Marketing automation has been one of the most effective tools for companies looking to grow, that maybe don't quite have the personnel to do it. It's great. E-mail marketing to potential clients and just waiting for their response. Decent rates of return, the ability to measure almost all of the interactions, and then being able to click once and change how your company communicates with thousands of people.
One thing that seems to get lost in translation from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the customer. When a company is so busy evaluating what leads are coming through, how much ROI is impacted through the change of a few emails, and what A/B tests have come back with the best results, sometimes the customer and a company's relationship to them can get lost. Content marketing is important when it comes to managing how someone interacts with your company, and it is all part of the experience.
One method we have found works really well for us, is to put the client first. Always. I'm sure you've heard this a hundred times, but it really works. If you're looking on how this old-fashioned way of thinking may help your company, we've lined out some ways it's made some really positive impacts for us. Let us know what you think.
No Need to Network
One of the best company slogans is "The best thank you is a referral." Nothing could be closer to the truth. We love great feedback from our current clients. When they start referring their clients, friends, and family to our company, it can help to boost, you guessed it, ROI. Considering that the largest investment we made was time, the numbers come out looking really solid. If you really think about it, when you do incredible work, and your clients absolutely love it, you're getting paid to market your business.
Defines Business Model
A customer-centric focus is what will win the world. Just ask Google or Amazon. Rather than building products and getting consumers to buy (Apple) instead they start with what their clients want and deliver it to them. We're not bashing on Apple, this blog was written on an iMac and texts were sent to friends on an iPhone.
When you consider most of the products that Google releases, they are focused on gathering data from their users. What better way to gather and use the data from their users, than to give extremely valuable programs for free? You can guess whether Google charges for the use of this data or not. By spending time updating all the right Google ranking factors into your website, you will see a significant increase in traffic.
If you've ever been a subscriber of Amazon Prime, the ecosystem is enormous. With a Prime account here's what you get for the cost of one membership: free two-day shipping, Amazon Music basic, Amazon Video basic, and the list goes on. Consider how it adds to the value of the membership, and why Amazon is able to succeed.
Let Jeff Bezos describe how the focus on customer is key:
Your customer will help define the business model. One step back from the client, what channels will best deliver a product or service to your client? What are they already committed to using? Boom! you've just lined out your logistical five-year plan. Do you need to build software or will you be building a product and delivering to them with Amazon? You don't know because we have to take one more step back!
What is your product/service? What features does it have? Your company can do a lot of great things, but it's important to understand what services it has that are actually valuable to your clients. They won't buy something they don't need. So, one more step back.
What is your potential client's needs, wants, and desires? One question to ask is how will a product/service that we offer impact an executive's bonus? If the answer is that solving this want or need will increase their bonus, lock in your new strategic priorities.
With a customer-centric focus, you start with them and work your way backwards. It's fail proof, but not painless. Some adjustments may need to be made that satisfy client interests, but not your own.
Here's a fun cartoon from FutureLab:
Customers Generate the Best Content
So now that we've covered how happy and satisfied clients serve the inner core of how your company does business, let's jump back to marketing. Clients and the customers most satisfied with your work can help to generate the best and most valuable piece of content. If you're attempting to find more clients just like them, this is important.
Part of building a close relationship is understanding every aspect, top of the funnel to signed contract, of their experience. What they didn't like, where they found the best information, what about other companies turned them away, and what information built the most trust with them.
Each one of their answers is a new piece of content you can offer at various points in the sales cycle.
The best part, is no matter the feedback, it's all valuable and can be used to make the business better, or to find out what you're doing well, and what needs to be better.
Negative feedback can be used to understand what may have turned potential clients off, whether your emails are truly effective, and give an idea of what products or services were not offered that clients expected.
Positive feedback can shed light on what you're already doing well, and give you the option of writing really cool content (like this blog post) on something that your audience is already connecting with. Of course, a pat on the back every once in a while is necessary too.
It seems like the larger companies get, the less in-touch they can be with their clients. So if your company or department is fulfilling the marketing needs for several thousand people, let's just stick one number in your head that will hopefully stick. No matter the ROI, attributions, speed at which your site loads, or how many backlinks you have, 20% of your clients generate 80% of your revenue. If you've never heard of the Pareto Principle, check the link. It may help to transform your business.