4 Ways Knowledge Management Improves Marketing
Knowledge management has always been an organizational process, but it hasn’t always been labeled “knowledge management.” In fact, there’s not really a universal definition of knowledge management, although in recent years it’s become largely accepted that the term describes the process by which a company organizes its knowledge and generates value from it. For a glimpse into the many perspectives on what knowledge management is and what it entails, take a look at John P. Girard, Ph.D.’s collection of more than 100 KM definitions.
It’s no surprise, then, that a mention of knowledge management doesn’t automatically conjure up visions of marketing efficiency, yet marketing departments stand to reap some of the greatest benefits KM offers. It’s easy enough to see how KM can benefit functions such as customer support by making information on troubleshooting, product guides, and the like easily accessible by the customer support reps interacting with a company’s customers on a day-to-day basis. Gains such as reduced call resolution times are easily achieved through efficient knowledge management.
But how, specifically, does knowledge management improve marketing processes, marketing productivity, and effectiveness?
- KM puts in-depth, relevant, up-to-date, and on-brand information about your company’s products and services at your marketing team’s fingertips.
How many times have you encountered the strife between marketing and other departments? Marketing can easily become the black sheep in the company if they earn a reputation for over-promising. When marketing is faced with scenarios they lack in-depth knowledge about, they may end up presenting information that was once accurate but is no longer current or relevant. These situations can lead to strife down the line for sales reps in trying to close deals and in customer support when customers aren’t happy because your marketing team promised a, b, or c, and your company hasn’t delivered.
- Knowledge management fuels marketing with more in-depth information about prospects and leads.
Knowledge management and analytics aren’t one and the same, but they certainly complement one another when it comes to marketing. IT may be responsible for laying the foundation for data collection and analysis, but when raw customer data is translated to actionable insights coupled with knowledge of prior marketing campaigns and outcomes, efforts can be more focused on what customers actually want and need, giving marketing teams greater control over results than ever before. Providing the right information to the right prospects, at the right time, and on the right channels is, after all, a defining characteristic of modern marketing.
- Effective KM bridges marketing-sales collaboration and fuels sales enablement.
Better prospecting and lead generation bridges relationships between marketing and sales, with knowledge management ultimately serving to better enable sales teams as well. It is information that allows marketing teams to pinpoint the right time to transfer leads to the sales department and further provides sales with the most relevant knowledge assets to convert those leads to buyers. When leads are transferred to sales at a ready-to-buy stage, sales teams are happier and marketing-sales alignment is improved.
- Knowledge can reveal opportunities to target new customer segments, enter new markets, or develop new products and services.
Knowledge management isn’t only about the storage of information, but about making better use of a company’s knowledge across departments. Knowledge gained by customer service departments can be tremendously valuable for marketing teams who are seeking ways to repackage information or educate prospects on the benefits of your company’s products and services. KM can enable marketers to identify the best way to package knowledge assets to drive revenue, the most effective information for reducing time-to-purchase or converting more prospects to leads, and inform the content creation process, among other benefits.
Of course, effective knowledge management as a whole has far-reaching effects that improve the entire customer experience from start to finish, enhancing productivity for marketing teams, improving sales enablement, and makes customer support more effective after the sale. Gains in one area have a domino effect throughout the customer journey and throughout the organization, ultimately driving results and revenue.
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