Episode 43 of Landscape Digital Show reveals how to interview customers to create case studies and get customer stories that sell.
Why did Dos Equis fire the actor responsible for its highly successful World’s Most Interesting Man campaign? According to their vice president of marketing, “We’re trying to reach a new audience.”
That comment says a lot about knowing your business, its competitors, and the audience you are trying to reach.
Content is created to accomplish specific objectives. And that job is to attract, engage and inspire a targeted audience, with the ultimate objective of driving profitable actions for your business.
Your role as the marketer or business owner is to know your audience, the one you have now, and the one you want to attract. Maybe they are the same or not.
Incidentally, Dos Equis’ new World’s Most Interesting Man is younger, more athletic, and he speaks Spanish. That should tell you a lot right there.
Clearly, Dos Equis has done their homework and they are making an intentional shift with their marketing. How about you?
As we’ve previously discussed, talking directly to your customers, one-to-one, is how you create your audience personas. But what’s really exciting is that if you set up those interviews properly you can also develop relatable case studies that can juice-up your marketing.
This much I can tell you from experience.
People want to tell their story and they will deliver some useful surprises if you give them that opportunity. Their relatable stories, examples, testimonials, and relevant keywords can all be used to make your marketing sparkle.
Properly Set Up Interviews
#1 – Choose your best candidates.
You know who they are. They are probably your best customers.
#2 – Create a safe environment.
Explain how the interview will work, and that you would ideally like to record it.
Also, explain how they will be helping you improve your service for them and everyone you serve.
#3 – Explain how you will use the information in your marketing.
Most people want to help, but there are some in particular that love the spotlight. This is the group that will speak openly and give you the freedom to use it all.
#4 – Ask good questions
If you are not a good interviewer you may wish to hire an outside expert to do this because you want to get the right information that will speak to prospective customers just like them.
Asking one or two questions is usually enough to get the conversation going. Once that happens, listen intently for their meaning as much as what is being said. After conducting over 200 interviews myself, I can tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Finally, try to do this in person or via Skype so you can read their body language too.
Listening is selling because it shows you care. It’s inviting your customers to share what will make them happier. And in the process you are getting great marketing material to use for all of your channels.
Avoid The Common Mistakes
#1. Be honest. Explain that you need their help.
Your best customers will grant you this favor.
#2. Do not offer incentives because that will bias their response.
If there is any unpleasant news to share you want to hear it so you can fix what’s broken.
3. Offer to give them the questions you plan to ask.
But explain you would rather not because you want them to spontaneously speak their mind.
You want this to be fun, rather than a professional interview (even though that’s technically what it is).
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Call to Action
The call to action for this episode is to interview a few of your customers and use that information to either tweak or build your audience personas, to obtain marketable testimonials and quotes, and for creating interesting and relatable stories and case studies that will speak to the prospective buyers that are not yet your customers.
Good luck. If you are interested in having me interview your customers for you, contact me and we can discuss how that can work.