- See, Think, Do, Grow, Give is a framework of consideration states that all prospects and customers have been in at one point or another.
- This framework is the backbone of how we structure marketing programs because it is customer-centric and aligns with the Iterative Marketing methodology.
- See, Think, Do, Care is a framework developed by Avinash Kaushik. We’ve modified it to replace Care with Give.
- Here is a basic overview of the five consideration states:
- See: largest qualified audience. Prospects in this state are not thinking about purchasing your product or service.
- Think: audience member is qualified and thinking about purchasing your product or service. They have a need.
- Do: audience member is qualified and has made a decision to purchase.
- Grow: audience member has purchased your product and would choose to purchase it again.
- Give: audience member purchased your product, they love your product and tell others about it.
- Marketers cannot move people from state to state. Only audience members can move themselves. Marketers can, however, create the best experience for prospects to reduce friction as they move closer to a purchase.
- Prospects and customers move freely in and out of sales. Their journey is non-linear.
Charity of the Week:
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The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste.
Onward and upward!
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Iterative Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Steve Robinson, and with me, as always, is the knowledgeable and more importantly insightful, Elizabeth Earin. How are you doing, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Earin: I am good, Steve. Thank you for the kind words.
Steve Robinson: As always, at least every episode.
Elizabeth Earin: Yes, that is true.
Steve Robinson: I won’t say anything nice about you in between episodes.
Elizabeth Earin: Never, never.
Steve Robinson: So, we are well into camping season. I haven’t followed up with you. You got a new camper this year. How’s that going?
Elizabeth Earin: It’s been wonderful. The nice thing about buying a new trailer is you spend all this money and you are like, “I have to use it.” So we have been really proactive about taking it out, even if it’s just for the night. So it’s been a lot of fun, and it’s just fun to get out. We love going up to the woods and it’s called dry camping. I did not know that this is what it was called. I have learned so much this year, but we just go and like park in the middle of nowhere, and you don’t have water, electricity, and that’s what the trailer is for. So it’s been a much more enjoyable camping experience for sure, especially with a toddler.
Steve Robinson: Yeah, I can imagine. Awesome, yeah. We have not taken, at least not the two-year-old camping and I don’t know if we are going to this year. She’s a runner and the woods are big, wide open spaces, so…
Elizabeth Earin: Well, and you also have other extenuating circumstances because your beautiful wife is pregnant, and having been pregnant and going camping, it is not an enjoyable experience. I do not recommend it.
Steve Robinson: We are definitely past the window for camping for this year, that’s true.
Elizabeth Earin: Yes.
Steve Robinson: At least as a family. So what are we talking about today?
Elizabeth Earin: Today, we are talking about See, Think, Do, Grow, Give. And this is something that we have talked about in past podcasts multiple times. We reference it constantly when we are working with clients and talking about the Iterative Marketing process in our blogs, and so we thought that now would be a great time to really dive into this and introduce this concept to our listeners.
Steve Robinson: Absolutely. I know that we are probably overdue in introducing this. We have really been leaning on referring people back to Avinash Kaushik’s blog post on the topic, which is still definitely worth a read, but I think today we are really going to lay out the basics of what it is and also dive a little bit into how it’s applied, right?
Elizabeth Earin: So I think, before we get too much further though, we need to talk about what it is. Because if you haven’t heard, if this is your first podcast or you haven’t heard us reference it or you have and you have just been lost because we have not done a good job of explaining it, See, Think, Do, Grow, Give is a framework of consideration states that all prospects and customers have been at some point or another. And because it’s customer-centric, it’s focused on their point of view and their standpoint and what they are thinking and feeling. It aligns very well with the Iterative Marketing methodology, and like I said, we refer to it often. It’s the backbone of how we structure our programs.
Steve Robinson: It’s based on Avinash Kaushik’s work, as I mentioned before, but we have made a couple of minor modifications to it. So we have taken the – he extends See, Think, Do to Care as the fourth stage or state, and we have expanded that out to Grow And Give in order to make it a little bit more applicable to the Iterative Marketing model and to the work that we have been doing. Additionally, he calls them Stages and we prefer to call them States, so along the lines of more of a state of being, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes. So we are going — to just kind of give a heads up to our listeners, we are going to discuss each of the five states, See, Think, Do, Grow and Give, and then we are going to wrap the podcast up by taking a closer look at See, Think, and Do and specifically how we apply that to content and media channels.
Steve Robinson: Before we jump into See, I think there’s just a couple of things that are important to note. Each one of these is a state of being that your audience is in and your job, as a marketer, is to figure out which state each audience member is in and make sure that you are creating the best experience possible for that particular moment in time and reducing friction for them to move into a more desirable state.
Elizabeth Earin: And I think it’s very important to note that your prospects will only ever be in one state at one time. They will never be in more than one state, and so when we talk about identifying, that makes it a little bit easier and sometimes a little bit harder. But we have got some tips and tricks to help identify that that we’ll get into a little bit later.
Steve Robinson: And finally, these states aren’t linear. It’s not your funnel. We are not herding or pushing people from one state to the next. We don’t expect them to move in a particular order, although we would love it if they move towards purchase. The reality is that they’ll be popping in and out. We’ll talk more about that later as well. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the first state.
Elizabeth Earin: To help understand and explain these and put it into context that we all can understand, we are going to borrow Avinash’s example that he uses in his blog of buying a car because it’s something that we are all familiar with. We have been in the shoes, we understand the process, and so we are hoping that this is going to help make it a little clear as we talk through these.
Steve Robinson: Well, why don’t we take turns, you and me, Elizabeth, and we will kind of go through each of the individual states. I’ll take the first one and that’s See. And so See is your largest qualified audience. And by qualified, that means that they are able and willing to buy your product. And that’s a very important concept, because it’s not everybody in the whole wide world. It is only those people who are qualified. If we come back to the car example, this would be anybody who has a driver’s license and has money. And if you listen to Avinash speak on this topic, he loves to harp on the “has money” part, right, because you are not qualified if you can’t pay for said car. And so it’s everybody in the world who has a driver’s license and has money would be considered our See state if we were selling cars.
Elizabeth Earin: One thing you said, I want to clarify real fast, you said “everyone in the world,” but technically, it’s everyone in your target region, so if you are only serving the United States, it would only be the United States. If you are only serving Texas, then it would only be Texas, and so it really applies to you and where your target market resides.
Steve Robinson: Yes, absolutely. And there may be other qualifications that your business sets on what’s a qualified prospect, and those would apply as well, and then geography definitely comes into play.
Elizabeth Earin: And I think it’s also important to note that you talked about qualified, obviously in our definition that they have to have a driver’s license and have the money to buy a car, but they may not necessarily be actually thinking about buying a car. They just have to be qualified to do that, and so they may not be thinking about your product or your service at all.
Steve Robinson: Right. And as a matter of fact, if they are in the See state, they aren’t, and that kind of brings us to the Think state. So why don’t you tell us about that?
Elizabeth Earin: So the people that were in your See state can now potentially move into your Think state. And these are audience members that are qualified. So again in our example, have the driver’s license and have the money, and they are also thinking about purchasing your product or service. They have a need, something that has happened to them. So, when we talk about our car example again, they have got their driver’s license, they have the money, and something has happened to them that has made them unhappy with their current transportation system, either they don’t have one and now they need one or maybe they had one and it broke down, or they were in an accident and it’s no longer drivable, or a new car has come out with new features that they are so excited about that it is now on their radar that, hey, I’m interested in possibly looking into buying a car. Those are the people that are now in Think stage.
Steve Robinson: Exactly, and the key is that they are thinking about it but they have not made a commitment to themselves or someone else to purchase, right? Once they make a commitment to themselves or someone else to purchase, and it doesn’t have to be your product that they have committed to purchase. Once they have made that commitment to purchase a product, they move in to Do. And so your Do state is somebody who is qualified and has made a commitment to make a purchase sometime — and usually within a defined time frame if not immediately, right? They are shopping right now to buy. And so in our example, I have a driver’s license, I have money and I have decided I’m going to buy a car this weekend. Now all a sudden, I moved from Think to Do.
Elizabeth Earin: And then once they purchase that car, they have moved into Grow. And Grow is where we start to diverge from Avinash. And I think you mentioned it earlier, he uses the fourth state or stage as he calls it of Care, and that is, he used to find that as extra loyal customers who purchased the product more than once. Again, we diverge here because that gets a little bit hard. If you make someone have to purchase your product more than one time, you are ignoring people who may be satisfied customers but haven’t purchased more than once. And looking back at this car example, it probably is going to be a while before I buy two cars. I may not necessarily be buying a new car every year. So to go to use Avinash’s example of having to purchase more than once, I would sort of be ignored. I wouldn’t be in any state until I made that second purchase, and so we diverge here and we call this Grow. We actually have broken into two separate phases, Grow and Give. But the people that are in Grow, those people that have purchased your product and would choose to purchase your product again, and so when we are talking about the car example, they have bought a specific brand of car. They are happy with it, and not only with their car, but also with the brand, and when they go back to make another purchase, this car or this brand is going to be on their list of considerations.
Steve Robinson: And that brings us to Give. And again, coming back to Avinash’s Care not necessarily being specific enough for our needs, we thought that Care really neglected those customers that have moved, not only into loyal purchasers, but beyond that. They are willing to evangelize your brand. They are sharing the praises of your brand with others and really generating demand. Word of mouth marketing has always been a very intangible concept in marketing, and by identifying this particular state with your audience, you are able to start to narrow in on how you can best help those people evangelize your brand for you. And so our Give audiences, those who not only have purchased our product but now they are actively singing our praises to others, encouraging them to make the same purchase. So in the case — I think, Elizabeth, you have a great example when it comes to the car example here.
Elizabeth Earin: Yes, my father is the perfect example of a prospect in the Give stage. He is a gentleman who, for years and years and years, bought a new car every year. And then in the mid- to late-’90s, discovered Hyundais. And ever since then, he has purchased a new Hyundai every year, has not swayed from the brand. Not only has he purchased a Hyundai, but he bought one for my mom, and all of my sisters and I all had Hyundais growing up. And anyone he meets, he talks non-stop about the value of Hyundai and he doesn’t understand why anyone would ever buy anything else ever, and it’s almost to the point that it’s like, okay, we got it, we have got it, thanks for sharing, but he is the exact definition of a Give prospect.
Steve Robinson: Now, does he correct people on the proper pronunciation of Hyundai?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, and I probably sure that I screwed that up. And so if he’s listening, I’m sorry, Dad. I’m going to get a text message from him, I know it.
Steve Robinson: Well, we have a blog post out on the blog right now that really breaks down these See, Think, Do stages, again, kind of reiterating what we talked about today, going a little bit more in depth and it includes both B2B and B2C examples. So if you have a hard time relating our car example back to whatever it is that you are selling, then this might — the blog post might help you do that.
Elizabeth Earin: So before we go on, I think there’s a few things that we kind of want to take a little break here and make note of. And these are things that have come up as sort of — we are moving along and I want to make sure this is clear before we move forward and get more into how we actually apply See, Think and Do to our content and our media channels. And so the first thing I really want to make sure that everyone is very clear on is that you can’t move people from between the states. They can only move themselves and it’s our job, as marketers, to create the best experience that we can for the given state while reducing the friction as they move closer and closer to purchase. But reducing friction, making that easier for them to get to purchase is much different than pulling or pushing someone towards purchase. And this is one of the biggest hurdles that we face when we are in customer journey discovery is helping sales. And in a lot of cases, marketing teams understand that we can provide the information again to make this as smooth of a process for our customers and for our prospects, but we cannot force them. The decision to move from See to Think or from Think to Do or from Do to Grow that lives inside of them. They have an internal need that has to be met, and until they have decided that that need has been met or what needs to happen has happened to move them, they cannot and will not move.
Steve Robinson: And that is certainly a mind shift that we have had a very hard time working with, particularly very sales-oriented cultures and organizations where those sales people have been taught it’s their job to herd and push and push people between states. And sales may have some ability to do that, but from marketing’s standpoint, it’s actually very hard if not impossible to do so. The other thing that I think is really important to keep in mind when you are looking at See, Think, Do, Grow, and Give is that it’s not necessarily a linear progression, right? Again, coming back to the sales team, the sales team was taught that you have a funnel and you push people through your funnel, and they move from awareness to interest to consideration to desire to action or whatever model you want to use. When it comes to See, Think and Do, these are just states of being. And I think all of us can relate to times when we have gone from See, maybe even skip Think, to Do when we were there to make a purchase and we didn’t really even spend a whole lot of time considering or thinking about it. Or when we have been in Do state, we have been actively shopping for something and suddenly we realize, wait, this isn’t actually within budget. I can’t do it right now or something else means that we can’t make this purchase right now. We move back into Think or maybe all the way back out to See because we have decided that we are just not going to do this.
Elizabeth Earin: It’s funny that you say that and that you use that definition, because when we were actually purchasing our trailer, we were sitting down with finance and we were on the last page to sign it and the finance terms changed and we walked out. And that following weekend went and visited every single RV dealer in our area and ended up going with a completely different not only brand but a completely different vendor to purchase this from, and so we did that. We moved from See, Think, Do and then jumped back to Think and then went back into Do in the course of a week and a half.
Steve Robinson: It’s very common and I think, as marketers, we forget that. And so the key is identifying what state is your audience member in at that particular moment. So I think now is probably a great time for us to take a quick break and go help some people. So Elizabeth, why don’t we do that?
Elizabeth Earin: Before we continue, I would like to take a quick moment to ask you Iterative Marketers a small but meaningful favor, and ask that you give a few dollars to a charity that’s important to one of our own. This week’s charitable cause was sent in by Juan Muñoz of Omni Resources in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Juan asks that you make a contribution to the Centrolegal, an organization providing free and low-cost legal resources for individuals and families in Milwaukee County. Learn more at centrolegalwisconsin.org or visit the link in the show notes. If you would like to submit your cause for consideration for our next podcast, please visit iterativemarketing.net/podcast and click the “Share a Cause” button. We love sharing causes that are important to you.
Steve Robinson: Welcome back. So, before the break, we talked about See, Think, Do, Grow and Give and broke down those different states and kind of defined them a little bit, but we really didn’t get into what does this mean to you, as a marketer, and how can you apply this. And so I think let’s take some time now and talk about how you can take See, Think, Do, and maybe even Grow and Give and apply them to your own marketing activities.
Elizabeth Earin: So we use this as the basis of our customer journey mapping, and even if you are not doing a full-blown customer journey map, you should still evaluate your content and media channels in context of these states of See, Think, Do, Grow and Give. And if you are not familiar with this, we will link to it in the show notes, we have got a great blog post about this, but then we also have a previous podcast that really has some great insights that we will again link to in the show notes.
Steve Robinson: So, let’s start talking about it first in the context of content. When we talk about content, we are not just talking about blog content or video content or long form content. And this comes down to the ad creative that you are creating for your display ads and basically anything you are producing. It needs to align with that particular state for that particular audience member that you are trying to get it in front of, and so when we look at this in the context of See, here you have to keep in mind that that audience member really doesn’t care at all about whatever product or service you are selling because that’s not on the radar at all. So, now you have to make your content either something that is highly entertaining or is very valuable or informative. It provides utility as Jay Baer likes to say, in order to make it relevant to them at that particular point in their journey.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, and to do that generally means that it has to entertain or educate them. And a great example of this is, Columbia Sportswear has an app called “What Knot To Do.” And it’s an app for tying knots, and so it doesn’t necessarily tie back to any specific product. It’s not trying to sell the product, but it’s useful and it’s something that hits and addresses their target audience, and so it’s perfect See stage content.
Steve Robinson: So when we talk about content in the context of Think stage, here’s where you have the opportunity to actually start talking about your product or service. The key is you don’t want to be too salesy about your product or service at this stage, because really, the prospect doesn’t really need help in getting through to purchase at this point. They need information to help them decide if they are going to make a purchase and/or when they are going to make a purchase, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Uh-hmm.
Steve Robinson: So I think we found a really great example and we will link to in the show notes. REI wrote a really great blog post on how to choose the best backpack. And so that’s an example of content that, again, is helping somebody while they are thinking about a backpack but isn’t necessarily highlighting the features and benefits of REI-specific backpack, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, when we get into Do, that’s where we have the chance to get a little bit more salesy because the people that are in Do stage want to know how to buy our products or services. They have made the decision, they are ready to move forward and we need to give them the information they need to make that happen. A really great example of content for this, and again, we’ll link to the show notes, but John Deere has a product selector guide, very easy, great user interface and it walks you through helping you to select which is the right product for you and then how to go about making that purchase.
Steve Robinson: And so it’s really reducing friction, giving people exactly the information that they need. It helps them to justify essentially the decision to purchase your product. When we get to Grow, here we are really focused on improving that user experience of your customer base. You can better-guarantee they are going to be long-term, repeat loyal customers so you can cross-sell, so you can up-sell, so you can allow them to grow into your brand. And so here’s where you are really trying to give them additional information that’s going to help them better consume your product or service, and I think a great example of this is Google. If you are signed up as a Google AdWords advertiser, you’ll get regular content from Google that helps you be a better advertiser, not just within the Google product, but strategically in how you can apply the Google ecosystem to your advertising and marketing efforts. I think it’s a great example of how you can grow into Google. They also cross-sell and up-sell their different products and services in there too, but along the way, it’s actually valuable and I know I haven’t unsubscribed, I have unsubscribed to almost everything else coming into my inbox.
Elizabeth Earin: I actually look forward to getting mine, so they are doing a great job over there. So where Grow is focused on improving the experience, Give is where we are helping our evangelists talk about us, talk about our brands. And a really great example of this is Marketo Marketing Nation, where they have set it up where you can earn points as you give back to the community, when you are answering questions and responding to questions. And what that’s doing is it’s building a team of advocates and evangelists who using a peer-to-peer support method that are raving about their brand. And this is really what we are looking to do in the Give stage. We are looking to, not only get them excited about it, but to give them the scripting that they need to accurately talk about our brand and portray us in the way that is aligned with our brand so that when they have their first interaction with us, that it’s aligned with what they have heard about us and who we are.
Steve Robinson: And the same thing comes out in Marketo’s events and their partner-specific events. They have the Purple Select Program. They really do a lot to try and get their existing people who bought into their system to go out and evangelize for it and get other people on board, and I think it’s a great example of that Give stage. An important thing to keep in mind, though, when you are creating content is that your audiences only ever going to be in one of these states. So when you start creating content that crosses states and you are trying to mix maybe See and Think, you are essentially going to fall flat with both. There’s that saying that you can please some of the people all the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and I think that’s definitely true when it comes to content. You want to be very careful that when you produce one piece of content or have your creative agency produce one piece of content, that that one piece of content is really only there to satisfy the needs of one particular state within that customer’s journey.
Elizabeth Earin: In addition to satisfying their needs so there is another benefit to making sure that your content is focused on one state and that is the content that your prospect is consuming is going to indicate to you which state that they are in. And this is one of the best ways to do it if you have got someone who’s interacting with a Facebook ad that is Think content, then you know they are in the Think stage. If they are filling out a form and asking that your sales team calls them, they are most likely in the Do stage. And so this is really your best indication as to where your prospect is in that customer journey.
Steve Robinson: So a lot of times, we’ll set up a marketing automation system or other systems to go and kind of track where people are at based on the content that they are engaging in, and then if they are in Think, then we give them more Think content and maybe a little bit of Do stage content. Again, we want to reduce friction for somebody to move into Do, and so by giving them a bulk of Think content and a little bit of Do content, we have reduced that friction. It’s still their choice to go and engage with that content. We are not shoving it down their throat because we know they are in Think. We are still giving a mostly Think content, but we are greasing those skids, we are removing that friction to help them see that path into closer to purchase. Should we talk about media channels?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes. So we talked about content moving into media channels, this is where the lines get a little bit more blurred because some media channels are going to be appropriate for different states. It’s not as clear-cut that this content is See and Think and Do. When we are applying this to our media channels, we could have a media channel that’s being used across all five of the states, See, Think, Do, Grow and Give. And so when we take a look at the See state, again, these are people who are not thinking about us or our product or our brand. And so to get their attention, we have to interrupt their day and the best state way to do that is with interruptive and disruptive media. And what we are talking about here is Facebook ads that have compelling content they would want to click in, again not product-specific content but instead something that’s going to educate and entertain them.
Steve Robinson: And then your disruptive channels are going to be like your outdoor, your banner ads, these are things that are going to be sort of in the background and they are in front of you at times when you aren’t necessarily looking for them, so they are still interrupting the day but your messaging here is still going to be See stage. It’s just not going to be as — maybe you are just trying to get a brand impression and trying to associate something, some sort of affinity or particular aspect of that brand and convey that it has to be very simple message because nobody’s looking for it, nobody is going to take the time to read it. It’s not like the interruptive where you are grabbing their attention.
Elizabeth Earin: And a few other examples of interruptive other than Facebook, TV, Radio, pop-up banners, those are all great ways to really get in front of and again interrupt the prospect in their journey.
Steve Robinson: So when we look at Think channels, here we are going to have some overlap with our See channels, but here really your content marketing channels are going to help you the most as far as providing content that will be valuable to somebody in Think stage, because here they are looking for content that helps them make a decision about whether or not now is the time to purchase or what they want to buy or what they are even thinking about. So here’s where your blog is really going to come into play. Email starts to become relevant at this point. Facebook is another great channel at this point as well, because it leads into that valuable content for somebody who’s in that particular state and your native advertising channels like your Outbrain or your Taboola also come into play at Think.
Elizabeth Earin: When we get into Do, again, these are prospects that are ready to make the purchase, and so we still want to help facilitate the easiest process that we can for them, so we are going to use things like email marketing and CRM retargeting to really get in front of them and help them answer any lingering questions they may have and keep our brand top of mind, but we are also going to utilize channels like pay-per-click advertising. Things that are very Do oriented where they are ready to make that decision.
Steve Robinson: The key is identifying that intent, that scent of intent, there are also behavioral audiences that are going to be very Do oriented as well, because in those cases, the big data companies have gone out and identified either through predictive technology or based on other affinities who is in market for your particular product right now.
Grow and Give, this is where you are going to really want to take a look at your own audiences because they are your customers, so you already know how to get in touch with them. Your primary channel for Grow and Give is going to be email, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also target media using CRM targeting or custom audiences on Facebook or tailored audiences on Twitter. You can actually set up your customer lists over there and also be able to deliver media to your existing customers depending on whether they are in Grow or Give and exactly what content you want to deliver.
Elizabeth Earin: So to wrap it up at that, at the end of the day, it is our job, as marketers, to understand which state each of our audience members in and to deliver the best possible experience for them. And to do that, we have to understand which media channels are best to meet and address the audience in each of those states as well as knowing which content is going to deliver the best experience and reduce the friction as they move through that customer journey.
Steve Robinson: For more information on this topic, I would suggest that you take a look at our podcast. Go back a few episodes to our podcast on mapping the customer journey. We will link to that in the show notes, as well as on the blog post by the same name. And stay tuned, we are planning some episodes of the podcast that are going to be deep dives into each one of these consideration states. I want to thank everybody for making time for us this week, and as always, I encourage you to join us next week. In the meantime, onward and upward!
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The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste. Our producer is Heather Ohlman with transcription assistance from Emily Bechtel. Our music is by SeaStock Audio, Music Production and Sound Design. You can check them out at seastockaudio.com. We will see you next week. Until then, onward and upward!