On January 30, ANA Business Marketing hosted a Content Marketing Workshop with 3 outstanding speakers:
Shonodeep Modak, GE Industries CMO
George Stenitzer, CEO, Crystal Clear Communications
Colleen Jones, CEO, Content Science
Let me speak for all of us that attended that not only was it great “content”, but we definitely walked away feeling like Content Marketing Rockstars.
Shonodeep Modak, GE Industries CMO: 5 ways to know your customer
Shonodeep’s presentation was actually given by Holly Bounds as Mr. Modak was pressed into executive meetings. Here is a summary:
GE’s content strategy is built on 5 points:
- Identify your customer segments, i.e., know your customer
- Listen to what they want including favorability towards your brand, what attributes of your product or service they prefer and interest in specific capabilities.
- Search for the conversation, i.e., find your customers’ “watering hole”. Just as a lion finds satisfaction by simply going to the nearest watering hole, it is very important to find out where your customers go to consume content. What sites, publications, blogs, events and more are they drawn to? That’s where your content should be also
- Build your persona journeys. Focus on who are the top or primary personas (not the top 15, as an example) and customize your content accordingly from education to solution to selection.
- Define your value as outcome to each persona. What are they seeking as solutions to their problems, for example, cost vs. features, labor savings, inventory savings, safety, etc. Holly presented GE case study about product development of a simple circuit breaker where features and benefits aligned with persona values. Flexibility in how it was mounted, ease of installation, multiple configurations to eliminate multiple SKUs.
By having 5 ways to know its customers, GE is able to produce the right content to the right buyer at the right time.
Download Shonodeep’s presentation here.
George Stenitzer, CEO, Crystal Clear Communications: Dare to be the buyer’s best teacher!
George Stenitzer of his firm Crystal Clear Communications emphasizes 3 points for your Content Marketing strategy:
- Listen before you yell. Gather every question that your customers or prospects have asked you and your competition. Analyze questions for recurring themes and keywords. Go beyond Word Clouds to sophisticated text analysis and even artificial intelligence.
- Show before you tell. Now that you have gathered every single question known to man about your company and the type of products or services it sells, answer every question. Often marketers are quick to jump into features, benefits and solutions, which they should, but reluctant to answer questions publicly about price, hidden costs, problems, how you stack up against the competition and what unbiased reviews say.
Why is it important to answer a question about your product on your website about, for example, hidden costs? Think about what your prospects are searching online for, “what are the hidden costs of ERP software?” Well, if you have the answer, then bingo, they go to your site.
- Teach before you sell. In today’s world, prospects don’t want to be sold, they want to be helped. Teaching, helping and addressing tough questions earns you credibility when prospects hit your site.
Answer key questions and teach each subject one web page at a time. Because web pages are indexed by topic and subject matter, an FAQ page gets lost in search because Google can’t identity what it’s about. Limit pages to one topic at a time.
Finally, everyone wants to know how to measure content marketing success. For more information, see George’s blog http://crystalclearcomms.com/measure-content-marketing-success/
For an infographic on marketers’ questions about content marketing, see: http://crystalclearcomms.com/marketers-content-marketing-journey-revealed-1200-questions/
Download George’s presentation here.
Colleen Jones, CEO, Content Science: Delivering and Measuring Content Marketing Success
Colleen Jones wrapped up the workshop and reminded us that we are living in a different business era. Companies have gone through a progression of where they focus: Product-centric, Service-centric, Customer-centric, and now, Relationship-centric. At least, if they want to succeed, they need to be the latter.
Customers expect to get the right content and the right time regardless of the channel, and they expect this for the entire relationship they have with their supplier. To be successful, companies need an integrated content strategy aligned with goals. That includes:
- Competitive analysis
- Customer journey definition
- Content mapping
- Content lifecycle, workflow, and template definition
- Content modeling and engineering
- Delightful content experience
- Advanced automation and machine learning
- Content reuse and curation
The bottom line is that companies need Content Strategy + Content Intelligence which will = Dynamic and Personalized Delivery. As an example, Collen gave the example of Netflix and how their algorithms factor in not only what shows you watch, but when, how long, when you rewind and fast forward and more, to deliver 33 million versions of Netflix to its customers!
To get started, it’s a simple but involved 3-step process:
- Ask – the right questions
- Collect and analyze the data
- Interpret and act
- (actually a fourth step) Repeat
Download Colleen’s presentation here
What did you think about our workshop? Would you like to hear more about this not just hot trend, but required practice? What other topics would you as a marketer like to hear presented at an upcoming ANA Business Marketing lunch?