By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO
Accept the reality that your competitors will have a shot at making a case to your prospective customer. Embracing that idea can give you a powerful content opportunity: helping your prospect shop.
Be an honest broker focused on solving your customer’s problems. If you deliver authentic, helpful information, customers won’t ignore your content in the process of making a decision. Don’t try to position promotional content as the “answer” to their problems. Customers tune that out.
Take the ubiquitous comparison checklist, for instance. Typically, these show rows of items that customers want, and you and your competitors are listed across the top of the columns. Inevitably, your company has check marks in all the columns, while your competitors suffer in comparison.
One type of list has changed the entire purchasing process: product reviews at the online point of decision. Companies such as Amazon, Yelp and Google view reviews as central to their brands. While some brands try to influence such reviews, these large companies constantly invest in new technology and approaches to penalize those who try to fake their ways to success.
One form of helpful content is customer-care “knowledge platforms.” Brands are using these wiki-like platforms to educate prospects during the sales process. They incorporate user manuals, customer forums and a growing collection of insightful information contributed by customers as well as company representatives.
Companies ranging from Salesforce.com to Zendesk are pioneering new ways of using informative, instructional and comparative content—much of it contributed by customers—to assist in the buying process as well as after the sale.
Companies that take this approach are sending a message that they consider it part of their mission to educate customers on their options—and the most educated customer will want to choose them.
This week’s Idea Email is an excerpt from Hammock’s most recent Idea Ebook: Seven Ideas That Will Help Your Healthcare Customers Make Better Buying Decisions. For insights on how superior marketing content plays a powerful role in influencing healthcare decision-makers, click here to download the second Ebook of our series, A Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Enduring Customer Relationships series.
Image Credit | iStock
About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email | This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.