A presentation I attended a couple of months back at the NASSCOM product conclave , Bangalore left a lasting impression on me -it was a 30-min presentation by Mr. JP Rangaswami, Chief Data Officer at Deutsche Bank. He shared with us his thoughts on the power of data, big data, and analytics in business; the value of trust in understanding data; the sensitivity of data protection; and the lurking vulnerability of the new-breed data analytics and management approaches. The presentation included about 20 slides, and, to my surprise, none of the slides had any imagery or content related to big data, cloud, data mining, or any IT jargon. All the slides had contextual images that connected beautifully with the emotions of human needs and interests, as well as pictures from history. Yet, each image connected so well with every concept he introduced to the audience. The very title of the presentation stirred immense interest in the audience - "Mother's home cooking: what's happening with data in the enterprise". We were curious to know the relationship between mother's home cooking and data. The link was simple and remarkable at the same time - TRUST. He brought out the metaphorical relationship with beautifully strung pearls of concepts. He even cheekily planted the seed of a new thought - data allergy caused by street food data - it's dangers, possible remedies, and preventive measures. The presentation ended with the image of an empty plate and he left us with a thoughtful note - that's what the plate looks like after you eat your mother's home-cooked lip-smacking food and that's how data should be handled. I was spellbound at the effect the seemingly simple yet inherently complex presentation had on me. What a brilliantly sculpted content that was!
Great content delivers the jaw-dropping, eye-popping effect that not only garners immediate attention but also carries the audience seamlessly through the later stages of the conversion funnel. This wow effect builds a strong foundation as you connect with your target audience. A heartwarming connect to your audience's most valued emotions will definitely stir a chord in their hearts. Of course, you must be able to deftly link the emotional connect with your intended call to action, else your audience would be left direction-less, wondering about the purpose of a great content left hanging in mid-air.
Let's extend this concept a lot further - to software product/service organizations. Here's the challenge: from your business vision and objectives to your actual interaction with your intended audience, you should directly touch the lives of your end consumers. You need to connect with your end customers at an emotional level, with minimal technological jargon coming in the way. Is that even possible?
Of course, it is - SAP's vision is "to help the world run better and improve people’s lives" - a remarkably simple, yet far-reaching vision, which has no mention of even the word "technology". Their integrated report for 2013 lays out their vision, mission, and strategy, the content of which highlights their customer-centric approach.
There are many other such examples you can refer to: https://www.millwardbrown.com/BrandZ/2015/Global/2015_BrandZ_Top100_Report.pdf
What are the questions that could act as beacons in paving your path towards the wow effect?
1. As a product/service owner, you may want to increase your market share, make a dent within a new geography, or establish yourself as a leader in your area of specialization - these are your individual goals. But what would you want to achieve for the people your product/service is intended for? That's your organization's objective.
2. What is the road map you will need to answer the when, how, and which of your objective? That's your strategy.
3. What are the tactics you will need to execute the strategy and communicate your vision, value, and capabilities to your target audience? That's your implementation plan.
4. What are the approaches you would use to measure the effectiveness of your implementation? That's your plan for data analytics.
This list has just a few pointers that'll get you started. The more questions you ask, the more clarity of purpose you will have. However, the key is to keep technology in the background and end consumer experience on the forefront.
Once you are clear about the road map and the tactics, your primary task will then be to connect with your target audience to get the message across and build trust. This is where your emotional, heart-warming content marketing efforts come into play. Use content not only to create awareness, but also to build trust - to link your product or solution with an emotional imagery your audience will immediately relate to. Such sincere efforts will definitely help create long-lasting, dedicated customers who identify with your vision and objectives. The key is to generate interest and build trust using context-based non-technical content.
So, start working towards connecting with your end consumers' aspirations rather than blind promotion of your products or services using tech buzzwords - that's your challenge. Sky is the limit!