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Customer Education as a Career Path to Other Roles
December 12, 2022

By positioning yourself as someone who cares about enabling customers, you can successfully make the transition from education to success.

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 Path to 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.

The Path to Marketing

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.

The Path to Product Management

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:

  • Determine a need
  • Define requirements for an offering
  • Design it
  • Develop it
  • Launch it
  • Measure the results
  • Loop back to make improvements and/or expand it

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

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