Content Marketing is all the buzz—yet another trend driven by the proliferation of social media, smart phones, and some really smart people.  If you want to learn how to make it work for your business, just go online, do a quick search, download the latest eBook and sign up for the latest and greatest free webinar, and voila . . . you’re a certified pro, ready to execute your strategy and completely revolutionize your business.

(Meanwhile, I bet those super smart experts are already creating new ideas to hook up with the “connected generation,” expand their social marketing empires and convince other marketers to adopt immediately lest they perish in the sea of slow-to-get-onboard.)

Amidst the head-spinning chaos and the steady chant of, “Content, Content, Content,” it can be easy for business owners and marketers to lose sight of the most critical piece of content they own and control—the Customer Experience.

The greatest content in any form — infographics, Vines, photos, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, blog posts, etc. — it all pales in comparison to word-of-mouth about the customer experience.

A glowing review shared between friends still carries more weight than any commercial or campaign, and it remains the most effective way to draw new customers through your doors.  However, the advent of social media has introduced an undeniably powerful new medium for sharing content…and experiences.  So, when it comes to effective marketing, don’t forget that the customer experience is the most essential form of content.  The customer experience cannot be ignored or suffer from lack of attention while you build out other channels of engagement.

Create your customer experience by design, with purpose and intent. Consider each and every touch point of customer engagement and do whatever it takes to ensure that it is consistently on brand. Assume each and every one of your customers will share his or her experience with hundreds of friends, who will then share with hundreds of their own. Assume they’ll all post reviews online that will be seen by your next potential customer. The time and money invested with this perspective will still generate a greater return than any amount of time spent on creating and sharing content.

Here’s the point. It’s easy for today’s business owners and marketers to get caught up in the latest trends, and while today’s trends clearly matter, you should never allow yourself to fall behind by losing focus on the fundamentals of marketing success.

– Submitted by Sumter Cox, Communications