By Tim A. Schultz
Do you have a great product? Does it solve customer problems by dramatically reducing scrap, downtime, or by increasing productivity? If you answer yes to any of the above, you have a ready-made top-notch sales force just waiting to best sell your product. You’ll find that these customer salespeople are probably ready, willing and able to go to work for you. All you have to do is ask. And the best part, the tremendous sales tool they can provide your company will not cost that much.
The sales tool is called the Case History and Product Success Story. And there are so many ways your company can use these tools to support and drive sales:
The Feature Article
Trade publications are always on the lookout for great editorial that offers real reader value. And articles that share information on how companies solved problems, reduced scrap or downtime, and how these companies increased productivity, offer plenty of reader value. The fact is, when a company discovers a better mousetrap, other companies with similar issues are all ears. The key to success is great editorial, not advertorial. Savvy readers will not accept advertorial and responsible editors will not publish it. That’s why you need a professional to create these stories, which may be your only real cost to initiate the program. The good news, when you take all the right steps and get your case history and product success story published, you have just gotten yourself a free two or three page ad placement, which more than pays for development costs. You will also find that most trade publications will add these stories to their on-line resource libraries. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for how these valuable tools provide ongoing support.
The great thing about Case Histories and Product Success stories is that they can be integrated into so many different marketing communication tools. Having the publication make you reprints at a modest price is just the beginning. Add them to your website. Create a name and program for them. Turn them into individual sales support fliers and initiate a routine where salespeople and customers can expect to receive them on a regular basis. And finally, be sure to add one of them to each one of your newsletters. If you take the right steps in creating these tools, they provide other side benefits.
Successful case histories and product success stories that get published have two major elements in common. They are well written and include great photography. In fact, between the two successful elements, photography is most important. The reason, if an editor likes your subject matter well enough; they can always edit and even rewrite your story. But they will probably not commission a photographer. And photography always sells the story. The side benefit to your company, you will be developing a catalog of excellent application photography that can be used for a wide range of marketing communications tools. And if there is one thing that most companies lack; it’s good application photography.
Now that you are sold on the Case History and Product Success Story, you probably have one question, how do I get started? Well, you could ask me for help. I have written numerous case histories and product success stories for clients around the world.
Or you can wait for my next blog where I will share with you the proven steps you need to take to make your Case Histories and Product Success stories a success.
Tim A. Schultz is President and owner of Marcom Solutions, a full-service marketing communications agency supporting business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients. He can be reached at MarcomTim@yahoo.com or by phone at 216-314-2227.