Commandment 1: Be Helpful

The mindset every effective digital marketer should exhibit is helpfulness. As simple as it may sound, it is the least followed among the 10 commandments for effective digital marketing. If you cannot have that frame of mind and you always think about yourself, you will never achieve success.

Too dramatic? Not really. Below are some reasons why being helpful deserves it rightful place as first commandment.

3 Reasons Why Effective Digital Marketers Should Be Helpful

People Can Consume Information From Others

If your customers cannot find the information they need or want from you, they will get it from another business. It is as simple as that. Imagine you are Apple. You are selling MacBook Airs and iPhones. Your customer encountered a weird thing. The device they bought would not start. Where do they get the information to solve their problem? Apple’s website.

What if Apple does not have a support page? What if there is no after-sales support? It may sound farfetched because that cannot happen to Apple, but if they do not have that support, they will lose their following (and eventually all their customers).

Remember, you are not so indispensable (think monopoly – like electric providers or telecommunications industry here in the Philippines). People can switch easily to your competitors. If you do not give them what they are looking for, and make it easy for them, then you will lose these paying customers eventually.

Businesses Exist to Create Customers

Peter Drucker mentioned in his book, The Practice of Management, that the reason businesses exist is to create customers.

Yup, you heard that right.

The purpose of a business is not to make profit — as what we are accustomed to hearing. Businesses exist in society. Because of that relationship, any business will cease to exist if you you do not have customers; that is, people who have paid or are paying for your products or services.

Considering reason #1, if these people only buy from you once and never buy again from you, they “cease” being a customer and become “users.”

Because you don’t add value to them anymore, these users don’t buy, yet consume bandwidth. They take up your time, your resources, but you do not get anything in return from them.

Higher expenses and no revenues – where do you think that will lead your business to?

Courtesy Wins Every Time

Investing for the future is different from burning money. By helping your customers and potential customers now, they will give that back to you in the future. If you answer their questions now, you will have another chance to talk to them in the future. You can then pitch your products and services without them wanting to punch you in the face. They will be more open and receptive to you. You will have another chance to market to them.

Just look at your own behavior. You ware looking for, say, a 13″ laptop that you can carry around all day to your meetings. Imagine after going to a store you already mentioned that is what you want and you get offered by the salesperson a 15″ thick and heavy laptop that is more powerful but is cheaper than the one you are looking for. Would you like that? Won’t you just get irritated by that? I would. Bottomline – help your customers find what they are looking for.

Another way to look at this relationship is like with a bank. The customer is the bank and you are the depositor. You have to deposit something first before you can withdraw something. In this case, you deposit value by being helpful. Then, when you ask for their money (i.e. the sale), you have something to withdraw. Then, you just continue depositing goodwill. Eventually, they will make their withdrawal in the future — which means more sales for you.

Over to you

Effective digital marketing is not about posting your products or services online. A lot of people wrongly believe that when you post your promotions and price discounts all the time, people will flock towards you.

That is not the case. People look at reviews. They open multiple tabs on their browsers. They ask their friends before buying. The only way to be at the top of all those searches and conversations is to be at the top-of-mind of these people. That involves just not irritating them but providing them with value.

That means you give them more without asking anything in return. Or in other words, be helpful.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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