Definitions of Content

Until 1996, anyone searching for content on the internet would not have been surprised to find this one definition usually meaning something like satisfied or happy.  But that year, Netscape named Jarrell Jimerson Director of Online and Content Marketing.

Since then, content, as it relates to content marketing has skyrocketed.  A search for the word “content” now brings you many sites on content marketing before it offers visitors the old definition of the word.

The Future

Content marketing is expected to continue to escalate as younger generations rely even more heavily than their predecessors on their smartphones and laptops for information and shopping.  Sharp marketers also recognize this and are honing their content skills to keep pace.

Must Do’s

Get to know the target audience.  Really get to know them! According to a study done by Salesforce, 80% of marketers have their sights on building their target audience.  However, in order to even start building requires a deep understanding of that audience. Yet the same study reported that just 42% researched their target audience. 

Connect with and talk to customers.  Many companies were relying on feedback from customer service reps and folks on the floor.  Some used website analysis

This absence of direct feedback isn’t all that surprising based on the survey finds.  62% of marketers didn’t know what was most important to their customers, reported Salesforce.  Not having this vital information is like the old saying, “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.”

Companies that expect to survive in today’s fast-paced world don’t have the luxury of trying one baseless strategy after another until they land upon one that works.  Before launching a plan, get the needed information.

Sales Then

Car salespeople used to have a bad reputation.  They were characterized as slick, fast-talking salespeople who would lie to make a commission and sales.  Door-to-door salespeople were no different. 

They would build up the value and benefits of their product.  They would make secondary close after close, getting prospective buyers to nod their heads in agreement several dozen times until

the prospects were so used to nodding “yes” that they were nearly in an affirmative trance when the salesperson closed the sale.

Sales Now

Consultative selling became popular in the 1980’s and turned the paradigm upside down.  Instead of pressuring a customer, a critical component it employed was called “discovery.”  This active listening philosophy relied on asking questions of a customer and learning much about their likes or dislikes.  “Why” is a word often used during discovery. 

For businesses offering an array of services or products, discovery narrows down what the salesperson ultimately offers to the customer.  To a financial planning company, for example, learning that a client values safety over potential fast growth arms the consultant with information to suggest a fund that fits that need and concern.

In incorporating customer feedback as part of the company strategy, determine a goal and objectives, then train staff on consultative selling. Collect and keep the data and then put together a content marketing strategy that meets those needs.

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