There is a role in modern sales and marketing that is just starting to form. I call it the “Information Concierge”, but I suspect a similar role is called many things in many different organizations. This role bridges the gap between potential buyers and the information we have that is of value to them.
In many ways, this is what many of us are doing in social media, discovering conversations that relate to the topics of interest to us, and helping the people in those conversations through sharing data, perspective, anecdotes, and frameworks.
This, in essence, is the role of a concierge – helping to connect those seeking information with the information itself. But, it’s not purely an altruistic pursuit, we do it in order to ensure that our data, our perspectives, our anecdotes, and our frameworks make their way into the conversation. We do this in a non-salesy way, but we do it in a way that works to guide prospects our way slowly over time.
I believe that there are four reasons that the information concierge role is necessary, and will continue to grow, even as search engines continue to improve…
Clarity: As buyers look for deeper and deeper content, the clarity with which they must craft their search query increases. If you are looking for “measuring email deliverability rates for dedicated sending IPs”, you may or may not find an article that discusses “monitoring email sender reputations and non-delivered email counts by sender address”, even though it may be precisely what you are looking for. The information concierge role, however, can put these two together easily, and guide a person who asks that question in a discussion to the right discussion.
Priority: We all know that the first page of results on Google, and only the first few results there, are what generates nearly all the clicks. If a great article does not find its way to that top list, it will not be discovered by searchers in most cases. The information concierge can prioritize differently, and ensure that the best article, or perspective, for the question at hand is the one that is presented.
Ease: Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to find the information you need sometimes, and just asking a question in an active forum can result in a very quick set of detailed and valuable responses. As we move away from attempting to sell to buyers and towards facilitating their buying processes, the easier we can make it on them, the better.
Perspective: Perhaps the most important reason is the occasional need to change a buyer’s perspective. If they are not aware of your solution category, are thinking about the problem in an outdated way, or are attaching too much weight to the wrong decision criteria, only an information concierge can detect this, and provide them with a carefully crafted and well presented case for changing that perspective.
Search is an incredibly powerful and highly relevant way in which buyers obtain their information, but it remains only one part of the picture. As we move forward, I would suspect we’ll see a much clearer formalization of the “Information Concierge” role.
Four Reasons for an Information Concierge
by Jim Berkowitz on January 27, 2010