When Amazon begins the process of developing a new product or website feature, the project manager in charge starts the project off by writing a mock-up press release announcing the finished product — this press release is geared towards the customer.
It occurred to me that this methodology which has been proven to be so successful is a brilliant way to think about how you should write and distribute your digital content.
We are in the largest digital transformation of the century and it is vital that new ways of selling and marketing are adopted. Not that creating lazer focused digital content for your key clients is a new thing but I think most can agree it is incredibly hard to do sustainably and at scale (here is a great ebook explaining this process).
At Passle we work off the diagram above which is fairly close to the methodology of working backwards. You need to start with the customer/prospect; who is the customer/prospect and what is their challenge.
In the same way Amazon advises you to then pull together a digestible press release, produced by the product manager (the expert), b2b digital content also needs to mirror this - the expert must create it.
Don't take my word for this, Edelman and LinkedIn's thought leadership impact study finds that top performing content is concise, timely, showcases new insight and is delivered by a trusted source.
Therefore you need to activate your experts and those around them who understand the needs of the client to start producing this content.
Once this stage is complete, the fun really starts as the author and wider team can communicate these insights that really will engage and reach your key clients whether through social (LinkedIn etc), 1-2-1 emails or a tailored newsletter tool.
Ultimately, as Amazon Web Services SVP, Andy Jassy says: If the team can’t come up with a compelling press release, the product probably isn’t worth making.' this is likely the same for your content, if those communicating are not prepared to share your content to move business forward then it probably isn't worth creating in the first process.
According to McAllister, working backwards begins by "[trying] to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it." For new initiative, the process begins with a formidable task: A product manager must write an internal press release announcing a finished product. "Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions," writes McAllister. "If the benefits listed don't sound very interesting or exciting to customers, then perhaps they're not (and shouldn't be built)." In that case, the manager must continue revising the press release until they've come up with something better.