Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 27: A Deep Dive Into ‘Think’ State

In the buyers’ journey, there is an audience segment that is thinking about making a purchase, but is not yet ready to commit. This audience is in the Think state. Marketers can learn how to be a friend to those in the Think state and guide their decision making without pushing the sale too soon.

In this episode, we discuss…


Quick review of journey states: See, Think, Do, Grow, Give

  • Reference: Podcast Episode 16: See, Think, Do, Grow, Give
  • Reference: Blog: See-Think-Do: A Framework For Understanding Your Prospect’s State of Being
  • Avinash Kaushik provided an original framework of See, Think, Do that was expanded upon to develop the core of Iterative Marketing
  • See
  • Think
    • These individuals are qualified and thinking about making a purchase or changing vendors, but have no commitment or timeline to do so.
  • Do
    • These individuals are qualified and have a commitment to themselves or someone else within a timeframe.
  • Grow
    • These individuals are happy and loyal customers that will think of you first when they are ready to buy again but are not singing your praises to others.
  • Give
    • These individuals are happy and loyal customers that love your brand so much that they refer to others and talk favorably about you in reviews and elsewhere.

What are the goals of the Think state?

  • We want to be a resource for these individuals as they move through the buyers’ journey and influence their decision.
  • We want to build an affinity with these individuals.
  • We do not want to push them away by trying to sell to them before they are ready.

Why is Think state important?

  • A ‘think’ state prospect is usually not actively interacting with your brand or a competitor. They are not ready to talk to someone and do not want to be pressured.
  • They are researching on their own, seeking referrals or other information from friends or other influencers.
  • They are engaging with content, whether yours or a competitor’s.
  • If your brand is going to be at the table and eventually top of mind when these individuals are ready to buy, you need to provide content tailored to their needs in that Think state and put it in front of them before they move to Do.

What is appropriate content for the Think audience?

  • No Do state content. The prospect is not ready to buy, and if you pressure them for a sale, you will turn them off to your brand. Avoid content with features, benefits or incentives to buy.
  • No See state content. This audience does not want to be sold to, but they do want to be informed about products or services.
  • Include anything that may help them make a more informed decision. You are earning their trust while providing them with utility. If they trust you, they will turn to you first when they are ready to move forward.
  • Gated content requires personal information to access the information. Before you put out gated content to this audience, ask yourself these questions: 
    • Is it more valuable to your organization to put the content in front of a small number of people who are willing to provide their information and you know who they are, or a large number of people who you cannot identify but is looking at information with your logo?
    • How valuable is the information? If the content isn’t valuable, you risk no one signing up to get it.

How do you target the Think audience?

  • First party data is key. Focus on individuals who have sent signals that they are entering the market.
  • Detect the signals through marketing automation and retargeting technology.
  • Advertising some Think content to See audience will indicate when they have moved from See to Think audiences.
  • Have multiple pieces of Think state content, because if a piece of Think content is dangled in front of them in See state and they bite and shift states, they’ve seen all your content and you have nothing new to entice them to continue along the journey.

How do you measure success with your Think audience?

  • The goal is to be their guide and friend as they move along their journey.
  • The key indicator is engagement.
  • Key engagement metrics are:
    • Time on site, time on page, dwell time
    • Scroll depth
    • Seconds of video
    • Shares (if applicable)
  • You can tie it back to conversions by looking at what percentage of conversions were assisted by engagement with Think content.
  • If you gated some content, you can count the number of contacts gathered.

For more information on the charity in this episode, please visit CURE Epilepsy.

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, SoundCloud and Google Play.

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