Content Marketers Need a Customer Field Trip


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As content marketers, we’re often so busy cranking out content and executing programs that we fail to step back and take a look at the big picture from the outside in. Marketers set up their company’s presence on a variety of platforms, load content onto websites, pull the trigger on email campaigns, host webinars, etc.

But over time, things change. Sometimes we even forget all the places we may have established a profile or published content. What happens is that consistency and relevance can erode given the speed of change. Some content is up to date and some is not. What our companies do, focus on, changes and, maybe that’s represented in one place, but not in others. Do you know?

It’s critical to take a “customer field trip” to experience what your prospects and customers experience as they interact with your brand online and to correct any inconsistencies to improve their experience with your company and your content.

When’s the last time you:

  • Typed your company’s name into a search engine? (all of them – Is what comes back what you thought? What you want?)
  • Searched on the keywords and phrases you think buyers use to see what comes up?
  • Viewed your social media profiles from the outside – as your buyers would? (do they all tell a consistent story? Is it engaging, given the platform?)
  • Read your website? (Every page, every resource – Is it engaging?)
  • Moved from one online presence to another? (read your blog, then move to your website, to LinkedIn company page, to a micro-site, etc. What impression does that make?)
  • Signed up for your company’s webinar and experienced it like an attendee? (How were the reminder emails? The presentation? The Q&A? The follow-up? Were there times you got bored?)
  • Opted in for your nurturing program to see what the experience is like?
  • Read your company’s Twitter profile page just as someone else would when they’re deciding to follow you – or not? Would you follow your company?
  • Watched your videos all the way through? (where did your interest lag? why?)

The trick to taking a solid customer field trip is to adopt their mindset as much as you can. Your perspective is not valid on a customer field trip – you need to think like them. So when you’re taking this trip, here are a few questions you should ask based on which type of customer/buyer/persona you’ve assumed for the trip. Make sure you define X before you start the trip. Write down the answers without pondering. Go with your gut.

  • Based on my need to solve X – this content is…
  • Because I’m interested in X – I’d return (or not) to this site/profile, etc. again…
  • This company interests me because…
  • What I wish they had here is…

What do you think? Have you taken a “customer field trip” lately? If so, what did you learn that surprised you?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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