According to the latest research by Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B organizations state they are using content marketing. Additionally, 39% of organizations expect their content marketing budgets to increase over the next year. So while content creation continues to be on the rise for 2017, one must wonder if it is helping or hurting the overall customer experience?
When looking deeper at the CMI survey, respondents listed the following as their top goals for content marketing:
Lead Generation – 80%
Brand Awareness – 79%
Engagement – 71%
Lead Nurturing – 66% (Lead nurturing should be part of any lead generation program but will save that for another post)
Sales – 62%
Customer Retention/Loyalty – 56%
Building an audience – 52%
You can make the case that each of these priorities include a part of the customer experience; from engagement with a brand, to lead generation and sales being about the buyer experience. While undoubtedly all of the content created for each of these areas of focus is positive and is designed to endear the target buyer(s) to the vendor, the question that must be asked is how this content aligns with service delivery and support?
Let me explain further.
I was recently in a meeting with a client and they were speaking about their marketing automation vendor. In the discussion, they talked about how they liked the product and what they were able to do with it and then in the same breath were talking about seeking out a new vendor when their contract expired. When I inquired as to why, they told me that although they liked the product, the support they received was poor. Additionally, they felt they got the run around after the sale was made and the experience during the implementation of the software was less than desirable and took longer than anticipated.
Here is a vendor who is one of the leading providers of marketing automation software, has great educational content and does a very good job generating leads, but once the experience became tangible for the customer and moved from consuming content to the actual experience, there was quite a gap and as a result, despite having a superior product, the customer wants to move on.
Defining and creating a great customer experience is more than just delivering on content that is relevant and engaging. In fact, if your content accomplishes those things, then the delivery of your product and service and the support of your customers better be equal to that or you run the risk of being all hype and no substance.
While content creation will continue to be on the rise, organizations need to ensure that their service and support organizations are equipped and enabled to meet those lofty expectations because no amount of great content or superior product will make up for poor support and bad service.