This is not a prediction. It is more of a description of trends that are already underway. Some of you early adopters are riding these customer education trends to high success. Others are missing out mostly because your education operations are new or are in a low maturity state. The good news is that a low maturity state is normal and temporary. You can grow your organization into higher maturity stages by increasing your capabilities over time. One way to know what capabilities to add to your team is to understand where there trends are headed. Below are four customer education trends that are happening right now, and it is not too late for you to get on board to ride them.
There's been a lot of talk about repurposing lately and how you can turn any piece of content into something else. (I've even talked about it on this blog!) For the most part the notion of repurposing is confined to marketing content; but what about customer education content? Is there a way you can repurpose it so marketing can use it? Put another way, can customer education content help marketing be more effective at generating awareness and well, educating prospects and leads?
I do not have scientific evidence to support this claim, but I argue that customer education teams at fast-growing SaaS companies produce as much, or more, content than any other team. And this is saying a lot when you consider that content is usually produced by marketing, communications, product, and sales enablement teams. Not only does customer education produce a large volume of content, the content it creates is likely to be the most useful for buyers of your product compared to other content your company produces.
When we think of customer education, lead generation and pipeline contribution are not tasks that immediately come to mind. After all, customer education is largely about helping existing customers learn our products so they can do their jobs better. Terms like lead generation and pipeline contribution are "marketing speak." Customer education teams should focus on helping customers learn and marketing should worry about generating leads and brining potential new business to the sales team, right?
Sarah E. Brown and I had the pleasure of being joined on a recent webinar by Sarah Bedrick, one of the founding members of the HubSpot Academy team. The idea was to talk about how HubSpot, a company that sells marketing automation software, promotes training to its customers. We are big fans of the way HubSpot approaches customer education, and we knew that we had to figure out a way to get Sarah Bedrick on one of our webinars to tell the story.