They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan is a book that provides a framework for businesses to create valuable content that addresses the questions and concerns of their customers. The book focuses on inbound marketing and content strategy. Here are the key ideas from the book:
Educational Marketing
Sheridan emphasizes the importance of shifting from traditional marketing to educational marketing. Instead of pushing sales messages, businesses should focus on providing valuable, educational content that answers the questions and concerns of their target audience.
The Big Five Content Topics
Sheridan introduces the "Big Five" content topics that businesses should address in their content marketing:

1. Cost
Address questions related to pricing and cost.

2. Problems
Discuss common problems and challenges faced by customers.

3. Comparisons
Compare your products or services to competitors.

4. Reviews
Share honest reviews and testimonials from customers.

5. Best in Class
Highlight what makes your products or services the best in your industry.
The They Ask, You Answer Philosophy
The book's title encapsulates its central philosophy. When customers ask questions, businesses should answer those questions transparently and thoroughly. By doing so, they build trust and credibility with their audience.
Content as a Sales Tool
Sheridan argues that content is not just for marketing but also for sales. High-quality content can serve as a sales tool by addressing customer concerns and helping prospects make informed decisions.
Becoming the Go-To Resource
The goal of the "They Ask, You Answer" approach is to position your business as the go-to resource in your industry. When customers trust your content, they are more likely to choose your products or services.
Understanding the Digital Consumer
The book delves into the changing behaviors of today's digital consumers. Customers rely on online research and content to inform their purchasing decisions, making content marketing crucial.
Content Production Strategies
Sheridan provides insights into how to create, organize, and publish content effectively. He discusses the importance of consistency and the use of various formats, such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts.
SEO and Content Optimization
The book covers the role of search engine optimization (SEO) in content marketing. It explains how businesses can optimize their content to rank well in search engine results and attract organic traffic.
The Importance of Transparency
Sheridan emphasizes the need for transparency in addressing sensitive topics, including pricing and potential drawbacks of your products or services. Being open and honest builds trust with customers.
Measuring and Analyzing Results
Businesses should regularly measure the impact of their content marketing efforts. Sheridan discusses key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics tools to track the effectiveness of content.
The Sales Process
The book explores how content can be integrated into the sales process, from attracting leads to nurturing them through the sales funnel.
Overcoming Resistance
Sheridan acknowledges that adopting the "They Ask, You Answer" philosophy may face resistance within organizations. He offers strategies for overcoming common challenges and objections.

"They Ask, You Answer" provides a comprehensive framework for businesses to create customer-centric content marketing strategies. It emphasizes the importance of addressing customer questions and concerns honestly and transparently, ultimately building trust and driving sales.