Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Start Helping, Stop Selling

 
You can create magnetic content that wows prospects if you focus on helping, rather than making sales.  Five tips follow:
 
Identify Prospects' Needs
You need to understand what your prospects need to make better decisions, and how you can improve their lives by providing it. Sometimes the best approach is to pick up the phone and talk to existing customers.  Go talk to your customers. Ask them why they bought your product.
 
Map Customer Needs To Useful Marketing Content
Once you really understand what buyers need, you can focus on mapping your content to truly resonate with those needs. A sales lead is a prospect who meets specific, predetermined criteria for becoming a customer. They desire specific information about their circumstances, and eventually, they might have a problem that your product can solve.
 
Market Your Marketing
First, you'll want to employ "seed nurturing."  Basically, you put your content everywhere that prospects find it -- thus planting "seeds."  Any of these might take root and grow. You might promote it on your homepage, share it on social media, include it in a newsletter, and include it in ad and product publicity in print media.
 
Make Helping A Process, Not A Project
Change is inevitable.  A prospect's needs may be different tomorrow than today. In addition, new technologies open doors to new ways of helping.  Film died and was replaced with digital images. Cassettes died and were replaced with digital audio formats. People change.  Technologies change. You need to keep adapting.
 
Keep Score
You don't want this initiative to become a novelty.  It must me measured effectively. You'll want to know how many times your mobile app was downloaded, how many times your blog was visited.  But keep in mind you're not just looking for eyeballs.  You want to know what those eyeballs are doing.
 
You'll want to know when someone is reviewing your content as they may be considering a purchase.  But don't put long forms there.  If your value is strong, prospects will contact you after they finish their research.
 
If you can track where the prospect originated, and which origins resulted in wins, you can create metrics to measure sales.
 
 

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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