In our recent B2B Technology Marketing Survey, we had a section focused on customer engagement. After 23 years marketing technology solutions, I am 100% convinced that the single best asset any marketer has is our customers. Bringing your customers to the center of your marketing helps you tell compelling stories to your prospects and, more importantly, SHOWS them you can do what you say you can.
What did our survey reveal about how technology marketers are using customers in marketing?
The good news? 87% of respondents are using customer case studies to engage with prospects.
The bad news? 23% are not.
With those results, I thought I’d share the top three must-dos to bring customers to the center of your marketing.
Rule #1: Customer Case Studies (success stories) are a MUST HAVE in every marketing plan. And the more the better.
That might seem pretty basic, but since a quarter of technology marketers are NOT using customer stories in their marketing it’s a rule that obviously needs to be repeated. Beyond that, we asked partners how many of their customers have provided a case study, testimonial or quote for public use. Not even a full case study—just a simple quote. As it turned out, most respondents (81%) had less than 15% of customers speak out on their behalf. What were the barriers? That brings us to the next rule…
Rule #2: You need a plan (and a goal).
Don’t even think about going into 2017 without a plan to identify, create and use new customer success stories. In your plan, create goals around different customer proof points—testimonials, stories, visual pieces (such as infographics and videos). Identify your candidates, including who, when and how you’ll ask. Also, make sure your plan includes identifying where and how you’ll use the stories. Be creative! Posting case studies on your website is a given. How about building an outreach campaign around them and bringing them into email, social posts and online ads?
Beyond the barriers of a customer’s time and willingness to participate, one big finding was that 64% of marketers said they do not have enough time internally to run customer-centric marketing campaigns. Which brings me to my final rule…
Rule 3: See Rule 1.
Seriously, case studies should not be an option. FIND the resources you need to do this. If writing and designing great stories is a challenge, outsource them. If managing customers through the process is the challenge, drop something else you’re doing or outsource that too so you can shift your time to engaging your customers.
Do you have a plan in place to shine the light on your customers? If not, it’s a new year and an excellent time to start working on it.
Curious what else your peers said about their technology marketing successes, challenges and plans? Download our 2016 B2B Technology Marketing Survey for their answers.