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Acorn2Oak: Three Clever but Simple Marketing Tools

We all know the best promotion comes by ‘word of mouth’.  In fact various articles report on the fact that between 75-95% of B2C consumers make a purchase after reading a consumer review, like, rating or even consult their social contacts for advice. Many of those B2C consumers will be the B2B purchasers.


Most businesses take basic advantage of this marketing tool.  They have a happy customer, interview them, write up a case study then post it on their website & social sites.  Job done… or is it?  No it is not.


Sadly forgotten, it is very important to update these on a regular basis – say every quarter.  This shows your business not only gave another business a benefit at some point – it also is continuing to do so.


There are 3 clever tools to achieve marketing excellence in this area:

1.     Customer testimonial – ie a short sharp paragraph. With or without your client’s logo. Important to explain here is the business sector, the problem the solution. Can be used for online presence, as well as in presentations for new clients.

2.     Customer referral – ie a name, company and phone number the sales team can rely on to pass on to new potential clients. Literally a word of mouth referral. The essential sales team’s black book. Can show value to new clients, especially if your business is looking to expand in a particular business sector it only has a small presence in. Key here is a good client relationship

3.     Case Study – ie a longer write-up, showing how the customer had a problem solved or a business improvement through an investment in your solution or service. Typically with your client’s logo and goes in quite some detail as to how your business solved their problem/helped them to improve their business. Goes into specifics of solutions/services purchased or used. Great as a pdf to hand to potential new clients and for online presence.  Can be referred to in presentations.


I would like to share an example of how we were able to use a customer referral, giving us new opportunities.  Have a look at our latest case study here:


So, now I’d like to offer a new twist to these tools.  Most businesses offer success stories - naturally. But what if your business shared either a testimonial / referral / case study of a project that didn’t go so well – ie show that you are not afraid to make mistakes but learn from them?  Scary thought… Probably…


Here’s an example of something we have tried: - a blog, it went wrong, we learned from it, we shared our findings. You can read more here:


Your testimonial / referral / case study could also focus on how your team worked with a customer’s team to solve a problem/improve a problem together – slightly different from the above points in that the focus is not on your BUSINESS (solution/service),  but the PEOPLE (actually name them if they are happy), within the business.


Let’s face it, in today’s world things inevitably go wrong.  How we deal with challenges shows our true nature.  This is where your business can bring in the personal element of your business, linking both personalization and relevancy for particular business sectors.


True marketing excellence using these 3 tools comes from having a good client relationship and letting that work for both you and your clients.

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