One of the hot topics in marketing these days is the importance of customer engagement and making sure the content you produce is tailored directly to your target audience. After all, if you can establish a strong emotional connection and make it clear that you can relate to your prospects’ pain points and needs, you’re more likely to catch their attention (a huge feat considering the amount of information and resources that live in today’s digital world!).
And sure, utilizing content to attract and nurture your leads is one of the best strategies to adopt and do well these days, but you shouldn’t stop caring about a customer once they become a client. It’s just as important to keep current clients as interested in and excited about your content as it was when they were merely visitors to your site.
We had the privilege of speaking with Butch Stearns, who is Chief Customer Officer at The Pulse Network (The Pulse) and will be hosting and emceeing this year’s IMS events in San Francisco and Boston. You may recognize Butch’s name from various radio or television programs, but in the marketing world, he has used his long-standing journalism career to help him become an expert in modern marketing and content creation – and we were lucky enough to hear some of his insights on the matter.
Can you tell us about your role at The Pulse Network and involvement with the IMS conferences?
I am the Chief Customer Officer here at The Pulse Network. As the CCO I wear many hats. My main focus is establishing and strengthening our relationships with our new and prospective customers. I am also the main host of our content. Before joining and helping to build The Pulse Network, I spent several decades in mainstream media as a Television and Radio Sports personality. I still currently host radio shows here in Boston on WEEI All Sports Radio (including regular weekend shows and The New England Patriots “Real Post Game Show” during Football season). As for our IMS conferences, I am a face and emcee for the events.
How do you relate your experiences as a broadcast journalist to your role at The Pulse and the emerging trends in modern marketing and the digital landscape?
I believe that my leap from the mainstream media world to the digital media world gives me a broad perspective and unique insights that I can offer to today’s digital marketers. With our IMS events I strive to do my part to help keep our content really focused on bringing value to our audience. We do this by striving to have our experts and thought leaders provide content and information that helps our audience solve real marketing problems. When it comes to content, I’m a big believer in thinking in terms of “Benefits vs. Features”. A feature is something that YOU do well, a benefit is why it should matter to ME. From here, you have to consider, “how does it help me solve business problems?”
What are the biggest challenges that you face when establishing prospect and customer relationships? What do you do to improve lead gen and lead nurturing?
At The Pulse, our challenges are the same as everyone else’s when establishing prospect and customer relationships. In a world where customers have the power, we are constantly challenged with reaching and engaging our customers and prospects. How do we get noticed through all the clutter and above our competition? How do we keep them engaged before, during and after the sale? The answer is a content strategy that is well thought out and executed for the full customer experience.
We all work so hard to get those qualified leads and push them through our sales funnel. But the journey doesn’t end when the sale is made, it is just beginning. We strive to create brand advocates for The Pulse by providing a great customer experience through content that matters to them. And some of the best ways to accomplish this are by striving to create rich content that does one or some of the following: Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire or Offer them something. Give your customers something of value and they will pay you back ten fold. As Chris Brogan always says, “Make your customer your hero.”
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s IMS San Francisco and why?
I’m really looking forward to both the speakers and the attendees. I always get more out of our IMS events that what I give. It’s always a great learning experience and I find myself coming away with great actionable takeaways that I can use. We’ve got some great speakers, keynotes, panels and interviews lined up for this year’s IMS. Just to name a few: Rick Bakas and Jeff Sheinbein of Social Imprints, Jason Thibeault of Limelight Networks, Allen Bonde, Robert Rose, Cathy McKnight and others from Digital Clarity Group, and more. I’m also excited about being in San Francisco and “bringing a little east coast attitude and thinking to the west coast.”