What I’m about to share with you is a relatively simple marketing methodology, yet understanding this will entirely change the way that you approach and view your marketing efforts.
To be specific, it will allow you to quickly start reaching more people and improve the quality of your messaging by understanding the 5 Stages of Awareness.
Allow me to explain …
At any point, a perspective patient is in one of the following 5 Stages of Awareness:
- Stage 1: Unaware
- Stage 2: Problem Aware
- Stage 3: Solution Aware
- Stage 4: Product Aware
- Stage 5: Most Aware
Let’s go through these together and apply this methodology to hearing care…
Stage 1: Unaware
These people likely have some form of hearing loss, or at least will have one soon, yet they’re entirely unaware of it, unaware of the challenges it causes, or unaware of the potential solutions available. This may be the 45-year-old that has been working with loud machinery for many years, or the guy in his late 60s who is complaining about others mumbling. If you asked them if they have a hearing loss, they would deny it.
Stage 2: Problem Aware
These people are aware that they’re not hearing as well as they once did, they’re conscious that they miss too many conversations in louder environments, and they find themselves leaning in to hear better. They know they have a problem, but they’ve not given the treatment of their hearing loss a second thought at this stage.
Stage 3: Solution Aware
These people know that hearing aids exist, they’ve seen others wearing them, and they’re very aware that a solution to their problem is available, yet they don’t understand the nuances or options at this stage.
Stage 4: Product Aware
These people are researched, they know that different hearing aids are available, they know the prices range, and they know there are several options for purchasing hearing aids, whether through Costco, online, or by visiting a local clinic.
Stage 5: Most Aware
These people know they have a problem, know that hearing aids are the solution, understand what the process of purchasing hearing aids looks like, and have researched the options available to them. These people are ready to take action and address their hearing challenges!
The Interesting Breakdown
Here’s what’s interesting; these 5 Stages of Awareness perfectly flow into a funnel.
Unaware is the biggest group of people, Problem Aware is a slightly smaller group, Solution Aware an even smaller group, Product Aware becomes a tiny group, and then Fully Aware is the rare few.
This often means that Fully Aware are the people that make an inquiry through your website – they’re the rare few that are ready to commit and have found you as a local solution to their problem.
The Product Aware people are often the people that respond to mailers/campaigns/community style marketing – these are the people that big box and more manufacturer-owned chains feed off. They run big aggressive campaigns, they sell people on the product, and they convert them to an inquiry/appointment.
However, there’s a big opportunity that nearly every clinic is missing.
That is targeting the people that are in the Solution Aware category. These people understand that hearing aids exist and are aware that a solution is available, yet they don’t understand all the products available, aren’t fully aware of how treatment works, and require education.
If you can target these people with your marketing efforts, then you have an opportunity to educate them on the importance of hearing care over hearing aids and position yourself as a local thought-leader.
It allows you to tap into an audience earlier in their awareness journey, provide educational info to accelerate their awareness, and ensure they make the best possible decision when they’re ready.
It’s one of the quickest ways to reach a larger audience, rather than simply feeding off the people that only find you when they reach Fully Aware.
How To Reach Solution Aware People
The way that you do this is through being the expert.
This could mean writing detailed articles on your website that answer the common questions that people have at this stage and helping them to understand their options. It could mean becoming a personal brand and using social media to spread education. Or it could be doing more in your community to deliver presentations and local talks.
The modality of how is flexible, yet pivoting your marketing strategy to becoming a local thought-leader and educator will allow you to reach this wider group and widen the number of people that you’ll be able to reach.
The added benefit is that it also provides another great reason why somebody in the Fully Aware stage that visits your website will choose you.