Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Customer Content vs. Marketing Content

There's a big difference between the information that will engage your customers and that which will engage your prospects. If you're trying to "kill two birds with one stone," the result may be just that literal.

Your customers already know you. They're using your solutions to gain business benefits that contribute to achieving their company's objectives. Just as you wouldn't walk up to someone you already know, extend your hand and say, "Hello, My name is Jane. It's nice to meet you," neither should the content you share with them.

Your prospects are a different story. They may not know much about you just as they may not know enough about the problem they're grappling with to decide they should solve it, or even how to go about doing so.

Using the same content for both types of people is just plain silly. It will miss with one audience, or the other.

This does not mean that your customers are now as enamored with your company as you are. They likely don't care that you just sold to another 250 other companies. They don't care about your latest press release, and they don't want to be educated about a problem they've already (hopefully) solved.

What they do care about is improving on the success they've already achieved. They care about what comes next. They care about moving smoothly into the future in parallel with their evolving business goals.

Customer content should be designed to:

  • Expand the value they already receive from using your products
  • Introduce new features that can take their success to new levels
  • Show them continuous appreciation, care and listening
  • Share "war" stories only they can appreciate
  • Ensure satisfaction and build loyalty
  • Promote "future" thinking

Your potential customers need that educational content. They need to know that your company possesses the expertise to contribute way more to their project outcomes than if they decided to buy from the guy down the street. Prospects need help building a business case. That type of stuff is old news for your customers.

Prospects need the confidence to choose your company. You may have 375 product features, but if solving the problem only requires 9 of them, those are the ones they care about. And it's not just having those features, but how the way they work together produces the outcome they need. Anything else is off the radar.

Prospect content should be designed to:

  • Provoke extended interest
  • Present business value
  • Provide elements needed to build a business case
  • Educate about the problems prospects face
  • Invite interactions across the buying cycle
  • Reduce risk perceptions
  • Share expertise

When you compare these two lists, do you see the difficulty you'll face if you use the same content for both?

There's a lot to be said for mapping content to buying stages. But don't stop there. Continue to extend your content map beyond purchase and across the customer life cycle. Marketing doesn't stop just because your prospect becomes your customer.

Resumen en español:

Contenido del cliente debe ser diseñado para:

* Ampliar el valor que reciben sus productos ya en uso.
* Introducir nuevas características que pueden llevar su éxito a nuevos niveles.
* Mostrar apreciaciones continuamente, llamar la atención y escuchar.
* Compartir la "guerra" de historias que sólo ellos apreciarán.
* Garantizar la satisfacción y fidelizar.
* Promover el pensamiento "futuro" y generar expectativas.

Sus clientes potenciales necesitan contenidos educativos. Ellos necesitan saber que su empresa posee la experiencia necesaria para contribuir de manera más relevante y con mejores resultados a diferencia de haber comprado a alguien de la calle.

Debe construir la confianza de elegir su empresa. Usted puede tener 375 características del producto, pero si la solución del problema requiere solamente 9 de ellos, esos son los que les interesa. No es sólo tener esas características, sino cómo la colaboración entre las mismas produce el resultado que necesitan. Cualquier otra cosa está fuera del radar.

El Contenido debería ser diseñado para:

* Provocar el interés extendido
* Valor de negocio actual
* Proporcionar los elementos necesarios para construir un caso de negocio
* Educar acerca de las perspectivas de los problemas
* Invitar a las interacciones a través del ciclo de compra
* Reducir la percepción del riesgo
* Compartir la periciay la experiencia

Comentario: Vemos que proporcionar conocimiento relevante independiente si estamos desarrollando contenido para nuestros clientes o para el desarrollo de nuestra estrategia de marketing, en ambos casos se ha transformado en la herramientas más rentable a largo plazo, pero sobre todo se ha transformado en una herramienta de fidelización y enganche para nuevos clientes, en la medida que proporcionemos conocimiento constante acerca de nuestros productos y sobre nuestra empresa aportaremos reputación a nuestra marca, además de generar VINCULOS con nuestros clientes y posibles clientes (aunque sean clientes de la competencia podemos ser quienes proporcionamos el conocimiento), en definitiva podemos llegar a ser un punto de referencia y al lograrlo podemos generar una dependencia muy dificil de romper.

Saludos.

Mario Fuentes Escala.


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