Success Stories From Scratch

=Doug Cotter Atlanta=

Starting – Don’t Over Complicate

We are what I like to view as being a “blank sheet” marketeer. What that means in my opinion is that I can take a concept, idea or product and locate some basic data via research or whatever can be acquired and then just start putting thoughts together and shape an account around it. As a former entrepreneur, this is one of my biggest challenges and accomplishments of my career, transforming an intangible concept into a 25-page business plan that would entice investors- getting started with a blank piece of paper. If I had a perfect analogy for content development, I’d say it’s a lot like cooking. Along with the best cooking comes from scratch.

So when you are looking at success stories, I think about it the same way. What’s my end goal and what can I get to get started? I tend to think often we become overwhelmed as marketeers with much to do, that individuals can easily over complicate what must get done- the end result. In the matter of success stories, it’s working together with customers to create awareness for your product.

Success stories are only concerned with generating awareness to operate a vehicle motivation to be enthusiastic about your product. They are this can be the best tool you can have to share with your customers, and not to mention your sales team that is likely salivating for new what to talk about.

Simplify while keeping focused to Deliver

But a success story doesn’t need to be a huge presentation or even a two page story which you may not have time to write or you may not have budget to own someone else to write. With social media and your website as the delivery channel, you could be on the road to delivering better results stories than you might realize by capturing a number of data points from a customers.

In my previous role as a director of communications, where my # 1 objective was creating media buzz normally as possible to bolster the company and company, I had created some challenges with having the ability to deliver many success stories- they require a lot of time and yes, this is a process-type of deliverable. But I began to realize if I could slice and dice the consumer base, and identify where the best opportunity brands and customers were, I would be more successful than pursuing every little thing that showed up in my email box. I went through the database picked my targets and dealt with product development and sales to make certain these customers were the top of list to test the most up-to-date and the greatest versions of product. My goal was to secure quotes from customers. Simple quotes that delivered value for the services and products that we provided.

A Consumer Success Strategy that Delivered

As a marketing consultant for the B2C company I developed a campaign that included setting up a toll-free number and inviting customers to “call in and share their story” promoting through a summer email series, having an opportunity to win monthly of free service or perhaps a grand prize. Customers enjoyed bragging about how exactly they were successful in employing the product and I had more testimonials than I thought possible. This was your small business, direct sales target market. They, specifically, loved to share their success and what they were doing to be successful. Given the opportunity I would definitely try that particular again, it worked well and it was fun. The approval process was simple, they previously agreed to talk about the product on the phone, the follow-up was calling or emailing these to get a cool photo from them to include to promote their quote. In simple terms the program was about promoting them through the use of our product. We promoted their quotes during the warm months campaign and in other campaigns that have been a fit.

Making it Work with B2B

In B2B it’s not always that simple. A person using your products will find it quite strategic and define your relationship with them as confidential. How will you overcome this hurdle? Within a B2B situation one thing I do is engage a bigger team internally. I make certain that I know when product is being tested and demo’d with customers. The partnership built with product marketing and product development becomes ever more important. When you’re in the meetings using the customer, this is your possibility to have them share details about their business. them for permission to record or take notes through the conversation, or be capable of taking really good notes. Since you’re in a product testing or demo situation, you or perhaps the lead person in the meeting can acquire the conversation started by asking, “Can you tell me about your business?”. Don’t think that because you have a relationship with these or have researched them you know everything about them. This is their opportunity to share and let you know their perspective so you often get a more humane unique perspective of the story, that will interest others. After they share information about their business you can get to challenges as well as what they need to be successful.

Take What you could Get and Build

When I am invited and sit in on these meetings, the feedback isn’t always glamorous. Not all customers are happy and often this in testing stages. Sometimes the feedback just isn’t usable and doesn’t go the method that you think. But the second We’ve the opportunity to capture any positive feedback, I follow-up the same day or next with all the customer and attempt to secure their permission to make use of the quote. It’s fresh for many years and they remember sharing their feedback. If you can’t sit in with a meeting, there’s always tradeshows and events. Clients are showing up at your booth, there’s out to capture what you say. Better yet, with tradeshows you’re able to do simple videos if you want. The more authentic the better.

Most of the time, the customer agrees. In the end, it’s only a quote, and they did provide that feedback, if you tweak the pages and use a bit, sometimes they think you’ve made them look better than what they originally said. I additionally share with the customer that is not only a promotional potential for their company which could lead into more media opportunities, it’s also an opportunity to promote themselves.

Which means you Got the Quote, So what now?

Herein lies the strength of a simple quote. If you have many of them, you start to develop another story. Customers that are saying good things about you making use of their brand attached to it. This is a building block. Quotes might be sliced and diced by industry size of customer, etc, demographically to be utilized for:

presentations
press releases on momentum
featured in your website
media opportunitie
analyst calls
social websites
email marketing
webinars
events
executive platforms

You receive the idea- the possibilities are endless. And also since you now have a slew of quotes, you might also need the basis of a success story on your company.

It’s Not With regards to you, It’s About Them

After the meeting, you will definitely already have a success story draft in the making. Remembering that the success story isn’t about your product, it is more about the success of the customer, ensure in the process that whatever you offer the customer is what they agree and be happy with. The goal is for these phones promote the relationship just as much as your company will. Needless to say since it is a person that is quoted, it is more about them as a person too. Everybody likes somewhat promotion, right?

With social media marketing and customers offering you feedback everyday, you’ll be able to likely even more easily capture their feedback and share it. You have many more success stories than you already know readily available. Now you must think about how are you likely to rally them up and make use of them as a key deliverable for the sales force to promote and rehearse every single day.

Got some ideas you’ve used to build success stories with little resources or budget? I’d love to hear them. If we share we continue to learn.

=Doug Cotter Atlanta=

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