Are you relying too much on giving content without solutions? Marketing 101

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I’m in the business of helping companies use tech to drive better customer interactions. I help companies earn more customers. The most common way people employ me is to help them build content marketing projects, expand their existing ones, or in general, turn their marketing, sales, and communications efforts into something more effective.

Well guess what?

Customer’s Don’t Want Content – They Want a Better Path

The reason I’m so bullish on AI, blockchain, chatbots, IoT, and video media for the future of business is that in all cases, these technologies can be applied to improve the success of a customer’s journey from prospect to so-happy-they-refer-people levels.

horses-2360048_1920Here’s a simple one. Parking lots. The Logan Airport central parking lot in Boston is a zoo. It’s really hard to find a space, even when you pay extra for “Logan Express.” And yet, my son and I went to a sensor-filled parking lot in Braintree that told me at every level how many spaces I might find. This was updated in real time. How? Sensors. Easy. A few dollars per sensor and maybe $100,000 total for the project, including the software. (That sounds like a lot, but if it improves commerce and satisfaction, isn’t it worth it?)

That project isn’t content. It’s really grindy-basic technology. And yet, a customer would be MUCH happier with something like that installed.

Content is Useful Only When It’s Useful

I’m typing this at a Dunkin Donuts at the airport. I wondered to myself which content a customer would actually want in association with coffee, donuts, and whatever else they sell. My thoughts were “A guide to sneaking in Dunkins while you’re on a diet.” I figured that would be fun. Video plus a downloadable PDF would be fun. Right?

paper-3213924_1920But sometimes, a customer doesn’t need content. They need a solution. They need something to work better/faster/clearer. They OFTEN need more communication. They OFTEN need more support. They OFTEN need a better sense of how to navigate something unnatural to them.

Content is JUST ONE of the Marketing Tools a Company Needs

I do think there’s a benefit to content. But I think there’s a massive opportunity to make the customer experience so much better with content *AND* some of these emerging technologies. A really well executed chatbot could change customer interactions immensely. Voice interface is here whether or not you’re using it, and it opens up a lot of new potential use cases for you. Blockchain mixed with the Internet of Things and all those delicious sensors means that you can build some amazing new customer interactions that are fast, with less friction, and that serve everyone involved in better ways.

Sure, make a great piece of content that turns someone on and educates them and makes them feel smarter. But the time is now to look beyond content marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and *just* marketing as a way to drive more sales and retain more customers.

What’s next is here now, and it’s your job to make it work. Dig in and start learning, start drawing your customer experience paths, and you know, if you get stuck, drop me a line. I can help.

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