For the past three months, companies were faced with a new digital reality: their online presence became their only presence. Overnight, events, conferences and prospect dinners were erased, leaving website owners and content creators with a huge responsibility. How can they better command content experiences and create authentic connections with customers and their own teams?
Lead Honest Dialogue with Customers
As companies adapt their strategies to the current market, Simon wants them to understand that the digital world is their only outlet. “I think fundamentally it’s not digital-first, it’s just digital, dummy,” he said. “There literally isn’t anything else.”
In this digital-only world, Simon explains the biggest mistake brands still make is maintaining an attitude of arrogance that leaves them talking at their customers and not with them. He contends modern business has no place for that — customers expect an honest, no BS dialog with brands through content.
This has panned out in the data Simon has been monitoring. Through his company’s experiential content platform, he’s realized marketers are focusing on three key aspects when producing B2B marketing content: urgency, human empathy/connection, and frequency. While he’s been an enthusiastic supporter of authentic connection and empathy for years, he says the pandemic has finally woken brands to the necessity of it. It’s now up to them to determine how to move forward.
Ask Why to Find Success
SaaS marketers will still want to show success with their content experiences, but Simon believes that doesn’t mean another pixel to track. Instead, he challenges marketers to dig deeper and remember the reasons behind their content before tracking metrics. “They forget why they’ve created it. What its goal is,” he said. “So, I think it’s difficult to answer exactly how you would track success if you don’t know why something exists.”
To get to the why, Simon encourages you to keep asking questions. “What you should do to start with is say, ‘Why do I collect email addresses?’ Not the fact that you have to, but why do you do it? Because I need to get more leads. Why? Because I want more people to know I exist. Why? So I can sell them some software. Why? So I can help them. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere,” he said.
Align Content Experience Goals Between Creators and CMOs
Simon believes SaaS marketers must actually own the content experience to make it successful, which isn’t always the case. “I think the marketer thinks they own it. I think the designer wants to own it. I think the I.T. people really own it,” he said.
This is where content creators and leadership work together to own the experience. While creators build it, Simon points to the SaaS CMO as the digital experience champion. He says every piece of content produced should reflect intention and purpose, provide a creative outlet for teams, and connect to the company’s values. If an authentic connection isn’t there, Simon advises CMOs take a hard look at what they’re doing.
“You should feel authentically connected to it. And if you don’t, as a CMO, I suggest you leave that company and find one that you do feel that feeling for,” he said. “Because if your job is to translate the values of the business, the values of the products or services that it delivers, and you do not connect with them on an emotional level, then I don’t understand what you’re doing.”
To hear more insights from Simon, listen to Episode 202 of SaaS Half Full.