Stop Shouting Features: 5 Tips for Launching a Marketing Knowledge Program
I’ve been involved in the content marketing/custom publishing space for almost a decade now. Living in this world, you truly realize the value of great content, and how relevant and valuable information can positively affect a buyer-seller relationship.
Businesses are still shouting “features and innovations” at their customers and prospects. Do those companies realize that their customers stopped listening?
My first year after taking over Penton Custom Media, I had the pleasure of meeting Don Schultz (the father of integrated marketing) at Gibson’s on Rush Street in Chicago. It was quite a learning experience. I remember vividly our discussion about how “broken” traditional marketing was. Now remember, this was the summer of 2001…before the “bubble” burst and 9/11. Traditional advertising was feeling no pain at that particular moment.
Mr. Schultz was adamant that companies start concentrating on what customers want, not on what companies have. Companies are still challenged with this thinking today. Many organizations feel that the essence to a great company is knowing their products and services inside and out. While that’s true, without an equivalent or greater knowledge of the buyer, how do you know whether your products and services solve a buyer need?
Mr. Schultz was clearly ahead of the game, and understood the future of marketing rested in a companies’ understand and knowledge of the buyer.
Here are a few steps to enact now that will kick-start your “knowledge” program to create meaningful buyer interaction (and thus sales):
1. Invest in buyer research. Clearly determine who your buyer is. What motivates them? What are their “pain points”?
2. Develop relevant, multi-platform communications “combos”. Launch content programs that create a more intelligent buyer. Target your buyers “where they are at” (online, in print, in person combinations). A big mistake companies make here is that communication initiatives work in silos. Be sure your content marketing programs “talk” and integrate with one another.
3. Set benchmarks and measurements to your content marketing initiatives before, during and after each launch. Test and modify as needed. Open up channels to create a dialogue with your customers (more learning about the customer).
4. Invest in internal marketing. A focus on the customer MUST be a part of your corporate culture. Tell your employees what you are going to tell them…tell them…and tell them what you told them (rinse and repeat). If your employees don’t understand your buyer needs, external marketing is wasted. The consequence is poor customer service and misunderstood customers.
5. Hire an editor. An editor or journalist will help you look at your buyers more as readers, and assist you in stopping your “features and innovations” rants. An expert writer, with clear buyer objectives, will position your company as one that understands the buyer, not one that is shouting sales pitches.