you are.
  • Making a first contact through mail, email or personal introduction so they put a face to the company name.

Phase 2: Consideration

In the second phase, your prospective customer moves from being aware of you to considering you as a possible option. They’re now researching your product or service by scouring your website, engaging with other customers through social media and looking at wider reviews.

So your marketing here could be:

  • Ensuring your online presence contains positive reviews that you’ve cultivated from customers.  
  • Analysing how you appear in comparison web sites for your industry.
  • Making sure your social media is about engagement, where you’ve responded to customer comments.

Phase 3: Decision

In the third phase, your customer paints in the missing colours with information they do not currently have as weigh up factors such as price, the overall value, any ongoing commitments and your brand reputation – whether or not you will back up the promises that you’re making in your marketing.

So your marketing here could be:

  • Your printed material shows the value of your product or service, not just the price.
  • Your advertising features customer stories, but the focus shifts to how you deliver what you say you will.

Phase 4: Purchase

In the purchase phrase, the customer commits and makes a purchase.

So your marketing here could be:

  • Point-of-sale communication – thank you notes with receipts, a follow-up communication right after the sale to ensure they’re still happy with the purchase.
  • Accompanying upselling. Amazon is a master at this: “You’ve bought X product, other people also bought Y.”

Phase 5: Post-purchase

This phase is about after-sales service and communication. The customer now has a relationship with you, and they engage with your wider business through customer support and product feedback, repeating purchase or moving even closer to your brand through loyalty programs.

So your marketing here could be:

  • A loyalty program. Feed them into your loyalty program so they can benefit from continued service from your company.
  • Follow up with communication that checks in with them to ensure they’re still happy one, two or six months after purchase (whatever works best for your brand).
  • Collect their testimonial as a happy customer so you can feed it into the top of someone else’s customer journey or marketing funnel.

As you can see, marketing messages aren’t a ‘set and forget’ exercise where you run with one slogan for the next 10 years. This is also why your suite of marketing activities needs to have different levels of messaging. There is consistency here, but you are appealing to different segments of your audience as not everyone is in the same place at the same time.

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Marketing Essentials

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