Stories that Sell

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Survey Says…Case Studies Still Influential in B2B Tech Purchases

Stories that Sell

We all work hard to create attractive content. But just how useful is it in actually influencing buyers? Each year, I look forward to The Eccolo Media B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report , which opens the lid on how B2B technology buyers consume marketing content. Of course, I want to know, what's going on with customer case studies? Again, this year's just-released report didn't disappoint.

Zahmoo: The Online Story Bank

Stories that Sell

In an organization, a single, powerful story can help land new business, get PR, win awards, train new sales reps, and reinforce the company's vision among all employees. Yet so many stories go unrecorded - and lost as people leave the company. You need a process for capturing them, and a place to do so. It lets you. Collect stories from folks throughout your organization in one place.

The #1 Question to Ask Before Starting Any Case Study

Stories that Sell

A customer story can't just be interesting or results-oriented. It also needs to sell. Even more critically, it needs to influence the intended audience. Before beginning customer success stories or case studies with a new client, I ask a LOT of questions of my marketing contacts - well before ever talking to one of their happy customers. What do they do, for whom and how?

8 Traits of Sales-Win Stories

Stories that Sell

Savvy sales teams share customer success stories to move prospects further toward a purchase decision. But customer case studies aren't the only type of story that can help a rep close a sale. Many companies create sales-win success stories to document what was behind a particular sale. Who did sales reps talk to? How long was the sales cycle? What approaches did they use? Document the details.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Case Studies: When Measurable Results AREN’T Necessary

Stories that Sell

"Chris Strouth tweeted "sh*t, I need a kidney" then got one." Whoa, what? That's the headline on one of Twitter's new success stories , one of many about how the social media site has made a difference for people. Twitter features a number of stories, but out of all of them, I needed to read that one - to know the rest of the story.

Kronos Spotlights Dozens of Customers through Expanded Reference Program

Stories that Sell

The book Stories that Sell , and a recent blog post here , lauded Kronos Incorporated for its Best Practices Awards Program, an annual program to recognize customers that achieve value and success with Kronos solutions. The leading maker of workforce management solutions featured award winners at its annual user conference, KronosWorks. Need a refresh on what a customer reference program is?

Case Study Design – Turn it Sideways

Stories that Sell

It's easy to get into a rut with design, especially when a marketing piece like a case study contains all the same elements every time. Headline. Subhead. Photo. Steelcase , known for its office designs and furniture, has brought its design inspiration to the customer success story. But more than that, the company added a simple twist - turning the success story horizontal. The result? Share

Can You Doctor Customers’ Quotes?

Stories that Sell

In journalism, a person's direct quote is sacred. What's said is said, and any journalist with integrity doesn't change a word. While customer case studies have many similarities to journalism, they're not. It's marketing. And customers have the chance to review and approve their stories and direct quotes. That single fact alone is why it's OK to change quotes, but not TOO much. In short, a little.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Customer Quotes That Compel and Sell in Case Studies

Stories that Sell

In a customer story, quotes are the very voice of the customer, your sound bites. Without them, a story can feel flat. Studies have even shown that people who skim tend to read text that's called out in quotes more than the rest of a story. How do you use quotes for maximum impact? Here are a few tips: Get in Three 'Marquee' Quotes. In every case study, if there’s space, try to include at least three key quotes that cover these topical areas: Challenge/Pain - Show the pain or challenge the customer faced before the solution came along. Add More for Emphasis. Don't Over- or Under-Quote.

Eek, My Own Process Broke Down!

Stories that Sell

In the customer story process, you can't miss any bases on your way to home plate. After 11 years of working on customer stories, I've become set in my ways. And with good reason. I've refined my step-by-step process for creating case studies and success stories and usually stick to it religiously. One step happens before the next, and if not, the story might suffer. I've blogged about my process, featured it in my book, and preach and teach it to other writers. shouldn't have been surprised. Due to circumstances out of my control, the order of steps on stories for a client got flip-flopped.

Chase Those Customer Stories – Before Treasured Contacts Leave!

Stories that Sell

What a difference a couple of months makes. Earlier this summer, I was talking with a friend/associate about customer stories. The web developer was excited to capture a case study on one of his customers who had a great experience with his firm. Not only did the web site deliver for the company but the main contact was a dream - eloquent, intelligent and very happy with the web firm's services.

Doubt the Power of Customer Stories Today?

Stories that Sell

Why do customer success stories work? Why are they more important than ever? And how do you create quality video customer stories for your marketing efforts? I am honored to be a featured expert for The Light Group , a digital media company. Check out the video interview above, where I talk about the power of customer stories, key elements of good stories, and the role of video today.

Remember, and Be More Memorable – with Stories

Stories that Sell

Note from Casey Hibbard:While I’m out on maternity leave until the end of July, this blog will feature a summer guest blogger series with content from experts in marketing, organizational storytelling and writing. By Shawn Callahan. Andi Bell is a lean, 30-something Londoner. He looks like one of those bicycle couriers who zip past you in Soho. How did he do it? Andi has a method. since 2004.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Avoid ‘The Kiss of Death’ When Asking for Your Next Testimonial

Stories that Sell

By Bill Metcalf. Note from Casey Hibbard: While I'm out on maternity leave until the end of July, this blog will feature a summer guest blogger series with content from experts in marketing, organizational storytelling and writing. One of the most powerful tools in any marketing arsenal is raving testimonials from your happy clients. Asking for testimonials from clients – yuck! It’s embarrassing.

How Kronos Finds, Showcases its Best Customer Successes

Stories that Sell

It's a common conundrum for companies today.How do you uncover the best stories among your customers, and then get them to share those stories publicly? Software company Kronos Inc. , a global provider of workforce management solutions, takes a creative, relationship-focused approach to finding its best customer stories and getting them out there: an annual customer awards program.

Customer Stories Q&A – Live on Facebook

Stories that Sell

This Wednesday, I'll be the guest expert on a live Q&A on Erin Blaskie's Facebook page. Come join me and Erin at 1 EST on Sept. 28, and bring your questions about marketing with customer case studies and success stories! Click over and like Erin's page to join in. Learn more about Erin , entrepreneur and owner of BSETC. Share: customer case studies Customer success stories

Thesis vs Genesis – Comparing Premium WordPress Themes


Over the Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of working on my first website using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I say pleasure because it happened to be my husband’s new photography site, and it was the first theme he’s chosen that didn’t lead me to using a string of obscenities that might actually shock people who regularly watch HBO. Thesis vs Genesis. Enjoy! 59.95.

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A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

The Trouble with Klout

Paul Gillin

Estimating influence is a delicate balance of art and science. People are drawn to quantitative methods because scores are easy to understand. The downside of reducing influence to a number, though, is oversimplification. Lately, I’ve been looking at  Klout , the popular new tool that bills itself as “The Standard&# for influence measurement. The more I look at it, the less I like it.

7 Reasons Why Business Websites Are Still Important


With all the hype around Facebook, blogs and Twitter, I often get asked whether a business still needs a website. seriously) Having a good website for your business is even more important now that technologies like Twitter and Facebook make it easier for more people to find you. People search through search engines like Google or Bing, not via Facebook for fan pages. What do you think?

The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011


Few phenomena have ever spread as far and grown as rapidly as social media; obviously, this has tapped into something essential to our nature. What is it? The answer may come from the email marketing field. According to a recent study by email service provider Aweber, four simple words virtually guaranteed to get an email opened are: “You are not alone.”. Jennifer Aaker. aaker. Diana Adams. Ambal.

Social CRM and Return on Marketing: Customer Life Cycle Value


No marketing activity is an island. No customer-centric business process should be isolated. Every business should be working on integrating all data platforms, silos, marketing channels and businesses processes right now in order to have a single customer view and 360 degrees social CRM approach. Smart campaigns and branding are crucial for every business. Integrated. People-centric. Why now?

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The Ultimate Guide to Content Experience

The process of content marketing has typically been defined by a three-pillar system that consists of “Creation”, “Distribution”, and “Insights”. However, this system neglects to include the significant fourth pillar of content marketing: Experience.

Why the Term “Marketing-Qualified Lead” Creates Serious Confusion – Part I

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet. SiriusDecisions made a brilliant contribution to B2B marketing several years ago when they created their Demand Waterfall. That “waterfall” is a metaphor for key funnel stages. It seems like everyone I talk to who works in the technology industry, which is an early adopter of marketing innovations, uses the Demand Waterfall framework. What Does “Marketing-Qualified Lead” Mean to You?

Connect Your Blog to Facebook Automatically

Writing on the Web

Are your blog posts fed automatically into Facebook? The other day I was horrified to learn that a dear client was manually posting his blog articles to Facebook. Yikes! No wonder blogging seems tiresome and time-consuming. took my pencil and rapped him on the knuckles, gave him a virtual scowl and promised to write a post about how to do this. How to Automatically Link Blog Posts to Facebook.

Why Klout matters. A lot.

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

Yes, this is a real invitation. If you hate Klout … and you probably do … try to take a deep breath and read ahead with an open mind. And, unlike every other blogger on the planet it seems, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a very important development. In fact, a historically important development. Never has. Never will. Now, for a different perspective. Even me. Right?

Are we killing our customers with engagement?

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

By Neicole Crepeau, Contributing {grow} Columnist. Facebook is seeing a decline in use. Studies show that users are un-Liking business pages. Consumers are getting savvy and more jaded about businesses use of social media—and they’re responding negatively. The thing is, it’s our own fault. So, lots of companies have done just that. Sure, there are exceptions. Those customers are a minority, though.

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

6 Reasons Social Media Sucks, But You Need to Use It Anyway


Amid all of the hype, conferences, and rapid adoption of social media marketing by organizations from sole proprietors to the Fortune 100, there remains an undercurrent of skepticism. This surfaces in posts like Social Media Skepticism , 5 reasons why social media skeptics maybe right and Business social networking: where’s the ROI? Image credit: Spin Sucks. Reasons Social Media Sucks. 1.

7 ideas to turn PowerPoint slides into social media marketing gold

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

Although PowerPoint has been around for years, it is still the king of presentation software tools.  It is an absolutely critical arrow in my business marketing quiver … and for some reasons that might surprise you! Here are seven ideas to use PowerPoint slides to create new value for your social media marketing efforts: 1. Populate Slideshare. Do it. 2. Spice up a blog post. Make an eBook.

Content Marketing: What Content People Share And Why They Do It


Why do people share content? It’s a simple question but when looking at it, you’ll quickly discover the answer is all but easy, depends on many factors and requires a good deal of psychological insights. However, in trying to answering it, one can find a lot of value for his business and “target groups” in this social media and multi-channel marketing age where content plays an increasing role and content marketing is a hot topic. Content is an enormously broad concept that we use every day without really defining it. We seldom talk about what it is. Thus context. Or are we both?

The Three Most Dangerous Social Media Metrics

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

By Srini nvas Rao, Contributing {grow} Columnist. while back I said that metrics and measurements have a tendency to limit our potential. What I failed to realize was that this is only the case when we measure the wrong things.  As bloggers it’s really easy to get caught up in comparison and competition. As a result we end up measuring the things that don’t have a strong impact on our business.

2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

To build a world-class marketing program, it's crucial to compare yourself to the best performers - but competitor data can be scarce.

50 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Insights of 2011 (So Far)


Social media marketing has gone well beyond the hype stage and is now mainstream business practice. Still, questions remain: how do I use social media most effectively across the enterprise? Which social media monitoring tools should I use? What should I monitor for? How do I use my time and resources most effectively? What social media developments and trends should I be watching? What to do?

Social Media is Lowering Our Content Standards

Digital B2B Marketing

Sharing has ceased to be an endorsement of the quality of content. Social media has created the expectation that we share content, and in the drive to meet the content demands social media places on us, our content standards are falling. …&# or “+100 RT …&# ). As Jessica Northey wrote recently, Don’t Should On Yourself and instead, find what works for you. Forget the Rules.

Monitoring vs Analytics [Infographic]

Buzz Marketing for Technology

After two years at the helm of Avaya’s social media strategy which produced a very strong ROI in the Social Customer Support area, I am happy to say we finally got that strategy institutionalized within the Support organization so I found myself with a rare opportunity to evolve our strategy from brand monitoring and reputation management to something higher order like Social Insights.

The making of a social media slut

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

I crossed the line.  I think I have become a social media slut. Before I tell my tale, let me relate a few of my experiences this week … A very talented friend told me he was rejected for a job at a major ad agency because his Klout score was too low. A B2B marketing agency Managing Director told me he chose between two qualified candidates based on their Klout score. Oh my God. Filthy. 

10 Key Marketing Trends for 2016

Learn how you can deliver the outstanding cross-channel experiences your contacts want.