Phony Assets vs. the Trusted Advisor


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As a marketer, the first two items on your to-do list are making people aware and then engaging them. The first task is easy to understand. The second, not so much. And that’s a problem, because engaging your customers is the key to establishing a relationship with them. And relationships are everything.

Customer Experience Crossroads has been exploring the idea of customer relationships lately:

…most relationship marketing strategies are hollow at the core, and are really a pretty label for direct marketing tactics. Which is fine, but don’t call it a relationship.

Exactly. One relationship that’s not hollow, if you can achieve it, is that of trusted advisor. This is not a brokered relationship – exchange is not the point. When you are a trusted advisor, you’re giving your prospects and customers, without any immediate recompense, information that helps them do their job.

If you’re advising via media such as white papers, your content should be of value to your audience. That sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many companies just throw any old stuff that’s lying around onto their site and call it a “resource center.” What your customers want is content conceived from their perspective, that will make them smarter and more capable.

It won’t work if your intention isn’t the welfare of your prospects. After all, you can probably smell a phony a mile away; do you think your prospects can’t? If you promise 5 Ways to Improve your Bottom Line and you give them five product descriptions, you’re a phony. Pure and simple.

If you put out resources that you feel are truly helpful, you’re on your way to building a relationship that will benefit both of you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Thompson Morrison
Thompson Morrison has spent the last couple of decades figuring out how companies can listen better. Before co-founding FUSE, Mr. Morrison was Managing Director of AccessMedia International (AP), a consulting firm that provides strategic market analysis for the IT industry. His clients included Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, and Vignette.


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