We all know good marketing makes the brand look good and cool, but real success lies in making your customers look good in front of their customers. And content has a huge role to play in engaging with customers effectively. Here are some of the trends that are shaping best practices in marketing organizations.

By 2016-2017 60% of companies will have an executive in their organization directly responsible for  content marketing strategy. (e.g., Chief Content Officer, or equivalent) (Curata)

What is driving this change? Lets look at some Buyer Insights

Business Content Aggregation is on the rise because buyers like to have relevant information that makes them look good in business discussions , allowing them ease of access and opportunity to be more frequently updated.. Buyers usually prefer to keep themselves unto date on all the latest trends in their industry. Buyers also tend to prefer non salesy content that relies on providing customer information around trends, best practices, technological advancements, Analyst generated content etc. Content type used in the past 12 months to research B2B purchasing decisions: White Papers (83%); Case Studies (67%); Webinars (75%); eBooks (68%); Videos (63%); Blog Posts (56%); Infographics (52%). (DemandGen Report)

Buyer Content Aggregation and curation allows customers to be recognized as credible and valuable sources of information. Peer group acknowledgements can accord a great customer high! If I know my peer shares intelligent content, I am more likely to follow my peer than go to the source of his content..Why? Because its believable and easier too…Business buyers share the following content types with colleagues: (results for a response of “frequently”) Blog Posts (40%); Infographics (35%); eBooks (35%); White Papers (35%); Case Studies (33%); Webinars (33%); Videos (25%).(DemandGen Report)

Non linear thought leadership content allows customers more flexibility to directly interact  and ease of access to CXOs. That’s an intense feel good factor.  Blogs or personalised CXO content allowing not only an insight into the seller organization culture and business acumen, it also creates an unspoken bond that allows a more free flow of content exchange in an informal environment. 52% of corporate bloggers do not use a formal editor.(Orbit Media) & 55% of business bloggers are getting 5% or more of their corporate web site’s traffic from their blog. (Curata)

Role of Internal Communications in making Clients feel good.Marketers tend to focus on external content, but internal content generation also allows clients a huge high..For instance at CSS Corp, every senior client leader is interviewed informally about various aspects of their professional and personal life  and the assets created(with client permission of course) are circulated amongst all employees of the vendor organization. Not only does that create an immense “feel good” factor, it also allows the customer to represent that collateral in his subset within the client organization. That is also a great recognition factor.

What are the ways in which we can have a more meaningful engagement with our customers?

Technology is an enabler but for the organization to create a powerful customer engagement calls for much more. A far deeper focus on meaningful content, allowing technologists, business leaders, SMEs and function leaders to come together and make the customers look good in front of their peers and customers. For in that,we would have started a true relationship and set ourselves on a journey of great Customer Experience!

Content Marketing is great but don’t forget about the bigger C in the picture…Making your Customers feel great!

Published with permission from Author.

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Purnimaa Menon

Purnima has over 19 years of Marketing and Corporate Communications experience in the telecom and IT sector with a broad range of agency experience including PR and advertising. She has worked on leading brands like Avaya, Tata Telecom, Daewoo Matiz, Nokia amongst others She prefers to be called a Marketing Communications specialist with rich experience in B2B services and IT solutions marketing. Prior to joining CSS Corp, she was the global head of marketing for Infosys BPO. She is currently working as EVP & CMO at Microland Limited. Purnima is the 2014 Stevie Bronze Award winner for Women Leadership and is also one of the writers of the CMO handbook “Inside the Minds” where she has authored a chapter on “Staying Relevant”.
Purnima is an alumni of Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi University) and a post graduate from Delhi School of Economics. She is an amateur Kathakali performer and lives in Bangalore. She dreams of turning a full time Kathakali artiste someday and looks forward to setting up her dance school soon.

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