Mapping the Ideal Customer Content Experience

Mapping the Ideal Customer Content Experience

David Packard, co­founder of Hewlett­Packard (HP) once observed that “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people.” That was decades ago.

Yet, even then he intuitively recognized that it’s more than promotion. Marketing is a major contributor to the comprehensive customer experience.

Now that online media increasingly stands in for traditional marketing, selling, and customer service, it’s time to recognize its role for adding value to the customer experience with your products and services.

In short, if you want to attract and retain more customers and enjoy greater profit margins you need to enhance the value of the content experience by planning and mapping it out.

Here’s how.

Reverse Engineer The Traditional Customer Experience

The traditional customer experience was predominantly associated with the product (or service) and followed the typical sequence of marketing first, then selling and customer service. Each stage determined the responsibility for nurturing the customer relationship.

In a digital world, content transcends those stages (and others, such as production) to affect how buyers are thinking, seeing, doing and feeing about your product. For example, let’s say you have sold a product and the customer is uncertain about how to properly use it.

This is reminiscent of the old days when print “instruction manuals” that accompanied products were poorly written, and therefore, confusing. The unhappy consumer turned to the customer service department, and having to do so immediately compromised the experience.

Nowadays, website designers use something called the empathy map to plan out the user experience with a site by asking relevant questions. You can apply it to your business by simply taking a large board and dividing it into four quadrants labeled: thinking, seeing, doing and feeling (or download template here). Then use sticky notes to answer questions such as:

#1 – When using our product what are our customers thinking?

#2 – What do buyers do when they visit our website?

#3 – How do our customers see their day-­to-­day lives?

Mapping the Ideal Customer Content Experience

The idea is to really get personal and understand the worldview of your ideal customer, client or user, and then address that with your marketing content. It will make for a better experience for your customers and staff that serves them.

Here’s an Example

I recently gave two keynote presentations to a group of marketers. I received a thank­ you note from the meeting planner that stated 90% of the attendees felt the program were excellent. It also included a few quotes, with one reading: “Jeff did a great job, but did not customize for our industry.”

Rather than attempt to prove that I did customize, it’s smarter to use this as an opportunity to provide content that adds more value to the product (the paid presentations). I offered to write an article for the organization’s publication to clarify the issue and provide a list of actionable tips (cheat sheet) specifically for their industry, and they enthusiastically accepted.

More important, I will add this idea to customer touchpoints for future speaking engagements to enhance the experience with my company.

If your business actively seeks feedback from its customers you have a good idea how they want to feel after working with your business. Give that to them with products AND helpful information that answers questions and otherwise solves problems.

What your business does or does not do throughout the customer content experience is the engine of business success or failure. Mapping it will help make it more favorably predictable.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

How to Go The Distance with Your Content Marketing

How to Go the Distance with Your Content Marketing

Artists know you have to persevere to create your best art. It’s much more than a great idea; you also have to do the work.

The same holds true in athletics. You may be gifted with talent and train hard, but it always comes down to your performance in a competitive event.

Artists and athletes go the distance because stopping just a little short is enough to compromise the result – winning versus losing.

In the world of marketing, the winners are the ones that not only create outstanding content, but then find new outlets for going the distance with it.

Take Your Content Up, Down and Sideways

If you listen to podcasts, and I hope you do, you may have noticed more short, daily podcast shows popping up. One reason for this trend is that many people prefer bite­sized content on a more frequent basis than a longer format.

Here’s the good news: For the most part these shows are using content that already exists within books, blogs, and videos. They are simply taking what has proved successful and giving it a ride with another medium.

This job of content marketing starts with an idea to then create something useful from it. It’s the hard part. Once that is accomplished, the smart move is taking it a step further by going up, down, or sideways.


  • Blog posts become chapters in a book, training programs or keynote presentations
  • Images inspire any longer form content
  • Conversations with clients spark ideas for blog posts


  • Book and blog post excerpts become short podcasts
  • Images from blog posts are featured in Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Excerpts from long form podcasts are recorded as short YouTube videos


  • Book or blog excerpts become long form podcasts
  • Previously successful blog posts are updated and retitled
  • Newsletter content is retitled and published verbatim as blog posts

Are you getting the idea?

This is what the pros do. ESPN first covers an event by reporting the highlights and statistics. Then they dig in further to profile players, coaches, or controversial circumstances. In the mix will be excerpted video highlights matched up with the previously published content. USA Today does the same thing.

Refine the Workflow and Build Your System

The key to successful content marketing is building, refining, and following a process. Create lists of workflow steps and refine them over time. Do the same with templates.

Once you have your system refined, you are equipped to delegate parts of the process or hire it out. If you hire a media agency without building and refining your process, you will be relegated to adopting their system, whether it fits your organization or not.

Everybody is going all in on content marketing. So, to be noticed yours has to be targeted, high ­quality content and market the right way, you can outsource marketing from marketing Ottawa. A surefire way to hit that mark is to go the distance with your original ideas by taking them as far as you can.

That’s what will build your audience.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+