29 Ways to Explain Content to the CXO
It’s what makes marketing automation and sales lead generation work
Every CEO I’ve known over the last 20 years has felt their top jobs were:
A) Set the vision;
B) Hire the people to achieve that vision;
C) Allocate the capital to empower those people.
Content is Gas
Content is to marketing automation and sales lead generation what fuel is to a car; you aren’t going anywhere without fuel and marketing automation is just noise without content.
Content marketing; drives traffic and helps the prospect buy.
Good content entices people into action. Once engaged good content helps people move quickly through their buying process.
- I’m not sure “proof” or research, however “valid” will resonate with the CXO because of too many unknowns. If a peer in a similar industry shares their experience it will likely be effective.
- Ask them if they would rather read a well done piece of content about something they wanted to purchase for ten minutes or talk to a salesperson for 30 to 60 minutes?
- Show them; let your communications with them be exemplary of the principles you are suggesting they support with budget and time.
- Show them what the competition is doing – all the competition. Do a grid to show where you compete on where you don’t when it comes to content.
- Show search results for your keywords and show what kinds of content is driving that search – doing so in your industry is best.
- Ask the sales organization to project the financial impact and length of sales cycle impact from better content.
- Show them how keywords and Google works – run them through a search for what your company sells. The results may astonish them. Ask them what about the results would engage a prospect and help keep your company top-of-mind.
- Have them watch the Google ZMOT video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmM9qfzfzhw) and ask them to skim the ZMOT book (http://books.google.com/books/about/ZMOT.html?id=JU4J58bum24C).
- Show them the ideal customer’s buying process and the documents needed to reduce the friction of going through that buying process. Ask if not comprehensive content assets to inform, educate, persuade, and retain customers… then what? Surely not sales people.
- Show them how efficient and effective it is – long lived, etc. Estimate copies distributed by marketing and sales. Start your estimates with the search volume for the critical keywords. Fold in what you need to do to gain parity with the competition and to surpass the competition.
- Tell them that today, it is estimated, 80% of the decision is made before the first contact with sales. This is especially true for anyone born after 1986.
- Ask them to imagine what they would say if they could get the entire market into a football stadium for one full day to hear about your company; what would the CXO want to have said? Content is the chance to do that.
- Compared to travel costs or seminar costs. Be sure to compare the documented ROI on those efforts.
- Read Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Made to Stick” and tell them the story of Elizabeth Newton’s tapping experiment. In short, we know our story but our targets don’t. Content helps them see our story the way we do.
- Show them how content can be one of the best ways to convey the companies differentiation and to justify the pricing for that differentiation.
- Consistent message from the marketing process to the sales process; in cooperation with sales make the case that a uniform message and uniform content from marketing through sales has a much better chance of engaging the target market than no content.
- Value proposition; make the case that a well polished value proposition in content is likely to be much more effective than the chance communication from the sales team or the occasional email from marketing. Imagine a piece of content that covers the value proposition from each of your competitors that highlights your clear differentiation and value proposition.
- Helps leverage social marketing; good content gets shared.
- Builds brands; good content expands on and gives texture to your brand.
- Enables partners; gives partners the material to effectively communicate and gain engagement on your behalf.
- Building a business case; the right content will help your advocates build the case within their organization to purchase from you.
- Talk them through the observation that all other marketing vehicles fall apart without good content – no offer and do basis to get an exchange of information means its difficult to track the value of the marketing and difficult to know if the marketing is creating leads that turn into sales.
- Easy to share; show them how good content can easily be passed around within a company to help facilitate buy-in.
- It helps assure your organization is saying the right thing consistently.
- Show them how sufficient useful content builds both familiarity and trust.
- Speeds up buying cycles aka sales cycles by reducing friction in the marketing and sales process.
- Helps start sales cycles with targets that were otherwise not looking to change from the status quo.
- Helps current customers defend their desire to stay with your solution.
- Buyers no longer wish to engage with your sales team to get the information they need; they want the right content long before they wish to engage with sales.