For sales, the best content should Spark, Introduce, and Confront

Most expert content marketers would agree that content pieces should be insight driven and address problems customers have but might not be aware that they do.

business-meeting-twitterAccording to CEB’s new book, The Challenger Customer, effective content marketing engages mobilizers in a three-step “SIC” sequence:

  1. Spark. Hooks the Mobilizer into revisiting their Mental Model in the first place.
  2. Introduce. Lays out the idea in detail.
  3. Confront. Confronts the Mobilizer with the frame-breaking idea in her own terms.

Content must teach the internal buying group in a way that:

  • Captures the attention of a champion—a Mobilizer.
  • Motivates them to champion a change in behavior.
  • Rallies the support of the other members of the buying group.
  • Creates a vision that leads the customer back to your unique solution.

Great commercial insight should teach customers something new they’ve never thought of before. Your content should drive customer behavior change by teaching the customer something new and compelling about their business. It should also arm customers with a compelling reason to take action.

While the types of content listed below are important in other specific situations, true commercial insight content is not:

General Information: Information that’s just out there. Customers are awash in it.

Accepted Information: Information that’s credible and relevant, but not that interesting. Customers probably won’t do anything about, it either; at least, nothing they weren’t going to do already.

Thought Leadership: Newsworthy, incremental information that customers likely could not.

have discovered on their own. Unlike accepted information, thought leadership information is additive. It provides new perspectives or data that teaches, and doesn’t just confirm. The real limitation of traditional thought leadership is that it doesn’t drive action, because it’s focused on presenting a new idea rather than undermining an existing one.

We’ve summarized this points and other key insights of The Challenger Customer in a helpful PDF. Download it here.

But, for a complete understanding of how to use the insight in your own process and with your own potential customers, we recommend reading the full The Challenger Customer book

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