In today’s world, hype-based and high-pressure selling is rampant all with the customary “gotcha” fine print. So many misunderstandings and conflicts with customers often comes from the lack of consumer education.
We can all say that every consumer has the responsibility to get themselves educated on whatever product or service they are interested in purchasing or utilizing but ultimately any conflict or misunderstanding is a problem for the business regardless of whose responsibility it truly is.
As a practical matter, it is every business’ responsibility to do their very best to educate their potential customers of what the business represents, what they are selling, and how to best utilize their services or products. The art and science of doing this is a term I refer to as “educational marketing”. I did not invent the concept of teaching or educating potential or existing customers as a way of doing good business. However, for nearly 10 years, I have actively used the term and practiced “educational marketing” with a strong emphasis on the “education” part. Intelligent and educated customers make for well-informed and loyal customers.
Everyone talks about the importance of education in the context of colleges, universities, and trade schools. I would say that all businesses need to be in the “educational marketing” business as a precursor to any direct sales efforts. Otherwise, the danger of mixing education with the sales process gets met with skepticism.
Teaching and educating potential and existing customers are great ways of building trust, credibility, and loyalty. That is why educational marketing continues to be one of my favorite long-term marketing strategies.