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What Jim Croce Knew About Content (That You May be Missing)

I_Got_a_Name_SingleIt’s no secret that I draw inspiration from everything I collect. Be it music, the written word, or simply learning a new perspective from different industries, I find something of value with every engagement in life. Most recently, I’ve found a new inspiration in revisiting the folk classics: Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, and the like. But the song “I Got A Name” by Jim Croce stopped me in my tracks.

Released as a single in 1973, the song only peaked at Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, its legacy as an American folk anthem has been cemented by its use in modern films and even real estate advertising. This could be because the song has a simple yet catchy guitar base, and a relatable message that everyone can connect to. It is my opinion, however, that there is much more to it.

Over 40 years before social media would become a buzzword, Jim Croce knew something about engaging an audience that many marketers are still trying to actualize today. Go beyond the simple storytelling and the gentle melodies of the song, and listen deeper.

Do you hear it? If not, here is my interpretation of what Jim knew back then – and how modern marketers can apply the lessons learned to hit the right notes with their audiences (pun intended).

 I’ve got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

The American Dream goes beyond a white picket fence, two car seats, and a minivan. For many of us, being able to do better than our own parents is a benchmark that helps us measure our own personal pride and success. As a result, the digital consumer is not only seeking a product that can help them feel more secure in their personal growth, but they can also be proud of. How is your content making your target clients feel strong and proud in their achievements?

Working in travel insurance, customers were looking for more than just a short-term insurance product to protect them against the unknown. Most importantly, these customers were seeking reassurance in their major investment. Regardless of your product or service – from roofing materials, to insurance products – a customer choosing your product is an emotional experience that can help them feel more secure in their achievements and investments. Reflect this understanding in your content, and your brand will be one that is worth talking about.

I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud

Unfortunately, life does have one terminal destination – but we don’t live our lives as simply a vessel to the end. Instead, our existence is about a set of situations that shape us and change us for the better. Even when it seems we’re going nowhere in particular, every situation changes our outlook, and prepares us for the next great adventure. How are you helping your customers get to their next stop?

The six basic buying motives have two things in common: understanding and respect. By fostering an environment of welcoming and respect in all content and communications – customer interactions, e-mail marketing, and social media messaging – your brand can ultimately create long-lasting delight for your customers, even if the road doesn’t go to an anticipated destination. Focus not just on what the customer wants, but on where the customer is in the buying process and overall in life. Become a partner in their success, and your customers will sing songs of your praises with pride.

I’ve got a dream
I know I could share it if you want me to
If your going my way I’ll go with you

Each of us has a dream that drives our motivations. Do you know what your customers’ dreams are? More important: have you even asked?

Your customer wants to engage beyond a simple cost/benefits analysis of your product or service versus others. Instead, they want to understand how your offering will benefit their overall life. If your product’s vision shares a common bond with their dreams, and that vision is properly reflected in your content, you won’t have to ask your customers to go with you. Instead, they will follow along willingly. More importantly, engaged customers will be more apt to become brand ambassadors, and bring more of their network along to go with you as well.

In short, your customers want to move down the highway, and want to work with a brand that will help them get there. If your messaging isn’t creating an opportunity for partnership through marketing messaging and the sales process, your brand is missing out on a core conversion opportunity. Don’t let life pass your brand by. By engaging your customers around these three concepts, your brand will soon be on it’s way to opening the doors to more customers, and moving the bottom line forward.

How are you moving your bottom line forward through targeted sales and marketing messaging? Leave a comment below with your big ideas for customer engagement. Or contact Joe today to start moving your brand down the highway with sales and marketing that takes flight!

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