How High-Knowledge & Low-Knowledge Buyers Fix Hard Stains

Below you’ll read two stories—two different experiences of customers researching and buying a water softener.

One is a low-knowledge customer (someone who’s never owned a water softener and doesn’t really even know what water treatment is).

The other is a high-knowledge customer (someone who already has some knowledge about water treatment; our surveys indicate that around 75% of these customers are looking to replace an existing softener).

Here are their stories.


Meet Bob, a low-knowledge buyer.

Bob, a low-knowledge buyer

Bob, a low-knowledge buyer

Last night I finally got to have some adult time to sit and share a nice bottle of wine with my wife while our kids were at a friend’s house. I opened a special bottle we were saving and brought out the nice wine glasses (you know, the ones that actually have a stem on them).

We took a closer look at the wine glasses and realized that they looked…disgusting.

They were completely covered in water spots.

We still enjoyed our night alone, but I couldn’t stop being annoyed with the fact that I drank our special bottle of wine out of a dirty-looking glass.

To fix the situation, I decided to try a new kind of dish soap…only to quickly realize that it made no difference in our glasses.

However, the dish soap directions did mention the phrase “hard water.”

So I googled “hard water” on my iPad, but none of the sites helped.

Next I googled “how do you fix hard water?”

Oh, here we go—a local company talking about water treatment.

That explains it. I have hard water, which means I need water treatment!

Now I just need to google “hard water filter.”

That’ll fix this hard water problem.


Now meet Seth, a high-knowledge buyer.

Seth, a high-knowledge buyer

Seth, a high-knowledge buyer

Last night while I was unloading the dishwasher, I noticed that there were some hard-water stains on my glasses.

“Dang,” I thought. I recognized the stains as hard-water spots. But we got our salt delivery for the softener just last week.

Well, our softener is pretty old. Maybe we just need a new one.

Replacing the softener seems like a no-brainer. After all, that softener is better for our plumbing, our appliances, our skin, and heck, it even saves us money on water heating bills!

So I sat down at the computer and googled “Culligan water softeners.”

I scrolled through the page to get an idea of what kind of softeners they were offering. Then I clicked “Contact Us” and filled out the form, asking to have someone give me a call about getting a new water softener.

Two different people, both ultimately looking for the same solution—but they each have two very different experiences.


How should you handle low-knowledge Bob?

Low-knowledge buyers know they have a water problem. Often, guys like Bob have moved into a home with water issues that are new to them.

However, since this problem is new to them, they have to be educated on what hard water is and how to fix it before they’ll even think about buying a water softener.

While in this research phase, low-knowledge buyers search for terms like “red water stains,” “do i need a water filter,” and “what does a water softener do.”

Bob isn’t ready to buy anything just yet, because he still needs to be educated and convinced that a water softener is what he really needs to solve his problem.

This makes Bob a perfect candidate for a no-obligation water test and for an email autoresponder that educates him on the benefits of having a water softener. In addition, the free water test gives you an opportunity to build some trust & credibility while educating him on water treatment in person.


How should you handle high-knowledge Seth?

High-knowledge buyers like Seth know what they want and just need to know if you have the best product, warranty, and local service for them.

They search for terms like “best water softener,” “reverse osmosis system,” and “carbon filter.”

Often these are problem water customers who have had experience with things like this in the past.

You don’t need to educate Seth on what hard water is. Instead, when he calls you, you can get straight to the details—let him know what model you recommend, why it’s better than his previous model, and what kind of warranty it has.

Seth is closer to buying than Bob is, because Seth already know what he needs.


How do we optimize your website for both Seth & Bob at the same time?

It might seem difficult to optimize your website for both high-knowledge and low-knowledge buyers at the same time. However, it can be done.

Here at Optimized Marketing, we can categorize different search phrases as either “high-knowledge” or “low-knowledge,” and adjust the landing page for that keyword appropriately.

So our landing page for “water stains on glasses” will be written more toward low-knowledge customers, while our landing page for “Best Water Softeners” will be written more toward high-knowledge customers.

Implementing a strategy like this takes dual expertise:

1)    It requires someone who is an online marketing expert who can setup everything correctly and optimize each page (along with its PPC ads) for the appropriate buyer persona (we have some of the best in the business here at Optimized Marketing).

2)    It requires someone who is intimately familiar with water treatment and how it works (remember that 4 team members here at Optimized Marketing are former Culligan employees, including a former owner, so we know the business inside and out).

You have been closing sales leads from OFFline sources for decades. You’re great at it. You’ve built one of the best businesses in your area because of it.

But the world of marketing has changed. No longer are we face-to-face, voice-to-voice.

Today, your buyers are anonymously seeking information online. The way in which you respond to them is vital to your continued success.

Have you ever heard a fellow dealer ask, “How do we sell to the new generations?”

Well, my friend, this is it.

Perhaps one of the reasons these contacts seem so elusive is they are from a relatively new marketing source and are a younger crowd. Some need to be educated, and some don’t.

Online contacts are no more and no less important that direct mail or referral leads, but they are different. Make sure your marketing meets these different buyers where they’re at, so that they always receive a message tailored to their specific needs and knowledge level.

If you would like more advice on how to do just that for your local service-based business, contact us at Optimized Marketing today.


To your website success,

Neil Flinchbaugh
Internet Marketing Scientist
Optimized Marketing

Optimized Marketing

Optimized Marketing

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