In this post, Ross Lambert explains how to use content marketing to get the competitive advantage before your customers switch off. Which means if your sales reps – or worse, your PR and marketing materials – uses one of these points of ‘differentiation’, don’t be surprised if your customers switch off. And it’s at this point in the selling journey where content – and the world of integrated communications – comes into play. Tailor for resonance Aligned to the ‘Challenger Sales Model’ from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) – an insight into how top-performing reps are selling in the current market by challenging customers to think differently – the best content empowers your business to ‘teach for differentiation, tailor for resonance, and take control of the sale.’ According to CEB, more than half of loyalty to your brand is achieved through how you sell. Marketing and PR content can deliver against each one of these tactics, providing platforms to teach, tailor and take control. Take control of the sale There’s another way good content helps your business sell more. Integral to this tactic is leading to your solution, rather than leading with it. It’s a traditional story-arc, which any good piece of content should follow. It can shape each conversation reps have with customers, can be choreographed to each touch-point individuals use to engage with your brand, and used in all marketing and PR materials to drive further value. How to make smart and intelligent content: Build a consistent narrative that plays to your core strengths, and which is scalable across all channels, reframe the impact of business challenges or opportunities, encouraging your customers to see situations in different lights, lead to the product you’re selling, not with it, to show the full value it can deliver, and make your content informative and tailored, relevant to specific industries to demonstrate you understand the unique challenges being faced.
Your claims about why your product and brand are better than the competitor’s are merely claims. In this post, Ross Lambert explains how to use content marketing to get the competitive advantage before your customers switch off.
If you’re a B2B brand, are you doing enough to differentiate yourself in a market where success and customer loyalty is driven by how you sell, not what you sell?
Without the luxury of A-list celebrities and extravagant events afforded to some consumer brands, B2B businesses need to be smart and savvy in explaining why customers should buy from them over the competition.
Informative, tailored and engaging content is the key.
But heads up. I don’t mean simply marketing that your product is leading edge, customer-centric, or – heaven forbid – disruptive. Your competitors are making these claims too. They’re also just claims… of course you’re going to say your product is the best.
Which means if your sales reps – or worse, your PR and marketing materials – uses one of these points of ‘differentiation’, don’t be surprised if your customers switch off. They’ve heard it all before.
Therefore, being able to confidently and succinctly answer why customers should choose you over competitors in a compelling way is incredibly important.
And it’s at this point in the selling journey where content – and the world of integrated communications – comes into play.
Teach for differentiation
First things first, there needs to be agreement across the entire organisation of the company’s unique benefits, and an understanding of why customers choose your brand over others. The marketing team is primed to deliver this using market research and surveys.
Using the findings from this to build a narrative that plays and leads to your core strengths, provides reps with the same message to use when meeting with customers, and you pull these messages through each piece of your PR, marketing, and advertising materials.
You do, however, still need to get customers to meet with you, and in a world where trust drives the buying process this is where good content…