If you were at StartUp Summit this week you’ll have heard Chris speak about communicating with the digital customer.
Google’s research tells us 70% of customers make their buying decisions online before making contact. It’s called the ZMOT and Chris explained to the audience that if they, as business owners, weren’t providing that information, then someone else would and they would also convert the sale.
He asked them to consider their own buying behaviour. If you were thinking about building a summerhouse, for example, what would you Google? Price? Materials? Information about planning permission? Problems? Solutions?
These questions should inform the content required for a summer house seller’s website, in order to build that trust and rapport before the sale.
This “zero moment of truth” identification is the service Chris’s membership organisation offers to companies around the world from his Dundee home and Kircaldy office.
“We work with them, not for them, we teach, train and answer questions,” he told me. “I’ve just come off the weekly call we do with members, updating them.”
20% of CMA’s members are inhouse marketers, who want to stay ahead of the game and do ongoing training and development, while the other 80% are entrepreneurs and business owners.
“I think our furthest away member is in Australia,” Chris said.
How did he realise this was a service the business world required? By working in the space since 2001 and watching it evolve.
“I started working for the University of St Andrews and saw how communication with students changed, especially when Facebook rolled out pages to universities in 2007,” he said.
“In 2010 I started a blog and then I did a Business Management degree at the uni. When I graduated I vowed I would never write a CV again and set up a marketing agency called Learning Every Day Ltd. That quickly evolved into Content Marketing Academy and now we’re building a new business called World Class Communications.”
This is an annual event, taking place this Monday and Tuesday in Edinburgh. It stars Marcus Sheridan, the man I always think of as “the swimming pool guy”. His company, in the US, was about to go out of business so he decided to give away all his expertise on swimming pools – how to install them, temperatures, materials etc and turned it into the most trafficked swimming pool website in the world.
“The opportunity on the Tuesday is to be trained on presentation skills by Marcus one to one – a skill a lot of CEOs say they need but struggle to master,” Chris said.
When we talk about scaling we mean growing in revenue and staff count, but I think there’s an argument for scaling your aspirations, continually evolving the business model and staying at the cutting edge. It sounds like Chris is doing exactly this.