An old commercial used to proclaim that “an educated consumer is our best customer.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. As marketers who believe in the power of content marketing, we invest a great of time and energy building brand stories, and then developing, curating and sharing content designed to inform and educate.
We are all on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest (and other places, I don’t want to leave out your favorite). And I believe that as marketers we have well-informed (some may say “over-informed”) our “consumers.”
But has content marketing actually created more likely customers?
I know. Heresy!
Look, I am not doubting the power of thought-provoking, targeted, engaging content marketing. I am simply questioning whether we are encouraging the dialog toward a purchase decision that results in “consumers” becoming “customers.”
I do believe that, ultimately, an educated consumer is going to make an educated decision. And I believe that the educator (that’s you and me) will benefit from the purchase decision made by the consumer.
But when making a purchase, I have changed my mind at the last minute, and so have you. I have picked a different brand, turning my back on an old favorite, and so have you.
So what does this mean? I think this means we must begin at the end of the sales process and work backwards:
- What did someone purchase?
- Who made the purchase?
- How was the sales person/team involved?
- When did they make the purchase?
- How did they come to the decision?
- How did they find us?
- What were they reading/sharing when they found us?
- And so on…
As marketers, often the last thing we want to do is speak to the sales team or newly minted customer – but that’s a mistake. That is exactly where our investigation into stronger content marketing on the front end should begin.
What do you think?