Kelly Borth: Turn up your marketing with real-life customer experiences Featured

11:42pm EDT November 21, 2013
Kelly Borth, columnist Kelly Borth, columnist

There’s no question about it, when a customer sings the praises of a particular product or company, people listen. It is more believable than a company touting its own message. The popularity of social media and review sites has proven this to be a powerful marketing truth. People believe and trust what other people have to say before they will believe what a company says about itself. Welcome to the 21st century.

Tuning up your marketing to include real-life customer experiences can enhance your credibility and believability. This can be a mix of customer success stories, testimonials, sharing customer feedback through surveys, encouraging customers to post reviews or submitting customers as references.

In any event, the idea is to get your customer’s voice singing in harmony with your messaging, to reinforce what you are promoting and confirming your organization’s credibility. 

Share success stories

Case studies or success stories are a great way to demonstrate the net benefit customers have received from your products or services. They typically take on a format of describing the customer scenario or problem, defining the solution your company implemented and the positive end results realized by the customer. They can include statements from the customer or the company.

Once developed, success stories can be integrated into a myriad of marketing activities.

Use them as content on your website, post them to your blog and social media, use them in email campaigns, submit them to trade publications and local media for publication, and format them to use as a prospecting tool. 

Use customer testimonials

Testimonials can be powerful in articulating a satisfactory experience with your company. Using testimonials strategically can demonstrate the depth and breadth of your organization and establish trust.

Like success stories, testimonials can be incorporated into any marketing vehicle. Use them on your website, include them in advertising, format them on a leave-behind prospecting piece, add them randomly in your email signature, post them to your blog and social media, use them in proposals, feature them in reception areas, etc. 

Share statistics from surveys

If part of your recent or ongoing marketing is to survey your customers to determine levels of satisfaction or other information, you could benefit from sharing the results of that information in marketing your company’s products or services.

If your survey showed that a large percentage of your customers find your company easy to work with, share that information across your marketing venues.

Promote customer reviews

Consumer-oriented businesses can benefit from receiving positive reviews on social media sites such as Yelp, Google+ and others. Promoting reviews from customers can be a great way to obtain a positive buzz about your company or its products.

Social media posts can be influential, utilize this information to market your company. 

Ask customers to serve as a reference

Having a list of customers who would take a call from a prospect to serve as a reference can be a great way to win business. It shows confidence that what you have done for your customers has been a positive experience. It demonstrates transparency and implies a high-level of satisfaction. 

Is your customer’s voice present in your marketing? If not, you could be missing out on some great opportunities. ● 

Kelly Borth is CEO and chief strategy officer for GREENCREST, a 23-year-old brand development, strategic and interactive marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into market leaders. Borth has received numerous honors for her business and community leadership. She serves on several local advisory boards and is one of 30 certified brand strategists in the U.S. Reach her at (614) 885-7921, kborth@greencrest.com or on Twitter @brandpro. For more information, visit
www.greencrest.com.  

To learn more about GREENCREST, like its Facebook page www.facebook.com/GREENCRESTMarketing and follow on Twitter @GREENCREST

With Kelly Borth on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/kellyborth