Marketing departments are experiencing more scrutiny lately — especially as budgets are being tightened up during the economic stress of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Business leaders are seeking real value and results from their marketing efforts, not just brand awareness. Successful campaigns need to be in-budget, targeted, and provide trackable results. Customer case studies have proven to be highly effective marketing styles and can be leveraged in a variety of ways.
Why Use Customer Stories
Individuals connect with stories, it’s how we communicate and relate to each other. Customer success stories are the original peer review. Long before online shopping, referrals from our friends, and trusted associates were the strongest form of marketing. When our friends have a good experience, we have greater confidence in the previously unknown company. Customer case studies are the bridge between our friend’s referral and peer reviews.
When your business facilitates a success story with a customer, capture those positive results, and use them to promote to new prospects. Concrete evidence of success that your customers can identify with is priceless so record these stories as frequently and thoroughly as possible.
Telling an Effective Customer Story
Include these key components in your customer story:
State the initial needs and expectations — This frames the scenario so the reader can better understand the stated results described later. It can also make the situation more relatable if it happens to be a dilemma like one the reader is facing.
Define the deliverable results — Briefly explain the product or service provided to the customer that solved their problem.
Put some real numbers to the results if possible — Numbers get the reader’s attention, and they have easily understood results, so describe the positive results with percent changes or dollar values wherever possible… 150% increase in business; $1200 annual savings in utility bills; 40% increase in brand name recognition; etc. Keep it brief. Most readers want to know the results, not the nitty-gritty.
Put a face and a name to it — This makes it real. People are drawn to faces, so include a name, picture, or something identifiable for the reader to connect with.
Give it an attractive presentation — Results are effective but don’t forget that you need to look professional too. Give it some eye appeal to draw a viewer’s attention. There are a lot of subliminal messages that can be conveyed with subtle material choices and design techniques. Consult with a designer or printer for options that can help express exactly what you want to say to the reader.
Spread the word! — Share the customer success story every way you can, both digitally and physically. Share it on your website, through your social media accounts, and through the mail. Direct mail is one of the best options when you want to ensure your message is received and many customers still find a printed piece in their hands more impactful than a digital one.
Presenting Your Story for the Greatest Impact
For the best results, target your audience as narrowly as possible and design a marketing campaign that caters to their interests and tastes. With a broad customer base, multiple stories can be shared based on the unique needs of each target group.
Take advantage of the data you have about your customers and use it to select the story that is most relevant to them. Variable data printing uses specific rules to match individuals to a variety of design and content options like colors, images, and text making each piece as individual as the person receiving it.
Utilizing premier data management and modern print and mail technology, Output Services can make your targeted print marketing campaigns more efficient and cost-effective than alternatives. By working with a printing company skilled in using variable data to target specific customers with messages tailored to them, your marketing efforts will yield the best results.