Educating your prospects and buyers is essential in building familiarity with new products. While marketing communications can help build familiarity with your brand and your offerings, educational marketing provides more of a sharing, learning and bonding experience. Companies need to be proactive in providing the educational content that helps buyers make decisions, especially when products and services are new to them.
The way to do this is to first look at the product information that you currently provide for customers, and ask yourself these questions:
- Does the information clearly describe the features and benefits of the product in an easy-to-grasp way? Too often product collateral actually buries the features in wordy text that proclaims benefits and only vaguely references the features. A well illustrated product backgrounder can be more useful than a brochure.
- Does the information clearly show how the product can be used to achieve ROI? Here is where some real data and case histories can be very compelling. These can easily be included in a product backgrounder or white paper. You need proof to back up your marketing messages.
- Can customers actually experience the product with a free demo or trial download? If so, is there a Quick Start guide or video tutorial available to ensure that customers can easily have a rewarding experience with the product? A technical support team or person can be invaluable here, because a customer’s ability to test the product easily and quickly can make the difference between “I’ll think about it” and “I’ll buy it.”
Getting attention and interest is one half of the marketing puzzle, but getting to the desire and action steps of the AIDA model is not as simple. Some newer versions of the communication model suggest a revision of AIDA to AIDCAS, which includes the steps of building confidence and ensuring satisfaction.
The confidence factor is what educational marketing provides. We hear a lot about content marketing today, and in less complex sales, the use of problem-solving content could support the entire sales process, if it is very consistent and useful.
But as we know, getting buy-in is more challenging for complex sales. Learning provides the interactive environment to experience your product more directly. Learning, or educational marketing, supports all the ways that customers make decisions, intellectually, emotionally and physically, thus giving customers the necessary confidence to buy.