Let’s play a game. Let’s pretend it is Thanksgiving 2012. I have just run into you at a networking event and I ask, “so what’s the best thing that happened to you this year?”. What’s your answer? Whatever you come up with is the start of your plan for 2012. Get it? What’s my point? We often start our strategic goals from a money standpoint, or looking at our goals for the previous year and see how we improved. All valid things, but you are never going to stand at a party and tell me, “I achieved all of my stated goals!”. If you do, you would probably get a “congratulations” and the group would change the subject. But, if you had a story about landing a killer account or increasing sales by some amazing number well… people would want to hear about it. And […] Continue reading
I have recently started working with a group that suffers from an interesting probem when it comes to marketing. They have great history, strong products and great people and yet all they tell you in their marketing is that – we have a great history, strong products and great people. They don’t give any details and they don’t share information. They do a “trust us” kind of thing. And they are surprised it isn’t working. There are clients who see the value of their products and start working with them, but it is almost in spite of the company. In fact in a lot of ways these customers rely on each other for details and information. Which also means the company has lost control of their message.
So what are we doing about it? We are in the process of gathering stories. At some level what good is a solid history if there aren’t stories? What has worked in the past, what has failed? Why are the products created the way they are and released when they were? When you say you have good people, what does that mean? It has required a great deal of very specific questions to get people to talk. Since they haven’t done it before, the answers have been very short and to the point. “Why are products released the way they are” was met with “because it makes sense” the first time around. It took us several discussions to overcome that reaction and really get to what happened.
One way we have overcome these challenges is to talk to the customers. What questions did/do they have? What would they like to know? What are some of the stories they have heard from other clients that caused them to keep coming back? Those conversations are much easier. Clients want to talk about you.
At the end of the day we have broadened the approach taken by this company and helped them partner with their clients. We have also helped see where the line is between too little and too much information. So today I want you to think about what would your clients say if someone called. Would they know who you were? Would they have stories to tell? If not, why not? And what could you do to change it? Is it time to make sure you have information in your marketing and not hype? Go take a look.