The mobility industry is facing new challenges and uncertainty post pandemic. What will this reshaped future look like? In a recent article, Deloitte explores four possible futures of mobility in the next three to five years – each with implications for players across the mobility landscape. While the conclusions may be unsettling, the overriding message is clear: Industry leaders must take action and accelerate innovation. In the latest update to its 2020 technology trends, Accenture reinforces this urgency, stating: “At this time, the full extent of COVID-19’s impact on human life, the global economy, and enterprises is not yet known. But already, it has become an extraordinary catalyst for change. The need for innovation is greater than ever, driven by new challenges that are more disruptive than most have ever faced.” The opportunity for upstart and established mobility companies to help shape the future of mobility has never been greater, but how do we connect customers’ problems with supplier solutions?
The answer is digital engagement. According to a McKinsey survey of 3,600 B2B decision makers in 11 countries, digital is now an essential means of doing business, with 79% of companies saying they are very or somewhat likely to sustain these shifts for 12-plus months post pandemic. Mobility customers are taking a digital journey to learn and buy. This creates opportunity for suppliers to attract, engage and delight them by providing educational content that solves their problems. This content is presented through various integrated digital channels — creating new opportunities to be managed in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
If you want your prospects or customers to find you in this digital-first world, keep reading! Below is a simple methodology that applies best practices and provides additional resources and examples to help you develop exceptional educational content.
1. Be Your Customer
First, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What has changed for your buyers and customers in the last three months? Your mission — should you chose to accept it — is to conduct team sessions discussing solely your customers’ challenges and opportunities. During this unprecedented time of change, business development’s role as the Voice of the Customer can provide valuable insights to fuel innovation and drive growth. Companies that tap into this intelligence will be better positioned to help their customers solve problems and uncover new opportunities. In this discussion, you may discover new customers, new markets and new innovations. Fantastic! In those cases, you will need to create Ideal Customer Profiles and Buyer Personas (but that’s a topic for another blog). Once you have ideas, ask your team this question, “How would our customers frame a search online to solve their problem?” Keep in mind they will not necessarily be searching for your product features; if you want customers to find you online, your content must focus on their problems. Customers want to be educated to make smart, informed decisions. Frame your educational content strategy by addressing your customer’s needs.
2. Solve For Your Customer
Now that you have documented a list of challenges and opportunities, focus your messaging on solving for your prospects rather than launching into what sets you apart. For example, Salesforce is helping businesses and communities safely reopen with new technology solutions and resources at Work.com. The website headline is “Reopening will be a journey. Here is your guide”. Reopening is a daunting task for millions of business owners, so Salesforce is establishing credibility and interest by providing guidance.
I have already seen incredible innovations that are solving new problems facing mobility – returning to safe public transportation, contactless car buying, and autonomous sanitation robots, to name just a few. You may already have new innovations, but how do you attract customers? Provide educational content that potential customers will find online. Shifting your content focus from “sales” to “customer problem solving” can open new doors of opportunity.
3. Tell Your Customer A Story
Great start! We have the customer problem and your solution. Now we need to craft the messaging so that it resonates with the customer and motivates them to take action. This important point is captured nicely in the book Weekend Language, authored by the founders of Elevator Speech. They are presentation coaches for CEOs, tech startup founders, executives and professional athletes. Think about it: On weekends, we are all great communicators because our default is storytelling – our speech is conversational, simple, clear and interesting. But then Monday morning hits and we start speaking with an endless stream of jargon and acronyms such as, “We’re a leading solution provider that offers configuration management and visibility into compliance for corporations.” Does that sound familiar? Hey, I get it. We are so passionate about our innovations, products and services that it is really hard not to emphasize what makes our solution the best. But first we need to ask ourselves, “So what? Who cares?” Instead of using “high-level” terms and technical jargon, would you remember this better? “Imagine you’re the head of technology at Zappos.com, the online shoe retailer that just exposed the personal information of 24 million users to hackers. Yikes! Well our software prevents just that kind of intrusion.” Using your natural storytelling skills will create educational content that will be more engaging, helpful and memorable.
Okay, we are wearing our storytelling hat now, but what information should be included in our content? In April, Hubspot hosted a webinar on Developing an Educational Content Strategy. They highlighted the below best practices when educating adult learners and presented the ADDIE (Analysis Design Development Implementation Evaluation) methodology for developing content.
I aspire to follow these practices in this blog.
Tell the learner where they’re headed:
Provide frameworks & methodologies:
You can still listen to the Hubspot webinar On Demand and I highly recommend it for marketing and sales professionals. If you invest in reading Weekend Language (two hours) and watching the Hubspot webinar (one hour), you will be well down the road to creating educational content that will solve for your customers.
4. Start Educating Your Customer Today
It can seem overwhelming to create educational content for all stages of a buyer’s journey — so focus on the most important stage for your business. If you need to attract new clients, then create awareness with blogs, websites and social. Once prospects are engaged, help them solve their problems through webinars, videos and customer success stories. Finally, to retain customers, provide knowledge through tactical guides, FAQ pages and videos.
The mobility industry has been innovating at a breakneck pace – a fact easily overlooked due to attention around the pandemic. More than ever, they need suppliers that will accelerate their time to market. Spark their interest by showing you understand their challenges, and ignite further engagement by articulating through storytelling how you can help make them successful. There is a reason that every author has an editor — don’t hesitate to reach out for expertise to polish your story and promote your brand.
Featured image provided by Trent Erwin, Unsplash