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I've rescooped this article from fellow curator John Kratz because I thought it was so good. It is a great example of how a company ramped up business once it started sharing stories of its customers -- with customers as the heros. Take notes folks! And thanks John for finding and sharing this article.
The year is 2008 and you are in the Financial Services Business.
"How do you turn a quiet, sales-driven organization into a B2B marketing powerhouse?"
"Consider the story of Lincoln Financial Group, a traditionally sales-centric organization... The 106-year-old financial services, insurance, and annuities company..."
"Lincoln Financial had previously conducted research showing that the more people take charge of their lives, including their finances, the better they feel about the direction of their lives."
"While others in the category seemed to be drawn to using fear in their advertising, we felt the time was right to try a new, more optimistic approach."
"...the campaign showcased a video of women of all ages showing how they take charge of their lives and provided educational content to help women do just that. The PR focused on the research results. The Chief Life Officer ads continued the "take charge, optimistic theme," which was reinforced in social media.
"And how has the integrated campaign done?"
Read the success story here:
Via Ken Jondahl, Karen Dietz
"Have you ever looked at your marketing materials and thought, “that’s not really me?” Been there. In fact, my (thankfully last) resume comes to mind. And, oddly, my mind wandered a bit, thinking how most marketing materials similarly fail to tell us what’s really unique about a brand."
Well, I am embarrassed to admit this, but the author of Story Works, Sharlene Sones, asked me to review her new e-book months ago -- and I am just now getting to it. My apologies Sharlene! But better late than never I guess.
I love this book. For several reasons:
Content -- Sharlene does a masterful job at guiding us through the business applications of story. She touches on everything from marketing/branding, unique proposition, sales, to leadership, culture, career development, and back. Whew! That's a lot of territory to cover. But she does it well.
Sharlene explains how story will make a difference in these areas -- and WHY it does. And she gives us tips for using story in several applications. As a bonus, there are lots of story quotes to add to your list, along with examples from companies to make her points.
What I particularly like is her focus on story as conversation -- and that story sharing is where the real leverage is in org story work.
I may quibble a bit on some of Sharlene's points -- are testimonials really stories? Depends on the definition you use. For me, not so much. But the bulk of Sharlene's material is so right on, I am not going to be so picky.
Sharlene also tackles 'engagement' as a topic and brings to light the story dynamics involved in that. I think there is still a lot to learn about storytelling and engagement in business, but this gives us a good start.
I wish there had been more focus on listening, too. Implied in Sharlene's book is how transformative stories can be in business. A lot of what she talks about is story at the transactional level -- even when story provides inspiration and meaning. For example -- when a business is really in the story groove, stories have the potential to change both the teller and listener. Story as transformation in business is the next frontier I think.
I could say more, but I'm running out of space. This book is inspirational and a good kick in the pants for bringing story into your core business activities. If you want a great e-book primer on business storytelling, this is it.
If you want to go deeper, dig into the books by Annette Simmons and Steve Denning.
You do have to buy this book. But you can also download a chapter for free. I have absolutely no affiliation with Sharlene other than we are colleagues and both went to grad school at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it
Via Karen Dietz
10 Ways Customer Stories Help Companies Sell http://t.co/3JwGufQB via @Savvy_B2B...
Woo hoo! If there was any doubt about the necessity for crafting and promoting your customer's stories, then this quick post will dispell them all.
Customer case study specialist Casey Hibbard shares some research from Gartner about the impact of customer stories on sales, and then lists specifically how customer stories can lead to business growth.
As I'm rebuilding my website, I'm taking Casey's advice -- and hope you do too.
Oh -- but make sure you are actually writing customer stories to share and not testimonials. Testimonials are critical -- yet they are mostly valuable opinions from customers about their experience with you. That's part of your 'story' but they often are not really stories.
Soooo -- write mini-stories or storied case-studies about your work with customers to receive the full impact of your customer stories!
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it ;
Via Karen Dietz