“Your customers are your best salespeople,” says Brittany Lindquist, Head of Content and Customer Marketing at DoubleDutch. This fundamental idea is what drives the marketing team at DoubleDutch, a San Francisco-based company that enhances live event experiences with software.
Their Live Engagement Platform powers events, conferences, and trade shows for more than 1,700 customers, including Forbes, Humana, LinkedIn, Novartis, Nationwide, and BlackRock. Customers, like those previously mentioned, are the driving force behind DoubleDutch’s powerful brand and marketing strategy.
We recently talked to Brittany to learn more about this customer-focused approach to marketing. Here are her best practices on how to put customer content at the center of your marketing strategy, produce that content on time, and leverage it at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
Putting customers first
When Brittany joined the DoubleDutch marketing team in 2015, the content marketing strategy felt disjointed, and didn’t focus on the company’s biggest asset: their customers. So she took it upon herself to build a different kind of marketing team at DoubleDutch: one that puts their customers first and adapts the content they produce accordingly. Instead of producing content that didn’t meet their customer’s needs, Brittany wanted to make customers the focus of every campaign her team produced.
Recognizing that marketers are often megaphones—and lack a listening tool beyond social media—Brittany sees a gap between marketing activities and customer experiences. The result? Marketers often miss key insights about their customers and the opportunity to turn them into passionate advocates of their product, which in turn, lowers their chances of attracting even more customers.
“I can’t imagine being able to hold each other accountable to putting our customers first and being customer centric without Asana.”
Instead of making this mistake, she set out to build a process that empowered her team—and others—to leverage customers’ stories and turn more customers into advocates through inspiring and helpful content marketing.
Luckily, DoubleDutch’s customers are passionate about their product and advocate for the brand to their own audience and networks—exactly what Brittany means about customers being your best salespeople. For Brittany, this has been the most rewarding aspect of working at DoubleDutch: identifying the company’s biggest fans and telling their stories.
These stories—how DoubleDutch helps make their customers’ events a success—make for powerful marketing content that is now used throughout the customer journey to engage, educate, and delight their audiences.
Planning the content roadmap with customers in mind
Deciding what content to produce
To decide what to produce, the DoubleDutch content team looks at two areas: the industry and their customers’ expectations. By keeping an eye on industry trends and a pulse on their CEO, who produces a lot of top-of-funnel content like speeches, they know what the industry is thirsty for.
After looking at the industry, they turn to their customers to understand their expectations and needs. They run surveys, conduct informational phone calls, and gather input on what their customers want to learn. Finally, they identify parts of the funnel that lack this content, and create their roadmap based on this research.
Tip: When deciding what content to produce, talk to your customers. Explore their wants and needs with phone calls, surveys, or on-site visits. Collect customer feedback in an Asana project so that it’s easy to reference and identify trends.
Involving all stakeholders
Once they’ve identified what needs to be produced, the team involves people from across the company. Brittany would never “just produce something without consulting the whole team.” Including the entire team is important to their process because they want to be sure that everything they’re creating can impact not just prospects, but customers, too.
So they work cross-functionally, looping in product, sales, customer success, and leadership. Everyone has a valuable (and unique) perspective that helps inform the content production and distribution process. Their commitment to content that serves every stage of the funnel—including their valued customers—means that content creation for their team is more nuanced, but also proven effective throughout the customer journey.
Brittany also focuses on the impact content can have on programs beyond marketing, including sales and promotion. To her, it’s important that content inform a lot of the activities going on across the organization—not the other way around.
Planning content in Asana makes this easy, says Brittany: “Because I can see every program being run, I can go to program managers and partner with them on content.” Doing so means maintaining a constant feedback cycle so that new content can be created to meet emerging needs and existing content is distributed for maximum impact.
Tip: Involve customer-facing teams from across the company when creating your editorial calendar or content roadmap. Doing so ensures that the content you’re producing serves the needs of your customers and other internal teams. Use team conversations and add different stakeholders as followers to projects or tasks to make sure everyone’s looped in.
Serving audience needs
The final part in their content planning process is to make sure that they’re providing content to serve different needs and audience types. They break down longer form content into digestible pieces so prospects and customers can easily interact with their brand on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Focusing on how people consume content—not just what they consume—informs DoubleDutch’s strategy.
Tip: Know how your customers consume content and adapt it accordingly. Try different formats and lengths to find what they engage with most.
How they manage their content process #withAsana
Maintaining and delivering on a content calendar is a lot of work. Adding customers to the content creation process? That’s an even bigger feat. To do this successfully, DoubleDutch relies on Asana. Here are some tips from DoubleDutch for planning and executing your customer-centric content roadmap effortlessly.
“Before I used Asana, there was never a centralized content calendar that everyone could see. Not having that calendar meant that people could easily miss their deadlines and we never really knew where a project stood.”
When planning your content roadmap, Brittany recommends using Advanced Search to find what content already exists and where there might be gaps. By combining industry needs, customer wants, and places you are lacking content, you can be sure your roadmap covers all the bases.
Next, build your content calendar in Asana. Create a Project that’s divided into sections that make sense for your own use case—month, quarter, event cycle, whatever—and use tasks to represent each piece of content.
“Before I used Asana, there was never a centralized content calendar that everyone could see. Not having that calendar meant that people could easily miss their deadlines and we never really knew where a project stood,” says Brittany.
DoubleDutch relies on template tasks as a guide for creating each piece of content, which include all subtasks and relevant teammates as followers. They use the Copy Task feature to duplicate the template task so every piece of content has its own list of subtasks and nothings gets dropped along the way.
“I can’t imagine being able to hold each other accountable to putting our customers first and being customer-centric without Asana,” says Brittany.
She recommends using custom fields to track what your team needs to know—be it funnel stage, type of content, or status. Color coding custom fields is an easy way to provide an at-a-glance overview of where your content calendar stands.
Use due dates to represent deadlines and review the project in Calendar View during team meetings to get a bird’s eye view of everything that’s in production and where it stands.
Build in time for debriefs and to discuss content with the broader team. If room for improvement is identified, update the template task to fine-tune your process.
Thanks to a streamlined process, Brittany says that her team has “never missed a deadline or not met a goal.” She gives a lot of that credit to Asana and how it’s enabled her team to work “quickly, efficiently, and respectfully with one another.”
The end result: lifecycle marketing where customer content shines
By planning and managing their editorial calendar in Asana, Brittany’s team has more time to focus on being customer-centric. And because Asana helps them see everything that’s being produced, they’re better able to infuse the content into different stages of the customer journey.
As content becomes a larger part of many marketing teams’ strategies, it’s important to have clarity on what’s being produced, by whom, when, and why. Asana helps leading marketing teams like DoubleDutch stay on top of their editorial calendars so they can focus on what they do best: telling compelling customer stories.
Want to learn more about managing your content calendar and other marketing programs successfully? Get our free guide on how to create effective processes that turn your marketing strategy into results.