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Content marketing: mitigating risk for luxury purchases

October 1, 2010

I’m often asked my opinion on what types of companies or brands would benefit most from creating content experiences for their customers. My stock reply is always, “All of them, of course!” However, branded content works especially well for companies where there is a high risk associated with either switching to or purchasing their product.

For example, it’s very easy and inexpensive to sample the menu at McDonald’s. You walk into the restaurant, hand over a few dollars and walk out with a cheeseburger, some fries and a Coke. If you don’t like what you’ve ordered, all you’ve wasted are 15 minutes of your time and some loose change. You can go back to Wendy’s or Burger King for your next fast food fix. No harm done.

If you’re an upscale real estate developer, however, the risks are significantly greater. Not only will your customer have to spend several hundred thousand dollars buying one of your homes, there’s always the possibility that, once they have moved in, they won’t like their neighbors, discover that their commute sucks or that their children have snotty teachers.

If you are marketing a high consideration product – such as an expensive watch, a luxury cruise or a designer label dress, you can use content to mitigate the purchase risk and also to shorten the sales cycle. Whether it’s in print or online, one of the key components of a company’s content marketing strategy should be to create an editorial or interactive experience that enables potential customers to “sample” the brand without putting their finances or their lifestyle at risk.

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