Success Stories From Scratch

=Doug Cotter Atlanta=

Getting Started — Don’t Over Complicate

We are what I like to view as a “blank sheet” marketeer. What that means to me is that I can have a concept, idea or product and find some basic data via research or whatever is available and then just start putting thoughts together and shape a narrative around it. Being a former entrepreneur, this is one of my biggest challenges and accomplishments of my career, transforming an intangible concept in a 25-page business plan that would entice investors- starting out with a blank small note. If I had a perfect analogy for content development, I’d say it’s a lot like cooking. And the best cooking comes from scratch.

So when you are looking for success stories, I think about this the same way. What’s my aim and what can I reach get started? I tend to think often we become overwhelmed as marketeers with much to do, that individuals can easily over complicate what needs to get done- the end result. Regarding success stories, it’s working with customers to create awareness for the 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 which is likely salivating for new what to talk about.

Simplify and Focus to Deliver

But a success story doesn’t have to be a huge presentation or possibly a two page story that you might not have time to write or you might not have budget to own someone else to write. With social networking and your website since your delivery channel, you could be on the road to delivering more success stories than you may realize by capturing a few data points from your customers.

In my previous role being a director of communications, where my number one objective was creating media buzz as often as possible to bolster the company and company, I’d some challenges with having the ability to deliver many success stories- they take a lot of time and yes, it is just a process-type of deliverable. But I started to realize if I could slice and dice the consumer base, and identify in which the best opportunity brands and customers were, I would be more successful than chasing after every little thing that turned up in my email box. I underwent the database picked my targets and worked product development and sales to ensure these customers were the surface of the list to test the most up-to-date and the greatest versions of product. Transpire was to secure quotes from customers. Simple quotes that delivered value on the services and products that we provided.

A Consumer Success Strategy that Delivered

As a marketing consultant for any B2C company I created campaign that included starting a toll-free number and inviting customers to “call in and share their story” promoting by having a summer email series, with an opportunity to win monthly of free service or a grand prize. Customers enjoyed bragging about how precisely they were successful in employing the product and I had more testimonials than I thought possible. This was a company, direct sales target market. They, particularly, loved to share their success as well as what they were doing to achieve success. Given the opportunity I’d personally definitely try any particular one again, it was very successful and it was fun. Your application process was simple, they previously agreed to talk about the product on the telephone, the follow-up was calling or emailing these phones get a cool photo from them to include to promote their quote. In essence the program was about promoting them by utilizing our product. We promoted their quotes during the summer time campaign and in other campaigns which are a fit.

Making it Help B2B

In B2B it is not always that simple. A person using your products will find it quite strategic and define your relationship with them as confidential. How would you overcome this hurdle? Within a B2B situation first thing I do is engage a more substantial team internally. I ensure that I know when method is being tested and demo’d with customers. The connection built with product marketing and website becomes ever more important. If you are in the meetings with all the customer, this is your possiblity to have them share information about their business. them for permission to record or take notes through the conversation, or be able to take really good notes. Because you are 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 feel that because you have a relationship using them or have researched them you know everything about them. That is their opportunity to share and show you their perspective so you often get a more humane unique outlook during the story, that will interest others. When they share information about their business you can get to challenges and just what they need to be successful.

Take What you are able Get and Build

Once 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 is just not usable and doesn’t go the way you think. But the second We have the opportunity to capture any positive feedback, I follow-up within 24 hours or next with all the customer and attempt to secure their permission to utilize the quote. It’s fresh in their mind and they remember sharing their feedback. If you can’t sit in with a meeting, there’s always tradeshows and events. Industry is showing up at your booth, there’s your opportunity to capture what you say. Better yet, with tradeshows you’re able to do simple videos if you want. The more authentic better.

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

Which means you Got the Quote, What to do now?

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

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

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

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

At the end of the meeting, you possibly already have a success story draft from the making. Remembering which a success story just isn’t about your product, it’s really down to the success of the customer, ensure on the way that whatever you give the customer is what they agree and understand. The goal is for them to promote the relationship around 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 just a little promotion, right?

With social media marketing and customers supplying you with feedback everyday, you can likely even more easily capture their feedback and share it. Then chances are you have many more success stories than you already know readily available. Now you should just think about how are you going to rally them up and make use of them as a key deliverable for your sales force to promote and use every single day.

Got some ideas you have used to build successes with little resources or budget? I might love to hear them. When we share we continue to learn.

=Doug Cotter Atlanta=