As technology marketers, or technologists, our comfort zone often lies in our product knowledge. If you are the MASTER of telling people how awesome your products are and why they should use them, your potential customers probably checked out a long time ago.
As my colleague noted in a recent blog, 3 Customer Engagement Lessons Every Technology Marketer Needs, our customers are the single best asset any marketer has. Yet, our 2016 B2B Technology Marketing Survey revealed 23% of technology marketers aren’t taking advantage of that AT ALL.
It’s time to flip the switch on this and put your customers front and center. While you may think your products are being used one way, it’s often not the case. When was the last time you actually called a customer and asked them how they use your products, why they love working with you and what benefits they are seeing?
Ask yourself how engaging your customer stories are. Do prospects read them? Do they engage with them? Maybe it’s time to change up the same old 2-page PDF you’ve been doing for years.
Here are some creative ideas to showcase your customer stories in new ways you may not have thought of.
According to the Social Science Research Institute, 65% of us are visual learners. Why not illustrate your customer story with a super creative, visually engaging infographic case study? As with any good story, your customer case studies or success stories should have:
– A hero
– A villain
– Human problems and emotions
– A memorable ending
This may sound a little crazy but have you thought about an online chapter book? A case in point is Microsoft Stories. The Microsoft News team wrote a great story about their facilities manager and tried to release it to the press. Guess what? No bites! So, the team tried a different tactic and turned it into a page-turning story with compelling photography and video and put it online. Through this whole process they showcase how Microsoft built the city of the future – all using Microsoft technologies.
Podcasting is a little used medium, mostly because content producers are afraid of the technology side of it. Never mind the fact that some of us are just uncomfortable being on camera all the time. This is a great opportunity for you to look inside your organization for that person who is a great public speaker. Podcasting lends itself really well to technical discussions (if you’re talking to an IT audience), customer stories (you can co-host with a customer), or positioning yourself as a subject matter expert. Great examples exist all over the place. Perhaps you could start with your support desk. They impart valuable knowledge all the time for your customers and this is a great way to shine a light on them and their expertise.
Need help telling your customer stories…creatively? The Partner Marketing Group excels at facilitating the entire process between you and your customers from professional interviews to compelling stories. Give us a call if you’d like to learn more!
Written by: Cheryl Salazar, The Partner Marketing Group
I got my start in the channel working for a newly appointed Microsoft software distributor where I managed the Microsoft product line. In those days, working for a distributor meant moving heavy boxes filled with thick training manuals, managing floppy drives and SKUs, expediting shipping, executing big launch events and delivering partner education—classroom style.
Because our clients are software and technology companies, we know firsthand how challenging it is to tell a complex story in a way non-techie people understand. Oh, and by the way, you’ve also got to make it creative, engaging and relevant. How the heck do you do THAT?
The answer, my friends, is USE CASES!
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The Partner Marketing Group