Customer Education is a term that doesn’t come up very often in marketing. But it is heard in marketing departments where one of the main goals is to build long-term relationships with customers.
Sadly, most of the time the primary marketing goals include increasing acquisition performance, immediately because sales plans need to be met.
Of course there’s a merit to it because marketing experts significantly impact companies’ revenues. In addition, times are turbulent and market trends are always changing, sometimes on a daily basis. But isn’t thinking in a short-term horizon just a survival?
What strategy to choose for your long-term development.
We’re looking for a method that will bear fruit in the long run, regardless what happens in the market. I’m talking about a systematic customer education.
To me, education is the opposite of hard-sales campaigns and chasing short-term results. It’s not quick and easy and it’s not for everyone. But before you give up, let’s have a look at the example of Hubspot, a company that has become an absolute leader in marketing automation by educating potential and existing customers (and the platform of this website)
One example for all – Hubspot
Hubspot has taught millions of marketers how to do inbound marketing and how to think about marketing. And, of course, created an excellent tool for them to do it – software, which is Hubspot’s livelihood.
From my perspective, many great marketing tools on the market are just as good as Hubspot. However, Hubspot has helped many people with marketing and business and taught them how to use Hubspot tools. That’s the moment when a relationship and loyalty are built between the potential client and the supplier. Also, if your clients learn something they don’t want to change it and learn something else.
In short, Hubspot’s clients know there is a competition and have probably tested other tools but still chose to stay with Hubspot. At least that’s my case, and I know of many others. It’s more about the principle. Through its university, Hubspot has also created an army of qualified and certified partners who spread the brand and sales further across the globe.
This was an example of a successful customer education project.
Check what it looks like in our academy – Playou School:
I’m not condemning marketing. I see customer education as part of marketing. I see it as an attitude or a strategy – or even a mindset.
If companies like Hubspot were only seek maximum profit during the shortest time possible, they wouldn’t have become unicorns.
It’s about what you want to accomplish in a business and what your motivation is. Customer education is labour-intense, and it’s a long haul. The difference between hard selling and education is that you’re not trying to push someone into a buying decision. You want to help the person to make an informed decision. The kind of decision that they’re not going to regret. You want to get and have a customer who will be genuinely happy and sing praises about your products and you brand (just like I do with Hubspot, I’m not paid for it).
Why to educate customers?
Let’s sum it up. If you educate customers, you help them understand the true value of what you do. At the same time, you support them in what they do. For example, Hubspot doesn’t just teach clients how to use their software, but more importantly, helps them to become successful marketers.
Imagine working primarily with clients who understand you and not having to push them into working with you. That’s the result that customer education is supposed to bring.