The continuing series on My Journey to the Golden Rule.
In 2008, I convinced management to place me in Marketing. I honestly believed I could better help the team and our prospects by taking my knowledge of the field to improve our marketing, especially our products. When attempting to modify our brochures and our events, I often considered “How would I want to be treated in this situation?” just as often as “Here’s what our prospects were saying to me about this brochure (or event).”
There were three main areas I improved, intuitively using the Golden Rule to create valuable content to attract potential buyers to our brand while treating them with respect; in other words, the way I would want to be treated in their situation.
- Privacy Management and Automation: I built systems and workflows, which better ensured we were respecting the privacy and contact preferences of our content subscribers. Whenever I sent out promotional emails of any type, I was careful to treat people the way I wanted to be treated in the same situation. For example, I would not send follow-ups to people who already responded or avoid sending too many follow-ups. My need to have responses is not the same as a target’s need to be left alone. This is a larger issue which I will explore in an upcoming post on permission marketing.
- Product Brochures: our products were many, and the brochures not always clear. After several iterations, I was able to strike a balance between detail and sales, providing a readable document for busy people to scan quickly while providing the detail required later in the sales process. Brochures should treat people the way I would want to be treated in the same situation: be honest, show me what I get, and allow me to scan it quickly for key benefits.
- Live Events: like many firms, some of our events were focused on what we wanted: a sales pitch to senior executives. Thus, over half of a roadshow event was dedicated to the pitch. As I stumbled on to content marketing, I changed the events to be 99% interesting content, and 1% pitch. Of course, we had sales people networking in the room. I wanted people to feel comfortable so they could see our analytical approach in a live setting with real analysts, rather than taking a salesperson’s word for it.
- Content marketing follows the Golden Rule because it offers the prospect or customer deeper insight into your solutions without interrupting their day. If you create useful content, you help people. You want to be helped, right? If you offer the content your targets are keen to consume–if you help them understand solutions, industries, functions, or their careers–then you will receive valuable contact details.