Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset

Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

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: How successful the customer is, and one of its steps to success has been using your solutions.  3.    Joint-benefit story angles-If possible, find a way to tell your story and the story that your customer wants to tell the public. Win-win! 4.    An evolving relationship-Move customers through a ... (more)

Dare to Give a Case Study Customer a Deadline?

What’s the biggest unknown in any case study or success story project? The customer’s review and approval time. As we’ve said, customers can turn a story around in a day or take months. You have to find a middle ground of being persistent but stopping short of pesky. Some people simply need specific targets. Or, to put it more bluntly, a deadline. Typically, I don’t give customers a deadline right out of the gate, when they first receive the story for review. I tell them that I’ll check back with them later in the week or early next week – usually giving them 3-4 days. The only... (more)

Three Tips for Finding Your Next Case Study Customer

Several times a week, an appeal for funds from a charity (or alma mater) arrives in my mailbox or inbox. The same organizations contact me over and over. It’s annoying, but if they don’t ask for contributions, they usually don’t get them. That’s just how it works. We have too much going through our heads. If you’re in an asking position, you have to be in the audience’s line of sight often if you hope to get a response. The same goes for the quest for case study or success story candidates and reference customers. Marketing and reference managers are constantly looking for ste... (more)

Will Customers Nominate Themselves as Stories?

If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success story candidates?  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 story.” 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)

A Winning Strategy for Landing Big-Name Customer Stories

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 a... (more)