Customer Awareness Ladder Explained


In this post I want to talk about an important concept that applies not only to sales videos, but also to marketing in general. And that is what’s commonly called the “Customer Awareness Ladder”.

As you can imagine not all prospects are created equal – some have found you accidentally, some are actively looking for solutions, and some are in the middle of choosing the best solution for them.

A way to classify these prospects (according to legendary “Breakthrough Advertising”) is the so called Customer Awareness Ladder.

It goes something like this:

  • Unaware – people who don’t realize they have a problem or a need.
  • Aware of need – people who know they have a problem, but don’t know solutions exist.
  • Aware of solution – people who know solutions exist, but don’t know about your solution
  • Aware of product – people who are familiar with your solution and those of your competitors, but aren’t sure which is right for them.
  • Fully aware – people who know everything they need to make a decision.

Now, let’s be honest – selling something people don’t know they even need is inarguably an uphill battle.

Ok, a decade ago we didn’t know we need iPads… then Apple tapped into their vast marketing budget to manufacture the demand for their product virtually from scratch.

The rest of us simply can’t do that.

On the opposite end of the awareness ladder you have companies with brand name recognition in their markets such as Salesforce, Infusionsoft or Basecamp.

Simplified sales pitch

Check out Basecamp’s super simple sales pitch – it’s a great example of targeting the people in stages four and five of the awareness ladder and it seems to work really well (even better than a long-form approach).

Then again for a new project management startup that doesn’t have the brand recognition of Basecamp the same would work poorly at best.

That leaves us with stages two and three of the awareness ladder: people who’re looking to solve a problem they have.

For those prospects we want to focus on explaining HOW exactly are we going to solve their problem and WHY our way of doing that is better than our competitor’s.

I remember we used to really sell people on the idea that video can be great for sales.

Not anymore. These days, we’re attracting people who are already looking for video production. So it makes sense that in our own sales video we spend the bulk of our time educating people about things they should watch out for WHEN they are getting videos done, and why they should get the video specifically from us.

Another example would be a fairly advanced marketer looking for professional SEO services. They’re not going to sit through a video explaining the basics of search engine optimization.

Do you know who will?

A small business owner who’s looking for a way to get customers from the internet. In fact, you can’t really sell to the small business owner without explaining what it is you’re selling.

So the takeaway here is basically to know your customers and give them the information they need without boring them with the information they already know.

Published by

Chris Willow

Chris is the founder of Killer Sales Video. He's been in the business for over 5 years and has worked with more than 1,000 clients in 29 countries worldwide.