Home / News / Strategy / See Think Do Care STDC marketingmodel

See Think Do Care STDC marketingmodel

What does your customer really want? A question that many marketers and companies think is easy to answer. But aren’t we looking too much at the rock-hard conversion with our “glasses”, forgetting the entire customer journey? This could very well be the case! Because who offers what the customer really needs at the right time? A tricky question, but fortunately Google’s See, Think, Do, Care model is here to help!



Sparringpartner die denkt in kansen

Deel dit bericht

What is the stdc model?

Marketers often have to deal with all sorts of different customers, all with different needs. And then how do you offer the right thing at the right time? At first glance, it might seem like an impossible job, but after reading this blog, no more! Let’s start with Google’s See, Think, Do and Care model. This model was developed to analyse the stages of the customer journey.

The model is structured as a funnel, with the See and Think phases providing the “Do”. So in the first two phases, we need to take steps to achieve conversion in the Do phase. After all, someone has to have been introduced to your company/service or product first, otherwise why would they buy from you? In the increasingly competitive market on the internet, this is obviously becoming increasingly important. Moreover, let us not forget the power of the Care phase. Someone who is already a customer naturally wants to be retained. Working with loyalty programmes can therefore be very useful for ultimate customer lifetime value (C/LVV).


To make best use of the model, developing buyer personas is important. A persona is a fictional representative for a customer segment. Try to make him/her as concrete as possible, so that it is clear to the whole organisation who the customer really is. You can use different sources for this, think of a Google Analytics but also your company’s customer service. By analysing the target audience in this way, you get a lot of valuable input. For example, look in Google Analytics at the age and gender of the target audience. If you see that website visitors are mainly women between 18-30, then you will naturally want to write different content than for men over 50. By also looking at the content in this way, you ensure that the content also better connects with the target audience.

De volgende stap is het ontwikkelen van het klanttraject voor die persona. Research what journey the customer takes during the buying process, this all helps for designing the stages and thus the tools. In addition, you can better set targets this way and KPIs are easier to assess at a later stage. One tool for this is customer journey mapping. In doing so, you plan a brainstorm in which each phase looks at goals, possible channels, customer questions and also emotions. That way, the entire journey is brought insightful and you make sure the right channels are created with the right content. Of course, you also want to make this measurable, so set your own targets for each phase and KPIs for assessment. Further on in this blog we will give examples of those goals and KPIs, so read on quickly!

The origins of the See, Think, Do, Care model

The See, Think, Do, Care model was developed by Avinash Kaushik, working at Google as a so-called “Digital Marketing Evangelist”. Kaushik designed this model for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was that this model focuses on the customer experience, rather than being product-oriented, as, for example, AIDA is. The See, Think, Do, Care model thus revolves around the intent of the target audience. By working from that vision, you don’t write content because your product/service is so good, but because it answers the potential customer’s help question.

Kaushik further points out that (too) many organisations focus purely on the “Do” phase, or the actual purchase moment, and therefore link (almost) all KPIs such as transactions and sales to this. Very unusual, looking at the fact that the “customer journey” is many times bigger than just purchase moment. Indeed, multiple studies show that on average people need around 5 to 8 contact moments to move to action. So focusing only on that one moment is definitely not always the best practice! Good to look at your specific industry or product/service in doing so. For example, do you have an HR campaign? If so, this number of contact moments will soon be higher. The commitment to such a goal is higher; logically, therefore, someone needs multiple contact moments.


So what are the advantages of the STDC model?

When you use this marketing model, you reach your target audience throughout the customer journey. As a result, you have multiple touchpoints at the different stages someone may be in.
By focusing on all stages, you get in touch with your target audience at an earlier stage. Something you can get a lot out of.
Content can be specifically tailored to the relevant stage of the target audience.
KPIs can be set up by phase. In the See phase, you naturally assess on different KPIs than in the Do phase.
Content and information needs of the target audience can be drawn up for each phase. This will make it a lot easier to put the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.
So, in summary, we can say that through this method, you work on both the dominance and relevance of your organisation. You have a more dominant presence, especially in the earlier stages among the target audience. By creating a touchpoint more often, you ensure that you as an organisation remain Top Of Mind. Moreover, because you think from the target group, rather than the organisation, you also create the desired relevance among that group.


At this stage, the customer journey begins, even if you cannot yet call the customer a real customer. The potential customer has no buying intention at this stage. Therefore, the advice at this stage is to focus on awareness of the organisation, i.e. ensure the so-called Top Of Mind Awareness. You communicate your product or service to the general public. You therefore tailor your content for this phase, as you want to inspire the target audience. Now the persona comes around the corner again. By knowing where your customer is active, you can now respond perfectly to these moments.

The target audience you focus on in this phase is best described as: People who are looking for information or are interested in a particular topic, but have no direct buying intention.

To illustrate, we also highlight examples of the possibilities in this blog. So, as mentioned, it is advisable at this stage to focus on outreach to a wider audience. Content that fits this well are mood images, a blog post on a relevant topic or a catalogue. So you are really inspiring the target audience here to create a need.

Channels – See phase

Which channels are good to use at this stage? Looking at online opportunities, you can think of, for example:

  • Social advertising – Similar audiences
  • Social advertising – Look-a-like audiences
  • Branding campaigns
  • SEO – Content aimed at the exploratory visitor who does not necessarily have a (conscious) buying intention
  • Display advertising

If you look at social advertising, you can set the target audience based on interests and other variables. Because you started with a persona first, you can now fill it in properly. In doing so, we recommend also setting up look-a-like target groups. This is an audience similar to the one you set up. By doing so, you ensure relevance while increasing reach.

Rubberplants | Digital Agency Focus
Rubberplants Vlinder-Oranje-Dropshadow

KPIs – See phase

So what are correct KPIs for this phase? Given we do not focus on buying intent, KPIs like transactions are not a logical KPI. KPIs you can think about, though, are for example:

  • Advertising displays
  • Ad click-through rate
  • Name recognition / Brand awareness
  • Number of readers of a particular blog
  • Time on website
  • Supported conversions – long-term (is there some contribution to
  • the final hard conversion?)
  • Think-phase

Your potential customer knows about the product or service and will search more specifically. This does not yet mean it will be your product/service, he is looking for information and comparing. Because the target audience is more actively searching at this stage, you now turn to a piece of SEO (website optimisation to be better and more widely findable within search engine within Google) and Google Ads. Whereas in the See phase the focus was more on interruption marketing, you can start adding other channels here. After all, the visitor is searching for a reason, how nice is it if you offer what he is looking for and the landing page provides the perfect info? A match made in heaven! Therefore, we recommend focusing on providing information at this stage. So because you have gathered so much information around the customer in the preparation, you can put it to good use here.

An important message to be told here is “why should they choose you?”. This does not mean it has to be its own story, look further for supporting evidence as well. We still see that word of mouth works very well. So make your satisfied customers work for you, by starting reviews, highlighted cases/projects, for example. By doing so, you are also playing on a piece of social proof at the same time, which is good for your persuasiveness. Moreover, by doing so, you ensure that the final product/service becomes more tangible. When someone sees how satisfied someone is, how the product is used or how the product looks in real life, you make sure the online environment translates better.

Channels – Think phase

The Think phase thus targets the audience that is already more actively searching and comparing things. Disclosure is key in this. Channels that can be used for this purpose include:

  • SEO – Content aimed at the visitor who is actively comparing and figuring things out.
  • Social advertising – Look-a-like audiences
  • Social advertising – Look-a-like audiences
  • Social advertising – Remarketing based on touchpoint in the See phase
  • Display advertising
  • Google Ads (No focus on buying intent)
  • Google Shopping (Focus on comparison)

So you also see reflected in the Channels that not only interstitial marketing is important, but that you are also going to be more responsive to the search audience. One option in terms of targeting as of this moment is therefore remarketing, re-targeting an audience that has already interacted with. This can be very diverse: for example, page visitors, people who follow your social media channels, as well as people who have seen a video. With LinkedIn, you can do this very specifically. In the See phase, for example, do you post a video? Then, in the Think phase, you can create target groups that have seen the video 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. So very interesting to test with!


KPIs – Think phase

What are right KPIs for the Think phase? So in this phase, we focus on visibility towards the target audience that is more actively searching and comparing. In this, rock solid conversion is still not the right KPI, but which KPIs are good to use?

Click-through rate (e.g. ads)
Whitepaper downloads
(Unique) visitors on a particular page
Degree of interaction
Time on website / number of pages viewed
Supported conversions – medium term (is there some contribution to the final hard conversion?)

Yes finally, there it is the “rock hard conversion”, the wait is rewarded. So in the Think phase, we are more focused on convincing the target audience and providing different information to do so. The Do phase is ultimately about the desired action the target audience needs to do. Since the target audience here is again actively looking for a suitable product/service to solve the help demand, we again recommend not only using interruption marketing. People are actively looking for a solution, so use this search behaviour to capitalise on it with online marketing. The focus in terms of assessment is therefore more on the number of conversions, ROAS and ROI.

What we often see here in practice is the use of dynamic product remarketing. Someone is first inspired by, say, a blog about nice living. In the blog, products were highlighted, making the bridge to the products easy. The person looked at a new table and that’s where the journey stopped for that moment. By using dynamic product remarketing in this story, it is possible to bring the viewed product to the attention again. Highlight the product, but add USPs to it, for example, to lower the barrier to conversion. This is how you entice someone from the previous phases, to the final Do phase. Of course, this is just one example, but this is very broad in terms of applications! Someone typing in a search query on Google naturally wants to help you. Get landing pages right, but also analyse these pages. What is someone doing on the page? What behavioural stream do you see emerging? Besides that point, it is also a matter of testing. With Google Optimize, for example, it is easy to get started with an A/B test. This allows you to test with different colours, for example, but also the use of neuromarketing. Learn what works best for your target audience!


Channels – Do phase

Which channels are good to use at this stage? This phase focuses on the actual purchase/hard conversion which makes the channels below good to deploy:

  • SEO – Content aimed at the visitor about to make a purchase
  • Social advertising – Remarketing based on previous touchpoints
  • Social advertising – Focus on buying intention
  • Google Ads – Focus on buying intention
  • Google Shopping – Focus on buying intention
  • Affiliate
  • Display advertising – Remarketing based on previous touchpoints
  • KPIs – Do phase

So the Do phase focuses on the rock-solid conversion, such as transaction or reservation, for example. The right metrics for this phase may already be clear, but still, a quick overview of some possible KPIs:

  • E-commerce conversion rate
  • ROAS (Return on ad spent)
  • Profit
  • Cart abandoners

What you see reflected in the above KPIs is that you are now also focusing more on the “hard” targets. Of course, you still monitor page usage, but you now also look more at the flow to the checkout module. Of course, it is a shame to just attract traffic, but that the website is not (yet) responding well to conversions.

One of the KPIs in this regard is also the number of “cart abandoners”. The shopping cart is unfortunately a major pain point for many visitors, who drop out as a result. Understand at which stage this is mainly and anticipate it. Think, for example, of using influence principles from Cialdini, but a mailing campaign can also be very lucrative for this purpose!

Rubberplants | Digital Agency - Strategy


The conversion has been achieved, but this does not mean we are there. You want to be of value to the customer even after the conversion, because a happy customer is good marketing! On the one hand, because he/she can provide positive word-of-mouth advertising, but also if we consider customer value. When we continue to interest an existing customer, offer tips and thus be of value, the chances of new conversions are naturally higher. The result? A higher Customer Lifetime Value instead of a one-off customer. The KPIs that are useful at this stage of the journey include reviews, repeat purchase ratio, but thus also the CLV.

One channel that is commonly used in this phase and which we also definitely recommend is e-mail marketing. There are many different types of systems you can work with. Based on your requirements/preferences, you choose a suitable platform which then needs to be set up. Many times, these systems work with automatic triggers, allowing you to set up “flows”. What we mean by this? Based on certain conditions, create your own segments to which an automatically generated e-mail is sent. You can start small with this, think of an e-mail when new products are added to the webshop or a birthday. However, there is a lot more data behind this, which is definitely worth using! Can you get from the data how often a customer makes a repeat purchase on average? Then make sure you get an automatic email within this timeframe. That way, you are relevant to the target audience, as they need the product frequently. Moreover, you can create all kinds of segments of your customers in such a system. Think VIP customers, which you can define based on your data. Consider the frequency of purchases, average order amount but also lifetime value. The possibilities available within such software are often endless.

Besides using email marketing at this stage, our advice is also to target reviews. One step further is a loyalty programme. But channels like a YouTube or social media should not be forgotten either. It remains a matter of re-inspiring the target audience and staying Top Of Mind!

Channels – Care phase

Which channels are good to use at this stage? This phase focuses on the loyalty and retention phase so these resources revolve more around loyalty and retention.

  • Sturing naar reviews (Feedbackcompany, Google My Business etc.)
  • Tell a friend programme
  • E-mailmarketing
  • Social – Organic (engagement)
  • Youtube- Organic (engagement)
  • Social – Remarketing
  • Display – Remarketing
  • KPIs – Care phase

The Care phase thus refers to the post-purchase phase. How do we keep the visitor connected to the organisation? How do we create retention and maximise CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)? Metrics on which to assess this phase could include:

  • Ratio of repeat purchases
  • Recommendations/reviews
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Social media performance
  • Aftersales performance

Need help?

Need help building your ideal customer journey using the STDC model?
Then contact us. We are happy to help!

Rubberplants blogs

Bedankt voor het lezen van onze blog! Rubberplants probeert je te voorzien van de meest relevante en waardevolle informatie. Onze marketing blogs worden zorgvuldig samengesteld door experts die diep duiken in onderwerpen om jou de inzichten en kennis te geven die je nodig hebt. Of je nu op zoek bent naar tips, trends, of diepgaande analyses, bij ons ben je aan het juiste adres voor kwalitatieve content die antwoord geeft op jouw vragen.

Recente blogs

Even sparren