Why Smart Businesses Invest in Professional Content Management
It’s well known that savvy investors – who want to succeed far beyond the mediocre industry averages – “follow the smart money.”
And in the same way, business leaders who want to separate themselves from the pack, add desirable high-margin new customers, and elevate their business to the next level can take their cue from savvy investors by following the growing number of smart businesses that are banking on a staggeringly rewarding growth solution: Professional Content Management (PCM).
What is Professional Content Management?
PCM is an integrated systems approach to creating, developing, distributing, monitoring and managing the messages that connect a business with its current and future customers.
These messages include blog posts, articles, web and Microsite content, online learning events, digital presentations, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Tweets, community and forum contributions, and anything else that transmits a business’s brand and message in any direction — internally, laterally, vertically or externally.
Or, in even simpler terms: if it’s marketing or advertising communication of any kind – online, offline, digital, print, over-the-air, on a screen or held in a hand (or often many of these at the same time) — it’s part of PCM.
Why Professional Content Management isn’t Optional – it’s Critical
More than half a century ago, a football coaching legend by the name of Henry Russell (“Red”) Sanders declared that winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.
Well, if Red were here today and needed to separate himself from the pack, add desirable new high-margin customers, and elevate his business to the next level, he’d just as poignantly state that PCM isn’t optional; it’s critical.
The simplest – albeit the most alarming – way to see this truth in action is to glance at businesses that have ignored PCM. It’s easy to find case studies full of ominous phrases like: “without PCM, customers couldn’t tell the business from its competition,” “without PCM, the business was reduced to a commodity and had to compete on price alone,” and “without PCM, the business lost its leadership position and could never get it back.”
These are just a few of the many chilling remarks that are enough to send shivers up and down the spine of any success-minded business leader, because they don’t just spell doom for a business. They kill the business leader’s dream, as well – and there’s no way to put a price on that. How much is a dream worth once it’s gone?
So, if PCM is critical and not optional, and it’s essential for a business to separate itself from the pack, add more desirable high-margin customers, and elevate to the next level, why do so many businesses continue to miss the PCM boat? There are two main reasons:
Reason #1: Do-it-Yourself Disasters
The emergence of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) books, guides, articles, videos (and so on) have convinced many smart business owners that taking PCM into their own hands is strategic, smart and safe. Yet as the overwhelming evidence reveals, it’s none of these things. Rather, DIY PCM it’s costly, risky and regrettable.
And where are the talking heads behind this DIY advice when the proverbial shaving cream hits the fan? Nowhere. There’s no accountability, no expert guidance, and no critical support. Only a business leader left scrambling to play catch-up.
Reason #2: Many business leaders don’t know that there is such a thing as PCM
Business leaders know they need content for their Facebook page, blog, press releases, Tweets, and so on. But they aren’t aware that these are not innocuous little “projects” that need to get done, but core parts of a PCM.
Fortunately, a business leader who’s reading this right now and heeding this warning can — with the right expert help — cost-effectively turn things around, and quickly put a smooth and efficient PCM in place.
Unfortunately, a business leader who isn’t reading this now will soon find out that ignoring PCM is like trying to outlast a ticking time bomb. (Hint: the smart money’s on the bomb.)
The Case for Professional Content Management
It’s clear that smart businesses are investing in PCM because it’s critical – not optional. They also know that DIY PCM is disastrous and should be avoided at all costs, and that ignorance of PCM is most certainly not bliss.
But what’s not yet clear is just how PCM functions to separate a business from the pack, add desirable high-margin new customers, and elevate to the next level. In other words, what’s the case for PCM? There are five answers to that:
1. PCM distinguishes and protects a business’s image
In the past, a business separated itself from the pack by having a professional image vs. competitors who came across like amateurs. And while that’s absolutely still required, in the digital world it’s no longer enough. Today, a business has to be vigilant that its image doesn’t look and feel “just like everyone else.” Because when that happens, customers treat businesses as commodities – and compare them on price alone. PCM distinguishes a business’s image by conveying unique value propositions, brand promises, key values and more. At the same time, PCM protects a business’s image from being poached by competitors who want nothing more than to take a free ride on a successful leader’s success for as long they can.
2. PCM establishes expertise and leadership
Savvy, high margin customers (who are the kind of customers that smart businesses want!) expect more than products and services to fit their needs. They also want to do business with experts who at the top of their game, and who are leaders in their field. PCM ensures that a business’s expertise and leadership is conveyed in a convincing, clear and consistent manner.
3. PCM keeps a company relevant and “top of mind”
Today’s current customers can easily become tomorrow’s ex-customers – unless there’s a system in place to earn loyalty and maintain a vibrant connection in between transactions. Through relevant, compelling and beneficial content that is distributed through the right channels at the right time, PCM builds a protective “loyalty fence” around a business’s flock of customers, and helps keep them in the fold – and keep competitors from luring them away.
4. PCM helps win the SEO game
Search engines such as Google care about one thing: relevance. That is, they aim to provide searchers with relevant search results that take them to their intended destination (or to a desirable one if they aren’t sure where they want to go). PCM constantly feeds search engines the relevant, high quality content they want, so that a business wins the SEO game and its competitors are sent off to the sidelines, or better yet, to the stands as a spectator.
5. PCM is an investment, not an expense
The “smart money” is always seeking to maximize a return: spend $1, make $5, and repeat. Smart businesses who invest in PCM follow a similar philosophy by viewing PCM as a portfolio of custom-selected strategies and tactics that deliver ROI. In that way, they see PCM is an investment in growth, profitability, success and leadership – and not as an expense that cuts into the bottom line. And this paradigm is certainly not a matter of attitude or frame of mind. It’s a matter of pragmatic results. Why? Because PCM, when done right, leads to ROI. It’s that simple.
Doing Professional Content Management Right
So with five compelling, pragmatic and results-focused reasons for joining smart businesses who invest in PCM, the next step seems obvious: GET PCM ASAP! But as smart business leaders are the first to say, sometimes the steps that seem the most obvious can be the most perilous. This is one of those instances.
Yes, PCM is the goal. But the step that leads to that destination – and towards separation from the pack, desirable high-margin new customers, and elevating to the next level – is one of the business world’s best kept secrets…until now.
The truth is, they’re not going it alone. Instead, they’re connecting with an expert PCM Partner. And that makes ALL the difference.
Discover the secrets of why an expert PCM Partner makes all of the difference in Part 2 of Why Smart Businesses Invest in Professional Content Management.