4 Stages of Customer Engagement

The 4 Stages Of Customer Engagement

The commercial reality for any business is that sales keep the lights on. We’re still following rules that were proposed in the late 1800s by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in order to do that.

“The mission of an advertisement is to sell goods. To do this, it must attract attention, of course; but attracting attention is only an auxiliary detail. The announcement should contain matter which will interest and convince after the attention has been attracted.”

And so the marketing and sales funnel followed this four-step process for over a hundred years.

Attention —> Interest —> Desire —> Action

A lot has changed since 1800. Yes, we still need our customers to take action, but we now have the opportunity to help them do that in a much more sustainable way. The crucial difference comes in the middle of the funnel where trust and affinity are built.

Awareness —>Trust —> Affinity —> Action

The irony is that as marketers we still focus most of our energy at either end of the funnel, creating awareness and trying to close the sale. The kind of long-term customer relationships you want don’t happen because the text on the ‘buy now’ button says the right thing. They are fostered when the customer trusts your brand to be the kind she wants to be aligned with and come back to.


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