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Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

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 online form. Does customer self-nomination actually work? Sometimes. I know it's worked extremely well for Toyota, which has tons of customer experiences on its site. But some B2B companies have tried the approach with hardly any submissions to speak of. Are consumers willing to submit thems... (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)

The Ugly Duckling of Case Studies – The “Not-for-Public-Use” Story

    I have a not-quite-two-year-old, and thus, spend a lot of time reading nursery rhymes and fairly tales. Most of these catchy or intriguing little stories pre-date our great-great-grandparents, but the lessons are still valid today. Take the story of the Ugly Duckling, a tale released by Hans Christian Andersen in 1843. The ugly duckling, which was mocked when young, grew up to be the most beautiful swan of them all. In the case study world, non-public customer stories are perceived as an ugly duckling of what we do. When you can't post it on your website, spin it into a pr... (more)

Seven Ways to Encourage Customers to Be Case Studies

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)

Help Nonprofits Sell Better with Stories

If you heard that a certain type of fox is endangered, would you be moved to act? 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 affected. 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)