HomeBlog Five Tips for Shorter, More Impactful Advocacy Assets

Five Tips for Shorter, More Impactful Advocacy Assets

March 05, 2014 | By Bob Peterson

Customers no longer have the time or interest to read lengthy case studies. Learn tips on how to adjust customer advocacy case studies to be more concise and resonating to prospects. Consider shortening assets, or at least separate them into digestible parts.

Once upon a time, when the world seemed to spin a bit more slowly and there were significantly fewer distractions, marketers were able to create tome-like customer case studies that went to great lengths (literally) to extol the value that customers were receiving from their company’s products and solutions. Well-constructed and comprehensive, these success stories were chock full of value and seemed to contain everything a potential customer would ever want to know about what it would be like to own the product or solution.

Well, times have changed. As most marketers have found out the hard way, customers and prospects no longer have the time to review lengthy case studies. Rather, these time-starved folks want just the facts, and they prefer that marketers get to the point in as few words as possible.

The challenge for modern marketers is to adjust their advocacy strategy with an eye toward brevity. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Keep all new advocacy assets brief.  If your existing process results in excessively lengthy advocacy assets, reevaluate to find new ways to streamline both the process and the output. Can your template for advocacy assets be updated? Start over with a new approach so that all new advocacy assets are crisper and more to the point.
  2. Review existing advocacy assets and look for ways to compartmentalize them.  The good news is you don’t need to throw out the results of all the hard work your team has performed. Spend time as a team dissecting longer case studies, and look for ways to create several shorter versions of the original documents.
  3. Examine video assets. Don’t limit your re-evaluation to printed case studies – look at all that valuable customer video assets to see if they can be reduced in length.
  4. Revise your questions. During the input process for new assets, try asking customers simple, direct questions (e.g. “in a minute or less, tell us why you selected our product”). This gets the customer to help you think along the lines of keeping it short. Restructuring old questions also can often provide shorter ­– and often better – answers.
  5. Consider telling the customer story in chapters. We all know people enjoy storytelling, and marketers should look for ways to structure advocacy assets into chapter-like segments. Not only does it allow for shorter assets, but it helps support more structured advocacy support at various points of the buyer’s journey.
  6.  

    When it comes to creating and sharing advocacy assets, marketers can learn a lot from their successful sales colleagues who know how to manage (and hopefully control) the sales cycle by understanding the best ways to introduce new information during discussions with prospective customers. Advocacy marketers often want to tell the whole story at once – which can result in a lengthy advocacy piece and, possibly, reduced impact.  Consider shortening assets, or at least separate them into digestible parts, and test the modified versions with customers and prospects to see what’s most effective. You might find that less is, in fact, more.

    Bob Peterson

    Bob Peterson is a sales and marketing thought leader with more than 20 years of experience working in mid- to large-sized global organizations, with emphasis on the financial services and software sectors. Bob has particularly focused on developing account-based marketing strategies to help sales and marketing organizations forge tighter alignment.

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