This saying is engrained in us, but the premise is questionable. Extraordinary product designers and engineers do their jobs and put out great products that deserve recognition. However, great solutions end up sitting on the shelf, making this notion a field of dreams. Products do not sell themselves because customers are increasingly making their purchase decision based on online research, or at least narrowing the field, before engaging with the business.
Pick your fiercest competitor. Search their solutions, brands and industry terms. Do this same search in social media. Document the content you find on the first three search pages including case studies, white papers, learning opportunities, videos, blog posts, and brochures. Now compare this to your own. You will find that your fiercest competitor is beating you at creating powerful, thought leadership content and it is siphoning off business from you before you even get a call.
It’s hard to do. You need writers, researchers, subject matter experts, creatives, and strategy that aligns with your Sales Team. You need your multi-channel, digital platform to be tuned to repurpose the content effectively. It often requires bandwidth from your most senior employees and leadership.
Executing on a content strategy may not be easy, but it pays dividends. Your Sales Team will thank you for the conversation starters, door openers, and stories that help their customers envision how your solutions will help them. They will spend less time educating their prospects on what the product is and more time on how to maximize the value of the solution.
If you aren’t creating content, start now. If you are, consider your pace and the quality of your output. Is your content addressing your customer’s need to reduce cost, improve performance, and mitigate risk? Content you create today can be repurposed for newsletters, blogs, social, and sales tools tomorrow. Perhaps the saying “great products sell themselves,” applied when everyone shopped at the corner store and when door-to-door sales was common, but no longer. The more appropriate idiom for today would be, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” So, get moving or get markITnerds.