Before moving forward and trying hard on your content marketing strategy, let us first take a few steps backward and try to see an interesting lesson from previous examples.
Marketers sometimes say things to me like, “Well, nobody in our industry is doing that kind of robust content marketing, so why should we start?”
Here’s the deal.
Your industry doesn’t matter. What matters is that big companies are embracing big content, and in so doing they are changing the expectations of YOUR customers, whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter whether anyone in your industry is doing real-time Twitter response. Major companies are doing it, and thus are training consumers tothink of Twitter like a telephone. It doesn’t matter whether anyone in your industry is answering every customer question publicly. Major companies are doing it, and thus are training consumers that the era of self-serve information is truly upon us.
5 Lessons for Your Company from McDonald’s Canada
There are so many smart elements to this program, that you literally could write a book just on this case study. Here are the top lessons.
- Embrace Self-Serve Information
Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research(also a big part of my new book) finds that consumers need twice as many sources of information before making a decision today than they did just one year ago.
We have to use the channels that we own so that we could have a conversation with customers, because there are so many different channels out there that we just can’t physically reach all of them. – Joel Yashinsky, CMO – McDonald’s Canada
- Make Information a Spectator Sport
Could McDonald’s Canada have created a big effort around emailing questions, or building a new food-oriented call center, like the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line? Sure, but those options don’t have the benefit of answering questions publicly.
I especially like that they provided an option to “follow” a question, and be notified when it has been answered. More than 3.1 million questions have been read, versus 16,000 asked.
- Identify Customer Knowledge Gaps
Before the program commenced, McDonald’s Canada conducted a thorough chatter analysis to determine what types of questions were already being asked online about their food. This helped identify the types and categories of questions that were likely to be asked on the site, once unveiled, and enabled McDonalds’s to get the gist of about 600 answers ready in advance.
- Market Your Marketing
It’s not only the incredible amount of staff time now being devoted to question answering, but McDonald’s is also putting forth substantial dollars to promote this program offline. An innovative and interesting mass media campaign that includes TV, radio, print, and a variety of outdoor executions is in full swing, and is driving awareness of the website and its contents.
- A Skill, not a Job
Being great at transparency and information isn’t (and cannot) be one person’s job. It must be part of many people’s responsibility, because everyone in your company has information and knowledge that your customers will value.