You have plenty of data.
The formal data that is in your systems and processes, and the informal data that is in the heads of your colleagues and your customers.
When that data is collected and organised, it becomes information.
When that information is prepared for communication, it becomes content.
When that content is communicated it becomes your message.
The key to success is often how well you can collect, organise, prepare and communicate: how well you can craft your message.
That craft demands understanding of your value propositions, expertise in the appropriate media and relevant channels, and a constant awareness of the needs of your audiences.
Marketing content directly or indirectly supports your sales organisation through the customer decision journey.
- Creating awareness for the benefits of your solution, whether potential customers are searching for it, or unaware of the possibilities. Your message needs to get the attention and arouse the interest of the people who could deploy or use your solution.
Often this will be shorter content - possibly across a variety of media - suitable for social media, or the top of a product or landing page.
- Building confidence in working with you and your solution, and providing material not just for the immediate beneficiaries, but also for whoever might be involved in making - or influencing - a purchasing decision. Your message needs to turn interest into 'desire', to supply the people involved in making the decision with the arguments they need to feel comfortable with you (as a supplier or partner) and your solution.
Often this will include case studies or material from key opinion leaders or peers, or white papers.
Along with brochures and other product collateral, it can also include post-sales materials to let potential users preview the user experience and convince themselves!
Post-sales content ensures people who decided for your solution get the most out of their investment.
- User documentation, training and communications get users up to speed when they first start using your solution - not least, to lay any remaining doubts to rest - and then support them in their day-to-day use of your solution and help them explore the full potential.
Internal content supports your teams and colleagues to make the most of available resources, and optimise the return on their effort.
- Sales support material ensures your sales team can make the most of the marketing materials at their disposal, and can best position your solutions to turn customer awareness and interest into action.
This can be in the form of sales trainings and/or guides, and customer-facing presentation material or tools.
- Process capture and reflection helps teams anywhere in your organisation take a more objective look at how they work and interact with others to achieve their results, and explore the possibilities for improving their quality (effectiveness and efficiency).
In this case, the medium is often the message: involving people - from the bottom up - in reviewing their processes can iteslf be the catalyst for change.