RESET: Leveraging Content Marketing to Accelerate Account DevelopmentJuly 21, 2014 | By Wayne O'Neill
In this video, we talk about how the process of “going to market” is shifting. One of our project delivery partners, Terri Hoffman, CEO of Marketing Refresh, shares her insights on the value of content marketing, how it correlates with The Connections Process and the importance of having a publisher’s mindset to influence the decision making process.
Helping customers see that you are working hard to understand the business and political issues within their industry is key in the beginning of building a long-term authentic client connection. Content Marketing is a practice that helps you show just that.
Today we want to talk about something that’s real important in our practice that we coach with just about every one of our clients. And that’s about leveraging project delivery partners. And one of our key project delivery partners, or scope delivery partners, is a firm called Marketing Refresh. And we have the privilege of having Terri Hoffman here, who’s their CEO, to talk about content marketing and its impact. Here’s why this is so important to us and why we have been involved with Terri for at least the last 18 months. The process of going to market from a nonlinear standpoint is just shifting underneath our feet. Even the process of initiating selling or business development– however you refer to it– has changed. Decision-making has changed. It’s being influenced from a subconscious and a conscious level. And so paying attention to the subtlety of leveraging the impact of a practice like Terri’s, Marketing Refresh, is pretty important to all of us as we think about selling our services or selling of our products. So Terri, could you start and give us a perspective from your practice of how that blends into what we do?
Yeah, so content marketing is definitely not advertising. And it’s also not a new methodology or new practice. It’s been practiced by a lot of larger consumer brands for many years. And it’s becoming far more effective for business-to-business brands and business-to-business business product offerings as well. And the reason for this is because the way people make decisions is fundamentally changing. Google is becoming much more popular. This is a mobile world. This is a social media connected world. So even if you just think about your own decision-making process, in a business context, when you’re preparing to make a decision or a purchasing decision, you’re sitting down and you’re doing research online. You’re looking at websites. You’re reading information. You’re reading articles. And all of the information that you’re taking in is impacting your thoughts on how you’re piecing together a solution. You’re talking to members of your team. You’re talking to your peer group. You’re finding out how they’ve solved similar problems. All of those things you’re taking into consideration. And it’s helping form your opinions. And it’s helping shape how you’re thinking about solving problems in your industry.
So while this is all going on, you need to think of yourself as a publisher. And you need to get that mindset of a publisher. And you need to think about all of the elements and all of the things about your firm, about your products, and about your services, and how they can ultimately impact your industry, how they can deliver value to your clients, and how they can to help solve their issues. And the way it connects back to the Connections Process is that your content marketing strategy can help prove to your clients and to your industry that you’re working very hard to understand their business and political issues. And you’re writing things on your website, on your blog, on your news, on your social media sites, on your LinkedIn profiles that show them that you’re working hard to understand the issues that they’re dealing with. While all of this is happening, let’s not forget that traditional marketing and advertising has really lost its effectiveness. So while you may have had a lot of success in the past running print ads, sending out direct mail pieces, exhibiting at trade shows, and having cold-calling programs or telemarketing programs in place, people in the business world have gotten to be excellent at blocking out this kind of what they consider noise. So they know how to walk down an aisle at a trade show and block out the exhibitors. They know how to go through their mail and throw away things that look like marketing collateral. They don’t read print newspapers or print publications anymore. And the biggest thing is they’ve gotten really good at looking at caller ID and not answering the phone. People don’t even return voice mails that often anymore, especially if they don’t recognize the number. So you can’t– instead of fighting online marketing, it’s the acceptance of the fact that the things that used to be effective and used to really help you go to market and bring in revenue just aren’t effective anymore. They’re losing it.
And it’s because of the fact the decision making has changed. You have to grasp the fact that this is a social world. This is a mobile world. And decisions are made in a much more nonlinear, collaborative way. And content marketing really is a methodology that helps you connect, ultimately. It helps you educate and inform. And it helps you connect with clients and what their business and political issues are. So it’s about speed. And so how this, again, how Terri put, how this all connects back to our practice, we didn’t just publish a book to be publishers. We’re not improving our Twitter presence or improving what we post on LinkedIn or what we’re doing blogging just to be glib publishers. We’re doing it to connect more to our audience. Because what we’ve learned by working with Terri and what we try to share with a lot of our clients with what Terri and her team does is that actually doing all that, the content marketing part of Connections Process, makes the whole account development process, or the connecting with clients, go faster and be more effective. The ground has shifted underneath all of our feet. This is a social media world. It doesn’t matter what generation we’re in. We’ve got to accept it. And we’ve got to leverage it.
So thanks for listening and be safe.