The “Field Of Dreams” Overt Sales Pitch
Recently we began an engagement with a new client. We spent some time teaching them about content marketing and how important it is to educate customers instead of pitching. “Yeah, yeah,” the director of marketing agreed. “But our customers are different.” — as though their customers would want an overt sales pitch!
They’re actually convinced that “if we build it, they will come.” Well, marketing financial technology isn’t like building a Field Of Dreams. Marketing has to get serious about doing more educating and less selling. Marketers are not salespeople (and the sales people shout, “Amen!”)
Old Habits Die Hard
Most FinTech vendors are very sales-oriented. They see Marketing as the “Make It Pretty Department” for their sales copy (oh yeah, and ‘make the logo bigger’). Not long ago, I shared the story of downloading what I thought to be a white paper that was really a product brochure in disguise. Man, what a let-down.
No wonder 42% of heads of IT are hard-pressed to find trustworthy vendor information. Even when companies say they want to enter this brave new world of content marketing, they just can’t resist the urge to make themselves the hero of the story. But they just end up adding to the cacophony of other companies employing the same tactic of sales bluster (let’s call it the “bluster cluster”). On many occasions, I’ve heard Candyce cite Nancy Duarte, saying, “Think of your company as Yoda showing Luke Skywalker how to use the light saber. Your company is Yoda (the mentor), the client is Luke, and your product is the light saber. Luke is the one who fights the battle and wins the war.” Your content should teach Luke why he needs the light saber and how to wield it.
So, what’s a marketer to do? How to effectively rise above the noise and gain valuable prospect attention?
New Habits, New Strategies, New Tools
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. FinTech marketers must get good at educating prospects, building advocacy and establishing buyer trust. This can be accomplished by adapting to the buying process of the self-empowered customer. Buyers want to be educated, not merely sold to.
92% of buyers don’t consider themselves expert at solving their problems. So, this is your opportunity to enable their buying process and get ahead of the competition. Provide the information customers need to answer their questions and help them solve their problems. 87% of B2B tech buyers credit marketing content as having had a significant impact on their purchases, so taking the educational approach to marketing just makes good sense. As a bonus, helpful content can also serve as a tool to help convert readers into advocates who will share your content within their organizations, providing access where Sales may find it difficult to penetrate.
Speaking of tools, I’d like to share an e-book that will help you align content with your customer’s buying process. It provides information on the four stages of the financial technology buying cycle and how content marketing can facilitate each stage.
It’s time to ditch the bait and switch marketing. Once we’ve enabled the customer’s buying process and earned their trust, we can then show them how our solutions can make their dreams a reality.
In the words of Yoda, “Do this you can. So sure of this I am.” Go forth and be the hero. If you know of someone who needs to hear this message, please share it with them.