There are tens of thousands of us worldwide, maybe hundreds of thousands. And, though we haven’t been exactly quiet about it, we haven’t been especially organized around a common theme either – and that’s what we’re here to do. So, here comes the battle cry: marketers, sales executives and other forward-thinking business leaders unite! We’ve known it in our hearts, we’ve implemented it whenever possible – and now it’s time to gather the myriad tactics together into one, great cohesive strategy! It’s time to admit it, to own it, to shout it from the rooftops: we leverage our customers – in every way possible, to close more business!!
Yup, that’s what we’re doing, many of us – even if we haven’t quite called it that before. And it’s a good thing that we’re doing it, a very good thing in fact, because it yields some very significant positives – and I’m not just talking about revenue. Using your customers and by extension, their sense of their own success with your products as a key indicator of your success means that, first off – you’re listening to your customers, which is always a good thing. If you’re really hearing them, you’ll hopefully also be improving your process and your product based on what you hear – and maybe getting them into more specific conversations as a result – and that’s good for everyone.
Marketing and sales professionals have been using customer references, referrals, reviews, quotes and testimonials forever. As individual tactics, they’re well understood and widely used. And there’s the rub: they’re most often considered individual tactics, one-offs and the like. Why haven’t we grouped them together and formed a more fully-considered strategy?
The needs of content marketing have encouraged us to consider the multiple-uses of everything we produce – and we do, often looking to share and syndicate blog posts, white papers, e-books and other finished content. And, if we’re smart, we’ll take the advice of content marketing subject matter experts like authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman (whose book “Content Rules” is a must-read) and pull great content snippets from those finished works in order to create even more finished works. But why stop there? If we look backward to those individual elements, how will we be sure we’ll ever find them again? We typically put graphic elements into a digital asset management system or database of some kind, but are we doing the same with content snippets? And what about statements from customers, are we collecting, organizing and indexing those? And are we doing that in support of any specific strategy?
There’s a ton of gold in your customers – if you know how to find it and yes, leverage it – and that’s what this movement is all about – looking at ways of mining and exploiting that gold. This blog, through our own posts, guest bloggers, comments and using industry examples from everywhere, will explore the many, many ways that marketers are helping themselves and their sales brethren to make bullion, to complete the metaphor.
In the coming weeks and months, many voices will be represented here – and I hope that yours is among them. In fact, if you’d like to offer a guest post, please get in contact with me! There will be T-shirts! We’ll also be creating a resources section to aggregate book recommendations, online tools and many other categories of useful stuff – and we’ll be looking for your input here too.
So, we hope that you’ll subscribe to this blog so that we can alert you to new postings. We’ll do our best to offer insights and useful information and many voices.
Oh, and apologies to Ann Handley for use of the word “leverage” as a verb. I hope that she’ll forgive me.
David Peltz, Founder