This post was written by KEO Marketing founder Sheila Kloefkorn. Sheila is a marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has helped hundreds of enterprises increase revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars. She leads a talented team of marketers in creating and executing award winning marketing campaigns across the US and more than 100 countries around the world. KEO Marketing is an Arizona Technology Council Platinum Sponsor.
The sentiment behind the Who song “Can You See the Real Me” from the Album Quadrophenia pretty much sums up what your B2B technology customers are asking you. In the B2B technology world, creating a mix of content assets that describe a tech company’s products and services in the hopes that a C-level executive will find, read and be inspired by them is no longer enough.
Today, you need to think and plan for content marketing strategically and seek out co-creation opportunities that focus on the customer’s needs. In other words, customers are looking to see their specific challenges reflected in your ability to solve their problem rather than just a product or service.
It’s all well and good to focus on the C-suite decision maker, but you need to drill deeper than that to also impact the influencers within the company such as actual end-users. That is a little easier said than done as you must identify the internal and even some external influencers in order to “feel their pain” as it were.
You have to begin thinking strategically about content as a way to not only reach decision makers, but also influencers. The key is to reflect their problems rather than providing blanket product appeals to the same C-suite executives as everyone else. The question becomes: how do you do this?
As an example, it’s not enough to create whitepapers that tout a solution to a problem. When you think strategically and utilize co-creation techniques, that whitepaper is built around actual case studies that show real-world challenges faced by your customers and how they were solved. Whenever possible, the case study should be embedded in the whitepaper and use their words as much as possible (albeit funneled through your own marketing language where necessary).
That requires you to know more than just about their sectors, but to also know their business and the challenges faced by the actual end users of your product or services within the company. Your current client base is a major resource for co-creation of content that enables you to see potential customers clearly as stakeholders and influencers/end users within the company.
The goal in all of this is to create content strategies that are centered on providing a mirror to customers so that they know that you see them on both a fundamental and complex level. This is the way that B2B technology companies can differentiate themselves by creating more relevant and meaningful experiences that are advocacy driven.
That requires content strategy to be based on data driven marketing communications so that it supports other marketing functions that also drive business success. Every customer experience is an almost endless well of data that can reveal unique insights into the business sector. This is a well that never runs dry regardless of the distance from the original sale of the solution or service, and no matter how old the ongoing business relationship may be.
For every B2B technology company, their past, current, and most importantly future customers are asking “Can You See the Real Me? The key to spreading the word in a strategic as well as self-perpetuating way is through strategic content creation planning that utilizes co-creation opportunities.