In 2014 and 2015 I spent much of my time being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia by the fantastic oncology and haematology team at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Along with intravenous chemotherapy, I received intrathecal chemotherapy to treat leukaemia infiltration in my central nervous system (injections of chemotherapy into my spinal cord), radiotherapy to treat areas around my brain and a number of other drugs and treatments to counteract chemotherapy, prop up my immune system, wipe out my immune system, prepare my body for a bone marrow transplant, keep my blood and platelet levels where they should be, keep my heart ticking along and manage pain.
Without this treatment I wouldn’t be here today to write this post, but I have to let you know that I didn’t accept all of the treatments and drugs that were recommended to me by my consultants, and I added other treatments and therapies including chiropractic, reiki, reflexology, positive thinking and nutritional focus to my weekly activities, because my wife and I took the decision from day one, that we would empower ourselves with as much knowledge as possible to make sure that I had the very best chance of beating the disease.
From that day back in May 2014 when I was diagnosed, while I went through my daily chemotherapy session, blood infusions and occasional ‘sleep-overs’ in hospital due to infections, my wife went on a mission to investigate, understand and empower us with all the knowledge she could find that would give me the best chance of survival and make sure her husband and daddy to our 2 young children, Eloise and Oscar, came out the other side. All of this at the same time as keeping Eloise and Oscar safe and healthy, keeping their routine as normal as possible (obviously with the help of some very dear family and friends) and preparing me food in a neutropenic way (fastidiously clean due to me have very low immunity to infection).
By taking control of our situation, we empowered ourselves to understand as much as possible about the condition we were dealing with and the science and known impacts of every drug, treatment and therapy available.
This helped us make educated decisions about drugs and treatments I chose to refuse and the additional therapies and nutritional choices I made.
In May 2015 I relapsed and was eventually given 2 months to live in July that year.
3 years on, I’m in a very small minority of patients that are still alive having received a bone marrow transplant and relapsing. Only 7% live beyond 5 years.
I’m in complete remission, with no signs of leukaemia disease.
My lead consultant, a world renowned expert in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, recently said to me “You’re a bit of an anomaly. I can’t explain it, but whatever you’ve been doing and for some reason, you’ve beaten it”.
So what can you take from this for your business?
My wife and I found and used the information we needed to make the right decisions for the best outcome.
By providing your customers with the information they need to get their best outcome, you’ll build their trust in your company, as well as an understanding that you are the experts.
What can you do?
Helpful, trustworthy information through blogs, guides, infographics, videos and live presentations show that your company cares about making sure customers get what they need. Among this content you should include a clear outline of the best way or process for the customer to achieve their goal with the type of service or product that you and your competitors offer.
It also make it much easier for the decision makers to pick you out as a preferred supplier or partner, because all the information they need to make an educated decision is at hand, provided by you, so you’ll be building a relationship early on.
This kind of nurturing campaign content means that you can lead the buying process (although the customer will think they are leading it) without the customer feeling they’re being sold to all the time.
If you get your helpful content right people will share it with colleagues and other industry connections through networking events and social media – LinkedIn, twitter, Instagram and more.
This might feel like a step to far, giving away too many secrets, but the reality is that your customers don’t have the knowhow, the years of expertise or the resources to simply take guidance and deliver the results you can. They don’t want to be adding the burden of creating, supporting or maintaining something outside of their expertise – that costs money and takes focus away from their core deliverables.
Here are some ideas to help you create the content you need to share.
Most importantly you need to know your customers, so pick 2 or 3 types to start with and research all you can about those types of businesses, their industry sector, the changes taking place in their market, the decision makers and their competitors. Use this as the backbone for what you do next.
Now you can get on to working out what helpful and insightful content to create.
Think about the common questions your sales and customer care teams are asked by customers.
Outline the best practice approach to delivering the results they’re looking for.
List the best useful hints and tips that help get the best results.
Clearly outline how your types of service or product help deliver the results they want.
Comment on what you know would help companies in their specific industry.
Create a survey your customers can use to assess the reality of their specific needs and suggest how to address those.
Share case studies of customers that have achieved the results they’re looking for.
Produce some ‘how to’ guides for the common activities your service or product undertakes.
Identify any standards that your types of service or product should meet for the best outcome.
Once you’ve gathered this information create a range of marketing assets such as blogs, e-books, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media posts and reports/whitepapers.
Now share these across social media, email, on your website and at events.