Author: Bill Cushard
Customer education is not only a vital and strategic operation at a technology company but a function from which its leaders can take a career path to many other functions in the business.
The skills, capabilities, and experience one gains in customer education can be leveraged in customer success, marketing and product management, to name only a few. This blog addresses each of those three career paths and how customer education is a foundational career track.
Let's begin with customer success.
The ultimate goal of customer success is to help customers achieve a positive outcome from using your software.
Customer education teams who do it right, are always thinking about how to help a customer use their software to accomplish something beyond just using certain features. At a minimum, if you build a customer education function that becomes a primary means of helping customers and you position yourself as a person concerned with enabling customers, you can make a career path from education to success.
There is a career path from customer education to marketing. The bridge between the two is content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Content marketing is also about creating content that educates a potential buyer about something, and then persuading them to buy that something.
One step a customer education leader can take right now on the path to marketing is to use what one knows about the product, service, customer needs, or the customer job-to-be-done, and create blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and/or events or workshops that can be used as a marketing tool to draw prospects.
Customer education can lead to a career path in product management. Product management is about conceiving, making, and delivering products to customers. There are many product development methodologies, but they all lead to a few main steps:
Isn't this what customer education teams do every day? We just do it with education products (courses). In other words, a training offering is a product. It could be a video, a live online course, a private onsite course, a knowledge base, or any combination of the former. If you can demonstrate that you have conceived of training offerings, developed them, and then delivered them to customers (go-to-market), you can make the case that you have product management experience.
Reach out to learn more about where customer education can take you on your career path. Let’s explore this journey, together.
Originally published: October 9th, 2017