While recently writing my talk for the Business Outlook Conference which is entitled ‘Future Proof Your Marketing’ I realised that the growth of the internet has led to a simple but profound arms race between businesses. However, it’s a good race that isn’t leading towards world destruction but hopefully better products and services for customers. Instead of the race being driven by bigger and better explosives it’s driven by better knowledge. The winners are the side that possess the best knowledge and crucially who shares that information. To continue the analogy what’s the point in having the biggest bombs if no-one knows about them.

For customers the growth of online has meant they can research extensively and understand not only about the products or services but the about the companies that provide them. So their purchase decisions are better informed and, hopefully, more satisfying.

For businesses it’s all about providing the information (content) that customers want while they are researching their needs and purchases. The companies that win in the modern world are the ones that understand what customers need to find out and provide it (called a content strategy). By providing the knowledge they need in the format they like will ensure the customers are more likely to buy from you.

So in order to win against your competition you need to gear up and deliver the best information you can in engaging formats. Here’s a few tips

  • Know your target customers behaviour. I mean really know it, not just what a few sales guys think. Understand what their emotional needs are and how they research for your products or services. Find out what formats they like to consume this knowledge in e.g text or video? This defines your content strategy
  • Don’t be secretive. Unlock the wealth of knowledge within your business. What Bob in the tooling shop knows about the product is worth its weight in gold to your customers, even if Bob thinks it very mundane. And don’t get trapped by a worry that you will be giving away trade secrets, your customers will already be giving them away in social media so why not help them.
  • However much you are doing now, it’s not enough. Do more and get ahead of your competition. Races are not won by holding back.

NB: thanks to Pavel for the cartoon picture, find out more here