Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 16: See, Think, Do, Grow, Give

Right now, your customers and prospects are in one of five consideration states: See, Think, Do, Grow or Give. Aligning your marketing to these states not only meets your prospect’s needs – but helps drive the sale.

Episode Show Notes

Introduction to See, Think, Do, Grow, Give

(0:00 – 3:00) Introduction To Iterative Marketing Podcast: Welcome to the Iterative Marketing Podcast, where, each week, hosts Steve Robinson and Elizabeth Earin provide marketers and entrepreneurs with actionable ideas, techniques, and examples to improve marketing results. 

The topic of this episode is the See, Think, Do, Grow, Give framework.

The resources discussed on the show can be found at, which includes a blog and a LinkedIn group for community interaction.

Defining the See, Think, Do, Grow, Give Framework

(3:00 – 5:26) Introduction to the Framework: The See, Think, Do, Grow, Give framework is a derivative of Avinash Kaushik’s See, Think, Do, Care framework and its application in iterative marketing.

 It is fundamentally customer-centric, intending to understand customers’ state of being and emotions at any point in time. This approach forms the backbone of an iterative marketing programs.

The framework comprises five states – See, Think, Do, Grow, and Give, each representing a distinct state of being for the customers. It’s the marketer’s job to identify these states and create the best possible experience for each one, making it easier for customers to move through the framework.

It’s important to note that customers can only be in one state at a time, and these states aren’t linear or necessarily follow a specific order. The focus is on understanding the customer’s current state rather than forcing them through a sales funnel.

(5:26 – 7:28)  The See State: See is the initial state where the audience is the largest qualified group. This audience has the capability and willingness to buy your product. For instance, in the example of buying a car, the See state audience would consist of individuals with a driving license and enough funds to purchase a car, however, they are not currently considering purchasing. In the See state, individuals aren’t actively thinking about your product or service; they are just qualified to engage with it. Qualifications include things that are specific to your business, such as geographical location.

(7:28 – 8:45) The Think State: The Think state comprises individuals who are not only qualified (having a driver’s license and sufficient funds in this example) but are also considering purchasing your product or service. A triggering event or need has made them unhappy with their current situation. This could include a breakdown of their car, the need for new transportation, or the appeal of a new car with enticing features.

The Think state doesn’t involve a commitment to purchase yet. It’s just the contemplation phase. Once the individuals make a commitment, whether to buy your product or any other, they transition to the Do state.

(8:45 – 9:16) The Do State: The Do state involves individuals who are qualified and have committed to making a purchase in a defined time frame, possibly immediately. For instance, in the car buying scenario, they are the ones deciding to buy a car over the weekend.

After the purchase, the customer transitions into the Grow state.

(9:16 – 10:38) The Grow State: In Avinash Kaushik‘s original model, the fourth stage is Care, defined as extra loyal customers who’ve purchased the product more than once. However, this definition can overlook satisfied customers who haven’t purchased more than once. For instance, in the car buying scenario, not all customers are frequent buyers, and requiring a second purchase for inclusion in this stage could exclude many satisfied customers.

To address this, we need to modify the model and introduce the Grow state. This state comprises customers who have purchased the product and would choose to do so again. In the car buying scenario, they are the customers who are satisfied with their vehicle and its brand and would consider the same brand in their future purchases. The Grow state thus emphasizes customer satisfaction and the potential for repeat purchases rather than the act of repurchasing itself.

(10:38 – 12:37) The Give State: The original model’s Care stage was insufficient, as it overlooked customers who had transitioned from being loyal purchasers to brand evangelists. To address this, we introduce the Give state to represent customers who not only have purchased the product but are also actively promoting the brand to others, thus generating demand.

In the car buying scenario, a typical Give state individual will be someone who is a loyal customer of a particular brand, consistently purchasing their vehicles year after year. But more than that, this individual actively promotes the brand to others, influencing family and friends to make similar purchasing decisions. This individual’s active promotion of the brand underscores the concept of the Give state, which embodies active brand evangelism and the propagation of word-of-mouth marketing.

(12:37 – 16:19) Effective Use of the Framework: With this understanding of the framework, it’s crucial to highlight two main points. First, as a marketer, your role is to facilitate a frictionless experience for customers at each stage, not to push or pull them toward purchase. The decision to transition from one stage to another rests solely with the customer, based on their internal needs and situations.

Second, the customer journey isn’t necessarily linear. A customer might skip states or move back and forth between them based on changing circumstances or needs. As such, it’s essential for marketers to identify the current state of a customer at any given moment and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Understanding and effectively applying the See, Think, Do, Grow, Give framework can significantly enhance your marketing strategies and lead to more effective customer engagement and higher conversion rates. It’s a potent tool that emphasizes the customer’s autonomy and individual journey, providing a roadmap for marketers to serve their customers better.

Charity Outreach

(16:19 – 17:05) Charity Break: Centro Legal 

Application of The See, Think, Do, Grow, Give Framework In Content

(17:05 – 18:21) Using the Framework to Align Content: This framework, which maps out the different stages of a customer’s journey, should be used as a guide to shape content and media channels. The content includes not just blogs, videos, or long-form content but also the creative aspects of display ads. Each stage requires content that aligns with the mindset of the customer at that particular point.

(18:21 – 19:17) See State Content: In the See state, consumers are not yet interested in your product or service. To attract their attention, the content must be entertaining, informative, or provide utility. One example is demonstrated by Columbia Sportswear’s app called What Knot to Do. The app, which instructs on tying knots, does not directly sell a product, but it is useful and successfully engages their target audience, serving as an ideal See stage content.

(19:17 – 20:04) Think State Content: During this stage, customers are beginning to consider a product or service but are not yet ready to make a purchase. Therefore, the content should offer valuable information to help them make their decision without being overly sales-focused.

An exemplary instance of Think stage content is a blog post from REI about how to choose the best backpack. This content is helpful for those considering buying a backpack, but it doesn’t overtly push REI’s own products. Instead, it positions REI as a trustworthy source of information, aiding prospects in their decision-making process without aggressive selling tactics.

(20:04 – 20:45) Do State Content: At this stage, customers have made the decision to purchase and are seeking information on how to proceed. This is the appropriate time to become more sales-oriented in content, providing clear information to facilitate the purchasing process.

John Deere’s product selector guide serves as an excellent example of Do stage content. The guide assists customers in selecting the right product for their needs and guides them through the purchase process. By reducing friction and offering precise information, this type of content aids customers in justifying their decision to buy the product.

(20:45 – 21:48) Grow State Content: The Grow state is focused on enhancing the customer experience to foster long-term loyalty. This stage aims to cross-sell and upsell, enabling customers to grow into the brand by providing additional, valuable information to help them use the products or services more effectively.

Google’s approach with their AdWords advertisers serves as an excellent example of this. Google sends regular content to their advertisers that not only helps them utilize Google’s products more effectively, but also strategically integrates the Google ecosystem into their overall marketing efforts. Google also cross-sells and upsells their various products and services, offering value throughout the process. This strategy has proven successful, with customers continuing to engage with Google’s communications.

(21:48 – 22:58) Give State Content: The Give state involves empowering brand evangelists to speak positively about the brand. This stage is dedicated to creating a community of advocates who willingly share their experiences and promote the brand.

Marketo’s Marketing Nation is an excellent example of this stage. The platform incentivizes community participation by awarding points to members who actively contribute, answer questions, and provide support. This peer-to-peer support system cultivates a community of brand advocates who can accurately represent the brand to potential customers.

Marketo also hosts partner-specific events and runs a program called Purple Select to further engage their customer base. These initiatives encourage customers who are already invested in the system to promote the brand and bring in new users, showcasing a successful implementation of the Give state strategy.

(22:58 – 24:52)  Creating Content for One Customer State at a Time: When producing content, it’s crucial to ensure that it addresses the specific needs of one state in the customer’s journey. At any given time, customers are only in one state of the See, Think, Do, Grow, Give marketing framework. Therefore, creating content that blends states can dilute its effectiveness.

Apart from meeting customers’ needs, another advantage of state-focused content is the insight it provides into the customers’ current journey stage. If a customer interacts with a Think state Facebook ad, they are likely in the Think state. If they fill out a form requesting a sales call, they are likely in the Do state.

Marketing automation systems can track customer engagement with content to determine their current state. Once the stage is identified, marketers can provide more content that aligns with that stage, supplemented by a small amount of content from the next stage to ease the transition. This balance of content reduces friction and makes the path toward purchase smoother for the customer without forcing content that isn’t relevant to their current stage.

Matching Media Channels to Customer States

(24:52 – 28:32) Choosing Media Channels: Media channels should be chosen based on the customer state they are targeting. This means that different media channels will be more appropriate for different states of the customer journey.

  • Interruptive and disruptive media such as Facebook ads, TV ads, radio ads, and pop-up banners are effective in the See state, which refers to people who are not thinking about your brand or product. In this stage, you need to interrupt their day to get their attention, and the best way to do that is with interruptive and disruptive media.
  • In the Think state, prospects are looking for content that helps them make a decision about whether or not to purchase what they want to buy. Content marketing channels such as blogs, email, and Facebook are useful in providing valuable content to help prospects make a decision.
  • For the Do state, prospects are ready to make the purchase. Pay-per-click advertising and behavioral audiences are effective in this stage, while email marketing and CRM retargeting help to facilitate the purchase process.
  • For the Grow and Give states, email remains the primary channel. In the Grow state, you want to keep customers engaged and encourage them to buy more, while in the Give state, you want to thank customers and provide them with exclusive content or deals. Targeting media through CRM, Facebook, or Twitter can also be useful in these stages.

Matching the media channel to the customer state is essential to ensure the most effective communication and engagement. This means that you need to identify which stage the prospect is in and use the appropriate media channels and messaging to help them move to the next stage.

Join Us Next Time

(28:32 – 30:32Conclusion: As marketers, our job is to understand which state each customer is in and deliver the best possible experience for them. This requires us to use the appropriate media channels and content to address the customer in each stage of their journey, reducing friction as they move through their buying journey. 

Have a great week and we’ll see you next time. This concludes this week’s episode. For notes and links to resources discussed on the show, sign up to the Brilliant Metrics newsletter.

Iterative Marketing is a part of the Brilliant Metrics organization. If you would like more information on the marketing services provided by the expert team at Brilliant Metrics, reach out today for a free discovery call.

The Iterative Marketing Podcast,  a production of Brilliant Metrics, ran from February 2016 to September 2017. Music by SeaStock Audio.

Learn more about Iterative Marketing and listen to other episodes on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

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