Episode 6 - Cache Walker - Maximizing the Value and Impact of Customer Videos

Cache Walker is the Senior Customer Advocacy Manager at Netskope. I talk with Cache about the current wave of customer advocacy. We also talk about building stories around customers’ experiences, and how companies can help their customers achieve their goals. Plus, how to introduce customer storytelling in your company and why customer videos are so beneficial.

[00:00:00] **Cache:**
If you’re trying to figure out how customer reviews matter, start sharing them across your teams. There’s no better way to juice momentum for building a program, but there’s also no better way to refine what you’re producing than to share with your team.

All you’re doing along the way is making your company more customer-centric.

[00:00:26] **Sam:**
Alright, folks. Welcome to another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling. My guest today is Cache Walker. Cache is the Senior Customer Advocacy Manager at Netskope, a leader in the secure access service edge space of cybersecurity.

Previously, Cache drove customer advocacy at Ivanti and Oracle. For the past eight years he’s been focused on, and living in, the confluence of building impactful approaches to support key business initiatives that utilize customers to drive those results.

Cache, welcome to the show.

[00:01:09] **Cache:**
Thanks, Sam. With that intro, I feel tired. Like I’ve been running for too long. It’s great to be with you, too.

[00:01:20] **Sam:**
Absolutely. And yeah, in many ways, customer advocacy is, it’s an old, but also new, space.

You were kind of at the forefront, and in many ways you’ve been doing it, and maybe we start with talking about that. Customer advocacy is nothing new, but in some ways it’s like a Renaissance right now.

What, in your opinion, what is customer advocacy all about, and why does it matter?

[00:01:50] **Cache:**
I think you’re exactly right. I almost call it customer advocacy 2.0 is what we’re experiencing right now. Six, seven years ago we saw this first wave of customer advocacy. Folks get engaged, we engage with them, and we knew that engagement was important. We weren’t sure sometimes why, or how to go about it, and how to handle that.

So, you started seeing things like an increase in case studies, or I think a lot of the customer reviews, especially in the B2B tech space, really started to pop up at that phase.

It’s something that I’ve been learning kind of just in a new role, but also I always try to reinvent myself as I think we are seeing peopl’s attention spans have changed.

I think one of the strangest metrics I’ve ever gotten out of doing customer advocacy is, one of my highest engagement rates for engaging with customers was Friday afternoons. That goes counter digital marketing across the board, right?

What does that tell us? Well, it tells us that people wanted to do some of the more engagement-based customer advocacy things at the first wave of this thing that we’ve been doing on Fridays. They probably were at a desk, probably tired from the week, needed to do something, wanted to do something, but they weren’t going to start a new project. They weren’t going to kick something off, brand new.

So, you know, sometimes, it’s like, “Hey, we’ll give them feedback. Hey, we’ll do a customer review.” I think that’s changed post 2020. I think we’ve gotta be more deliberate and more value-driven in how we engage with our customers. Because a lot of folks are still at home and nobody has a Friday afternoon free.

They’re working at the computer. They’ve got a dog to take on walks. Maybe some kids that they’re getting called to take control of for the afternoon, or a dishwasher to unload.

So, there’s not that same space that needs to be filled by, by engagement. There’s still space for value, but we’ve got to figure this out and reinvent how we go after them, because it’s new.

[00:04:08] **Sam:**
Yeah, so true in, I know, I know. I feel that way,

[00:04:12] **Cache:**
Opportunity to go

[00:04:13] **Sam:**
Just have a four month old at the moment, so yeah. Definitely, definitely feel that. And it sounds like, You mentioned the kind of driving value in like kind of a, two way I think that’s

[00:04:24] **Cache:**
Are very

[00:04:25] **Sam:**
That we all

[00:04:26] **Cache:**
Which means we don’t have

[00:04:28] **Sam:**
You know, as customer marketers, as advocate, marketers, just like making that, that advocacy program, a two-way exchange of value sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Do you have any kind of thoughts on that or tips you could share? Like what have you learned about Making advocacy like a two way exchange of value over the year.

[00:04:48] **Cache:**
Yeah, that’s a great it’s. It’s really tricky. I think the, the one main takeaway I’ve have is it starts with. Right. Like, if you’re sincere with your customers about, Hey, we want this story to be about you, you can make that statement. And it only goes as far as, as you are really meaning it. Right? Like if, if the case study comes out and it’s, you know, it’s nothing about like some of the recent successes, but it’s all about the technical implementation of your product.

Not a very sincere engagement with that customer. And I think it even gets as simple as, you know, when you tell them something you follow through on it, when you tell them, Hey, this is going to be a, a 45 minute

[00:05:31] **Cache:**
Okay customer

[00:05:32] **Cache:**
Then. and I think, I think that’s been the one key because I think there’s always unique challenges.

Every customer is unique. their approval

[00:05:42] **Cache:**
We’re going it in a

[00:05:43] **Cache:**
Their, why for why they want to do something is unique. I think as long as you lead with sincerity, you’ll get to that value for them and it have better outcomes.

[00:05:53] **Sam:**
It’s so true. And, you know, it’s, it’s kind of like that common sense thing, but it still bears mentioning. Cause like we can all get caught up in this sort of the strategy and the tactics and you know, the pressure to achieve results. And so that that’s no videos a reviews kind of, you know, customer stories and obviously, you know, there’s, there’s kind of like the overarching umbrella of cusp of customer advocacy, which, you know, might include, you know, several other things Where do you see kind of customer stories, you know, specifically customer stories and customer content kind of fitting into that advocacy number.

[00:06:31] **Cache:**
Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s one of the primary. I think like maybe I think a lot of folks they get tasked with, you know, customer advocacy looks like, it looks like the content, the story piece, it looks

[00:06:42] **Cache:**
One

[00:06:44] **Cache:**
It looks like maybe groups, you know, like kind of advisory boards

[00:06:49] **Cache:**
Where

[00:06:50] **Cache:**
Some of those things, some folks might be

[00:06:53] **Cache:**
Those

[00:06:53] **Cache:**
But I think one thing that’s, that’s pretty universal from what I’ve seen is, is that need for stories. And, and like you said, there are, there are various ways of getting

[00:07:04] **Cache:**
For

[00:07:04] **Cache:**
I think all of them are important. That’s the trick is, is that you can’t just do one,

[00:07:10] **Cache:**
I that I’m hearing those

[00:07:12] **Cache:**
To get coverage across the board.

I have my preferences, but I think a lot of it goes back to your business. You’ve got to see what matters to your business and it ebbs and flows. I mean, if you’ve got a, if you’ve got an analyst need and some reports coming out that if your, your company plays really highly, it’s going to be very beneficial.

I mean, reviews become a high priority where in general you would see a review being less valuable than getting a customer on video. So I think, I think you’ve got to go where the business priorities go and you’ve got to, you’ve got to, always be mapped to those. And I think that goes not just with your stories, but with your program in general Um your program is only as good as the business impact impacts it drives, and I think it has to be unique to your business. And I think it has to be always aligned to, to your current or future business goals.

[00:08:07] **Sam:**
That’s such a good point. So it sounds like, you know, it all has to, when you go about setting a strategy, you know, that’s what you would, you knew. We want to figure that out. you know, in the beginning, right? Like what is the, what, what, what are the priorities, what are the key strategic initiatives, you know, and then, and then how do you in customer customer storytelling needs to that. Is that, is that.

[00:08:28] **Cache:**
Yeah. And I think, I think when you look at it, the.

[00:08:31] **Sam:**
As, okay

[00:08:32] **Cache:**
The better program in new, more established, you get that you’ve built, you can say, you know what, we’re going to pull this

[00:08:37] **Sam:**
Thing I

[00:08:38] **Cache:**
During this quarter, because it’s what it needs to hit the, next one. Or we’ve got to do these

[00:08:43] **Sam:**
Have

[00:08:44] **Cache:**
It doesn’t make the job any easier.

Honestly, it might make it harder, but it’s always going to keep things fresh. The thing I like about it, let’s say you do a push for customer stories. You get, you get a couple in the pipeline and then you, you need to pivot and prioritize reviews for a quarter or

[00:09:00] **Cache:**
And they’re good routes

[00:09:02] **Cache:**
Know, your next round or your next push for stories.

I hope that each time I’ve

[00:09:07] **Cache:**
Know Um of experience

[00:09:12] **Cache:**
I know our company has evolved. And so I hope that that keeps those stories fresh and keeps challenging me to do something new. It’s just not a rinse and repeat,

[00:09:22] **Sam:**
Point. And, it’s, it’s exactly why it’s like, you can’t just forget about it. Cause like, you know, strategies, strategy does not stay. You know stuck in or frozen and that therefore neither can, can that kind of the

[00:09:34] **Cache:**
Then marketers don’t

[00:09:37] **Sam:**
I think, you know, what about like identifying, you know, which, which customers, to actually ask, right. I think there’s, that’s something it’s, you know it really, I think it’s a unique challenge in in different companies, but I know some some marketers they’re perhaps like, you know, okay, I want to do. Yeah, we need to do customer stories. I have a good feeling for you know, the, our strategic initiatives.

So I kinda know who I want to get, but I actually don’t know who it’s like Maybe the data is siloed over in different success or in sales. I mean, I know this depends so much on like the technology stack that people use and the kind of the culture of the organization but do you have any tips on kind of like actually identifying like who to reach out to to make that ask to, participate in a customer story?

[00:10:30] **Cache:**
Might be the trickiest part of all of this. because data on these things is, is not something that I think we

[00:10:37] **Cache:**
Have

[00:10:37] **Cache:**
Level to say like this customer has a great story. there’s indicators, there’s indicators that you can follow. If you do, let’s say, go through, go through your customer reviews.

If you do have a decent amount of customer use, look for leads, right? You’ve got to, you’ve got to handle your story pipeline the same way you look at. Marketing, create a lead funnel. No. Where you can get these leads it’s yes. Your, your client advisory boards, your executive advisory boards. Great, great leads, right.

You’re probably going to get more likely to get a

[00:11:07] **Cache:**
Want

[00:11:08] **Cache:**
That. That doesn’t mean they have a great

[00:11:10] **Cache:**
Same

[00:11:10] **Cache:**
Time. So then you also want other lead sources that are, that are potentially going to bring you stories. Maybe it’s some of your beta tester group, maybe

[00:11:21] **Cache:**
Know

[00:11:21] **Cache:**
Of, you know, your, your lower tiered customers.

A lot of times smaller customers do really innovative things with your product. That sometimes the enterprises they don’t. So I think you need to kind of build it like a, a lead funnel and be capturing those folks

[00:11:38] **Cache:**
Can’t

[00:11:39] **Cache:**
Different, stages and from different sources, because

[00:11:42] **Cache:**
So all have their place

[00:11:43] **Cache:**
Creates new stories.

If you’re only getting your sources, from cells, You’re going to get a lot of implementation stories. Those are great, but they only go so far. So you’ve got to vary your lead sources.

[00:11:56] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s, that’s such a, such a great point and it is like, sort of. You know, obviously we want to make it all in all a two-way exchange of value, but like you said, it’s not too dissimilar from like a sales process. You’re just kind of selling your customers on the the value. and hopefully it’s a two-way exchange of value of participating in those stories. how about approvals? Cause that’s, I think that’s another thing people, you know, specifically like legal approvals, whether it’s like before, or, you know, after reviewing things, I think. That’s something that a lot of people, you know, kind of have to navigate it and frankly is, can be really hard at when you’re trying to figure And was do you have any tips for people who are like, just feeling maybe overwhelmed or kind of bide the diff the fact of like, okay, like I have this customer, but like, I know it’s going to be crazy to approve anything they say or you know,

[00:12:48] **Cache:**
Yeah,

I learned this pretty early in my journey. I had a really, really great story. I was like so excited about it and it just got blown to shreds by legal. And I was just like, I remember sitting there just like shell shocked, thinking like, well, how could this happen? you, you live in, you learn, right?

And I think there should probably be like a, a support group spun up for

[00:13:11] **Cache:**
To that as

[00:13:12] **Cache:**
It is a difficult process and it is sometimes a very long process and other folks don’t understand, right. If they haven’t chased approvals on these, they just don’t get it. They’re like, why can’t we get our biggest customer with the sexiest logo to go on record? And you’re sitting

[00:13:28] **Sam:**
I think I

[00:13:29] **Cache:**
I would say get get the get the. company um and not just the customer, right? Like, so if you’re, if you’re working through it or you’re working with a, a CSO get their stakeholders involved early, talk to them about what type of story will get approved

What, what does the end product need

[00:13:50] **Sam:**
How and

[00:13:52] **Cache:**
To be that exchange of value? both for them personally and for their business. And then. Consistently with their teams to, have them involved. I mean, how many I asked RPR person a couple months ago, I said, has anybody ever came to you and said, Hey, would you sit through this interview process with me to help me to produce the story that’s best

[00:14:16] **Cache:**
Clearer that it’s a marketing

[00:14:17] **Cache:**
That. Not something I

[00:14:19] **Cache:**
A video

[00:14:20] **Cache:**
With. and I think that’s do better is get their right stakeholders involved. Just what you’re doing is you’re lowering the barrier or lowering the hurdle that you’re going to have to, to eventually jump.

And yes, you will eventually have to leap over, but you’re trying to make that less of a step as possible in the future And I think if you’ve crafted the story, so that it’s something that. They’re motivated to share. And that is in line with their brand that is in line with things that they’ve produced in the past. A lot of times you can figure out what, what can be produced by seeing what else have they done, and doing those kinds of things makes it easier, but it’s, it’s gonna, it’s gonna still remain challenging.

But those are some of the better approaches I think

[00:15:07] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s, such a good point, like in, you know, kind of, collaborative approach. Right. you know, figuring out, you know, working with them early, rather than at the end, you know, kind of coming in and helping, you know, that it kind of, you know all works out Right. you know, again, simple, but, but so. of a thing that is very easy to forget, you know? and then in terms of I guess you mentioned customer advocacy kind of advocacy 2.0 if you on, I’m curious what, what other, you know, if we were going to kind of outline if, maybe draw a distinction between advocacy 1.0 and advocacy 2.0, you know, what are the big, you know hallmark So. advocacy 2.0 versus advocacy, kind of 1.0, and I’ll actually start by contributing one. I think reference calls we’re seeing in advocacy. 1.0, was very referenced called, driven and adversely 2.0, we’re certainly not, you know, reference calls are not going away completely, but we’re seeing, a lot of reference need for reference calls being deflected by better.

Customer content, better customer stories, whether it’s, you know, video often video. And, so I’ll pause there though. I’d love to hear. Yeah. Where do you see those kind of distinctions between customer

[00:16:23] **Cache:**
How often do they actually

[00:16:25] **Sam:**
Dam

[00:16:26] **Cache:**
Just to your point, to build off of that it’s customer advocacy, 2.0, now that I sit here and think about it, it’s probably

[00:16:34] **Cache:**
I want them to

[00:16:35] **Cache:**
By that,

[00:16:35] **Cache:**
Then Cool

[00:16:37] **Cache:**
Your advocacy asks need to be more ironed out. They need to be more in line with where the customer’s at in their process, but

[00:16:45] **Cache:**
And is you’ve goes to my days at super

[00:16:50] **Cache:**
Deflect the better your program because you’re saving the time. and I think we have to look at it as how much time are we asking from these advocates? What are we, what are we giving them an exchange? Because I think if I, if I really look at it from a broad view, time is the biggest limit.

[00:17:08] **Cache:**
Like I’m

[00:17:09] **Cache:**
We’re at, and

[00:17:10] **Cache:**
Look for

[00:17:11] **Cache:**
And, and even in, even in appreciation things, right? Like I’m not sure gift cards go

[00:17:17] **Cache:**
On me

[00:17:18] **Cache:**
I’m not sure if somebody gets a $10, you know, card to their favorite joint to grab a drink or to put towards their next online purchase

I don’t, I don’t know if those move the needle in the

[00:17:31] **Sam:**
Of like common

[00:17:32] **Cache:**

Because I think

[00:17:34] **Sam:**
Point Right

[00:17:35] **Cache:**
And our customers we’ve put more of a premium on our time

[00:17:40] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s, it’s such a, such a good point. And so it sounds like, you know, there’s more of an emphasis in. you know, maybe doing sometimes a slightly more, you know, a one-time upfront investment, but like a more scalable, thing long-term right. Is that, is that fair to say, like,

[00:18:02] **Cache:**
Yeah, I think that’s, I think that’s, hitting it right on the right on the head. I think you’ve got to get more out of everything you do with them. If they do a customer review, that’s awesome. It’s going to get you this. You better develop a template for those reviews So you can feature them on your website.

You better be sharing those reviews in social. You better be gleaning those reviews for

[00:18:21] **Sam:**
Leader listened to

[00:18:22] **Cache:**
Don’t throw away any of the value they’ve given you maximize it. and, and if you do a video interview, transcript it, turn it into written quotes, even as simple as when you do have a customer quote, log it, have a source of truth, have a database that you’re going back to that you’re able to say like, Hey, here’s this quote,

Hey, here’s this case study don’t lose any of it. you just, you can’t afford to.

[00:18:47] **Sam:**
Yeah, that that’s so true. And you mentioned, video reviews, case studies, I’m share there about, you know, the different sort of the different medium. you know, for customer storytelling, you know, obviously the big three being written case studies third-party reviews, or at least from my perspective and customer videos and maybe, I dunno, analyst reports as well for enterprise companies, but yeah. how do you think about kind of those different mediums and also within the context of like, you know, advocacy 1.0 and advocacy 2.0 and kind of where things are true.

[00:19:17] **Cache:**
Yeah. And I think, I think there’s a whole new opportunity, especially when it comes to video. I remember, I remember back in the

[00:19:23] **Cache:**
You’re that

[00:19:24] **Cache:**
Like, I don’t even know it was like 15 to 20 video trips and I was basically on the road for the entire summer visiting customers. it was a young man’s

[00:19:32] **Cache:**
That first speed

[00:19:34] **Cache:**
Nowadays.

Right. I think with, with people accustomed zoom, to being in front of video, and I think that’s, that’s almost more of it. It’s not necessarily, they’re willing to consume a less produced video because I think they, they probably always were. I think, and you still want your videos to look sharp?

You still want him to be on brand like yes but does everyone facilitate a massive video

[00:19:57] **Cache:**
Promoting me

[00:19:58] **Cache:**
I’m not.

Um that’s probably up to your brand, but I think

[00:20:02] **Cache:**
Into promoting and building their

[00:20:05] **Cache:**
On video has probably gone

[00:20:08] **Cache:**
Because make it in the context of

[00:20:10] **Cache:**
Although I don’t know, they would admit to it they’ll be more comfortable. Right. I remember interviewing a, I mean, this guy was massively, successful. He owned, you know, in this I don’t even know how long ago, eight years ago. he had done, I mean, he owned multiple. I was in automotive, so he owned multiple car dealerships and he was successful across the board. I’m sure he had done advertisements.

I’m sure he had done promotions. they were in a major city. He was completely uncomfortable being in front of a video. I would have never known this before arriving. but it was a hurdle we had to overcome in a

[00:20:48] **Cache:**
An of

[00:20:48] **Cache:**
Way. I think people are more used to seeing themselves starting back at themselves nowadays, via zoom And so I think you can use that to your advantage to some extent. but I think videos have gotta be probably shorter. Right? I think we keep, we keep going that way. I think they’ve got to stand out though. I think, I think the challenge is creativity. You’ve got to make

[00:21:10] **Cache:**
Where again knowing really want which

[00:21:12] **Cache:**
Like a video.

It does no good. If it doesn’t hit on any of the things that it needs. you’ve got to focus on your outputs, right? Like what’s the customer going to get out of this? What’s it going to, what’s it going to do for them in your funnel? What’s it going to, you know, what’s it going to do for your prospects What’s what stages that served up in. and he said, keep more linked than I think the things matter, but

[00:21:32] **Sam:**
Video testimonials content and a couple of things I want to drill down to. They’re like, I think the whole funny point it’s true. It’s like people are, I think, especially from the comfort of their own home, you know, way more, comfortable going out and going on video, just because of of, you know, the, the sort of new normal that we all live in, which which is, which is a great thing.

[00:21:53] **Cache:**
To be

[00:21:54] **Sam:**
Thankfully also. You know, you mentioned zoom, you know, obviously there’s that that’s one way to do it. And there’s also other, other ways to even, you know, do it higher quality, obviously that that’s what we do remotely and, you know, filming through, through iPhones errors, you know, Android devices, which are just crazy that like the quality, like on smartphones

[00:22:14] **Cache:**
Oh I can

[00:22:15] **Sam:**
Is just bananas. it’s not slowing down, right? Like, every, every new phone release we’re getting closer to That like DSLR quality in a smartphone. if you can actually capture that interview from home via smartphone, of course, you know, you have to edit it, and all that, or work with a, someone who who’s going to help you do that. you have like a fidelity that that’s like homepage ready for even like, you know,

[00:22:41] **Cache:**
To thing

[00:22:43] **Sam:**
That is like, I, I agree. I think we’re still gonna see, like, for like a marquee customer,  you know, they’re, we’re still gonna see you in your onsite, you know, videography and that’s still what we see, but I think, the whole like remote video is just becoming at an

[00:22:58] **Cache:**
Say anything bad

[00:23:00] **Sam:**
Viral.

[00:23:00] **Cache:**
Yeah. Especially for the interview, right? Like I think like, there’s always, it’s funny because like, when you first start doing these, you’re like, ah, we got to get B roll. we gotta get B roll and that’s always like the afterthought. But like some really snazzy B roll goes a long way. So, I mean, that’s probably the diff the drop-off right.

Of not having somebody in person, is not being able to

[00:23:23] **Sam:**
Curious where you things going the future

[00:23:26] **Cache:**
It’s hard to have a personality when it’s like standing in front of a wall and no

[00:23:31] **Sam:**
Are the

[00:23:31] **Cache:**
No alternating camera angles.

I wonder if we’ll go back though. I wonder, I wonder where we are on the.

[00:23:38] **Cache:**
In terms

[00:23:39] **Cache:**
And, and if we’ll start to go back to people like wanting to see, you know, I think what we’re starting

[00:23:44] **Cache:**
Since Dawn of

[00:23:45] **Cache:**
To go to events, as it becomes safer and safer. I wonder if we’ll see people wanting to consume, a little a little, more, fully produced stuff or, of it.

[00:23:58] **Sam:**
Customer I think it’s a mix. Just like, I think like events, you know, like now it’s like hybrid events, right? And I think with, with the content we’re gonna you know cause there’s always, you know, if you’re going to, if it’s like a customer video on your homepage, you know it does need to be, you know, higher produced whether that’s like a higher produced remoter on the site. And then of course there’s always.

[00:24:17] **Cache:**
A big

[00:24:18] **Sam:**
You know, an opportunity for that more like rough and ready stuff that isn’t, you know, on the homepage, but it’s still, you know, super valuable. I want to circle back on something you said earlier about, kind of just making the video or there, there were really the any medium that the customer content, you know, appropriate and what customers actually want Specifically that what they want at that stage of the buyer journey. Right? Like, you know, it sounds like what you were kind of advocating for. And I would agree is that like, you know, it’s maybe 1.0 is like one size fits all case study and like 2.0 is like, we’re going to actually figure out map the buyer journey, figure out like all this different micro content customer content, but it’s going to change based on like where Okay they’re close to the deal

[00:25:05] **Cache:**
Yeah, I think, I think previously I mean, I know my

[00:25:08] **Sam:**
Whereas now the big shift is the best

[00:25:12] **Cache:**
Like. I mean

[00:25:13] **Sam:**
Are

[00:25:14] **Cache:**
15 minutes long I don’t know how long the videos ended up being right off the top of my head, but it seems like they were long because they captured I think you still like to make the most of the customer’s time, you still capture everything, but you produce it in a different way. Where

[00:25:27] **Cache:**
These trust cues A customer story, I can trust you

[00:25:31] **Cache:**
There. As a, as a piece, they can consume it, allow them to tell you they want more and continue their journey to digest more.

But if that’s all they wanted today, great Give it to them to get that out of. and I think that’s the piece it’s it’s once again, like none

[00:25:48] **Cache:**
A

[00:25:49] **Cache:**
Are overly easy, but I think it’s

[00:25:51] **Cache:**
Them

[00:25:51] **Cache:**
Have to be aiming for.

[00:25:53] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s, it’s so much more in line with, I think, how all buyers want to kind of consume content today, right. They

[00:25:59] **Cache:**
What I say

[00:26:00] **Sam:**
They want that kind of snackable experience, and kind of self-service, that makes a ton of sense. And, you know, if I’m, if I’m a marketer, who’s listening to this. And I’m like, I love all these ideas that I’m hearing. and I wanna kind of, I feel like I’m not there yet. You know, I want to kind of catch up in terms of my, you know customer advocacy and my customer stories. What advice would you give someone who feels like maybe they’re they’re like a little bit behind or like they, they haven’t just done this. And they want to catch up and get started.

What story programs share with them?

[00:26:35] **Cache:**
So I would experiment internal. and by by that, I mean, if you’re trying to figure out how do customer reviews matter,

[00:26:45] **Cache:**
Place that

[00:26:46] **Cache:**
Teams. Start, start, just publishing them in slack, come up with a channel, throw up your customer reviews, share them with your team. If you, if you’re trying to figure out how do we make these customer videos better?

I’ve got some, I’ve got some customer video. We captured share them with your team. there’s no better way to, I think, to juice momentum for building a program then to get your internal buy-off, but there’s also no better way to refine what you’re producing

[00:27:12] **Cache:**
Killer

[00:27:12] **Cache:**
To share with your team. And all you’re doing along the way is making your company more customer centric.

So experiment internally, like trying to figure out, you know, a new case study template, throw a couple

[00:27:24] **Sam:**
And uh

[00:27:25] **Cache:**
Your I think sometimes we overthink it and we think it’s got to be this big produced, you know, it’s gotta be a change to the website. It’s gotta be front pay it.

Doesn’t throw it up on your internet, throw it in your newsletter. get it in front of us. All you’re going to do is get questions, get feedback, get input from your team, which the collaboration drives the success of your program. And you’re going to be making people understand your customers through a better lens.

The more you do that. So, yeah, I would say experiment internally I think it’s been huge for me. And I think sometimes we get in such a hurry to produce for external that we, we don’t do that.

[00:28:05] **Sam:**
Episode with Cache summers things that really I such such a good point. And, you know, it sounds like, you know, getting feedback from, you know, your even, especially maybe your sales team, right. If they’re using those, those, customer stories in real life situations, you know, if you can ask like, Hey, like, which one of these is working which uh important to points are hitting the most.

And, it just from a pure like type like feedback you know, it seems like. That, that conversation and that, that open dialogue between sales, would be extremely.

[00:28:40] **Cache:**
Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, if you

[00:28:42] **Sam:**
Want

[00:28:43] **Cache:**
I mean, career-wise, if you can produce what your sales team needs, you’re golden like that, that is a job in

[00:28:50] **Sam:**
That that up frequently

[00:28:52] **Cache:**
So it’s good job security. if you can, if you can get the right sounding boards, and involve them and celebrate them. And what I love to do is, is, you know, like if I do that and I have this really great sales and he helps me come up with this process and I launch it when I launch it, I don’t even talk about what I’ve launched.

I talk about his idea, because that facilitates more

[00:29:12] **Sam:**
Your your third-party reviews

[00:29:15] **Cache:**
Build.

[00:29:15] **Sam:**
I want to shift gears to talk a little bit about kind of cybersecurity as well. within the context of everything we’ve been talking about, you know, there’s there’s of course, you know, interesting paradox, I think, with the cybersecurity industry where like, peer-driven. Shepler stories and our IX, you know, especially valuable, but especially hard to get at the same time, because being in the security industry, privacy concerns and security, risks, concerns, and, Yeah, I guess, you you’ve worked in a number of different industries, but what have you sort of learned there so far and, you know, maybe you can kind of speak to that sort of that, that managing that, that dichotic.

[00:29:57] **Cache:**
Yeah. Two of the last three stops were insecurity and the other one was Oracle. Right. So I haven’t had necessarily the easiest path to do approvals and simplification when doing these things. it definitely is a challenge. I mean, if you don’t acknowledge the challenges there, then you’re being unrealistic with yourself.

The value, like you spoke of the content, his has only increased, I assume that’s for most that’s where most verticals though. I think you just got to go back to, I always go back to like banks, right? Like nobody’s going to do a testimonial for, from a bank and tell you how they, what, which vault they’re using. Right. they’re not gonna, they’re not gonna tell you this new security procedure they implemented as part of their, part of their closing process at the end of the day, that that makes their, their bank safer at night. nobody wants to give you that info. and so what you’ve, what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to talk to them about efficiencies.

You’ve got to talk to them about being a leader. you know, if you go down to the, you go down to that bank and you talk to that bank about new, what you guys are a leader in keeping costs down for your members, but providing the best level of security for their money. that’s a story for them, right?

Like what credit union or what local bank wouldn’t want to be mentioned like that there wouldn’t be able to be, want to tell their customers. Yeah. We’re driving down. We’re keeping our costs down while providing you the most elite level of protection. That’s a great story. and it’s equally a great story for whoever the provider is.

That’s providing that. So I think you’ve got to get to that level that, everybody knows what you’re speaking about, the, that you’re involved in their success, but you make it, you make it matter for them. And I think it kind of goes back to a lot of the other things we’ve hit on. but yeah, it’s, it’s always challenging.

[00:31:46] **Sam:**
I love that such a good point and is relates to like, how do you make the ask? Right. It’s all about. That two-way exchange of value in one of those ways is for sure, you know, shining a light on the, on customers and companies to help them build their, you know, in actually in individual people that are giving the testimonial or the, the video and, you know, helping them build their reputation and their career.

I think that that, that, that can be a lot of the value of, of, participating in these things.

[00:32:16] **Cache:**
Yeah, knowing that is so helpful, right? Knowing like, Hey, this person is, is bright. They are young. You’ll have like things, like they went to MIT, they did this and you’re like, all right, they’re not like you can see it. They’re not going to stay at the level they’re at forever. and then you understand their motivators, but in some of that, you know, going into a call, right?

Like You’ll see it in the lead information or you you’ll discover it along the way. Sometimes I don’t discover that until the discovery process, but I try to have those conversations with the customers so that I understand what can I help you get out of this? beyond your brand, beyond this, you know, what can I help you as a person get out of this?

What, what, why would you say yes to this and how do we make that the end result surpasses your expectations?

[00:33:03] **Sam:**
And do you find that often helping them as an individual kind of build their reputation and their kind of career or, you know, what, what do you kind of see? has, kind of worked.

[00:33:17] **Cache:**
Yeah, you have some that they want to, and then you have some that they’re just doing it because they like your product. They love a lot of times they love their sales person or they love their reps. They feel like they’ve had a great level of partnership. So they want to talk about that. Those are awesome.

Right? Other times you have folks that they really do want to get their name out there. They want to be known for what they’re accomplishing. And so you just, you just have to discover that and then help them hit it. I mean, I always have said my like mark of success is, is if we produce a video, I think video is the easiest one, right.

To say this for, but if we produce a video, would they be proud enough to share it on their linked. Great. Right. Would they be proud enough to share it on their Facebook where nobody knows what they do for their job, but it would make them feel like a rock star even better.

Like that’s how, you know, like the different levels that you’ve hit, like does this matter to them as a professional because it gets their name out of it. Great. Is this something they personally are proud of and excited about even better?

[00:34:20] **Sam:**
I love that that’s such a good tip and, it all comes, I think, yeah, it comes down to, generosity being genuine with what you ask and really making them the hero of the story. Right. Cache has been great. Well, where can, where can people, if, you know, get in touch with you and if they want to connect and learn more or just, don’t have any other questions.

[00:34:44] **Cache:**
Yeah, definitely. If they want to commiserate about some of these challenges, LinkedIn is a great place to track me down. I would say Twitter, but that’s just me complaining about sports, usually. So, I won’t burden anybody with that. But yeah, LinkedIn is a great place because a lot of these things, if I’m working on something, I’m pretty transparent about things.

So, if we’re working on something at Netskope, we’re working to launch a program, you can usually tell what what I’m doing, or what I’m building, because we’ll be talking about it in all sorts of ways. Both with our customers and with colleagues.

[00:35:23] **Sam:**
Amazing. Well, thanks, Cache. I really appreciate it. Thank you for hopping on.

[00:35:29] **Cache:**
I appreciate it. Sam, it’s always good to connect and hear what you guys are up to. AIt’s always fun to talk about these challenges we’re all trying to solve. So, I appreciate you having me on.

[00:35:40] **Sam:**
Alright. Folks, that was Cache Walker. A fantastic episode. So many nuggets in there, a sales funnel approach to getting these stories created. Legal approvals, thinking in advance, they’re working collaboratively, getting in with the right stakeholders early. We talked about customer advocacy 2.0 and contrasting between the classic 1.0 days, and how with 2.0 actually deflecting references with great content. The shifts around time, and the future of advocacy. It’s going to be certainly less about gift cards and more about the most scarce asset that we all have, which is time.

I highly recommend connecting with Cache if you’re in the advocacy space. Awesome guy. Again, this is the State of Customer Storytelling, brought to you by Testimonial Hero.

My name is Sam Shepler, and we look forward to you checking out the next episode.

We publish every week. If you have any other guests that you really want us to feature, my email is sam@testimonialhero.com. Just shoot me a message. We’d love to hear from you.

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