Reaching customers today is tougher than it has ever been. Audiences are fragmented, no longer spending the massive amounts of time they used to on traditional media and coupled with a basic distrust of advertising and advertisers, it’s harder to create a positive brand impression that generates affinity. Brands strive to interact with their targets as a person – with attributes carefully honed to reflect the brand’s essence. Depending on the brand and the brand’s managers, success varies as brand’s efforts come off as insincere or manipulative much more often than they come off as honest and interested. If you look at all the ways a brand can touch a prospect in a manner that’s meaningful to the prospect, one is generally overlooked that is packed with powerful marketing potential – helping.

When a person helps another person it is an action usually dispensed in a time of need. Times of need are when we as humans are most vulnerable. We have exhausted our own resources, we don’t know where to turn, and just at the right time help arrives. Authentic, true, real, transparent – the giving of help without expected repayment is and always will be seen as a gift. If a prospect, whether B2B, B2C or B2E, interacts with a brand at the point of need with an action of help, in Stephen Covey’s terms, the brand has made a deposit into that target’s bank account. Continue to provide help and additional deposits are made. Over time, this helps build brand affinity.

So how does a brand help? We believe by providing learning, the relationship with a prospect is born on the right foundation. Using learning as marketing, empowers strategic marketing to look beyond conventional tactics, to innovate around audience pain points where the brand has expertise or can provide expertise related to its core offerings. Many companies today, from Intel to HubSpot to Sony among others, are recognizing the tremendous advantages of giving their audiences the insight they’re seeking through compelling learning experiences that enable them to excel in their business, job, or lifestyle.

If you’d like to discover more on this topic, download our new ebook “Learning as Marketing.”