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Everyone is responsible for great content

I was given a timely reminder of how everyone in an organisation can contribute to great content when I was recently running a workshop with an IFA in Edinburgh.

I was keen to understand what are the issues that are important to this company’s clients, or “worries” as one of the directors put it. I like that. A “worry” says a lot more than an “issue”.

Anyway I was working with the senior management team in various groups about what their client’s worries were. I got some great answers too which will become the basis for their content marketing strategy.

As the website content hadn’t been updated that recently it was also interesting to learn that some of the issues were still the same as they were a few years ago and so some of the content was still relevant.

More importantly however was learning of the new concerns that were now being expressed as a result of changing legislation, economic factors and client expectation. This means that new content will have to be created to answer those concerns, but even more crucially they pointed to areas where the business had a competitive advantage particularly over some of the larger players in the market.

One of the techniques I use to tease this information out is to ask a simple question: “What is the one thing that your clients ask the most about”. Once you start to explore the answers you begin to see a pattern emerging and begin to unpick the issues behind their comments.

I’d spent a couple of hours going over this with various members of the senior management team and directors and was reasonably satisfied that we’d more or less covered all the areas that we needed to.

As part of the project, I was also getting all the staff photographed at the same time. In order to try and relax them as much as possible while the photographer was setting up and snapping away, I asked them questions about their job and the same “What is the one thing that clients ask the most about”.

The eureka moment came when we were taking the photo of the PA to the Mortgage Management Consultant. The pair of the them had worked together for about 7 years and I’m sure the PA was as much of an expert as anyone, plus she was typically the first point of contact in the business when it came to mortgage advice.

And her immediate response to my question was the thing that she gets asked the most is “Why can’t I get a mortgage?”

Brilliant! That one question revealed much about the changes in the marketplace. Organisations that are tied to a limited range of lenders don’t have the flexibility to offer anything but run of the mill mortgages. But there are so many more options now such as lifetime mortgages, buy to let scenarios, self-build and limited company mortgages which the main providers don’t cater for.

This particular IFA has access to all providers and therefore provides specialist advice on the above options and so in most cases can answer the “Why can’t I get a mortgage” question and better still provide a solution.

That one great response has now been developed into a clear content strategy for that area of the business. And it was a reminder that people who speak with customers and clients on a daily basis are the very people who best understand what their “worries” are.

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