the messy middle

Why you need to play in ‘The Messy Middle’

leonie waldron
Leonie Waldron
Head Strategist


  • The Messy Middle is the space between initial awareness of a problem and purchasing the tool, product or service to solve that problem.
  • The customer journey isn’t linear: customers bounce around different channels, comparing, learning, researcing and validating their thoughts and feelings before they make a decision.
  • Content for each stage of the buying cycle supports potential customers in this ‘messy middle’ and speaks to their needs, whether they are problem-aware, solution-aware, or comparing potential suppliers.

When people make purchase decisions, their thought processes are rarely linear.

Your customers explore, compare, and evaluate a range of different options before making a final decision, and they’re influenced by countless things along the way, both conscious and subconscious.

The space between initial awareness and getting that big PO in your inbox is what Google calls the “The Messy Middle“. And this is where clever and targeted content really shines.

What actually is content marketing?

Content marketing is just a fancy-pants name for what you’ve always done: convincing your customers to buy your product.

Now however, with a smorgasbord of choices and nowhere to hide online, brands need to control their own messaging and be more present, more helpful, more informative and more convincing than their competitors.

Why content marketing needs to tell your story

As your customers dip in and out of the research and comparison maze, your content marketing needs to speak for you, because customers are sizing you up before you even know they exist. And what you say matters.

Take 5 minutes to read the About Us page on your own website. Is it dry? Boring? Self-serving? Are you addressing customer pain points? Are you explaining how you can solve their problems? What is your content really saying about your business?

Rising to the challenge and putting more focus on your content marketing means you can play harder in The Messy Middle, giving you more chances to convince your customer to send you that fat PO.

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