Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Product Knowledge & Training as a Marketing Strategy

Educating existing and potential clients on the unique benefits of a product or service or simply creating awareness for your brand is poorly understood by many companies and organizations. The process of offering your clients information that for free - they can benefit by - without a clear ROI has long been considered a benefit that only large scale organizations can afford to entertain.

This has changed dramatically as new online technologies make the process more cost effective to implement in a broader geographical marketplace. The one thing , however, that has not changed is the focus and investment that has to be made on the part of the delivering organization to ensure that the information is professional, responds to clients needs and is valued by clients.

The most cost effective manner to implement “Knowledge Training as a Marketing Strategy” is to create an interactive “on-demand” presentation or “live-event” online event.  These events help your customers understand how your products benefit them and helps recognize their unique needs through such ancillary assets as case studies, frequently asked questions and live interactive question opportunities.  Once such a marketing tool is developed it can be delivered repeatedly with little cost and can be revised to respond to changing customer needs.  In this discussion I will focus on the “Live Event:” scenario but many of the same steps apply to the “on-demand” scenario.

The 11 steps to “Knowledge Training as a Marketing Strategy” are as follows:
  1. Define one product or service that will define your brand in the marketplace
  2. Write it down in a brief overview - the features and benefits and the “how-to’s”
  3. Develop one statement defines the unique selling feature or allows the client to relate to your message best
  4. Visualize: how this story can be made easier to understand through video, images, simulations, etc.
  5. Determine if this can be passive interactive information or live interactive information online
  6. Consider a budget for marketing channels: this tends to be online - complemented by other mediums
  7. Create a marketing plan & database for the live event:  PR, e-mail, print awareness, follow-up, etc
  8. Create a database to capture contact info: use existing database, online invitations, meetings, calls, etc.
  9. Define who are the players in implementing a live event online: script the event from beginning to end
  10. Determine what assets: such as images, video, documents, interactivity, questions, etc
  11. Pre-plan and implement follow up on the event with phone calls, e-mails, in person presentations
The only drawback to producing such “Knowledge Training as a Marketing Strategy” events is that you do have to focus resources on developing a complete professional presentation to maximize effectiveness. However, this is an elegant solution that allows small and medium sized businesses to reach into the marketplace like never before. The cost of acquiring (qualified) contacts, developing the media event and following up can be managed easily and can be very cost effective.

3 comments:

  1. Strategy is very important thing for business. Each strategy has unique requirements that vary according to the key offering. It is really nice to be reading your post.
    Mark Fraser

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  2. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.. :) Revolua Registration

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  3. Thanks for your kind words...I spent many years working with clients who did not understand the value of information...in a consumer society, where the first want is always to sell, sell, sell ...providing information and depth of knowledge on your product or service can be a low cost way of differentiating yourself from competitors. Perhaps more importantly you grow that business with customers who understand the value of that knowledge. No silver bullet here ...it takes time but the kind of customers you gain are usually more loyal

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