As communicators, we preach the need to focus on “The story.” How we convey this “story” has many different paths, but in the world of Business-to-Business marketing and PR, the most important resolution to the “story” is, how did your customer succeed?
In a world dominated with a “It’s not you, it’s me” mentality, we can get caught up in telling our solutions story from our point of view. In order to sell, we must tell the story from the customer’s point of view.
As Geoffrey James points out in his post for Inc.com, “The most consistent mistake companies make in sales and marketing is to position their company or product as the hero of the story… Even when you tell [your] story with enthusiasm and confidence, you’re making a huge mistake, because you’re turning the customer into a minor character in your story, rather than the star of the show.”
With a little creativity, we can recharge our efforts. I would wager most press releases and marketing content includes a sentence or two about how “our company is the industry leader” or “our services and solutions offer terrific return on investment.” What would resonate is swapping generic marketing jargon with actual customer results. “ABC Company was overloaded with data and needed to improve their working systems. They used XYZ solution and were able to improve how their business operates.”
We must realize what prospects want to read is how similar companies have succeeded. How did that happen? What did they do? What were the results?
In June, we’ll outline the four best public relations strategies to make your customer the hero. And for a refresher on case study content, check out this past post by Barbara Longley MacGregor: Striking content marketing gold with case studies.