One lie we tell ourselves is that if we catch someone at the right moment we can get them to do what we want with our business.

Sometimes we get lucky.  But luck isn’t what makes us truly successful.

If you studied marketing or business you will have learnt The Buyer’s Journey.  It shows people going in at the top, and, at the bottom revenue comes out.  The idea being, that the more people you put in the top the more people come out of the process and the more money you make.

Buyers Journey

The Buyer’s Journey

In recruitment marketing “Purchase” is normally replaced with “Convert” which can include applications from candidates or contact from a client with a job role.

Search engine optimisation and behavioural advertising were meant to kill the funnel.  But guess what?  It still exists in 2014.  It will still exist in 2015.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it still exists in a twenty years.

Search engine optimisation is meant to get people to the point of conversion as they start looking.  But before they start looking ideas have already started to form in their mind as to what they want to buy, what sort of provider they are looking for and what sort of budget they are willing to spend.  They have preconceptions as to whom or what might be best for them.

If you Google “flights to Paris from London” you are likely to find a variety of sites flaunting their wares.  What do you look at first?  Instantly you know a little about the sites you might click on.  Each site – and each brand – has its own connotations.  Some you lean towards, other you actively avoid.

Google results for "flights to Paris from London"

Google results for “flights to Paris from London”

If you don’t have an affinity for a brand or business you start to do your research.  At that point there isn’t much time to build up Consideration and Preference before telling people to Purchase.  Don’t leave it until then to influence your target audience.  It is dangerous and leaves you in the same position as your equally unknown competition.

The question shouldn’t be “how do I make sure I am there when someone looks?”  It should be “how do I make someone want to interact with me when they are looking?”

You can’t bypass Awareness, Consideration or Preference.

Look again at the listing above.  You probably recognise at least four companies.  What do you think about each of them?  Which would you be likely to click on?

Spend your time building a brand.  Become recognised for what you do and how you do it.  If your message resonates with your target audience, when they do start looking for products or services like yours, you will be the one they come to.