Why Hire a Hired Gun?

Experienced Hired GunsWhen it comes to your customers you know better than anyone what they care about. Or do you?

Sometimes an outside point of view is exactly what you need to learn what your customers think about your company. A third party can bring a fresh perspective to the customer stories and case studies that how your products or services really work for the people that buy them.

We all know these stories are important, but many companies fall short on producing and renewing their case study content. Internal time constraints often relegate this key marketing component to the back burner. Case study production takes a lot of work and is usually not a priority for a short staffed marketing organization. This is where an experienced hired gun can help.

At ClearEdge we have a method for case study creation that works across industries, company size and channel strategy. One that helps us get to the story-behind-the-story.

  1. Start with requirements: How will the case study be used and who is the target audience? A case published on your website may require different content and media than one that supports a specific campaign.
  2. Do a detailed discovery: Will the story align with and support your go-to-market strategy? Use customer interviews, research and conversations with your sales team to dig into the real reasons your clients made an investment in your offering. Highlight the benefits your product or solution brings to your customer’s business.
  3. Get creative: How can you differentiate your stories? Look beyond the standard problem/solution/benefit storyline to focus on the true customer application. Zero in on what other customers want to hear, not what you want to say about your offering.
  4. Get the assets: Supporting the written case with other media provides extensibility. Make sure you have a high resolution version of your client’s logo, together with pictures and video of your product in action. Include your customer and salespeople in the case to personalize the story.
  5. Get permission: The best case studies are those that have attributed quotes from your customers. If presented in a positive light, most companies and clients welcome the recognition. It’s worth seeking out those that will allow you to publish a quote and use their names – those stories are so much more powerful than the generic ones.

The ClearEdge methodology has formed from years of success in customer-facing roles with companies big and small; in sales, marketing, product development and customer service. We understand the needs of multi-tier sales channels and how digital content is used most effectively.

Our experience gives us cred as hired guns. And as the photo shows, we started at a very young age. When you’re ready to form your posse, we hope you’ll give us a call. We guarantee new ideas – with impact.

Posted by Linda Jackson    |    December 10, 2012