[This is Part 2 of a four-part blog post on the reasons for and ways to capture your customers’ voice on video.]
When you search for a subcontractor to remodel your kitchen, what’s your process?
Back in the days when the primary definition of virtual was “being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted,” as in, virtual certainty, people walked over to a shelving area near their telephone and consulted the Yellow Pages. The yellow book was the bible for American business. Users carefully worked through the listings and identified a handful of logical possibilities by location, name, or whatever other subjective analyses made the most sense. Oh, and whenever possible they’d talk to their neighbors, friends, business colleagues, church members and anyone else in their non-virtual network and ask them “got any recommendations for kitchen remodelers?”
Advertising and the well constructed and placed ad was the best way to promote your company, product or service.
Today, the most prominent definition of virtual has shifted to “existing primarily online.” The Yellow Pages are more or less dead, and the only remaining vestige of the old process is talking to people for recommendations. Actually, these days it isn’t so much about talking to people, but it’s definitely about hearing what they have to say.
The kitchen remodel analogy isn’t that far from how B2B businesses acquire all kinds of products and services. Today we may begin by identifying the companies who produce what we want. But once we’ve created that list, we turn to our version of Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, Yelp or any one of a variety of other social media sites to find out what our proposed vendor’s customers think. Most B2B buyers today are a savvy bunch. In practice, but the more expensive the purchase, the less likely buyers are going to let advertising sway them, and the more important the end users’ perspective.
If a business is smart enough to capture its customer’s voice, what’s the best way to use it? Generally speaking, the closer you can get to what was actually said, the better, which is one of the reasons video is so important.
If you can capture your customer’s voice on video (or audio) here are some key ways it can be used:
- In email marketing campaigns
- On appropriate company Web site pages
- In online ads
- In social media (e.g., accompanying blog posts or twitter posts)
- In the tradeshow booth
- At user group meetings
- By sales people in response to prospect queries
- In one-on-one meetings (either on an iPad or from a PC PowerPoint presentation)
- As fodder for printed case studies and for other printed marketing collateral
Frankly, because your customer’s voice is the best way to promote your company and sell your product or service, the ways it should be used throughout your marketing efforts is only limited by the breadth of your imagination.