I'm a big proponent of what I call "win-win storytelling" in customer case
studies and success stories. The company creating the customer story has to
benefit, as does the featured customer.
The key - especially for landing big-name customers for customer stories - is
finding what motivates each customer (on an individual, departmental or
company level). Simply reminding the customer they receive free publicity may
not be enough.
In just the past two weeks, I've worked on several stories with interesting
customer motivators behind them:
- A civil engineer is enthusiastic about being featured because
it showcases his own success on a major project (and he used my client's
software to do so). Nice addition to his resume!
- An IT department participated because it wants to highlight its
innovative best practices publicly.
- And a marketing department... (more)
If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success
From consumer-products companies to B2B to nonprofit organizations, many now
actively solicit stories with self-service “Share Your Story” links on
their Web sites. Apple created a link for this soon after the release of its
wildly popular iPhone. FileMaker software includes a link to “Tell us your
Girl Scouts of the USA asks former members to share their experiences for its
alumnae program. And Toyota Motor Sales gather owners' stories and gets usage
permission through an o... (more)
From startups to global enterprises, every company struggles at times with
getting customers to go on record. Here are some ideas in practice at
companies today for encouraging customers to be featured:
1. Access and involvement-Surprisingly, the #1 thing customers want is
access and involvement-access to your execs and involvement in your
product/service roadmap. Generate ways for your top customers to interact
with your organization on a deeper level.
2. Co-marketing campaigns-Create a few co-marketing campaigns for the
customers you most want to feature. The focus: Ho... (more)
A customer story is one of the most versatile and powerful types of
promotional content any organization can create. Here are the top 25 ways you
can use case studies or success stories - or summaries of them - to establish
or reinforce credibility, educate audiences, and validate products, services
Note: "Customer stories" refers to customer case studies or success stories.
Web sites - Tease and link to customer stories right from the home page, and
include customer stories with all relevant product and service pages.
Newsletters - Run customer stories in new... (more)
If you heard that a certain type of fox is endangered, would you be moved to
How about if you heard that a mama fox was trying to keep herself and her
litter safe as their forest disappears?
Now that's different. There's a story there with actual individuals being
Such was the storyline for a campaign by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF),
which told a universal tale of survival to communicate about the kit fox
problem in Northern California.
Information in the context of a story is dramatically more compelling than
straight facts. Yet, many nonprofits fail to tell... (more)