I’m starting a series of basic marketing topics I think all new digital marketers need to understand. These aren’t going to be filled with fluff and theory. They’re practical ideas to incorporate into your marketing career.
One of the most important that I’ve come across is value-driven marketing. This doesn’t mean “values” as in the company’s values. This is “value” in terms of something useful to your customer.
Why is value driven marketing important?
The core thing I want you to take away from this article is to give more and not expect anything in return.
In your marketing, you want to be giving away tons and tons of value, insight, knowledge, content to your audience. But should you expect each one of them to Tweet about it or to sign up for your newsletter? No!
By giving away valuable information and help, without the expectation of reciprocation, your audience will feel a genuine connection to your business.
“By adding more value to the core product (the product quality is improved, supporting services are included into the offering, etc.) companies try to improve customer satisfaction so that the bonds are strengthened and customer loyalty thereby achieved.”
Here’s an example of what I’m getting at:
Let’s say you are shopping at the mall. All of a sudden, a person with a clipboard comes up to you and says “Do you want to be entered to win $1000?” You would love $1000! Who wouldn’t? But you know they’re coming up to you with other intentions. The $1000 entry is not a gift, it’s given with the expectation that you will fill out a survey for them or answer questions. You feel awkward about the situation and say “No thanks” and walk away.
You don’t want to make your audience feel this way about your marketing.
If you share with the expectation of getting something back right away, you’re going to end up resenting your audience or feeling that they owe you something.
Instead you want to give 10x more than you expect to receive.
If you’re providing the right value to your audience, eventually it will come back to you. Because this makes you stand out from the competition, and your audience will remember you for it.
What exactly is “valuable”?
Value can come in the form of content or customer service. Content marketing is huge these days because you’re bringing in an audience through your sharing of knowledge. I won’t go into the specifics of great content marketing in this article, but I want to highlight some examples of valuable pieces of content.
- AirBnB’s Local Lists
- Signal V. Noise blog from Basecamp
- Think With Google
- The Science of Social Media Podcast by Buffer
Now that content’s out of the way, I’ll dive into valuable customer service. This is not general customer service, these are interactions that go above and beyond, ones that people write about.
Buffer is a prime example of awesome customer service. People Tweet at them just to thank them for the great service. How often does that happen for a company like United Airlines or Comcast?
What’s the point?
The point of providing value in your marketing is that you’re establishing your brand as one that provides for its customers without the expectation of something in return.
You give away awesome eBooks, webinars, blog posts filled with amazing information that people might even pay for. You’re cementing the idea in your customer’s mind that you are a company that cares about its audience and isn’t focused on its own goals and profits. People like that, trust me.
Why do people love Buffer over similar tools like Hootsuite? Because Buffer has established itself as a value-driven company. They provide valuable information through their long, well thought out articles and their great customer support.
It’s not enough these days to just have a blog, write a few articles, and have an eBook or two. This information has to be VALUABLE! Otherwise it’s just noise.