Telling your story for you – the customer success story.

February 10, 2009

Telling your story for you – the customer success story.

OK—Quick quiz: Where does the technology vendor rank in the credibility pyramid?

1st  2nd 3rd 4th

If you said 4th, you’re dead right. At the top of that pyramid, people trust their own experience, the experience of others like them and media, analysts or objective third parties. This is why the Customer Case Study is so valuable.

Whether you call them Case Studies or Success Stories, these testimonials are an essential part of your marketing mix. Having customers tell your story for you is one of the best ways to get the word out. If you Google customer case study, you’ll find companies such as Dell have entire case study centers. Sun includes its case studies on its Customer Reference Program page, which is the ideal uberstrategy for customer case studies.

Approaching a customer can yield more than just a story. First off, you can obtain a quote, excellent for collateral, presentations and the website. Then there is the quick case—just a few paragraphs that can be placed on the web to entice further exploration. And of course, there’s the full case. This can follow the angles you choose:  A successful partnership, ROI, a competitive advantage.

Create the right mix:

Don’t simply select your biggest or best companies. Look for hooks that will help people relate. Choose industries, choose unique applications and demonstrate the breadth of your products and services.

Include the right things:

  • Sell through the headline and the first two paragraphs
  • Use bullet point summaries
  • Include images
  • Choose a pull-quote to pop off the page

Promote it right

Pitch it to media before publishing it on your site. Link to it from your blog or from your company Facebook page. Reference it in newsletters to customers, and communications with analysts and partners.

Engage a media partner to host it and e-blast promotional materials on it. They can drive traffic to a registration page that captures their contact information. This can cost thousands, but can deliver hundreds of leads. Did you make a video or podcast? Host in from your site and put it out on Youtube. This video from Summit’s customer Mi-Corporation only references a customer, but aptly shows the power of the technology backed by the customer’s savings.

Summit can show you how a customer case study can play a role from PR to sales support, to partner recruitment, to internal morale boosting. Tell us how you approach customer case studies. We’ll show you how to leverage them even further.


One Response to “Telling your story for you – the customer success story.”

  1. Nice post. I particularly curious about your recommendation to work with a media partner. Any additional insights on that would be of interest.

    My firm doesn’t focus on writing stories or promotion but helps client’s manage the reference program with a software application (SaaS) specifically for the enterprise. See:

    We also do a blog specifically on customer reference management. See:
    I’ll welcome your thoughts on our writing on this subject.



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