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How Customer Education is Vital to Your Marketing Strategy

How Customer Education is Vital to Your Marketing Strategy Jeannie Walters

Marketers have enjoyed a long love affair with lingo and inside speak.

It's easy to throw around terms like PPC in meetings and assume, typically correctly, most in the meeting will understand.

But customers are now seeking guidance on everything from data privacy to the Internet of Things (IoT) and it may be up to marketers to help them understand.

It's easy to fall into the trap of speaking as we speak to one another, instead of really articulating what the customer or prospect needs to understand in order to not only consider a brand's offer, but to eventually gain long-term loyalty.

What does this mean for marketers?

Marketing starts way before it used to, and prospects often discover brands in ways we can't track, such as word-of-mouth referrals or the scary-sounding "dark web." People are seeking information on how to solve issues, understand what's happening next or just what their friend is posting about on social media.

Education about products should be in the greater scheme of a customer's life. This means marketers must understand not only who their customers are but how they travel through the customer journey. Mapping the customer journey is a start, but marketers have to work across functions and break down silos within an organization to make this truly effective.

Marketing is a big term. In some organizations, the wall between marketing and sales is still insurmountable. These walls have to come down to create a seamless experience for the customer.

Lack of relevant knowledge can derail the journey. Customers seek different types of education at different points in their journey. Offering the right help or video tip at the right moment could make a big difference.

Some brands seem to think using front-loading offers and then letting customers fend for themselves is the way to go.

Software companies, technology gadgets and even home goods seem to think the customer doesn't need them after purchase. But take a page from gaming companies and they offer tips and upgrades and help along the way. They understand their customers will grow with them if they offer the right education and support.

When was the last time you took a look at your customer's true journey and found places to support them along the way? How can tools like Vine or Pinterest or YouTube help educate your customers? Home Depot does an exceptional job offering Do-It-Yourself (DIY) videos of 2-10 minutes on YouTube. Sephora offers explicit instructions on Pinterest.

Education is now part of the job whether marketers are ready or not. Help your customers get more out of their life with your brand.

Image credits: melenita2012, hang_in_there via Creative Commons license

Jeannie is the Chief Customer Experience Investigator™ and the CEO/Founder of 360Connext, a Customer Experience consulting firm based in the Chicago area. Jeannie's solid grasp of the entire spectrum of challenges and services involved in the...

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