For many of the most successful organizations, becoming more client-centric is the holy grail. Think of Zappos, The Four Seasons, Starbucks, even Apple (arguably). These organizations have realized that it’s not about their products or services – which have often become commoditized – but about the client’s/prospect’s needs; “the market” is not looking for your product or service but rather a solution to a problem they have, the ‘ole “don’t tell me about your grass seed, tell me about my lawn.”
As a member of the C-suite (CEO, President, CMO, etc.) or the VP coterie looking to make your marketing efforts (and organization) as client-centric as possible, and get the best possible long-term return on those efforts, content marketing should be one of your key vessels, if not the key vessel, to deliver those returns.
The reason is that, when done well, content marketing is about understanding the higher order needs/challenges/knowledge gaps of your clients and prospects, and creating/distributing content that will address those needs/challenges/gaps in the most direct way possible – client-centricity is inherent in the best-in-class process, as I’ve often talked about. Many organizations, however, tend to focus exclusively on how best to position their new product against the competition or how to spin their current product features into benefits. Both are important exercises to do, but both are really about your company, not the client.
The more successful alternative to being client-centric is…(and this shouldn’t be surprising)… to get a deep understanding of the key needs of your market! This requires a little more investment in acquiring that knowledge but will always result in more insight into said client. When this insight is applied by using great content, it often results in a longer term relationship with the client/prospect and higher level of trust because they see your organization as a source of valuable information that they return to over and over. And if your content is deemed valuable, that will increase the probability of being included in the consideration set when a purchase decision is to be made because your content is top of mind.
And this doesn’t even consider the benefits strong content offers on a tactical level. When you have a problem, what’s the first thing you do? You probably Google it and the results that are featured are generally those that many others have found to be the most helpful/valuable. To be the most helpful/valuable (i.e., client-centric) you need content that is judged as such, which is where the research comes in since your content should be guided by it – an approach that, as I previously mentioned, is inherent to the best content marketing programs.
By creating and distributing content created based on deep insight into your market, your level of client-centricity should soar and, from a brand and business growth perspective, your cup should runneth over. Here! here!