Take a back seat, make your customer the star


PaparazziWant your business to get more noticed? Then stop trying to be the star of the show. Instead, make your customers the focus. In B2B, your objective is not selling widgets to consumers, but enabling your customers to be more successful with their business by using your services. So, what better way of marketing yourself than to demonstrate how your customers have become more successful using you. Case studies, customer profiles, customer-contributed content, and customer-focused ad campaigns are just some of the ways to leverage your base and give them added profile, thus increasing your profile and becoming a more valuable provider to them. We all agree that word-of-mouth is still the most powerful marketing medium – hands down. Nobody wants to hear how great you think you are, but many are willing to listen to your customers tell them that. So, give them reason to talk – become their hero, not the star. Let them take that role.

Many are craving added attention and profile, but simply can’t afford it – their is value and opportunity in that – so get moving and make it happen. New prospects will take notice when shopping around. You’ll be seen as more customer-centric and focused on their success as oppose to just your own. They will also see the greater value of dealing with you, knowing that you’ll provide them with greater profile through your customer-focused marketing endeavors. You can start by doing one simple addition to your website. Create a landing page dedicated only to profiling your customers with a link to the page appearing on your home page. Include their picture, business name and logo, product/service description, and links back to their web site. What do you think the first thing your customer will do when they see their profile on this page? They’ll send it to their peers, friends, staff, mom and dad. They’ll likely add a link back to this page from their site (an added bonus which increases your search engine optimization efforts). All of a sudden, this simple addition has brought you added traffic, exposure and a happy customer for all of $0.

At ServerBeach, we added a Geek of the Week section to the site two months ago. It is now in our top three most-viewed pages on the entire site. Pretty cool.

13 Comments

Filed under Branding, Business, Communications, marketing, Public Relations, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Viral, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth

13 responses to “Take a back seat, make your customer the star

  1. Another great post Rajan, question: does it matter what tier or level this page is on?

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  3. Hi Susan, from an SEO perspective, it shouldn’t matter where in the site the page is located. What is more important is a clean URL to the page so it can get indexed properly and is easy to search for or stumble upon.

    i.e. “businesssanity.com/customers/”

    Additional links to the page from within your site will drive more page views from site visitors. I definitely recommend having a link from your home page. Similar to the “Geek of the Week” on ServerBeach’s home page that links to the landing page where the full customer profile is located. A good tip to keep in mind for better SEO performance is to refresh certain parts of your home page with new content. For example, press releases, case studies, and customer profiles are continually updated. Reflect this on your homepage with text links back to each respective page. In short, Google likes home pages that have continually fresh content and ranks them higher.

  4. Another great post! I think it’s a great idea for businesses to empower their customers to talk about their experiences and spread the word of mouth to their friends and colleagues.

    I wrote an entry in my Selling to Small Business blog about your post and linked back: http://www.evancarmichael.com/selling-to-small-business/2007/03/get-your-customers-talking-about-you.html

    Keep up the great work!

    Evan.

  5. Rajan,
    We have taken a similar approach to generating word of mouth at our blog. We highlight our customers (and non-customers) and show their experiences. We have coupled that effort with an email that goes to all of our customers featuring the ‘story of the week.’ The featured customer also gets a seperate email congratulating them on being featured and providing an easy way for them to forward it on to others.

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  7. Good advice. The podcast I run has always been for the listeners first and I’ve always considered it as a listener myself. From that perspective the boundaries between customers and businesses, between listeners and producers can become very blurred. It’s a good thing.

    I’ve had listeners produce whole podcasts for me, including Juliette Prouse who interviewed George Torok who I guess some of your Canadian readers will know.

    What with open source, crowd sourcing, user generated content, the world of web 2.0 including blogging and podcasting, is leading business into an unprecedented era of engagement with customers.

  8. very nice post & thanks for the info!!!!!

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  10. This is great post. Your information provided here are useful. Thanks a lot!

  11. 5nGood idea.4r I compleatly agree with last post. tfw
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  12. Pingback: Blog Roundup for the 22nd of March 2007 :: Christopher Ross

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