LONDON: Sage, the accounting software business, is mining its own resources to develop content that more effectively helps its customers and generates business leads.

According to Neil Morgan, the company's EVP/Digital Marketing, most of its customers are small operations that struggle with the administrative side of business, which hampers their productivity and efficiency and even their very existence.

“Imagine if we could help some of those businesses that run out of cash because they don’t know how to manage it, don’t know how to do their taxes, don’t know how to get an invoice paid on time,” he told a recent Newscred ThinkContent conference.

To an extent, Sage was already doing this via the 30,000 customer calls it was handling every day, but rather than responding to individuals it saw an opportunity to become an authoritative destination for entrepreneurs.

“We wanted to take this content and put it out there, free to air and consume across any channel, that covers all the different types of advice a business would need,” explained Morgan. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Sage Advice: putting content at the heart of digital transformation.)

This was not as straightforward a proposition as it might sound, given that Sage’s business was very fragmented and much of the existing content was product-centred and trying to sell.

“It had no engagement [and] in some places you couldn't even sign up for an ongoing conversation,” Morgan noted.

That has all changed as the team has focused on addressing the problems businesses want to solve – such as how to create and send an invoice and get it paid on time.

“There’s no real sole authority on how to do it and yet, when we did it, there was an overwhelming amount of interest that led directly to product interest as well,” Morgan reported.

“We can reveal , if you’re trying to solve a problem, here’s the piece of advice, here’s the way to do it and here’s how we can help you with one of our products that you can try right there and then.”

At the same time, a newly launched e-commerce facility enables users to subscribe to those products. “It's all coming together in real time over the last three months,” he said.

Sourced from WARC