Importance of Educating Customers: Start in the Acquisition Stage

Emily McLaughlin
Apr 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Customers are an organization's greatest asset. For organizations looking to grow and scale their business, educating potential customers in the early stages of the customer lifecycle is key to success.

In general, “customer success” is trending up. In March 2010, the average monthly search volume for “customer success” on Google was 23. In March 2017, that number increased to 98. That is over a 300% increase in interest.

Educating during acquisition

According to Barry Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Thought Industries, online learning businesses should educate and nurture their customers at every stage of the educational lifecycle, starting with the acquisition stage.

Lifecycle_of customer education.jpeg

Why? Presale educational materials could convince potential customers to convert by making a complex, technologically advanced product more approachable. Kelly explains, “Very complex products require complex training.”

According to Bill Harvey in Consumer Education Produces High ROI, people who engage with a company’s educational marketing offerings are 29 times more likely to purchase a product than those who are informed through media advertising alone.

In addition to increasing sales, organizations should focus on presale educational materials is because products are becoming more complex and technologically advanced.

Here are some additional benefits of educating potential customers in the acquisition process:

  • Build trust with potential customers: Highly curated content and expertise builds trust
  • Develop deeper levels of engagement: Learning experiences offers deeper engagement than most marketing programs  
  • Establish brand as an authority: Thought leaders will help build trust with potential customers
  • Identify knowledge gaps and access level of product understanding: Powerful feedback loop from potential customers
  • Develop a more educated buyer: Educated buyers are more engaged

How to educate potential customers

There are a number of ways to educate potential customers in the acquisition process. In a presentation at Learning Solutions 2017 Conference and Expo, Kelly suggested creating learning materials specifically for people in acquisition.

Examples of those educational programs include:

  • Curated short form learning content: Online courses, curated learning experiences
  • Customer advocates and product experts: Cultivating thought leaders and knowledge base to deliver online learning
  • Tips and guide email campaigns: Scheduled weekly guides, tips and customer learning content
  • Scheduled webinars: Synchronous live learning events

Interested in seeing what others are doing to educate potential customers in the acquisition stage? Kelly likes Blue Nile’s diamond education resources, Moz’s Help Hub and REI’s expert advice portal.

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