Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 23: A Deep Dive Into ‘See’ State

Just because our target market isn’t always thinking about our product or service, doesn’t mean they should be neglected from advertising. In fact, this “See” state audience greases the skids for future conversions and is worth our marketing investment now. Listen to learn more about the “See” audience and how it can impact your marketing strategy.

Episode Show Notes

Introduction to a Deep Dive Into See State

(0:00 – 2:57) 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 state, which is part of the See-Think-Do-Grow-Give framework we discussed in a previous episode. We will briefly review all the journey states before diving into the See state. This episode will cover how to target the See State audience and the type of content to provide them.

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

Customer Journey States

(2:57 – 5:35) Revisiting Customer Journey States: We have a five journey state model that slightly differs from Avinash Kaushik’s original See-Think-Do model. The journey states are:

  1. See: The audience is qualified to buy your product or service but is not currently in the market for it.
  2. Think: The audience is considering your product or service but without immediacy or commitment to purchase.
  3. Do: The audience has an immediate need and a commitment to purchase your product or service.
  4. Grow: The customer is growing into your organization by picking up additional products or services or becoming an avid user.
  5. Give: The customer loves your brand and is willing to give back by referring others, leaving reviews, and sharing content.

These states represent the audience’s overall mindset, and everyone in your audience falls into one of these states if they are qualified to buy your product or service.

Journey states are very important because, at any given point, your audience falls into one of these states, and their needs and expectations vary greatly depending on the state they are in. It’s essential to understand their thoughts and feelings, the best way to reach them, and the most effective message to deliver.

See State in The Customer Journey

(5:35 – 8:40)  Goals for the See State Audience: When targeting the See state audience, it’s essential to remember that they are the least receptive to your content as they are not actively thinking about your product, service, or brand. The goals when reaching this audience are:

  • Create brand familiarity and an emotional connection, so when they do start thinking about your product or service, you are top of their minds.
  • Develop awareness of your brand and its offerings through repeated exposure, leveraging the mere exposure effect to build affinity.
  • Help your audience know, like, and trust your brand, laying the groundwork before your product, service, or brand is on their radar.

While primarily delivering content suitable for the See audience, it is crucial to provide some content for other journey states, such as Think or Do, to detect and correctly target individuals in those stages. This approach ensures a smooth transition when they move through the customer journey.

Targeting the See State Audience

(8:40 – 11:41) Balancing Reach and Frequency: To target the See state audience effectively, it’s crucial to focus on reach, frequency, and well-targeted channels. Here are some key considerations:

  • Ensure the right reach: While aiming for a broad reach, it’s essential to target the right audience, avoiding irrelevant viewers who may dilute the effectiveness of your campaign.
  • Monitor frequency: Striking the right balance in frequency is essential. Too few exposures may fail to build affinity, while excessive targeting may turn people off. Each brand, product, or service must determine the optimal frequency for its audience.
  • Measure effectiveness: Measuring the impact of your See state content on your Think and Do state content’s performance and long-term revenue is challenging. Although some methods exist to gauge the effectiveness, they are often clunky and may not provide clear-cut results.

Targeting the See audience requires a delicate balance in reach and frequency while measuring the campaign’s effectiveness to optimize future marketing efforts.

(11:41 – 17:35) Traditional vs. Digital Media: To target the See ttate audience, the approach will depend on whether you’re using traditional or digital media.

Traditional media: In traditional media, like television, it’s difficult to exclude specific audience members based on data. Instead, you have to make the assumption that the majority of the audience is in the See state.

Digital media: With digital media, you can use first-party and third-party data to exclude audiences based on their journey states. For instance, when selling washers and dryers, you can:

  • Target homeowners with a certain income level.
  • Exclude Grow and Give audiences (existing customers who purchased within the last few years).
  • Exclude those who engaged with Do state content (indicating readiness to purchase).
  • Exclude those who engaged with Think state content (showing they are considering a purchase).

By excluding these audiences, you’re left with a qualified audience that is likely in the See state. To ensure you reach people in the correct journey state, include a mix of Think and Do state content in your campaigns to detect if the audience needs to be moved to a different state.

Charity Outreach

(17:35 – 18:21) Charity Break: Watson Children’s Shelter

Effective See State Content

(18:21 – 24:39) Building Connection and Brand Affinity: When creating content for the See state audience, it’s crucial to focus on building a connection to your brand and creating brand affinity. Since the See state audience isn’t interested in your products or services yet, it’s not the right time to discuss features, benefits, or pricing. Instead, concentrate on topics that are relevant to them or simple enough for their minds to acknowledge without thinking too hard about it.

There are two routes you can take with See state content:

  1. Relevant topics: Choose a topic that will resonate with your audience at that specific moment. For example, the State Farm “Never Letting Go” commercial evokes emotions in parents, making it relatable even if they weren’t thinking about insurance. By creating content that appeals to their interests and emotions, you can draw their attention to your brand.
  2. Useful tools or apps: Another way to create a positive brand association is by offering useful tools or apps that meet your audience’s needs. For instance, Charmin’s “Sitter Squat” app and Columbia Sportswear’s “Knot App” provide value to users while subconsciously associating the brand with a positive experience.

(24:39 – 25:45) Simplified See State Content: Another approach to creating effective See state content is to simplify the message, focusing on engaging the passive part of the mind. This method often involves using a simple brand message, prominently displaying your logo, creating an emotional association or response, and relying on high repetition to ensure the message sticks.

Some examples of simplified See state content include:

  • Sports team sponsorships: These provide high-frequency exposure to a somewhat targeted audience. Although there may be some spillover, you’re still reaching people who are likely to be interested in your product or service.
  • Billboards: Billboards enable you to display your logo and a simple message prominently. The repetition of seeing the billboard helps to embed your brand in the audience’s mind, even if they’re not consciously thinking about it.

(25:45 – 28:07) Mixing Think and Do State Content with See State Channels: As discussed, it’s important to mix in a small percentage of Think and Do state content in the channels targeting your See state audience. This is done to account for the possibility that some of your See state audience might actually be in the Think or Do state, but you’re not aware of it yet. By including Think and Do state content, you give them the opportunity to take the next step in their customer journey if they’re ready.

However, it’s important to remember that you should not mix Think or Do messages into your See state content. Instead, create separate pieces of content that cater specifically to each state. Mixing messages or adding calls to action to your See State ads can reduce the effectiveness of that content, as it can turn off the See State audience and diminish the intended goals of mere exposure or creating emotional associations with the brand.

(28:07 – 28:45) Guiding Audiences Through Their Journey: It’s crucial to understand that we should not push our audiences from one state to the next. Instead, our content should serve as a guided path, providing them with direction when they are ready to take action. By offering clear doorways to walk through at their own pace, we ensure that our audience remains engaged and can make informed decisions throughout their customer journey.

(28:50 – 31:20) The Importance of Recognizing the See State Audience: Many brands gravitate towards the Think and Do states because they are easier to measure and seem closer to generating revenue. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the See state audience as the largest segment in the customer journey. Building brand affinity with the See audience today can set your brand up for future success.

By focusing on the See audience, you create a smoother transition for them into the Think and Do states, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Ignoring the See audience can lead to negative ROI and an inability to stay ahead of competitors.

Join Us Next Time

(31:20 – 32:39Conclusion: This week we took a closer look at marketing to the See state audience. Next week, we’ll discover when it’s appropriate to change your creative or initiate an entirely new program.

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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