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From Awareness To Advocacy: Understanding Your Audience’s Decision Making Process

From Awareness to Advocacy: Understanding Your Audience’s Decision Making Process

Part two in a two-part series on understanding and reaching your audience in a fragmented media world. 

Last week we covered how to “Know Your Audience with Facebook Graph Search“. We introduced a tactic for building customer profiles, and went on an imaginary journey whereby we started a little waffle joint called Late Night Waffles.

We did real Facebook Graph searches, shared real results and even came up with social campaign ideas as an abbreviated version of getting to know an audience.

This week we’ll embark on a more targeted journey to identify how new customers learn about and end up choosing our business.

What life contexts are they in? Are they on mobile or desktop? What sites or apps are they using?

This will help us understand how to fill content gaps, and market to them with great timing, placement, and creative that will make us relevant at each touchpoint.

Let’s get started.

Welcome to Big Waffles, how can I help you?

Big Waffles is a franchise with 250 locations in 25 states, mostly alongside highways. As the marketing director, you have challenged your digital marketing team to increase awareness and foot traffic with new customers this Summer.

Your team proposes a Facebook campaign targeting your 50,000 followers. It’s a big push around ‘Road Trip’ stories that people have while traveling, and yes, Big Waffles is always at the next exit.

“Here’s the problem,” you tell them. “That campaign makes sense for our current customers that already love us. We need to target new customers that don’t even know we exist.”

So how do new customers find, choose, and tell others about us?

You challenge your team to get clear about our goals, the Road Tripper’s goals, the information consumed, and where that information lives either on or offline.

From awareness to advocacy, you give them a tool to map content needs so we can influence that critical ‘let’s stop for food’ road trip moment.




Our basic awareness goal is to become a known food option for road trippers before their journey even begins. They’re out living their life, and we could try to get out in front of them. Offline we could be looking at TV ads, billboards, or any number of other options.

Online we could get very targeted. Maybe creating targeted offers at “College students who like Travel” or a more ambitious attempt at viral content. How many millions of people first learned WestJet existed from their Christmas Miracle video?

Consumer Decision Mapping - Awareness



By the time most people are researching where to eat on a road trip, they’re already hungry. This means they’re probably on the road, which means mobile. So our goal is to be found by the mobile researcher as they’re looking for food options nearby.

What do most people do in that situation? They’re probably going to Yelp or Google. So we need to make sure we look great in Yelp, perhaps even advertise. We also need to make sure all our locations are accurate on Google Maps, which will help us in a food search like: “Breakfast in Nashville” or a spoken search like “Restaurants nearby”.

Consumer Decision Mapping - Research



Great, now Big Waffles exists as an option for more road trippers, and we’re improving our ability to be found in the right moment. But what information will road trippers need to actually choose us?

For a restaurant they’ve never heard of, many will look at ratings.

So we should be fostering positive Yelp and Google reviews through our happy customers.  Others will want to look at the menu and see images of the food. We should have high quality shots of the food, and definitely have our menu in Yelp and in a mobile friendly format on our site. 

Consumer Decision Mapping - Persuade



Hazzah! We’re doing the right things to get in front of new customers, especially road trippers. Then we need to ask ourselves, “How can we make the dining experience worth sharing?” Remember, your audience is at least as important a content creator as you are.

Consumer Decision Mapping - Buy



Assuming we’re delivering an experience worth sharing, we need to prompt the behaviors that will create more awareness. Not just the positive word of mouth and network effect that we want, but what value exchange can we offer the customer to take action and post happy photos to a proven hashtag or leave a positive Yelp or Google review?

Consumer Decision Mapping

What have we learned?

Aligning with the customer decision journey can be exhaustively researched or simple, educated guessing.

The important thing is to realize people are busy and distracted nowadays, and you need to hit them with the right message, in the right place, at the right moment to eat at your restaurant, hire your business or purchase your product.

A Customer Decision Map is one way to think through targeting a particular audience with an integrated strategy.

Now that we’ve covered how to understand both your audience and how they make decisions, your next step should be focusing on mastering the channel(s) that best serve your audience.

Read Part 1: Know Your Audience with Facebook Graph Search

At GoKart Labs, we specialize in Invention & Business Strategy, User Experience & Design, Web & Mobile Software Development, and Digital Marketing. To find out more about becoming a client, call 612.454.4012.

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