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Talking Content Marketing – With Anne Janzer

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Talking Content Marketing welcome Anne Janzer, author of the book Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customer in a World of Churn.

Since writing Subscription Marketing, Anne has been sharing with others the importance of marketing to customers after the sale – a practice she is calling value nurturing. As someone who built a career writing lead generation content, she is an unlikely evangelist for value nurturing. But watching the changes in marketing and in business models has inspired Anne to shout about the need to expand the marketing focus.

Lets look at the value of building an audience and keeping them via a subscription model.


 

Have businesses become too complacent with the focus on just lead generation and making the sale, as this something that has been inherited for generations ie. creating a subscribed audience is a relatively new B2B approach? 

Subscriptions are disrupting B2B marketing in two ways.

First, marketers are realising the power of building audiences using subscription content, deepening the relationship with prospects and customers alike. This is a natural result of great content marketing.

Second, many B2B companies are offering cloud-based services, managed services, and other models in which customers pay recurring fees.

Business revenues are shifting from the one-time sale to recurring revenues.

But many marketing organizations focus exclusively on generating leads and chalking up new sales – this is what we know and have done for years. Marketing after the sale seems like a luxury that no one can afford.

Subscription relationships are long-term; they’re not about running a quick campaign, getting a sale, and then handing off the customer to someone else.

Subscription marketing requires a longer-term mindset, and delivers long-term results.

 

You highlight in your book, ‘in the subscription economy, marketing’s impact on revenue doesn’t end at the point of sale.’ Can you highlight the importance of this mindset?

When businesses adopt a subscription model, the initial payment represents a small percentage of the customer lifetime value.

If marketing stops paying attention, it loses the ability to affect that ongoing, lifetime value.

Smart subscription marketers continue to demonstrate and reinforce the experience of value in their customer bases. They are rewarded with reduced churn, more referrals, and better insight into customer behaviors. All of these accelerate revenue growth.

 

If growing a subscriber base means we can shape new habits with customers and prospective customers does this become a mammoth form of differentiation? 

The subscription relationship is just that – a relationship. A positive relationship is a mammoth differentiator for established businesses and startups alike. This is the subject of Joe Pulizzi’s latest book, Content Inc. He writes of starting a business with subscription-based content, and using those relationships to figure out what the business model should be.

 

What is the best way to grow a committed audience. Is it being consistently present? Is it being relevant to others? Is it acknowledgement of zero barriers to entry and being brave (doing things you haven’t done before i.e. podcasting, presenting)?

All of the above!

I’m not sure there’s a single answer, beyond this: ask yourself how you can provide something of value to your subscribers. Focus on serving them, not yourself. Then be open to learning as you go.

 

Is it ok to accept that not every subscriber will become a customer?

Absolutely. Find your most loyal audience, the people for whom you provide the greatest value, and engage with them. They are the ones that will drive your business forward, even if they do not become customers.

 

Which company, in your eyes, represents the best example of a brand who have grown a community that adds value to their audience?

Many consumer goods companies really get the practices of building community: think Red Bull and of the content and community events it assembles.

Loot Crate is one of my favorite examples from the subscription box industry. Its subscribers post thousands of “unboxing” videos and other content on social media.

B2B examples include American Express Open Forum, Adobe CMO.com, and Content Marketing World.


Thanks to Anne for being part of the Talking Content community. Building your audience via a subscription model is key.

Here are some places for more about Anne.

Anne’s website: click here

The book: click here

Anne on Twitter: click here

 

 

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