Strategically Map Your Customer Journey Through Their Five Stages of Awareness

You are on the fourth blog post in a strategic growth series that’s covered diving deep into customer needs through Jobs-to-be-Done interviews, analysing customers’ choices using the Four Forces of Progress, and crafting a compelling positioning strategy following April Dunford’s approach. We’ve been following the strategic journey of a model physiotherapy clinic in Edinburgh, Scotland. The clinic must attract new clients while keeping current ones engaged and coming back.

Observing the customers’ journey through their five stages of awareness allows your business to identify gaps and discover growth opportunities. This strategic tool sets the groundwork for crafting precise messaging and developing a robust strategic action plan.

What Are the Five Stages of Customer Awareness?

The Five Stages of Awareness, conceptualised by the copywriter Eugene Schwartz, are pivotal in understanding where your customers are on their journey towards purchasing your product/service. These stages include:

  1. Unaware: Customers are not aware they have a problem.
  2. Problem Aware: Customers recognise they have a problem but are unaware of solutions.
  3. Solution Aware: Customers know solutions exist but aren’t familiar with your product/service.
  4. Product Aware: Customers know your product/service but aren’t convinced.
  5. Most Aware: Customers are ready to purchase.

Applying Insights from Jobs-to-be-Done and the Four Forces of Progress

Before examining the Five Stages of Awareness, gathering insights from Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) interviews and the Four Forces of Progress is essential. These frameworks provide a deep understanding of customer motivations, anxieties, and the forces driving their decisions.

For the Edinburgh physiotherapy clinic, JTBD interviews revealed that clients often sought physiotherapy due to chronic pain that hindered their daily activities. They were either frustrated with previous treatments or anxious about finding a reliable solution. The Four Forces of Progress further highlighted the push of the discomfort of pain and the pull of a more active lifestyle, balanced by the anxieties of ineffective treatments and the inertia of existing habits.

Observing the Customer Journey

With this understanding, we can map the customer journey through the Five Stages of Awareness. Here’s how each stage might unfold for the clinic:

Unaware: Potential clients in this stage go about their daily lives, unaware that their recurring back pain could be alleviated through physiotherapy. They might not even consider it a significant problem yet.

Problem Aware: These clients start recognising their back pain as an issue, perhaps due to increasing discomfort or interference with their daily activities. They begin searching for causes and remedies but are not yet thinking about physiotherapy specifically.

Solution Aware: Clients now understand that physiotherapy could be a potential solution to their back pain. They might start researching local clinics or asking friends for recommendations but are not aware of the specific benefits your clinic offers.

Product Aware: At this stage, clients know about your clinic. They might have visited your website or read reviews but are weighing their options, considering factors like treatment effectiveness, cost, and convenience.

Most Aware: These clients are ready to book an appointment. They have gathered enough information and are convinced that your clinic can effectively solve their problem.

Identifying Gaps and Opportunities

Observing these stages uncovers critical gaps and opportunities:

Unaware to Problem Aware: Creating content that educates about common signs and symptoms of chronic pain can move potential clients from unaware to problem-aware.

Problem Aware to Solution Aware: Sharing success stories and testimonials can help transition clients from recognising the problem to understanding physiotherapy as a viable solution.

Solution Aware to Product Aware: Detailed blog posts, videos about treatment processes, and FAQs can address specific concerns and highlight your clinic’s unique advantages.

Product Aware to Most Aware: Clear calls-to-action, easy booking processes, and special offers can nudge these clients towards making an appointment.

By mapping the customer journey and identifying these stages and gaps, we prepare ourselves to craft messaging that resonates with clients at the right moment. This strategic observation, backed by insights from JTBD interviews and the Four Forces of Progress, ensures that our subsequent marketing efforts are not reactive—but precisely targeted and impactful.

Understanding these Five Stages of Customer Awareness provides clarity for your business. It allows you to develop content and strategies that meet customers exactly where they are, transforming potential customers into loyal brand advocates. Check out our ROOTS methodology and Growth Marketing Programme.

As we progress with the blog series, the next step will be to craft messaging and develop a strategic action plan that turns these insights into tangible, sustained business growth.