Episode 9 - Patricia Bautista - Creating and Promoting Top-Notch Customer Videos

In this episode, we talk about why customer testimonials are more important than ever in today’s marketing strategies. We talk about why customer storytelling has been a part of the marketing dynamic for millennia, and how to find and produce great customer videos. We also talk about the future of customer stories, and much more.

Full Transcription

[00:00:00] **Patricia:**
We’re in the early days of customer advocacy. The concept is part of human nature. Customer advocacy is all about people sharing advice and what they like, and other people being influenced by it.

It matters because most people rely on other people for feedback, especially when they’re still figuring things out.

[00:00:25] **Sam:**
Alrighty folks. Welcome to another fantastic episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast. I’m Sam Shepler, and my guest today is Patricia Bautista, Senior Customer Marketing Manager at none other than a company I’m sure you’ve heard of, Gong.

Her mission is to engage existing customers and also entice prospective customers through insightful, relevant storytelling. One of Patricia’s core beliefs is that customer communication should be a two-way street, and as a customer marketer, it’s essential to implement scalable, efficient marketing tools that make this possible.

Previously she worked in customer marketing at Genesis, as well as Automatic. Patricia, welcome to the show.

[00:01:19] **Patricia:**
Thank you Sam, for having me.

[00:01:21] **Sam:**
It’s my pleasure. Just to kick things off, let’s talk a little bit about customer advocacy. In many ways, we’re still in the early days of customer advocacy, but it’s also evolving very quickly, and you’ve been in the space for quite some time now. In your opinion, what is customer advocacy all about, and why does it matter?

[00:01:44] **Patricia:**
Well, Sam, while you can say we’re in the early days of customer advocacy, I think the concept is simply part of human nature. Customer advocacy is all about people sharing advice and what they like, and other people being influenced by it. It matters because most people rely on other people for feedback, especially when they’re still figuring things out.

I’m sure since the Dawn of civilization, folks have been walking into bazaars and marketplaces and have asked a friendly face, who sells the best chickens, meat, or magic carpets, and they get directed to someone whose business they appreciate—a customer reference or referral, if you will.

In modern times, we simply have an extended variety of channels in which customer advocacy can present itself. Much of word of mouth marketing manifests itself online through someone’s company website, third-party review sites, analyst reports, social channels, and a whole lot more.

We try to influence and track these interactions with solutions like Influitive, Reference Edge, and Advocate Ambassador, but the fundamentals of customer advocacy are familiar to anyone who has ever consumed anything.

So, in my opinion, customer advocacy is not new. It’s simply who we are as human beings; social creatures who share knowledge and influence each other’s transactions.

[00:03:07] **Sam:**
I love that. That’s such a good example with the timeless marketplace analogy. It’s almost like, back in those days, we also might look and say like, “Oh, which, stall has the longest line? Which is the most popular?” Now we’re looking at who has the best examples on their customers page or on their reviews page that are companies that look like our company that we resonate with.

So, that’s such a good example and a good metaphor. We sort of hit on it a little bit, but where do customers stories and customer storytelling fit in the advocacy umbrella?

[00:03:51] **Patricia:**
So how does it fit under the customer advocacy umbrella? I would say that customer stories are at the very heart of customer advocacy. You know, storytelling is powerful. It expresses a journey person. Encounters challenge decides to find a solution goes to their transformation and they resolve it hopefully in a post.

Outcome, right. this is the core that threads itself through customer advocacy. I mean, at Gong, our customer stories. by what we call our raving fans is really at the heart of our business, not just in customer marketing. I mean, customer stories help make our product better. customer stories convince people to get recruited by us, customer stories.

Don’t just fit under the umbrella of customer advocacy. It’s essential to everything. But to answer your question more practically. In the tech world and our world of the internet, the stories, people paint of come out in the form of customer webinars, reviews, lard programs,

Customer surveys, stories are in most customer marketing programs or customer advocacy programs, really because these stories touch different parts of the life cycle influence different parts of the life cycle and, are drawn from different parts of the side.

[00:05:10] **Sam:**
I love that you brought up two examples, making the product better and actual we, that, you know, helping with the recruiting. Are really powerful, but you know, maybe not the obvious things that we think about when, you know, a lot of customer stories, you know, the, the obvious use case is social proof, right.

And customer evidence for, you know, sales enablement and marketing purposes. But tell us more about that. Tell me more about that. The, how have you guys also, you know, unlocked value around product and then of course,

[00:05:41] **Patricia:**
Yeah, of course. Anytime you capture a customer story, let’s say in a two minute testimonial video, right? The reality behind it is that you spend maybe 45 minutes, an hour, 30 minutes talking to the customer. And as you do these interviews, A lot of information comes out that we actually can share back to our product teams to help influence what kind of product they build, or, let’s say the recruiting example, you know, happy customers and them sharing the stories, make it a more compelling company to join because if you know, a company is thriving as successful, you’re more likely to join that because it’s an easier product to sell as well.

Right. So that, that makes marketing easier. It makes recruiting easier. You know, being part of the product and engineering team easier. I mean, it infiltrates everything. for example, if a customer, or if a company has a lot of good stories or has been known to please their customers so that they raise their hands for these customer stories, then you know, that even makes support easier because you know, they, there are good feelings towards the company and, you know, you’re seeing more as a partner than, as just a solution provider.

[00:07:00] **Sam:**
Yeah, it’s so true. And I know, you know, for us, and I’ve heard similar things, there’s just like this swell of pride internally when you, you know, the whole team and particularly, you know, departments that might not always interact with the customers, like, you know, engineering or whatnot.

Watches a customer story. And then, you know, especially with video, right? Like your example, cause there’s just so much emotion in video and, hearing directly from the customer or that, that is like the impact and like this person’s changed their life and their career and their career trajectory.

Thanks to our solution. It’s just such a, so much pride and so great to see. So, that’s such a good point, shifting to like, talk about like the strategy. So like if I’m a, marketing leader, you know, and I want to do more with customer storytelling. I think we could all agree that, it starts, everything starts with, with a sound strategy.

You know, in your opinion, how, how should, you know, marketing leaders think about, you know, setting. that advocacy and that customer stories, strategy, you know, how do you think about that? How do you kind of go about that? And, when it comes to, you know, setting that, that sound strategy that can be the foundation for success.

[00:08:14] **Patricia:**
Yeah. So if you want to, do more customer advocacy as a marketing leader, always, always fall back into your primary business needs. who’s your audience for these stories? These acts of advocacy. what do we want them to do? how do we all want to transform? Prospects current way of thinking to, you know, more positive outcomes, right. even before you ask customers a single question, first, ask yourself, what is my goal here in, you know, creating an advocacy program, creating new stories, right? Is it to introduce a new product? Is it so, so I can create relatable content to a new persona or market. Am I just building the foundation? So any story of a happy customer is good enough for me?

Or like what kind of ROI or metrics should I share? If any, so going back to your purpose can help you outline your strategy and the programmatic stuff happens later, depending on your resources and can help you like decide your next. For example, when I first joined Gong, I was the very first customer marketer in the coal company.

And with customer stories that had been created early on were really very old. So the way I looked at it is that I had to fulfill the main responsibilities or main priorities of the business. You know, let’s say. And that merited like a full focus on creating follow substantial case studies or customer success stories as I like to call them. however, some folks wanted, you know, ABC not just X, Y, Z, right? So it was a different level of priority for me, still important, but not as much. And so the solution there was to boost up our review sites to help fill those gaps in our customer stories. So basically, Hey, we don’t have a case study for that.

But take a look at these five G2 reviews that can help address your prospect’s objections or to address your need. So again, to wrap it up, like figure out what your business needs are, then ruthlessly prioritize projects that fulfill these needs. But again, the programmatic stuff happens later. Once you have this foundation and communicate, communicate to the audience, which is your internal audience, what these priorities are.

And then keep on evolving these prioritizations, but create workarounds as needed.

[00:10:36] **Sam:**
That yeah. That alignment with the priorities, such a simple, but you know, sometimes not easy thing to do it, but you’re, that makes so much sense. So you mentioned the internal audience as well, which I think is a really good point. Cause like, You know, sometimes maybe depending on the situation, you know, priorities change, right.

At the executive level. So how do you think about that, especially for maybe like more, you know, when you were, you know, earlier in your career, how did you kind of navigate that? Did you have to be more proactive? Actually, you know, figure out what those priorities were like up to the, up to the day. I guess I’m just curious. How did you do that? And any tips that? you have for, for other folks who I think, especially, you know, earlier in your career, you may not be naturally as privy to like the shifting constantly shifting strategic priorities.

[00:11:29] **Patricia:**
Yeah. Yeah. So my suggestion here is really to find your allies. Like when I first started my customer marketing career, I was part of a global company that had field marketing managers in different continents. Right. so they knew what they wanted and as the person who was in corporate, I was able to listen to them and, decide on my key projects based on that.

Right. So again, you don’t necessarily need to go for the top dog. of course, you know, during, during all hands calls, everyone should know what the company’s vision and mission are, what the company’s priorities are for. a year or a quarter. Right. But if you don’t have that direct feedback from leadership, go to the people on the ground who know what they want and who need their problem solved and just develop good relationships with them.

You don’t always have to go straight to the leader. Of course Gong being a startup, and me being the first customer marketer at the company, I had easy access to leadership and opinions in that sense, but, in larger organizations you have to just adapt, with the internal resources you have.

[00:12:40] **Sam:**
Got it. That makes, that makes a ton of sense. And, I know one thing that you were talking in the pre show about, you know, how. the role of surveys and sort of, kick-starting a lot of, the data that maybe leads to, you know, who to get testimonials from who to get reviews from. Tell us about that. Like, how do you, how do surveys in just the mechanism of surveying the customers? How do you think about that and how do you you know, how does that fit into this, your customer stories strategy?

[00:13:12] **Patricia:**
Yeah. I mean, customer surveys are absolutely wonderful. here at Gong, we use at tech validate, which is owned by survey monkey now known as Momentive, by the way, they’re a customer of ours. But anyway, we use that to aggregate customer data, to get customer quotes and to scale that up and because of the technology to.

There’s like a stamp of approval by the, the company to show that this is legitimate. We’re not just making these up, but, this really allows us to come up with data that we can insert in. Let’s say PMM slides in company decks, you know, by sending these customer surveys, we’re able to kind of scale up, the type of testimonials we we have and, a really good thing about the tool as well.

TechValidate is that at the end of the survey? there’s a tack a question you can tack on, which says, would you be open to becoming a reference for. Our organization. And that could be for media, our speaking engagements or reference calls or customer stories. Right. So even though you’re collecting data with a main, goal of a survey, you’re also able to gauge interest in other advocacy activities with customer service. Also, you know, this is a survey tool. there are other interesting ways that you can weave in customer marketing programs that actually have some type of survey, for example, what we recently launched is something called the golden gauntlet. It’s our second year of running it, but a nomination form for an award can be a survey to get stories, for example, or, you know, technically when you fill up a review site question that is also serving what your customer is happy about or disappointed about.

And that’s also data that you can use to eventually approach people for extensive stories or speaking engagements or other advocacy, active.

[00:15:10] **Sam:**
That’s I love that. And that was the next question I was going to ask is sort of like any other tips on like identifying which customers to, to actually, you know, feature. Right. And, and so it sounds like, the, you know, of course the surveys, if they raise their hands, mining your, your third-party review sites, for, for people who have been, you know, had a great experience.

What other tips have you learned around, actually that, that identification process. Cause I think that can be where people, especially, at larger stages where they have more customers and

[00:15:45] **Patricia:**

[00:15:46] **Sam:**
That can be where they get stuck. Right. They, they may know the strategic priority and they, they may have the goal, but then like, great.

Like how do I, actually figure out which customers to add.

[00:15:57] **Patricia:**
Yeah, actually, you touched on it a little bit, you know, I’m several tips, but again, want to, re-emphasize what you just said, always ground the customers that you pick for success stories based on your business interests, or rather your business priorities and needs. Well, this person’s story, the useful for us, what kind of narrative will they present us?

And what problem will be solved by capturing this person’s story? Right. So, you know, again, first tip is really to make sure that you’re aligned to your business needs. Secondly, we want to pick someone that is related. to your desired audience, and this can really show itself in different ways. You know, you can prioritize customers for example, with relevant logos, because people like what they trust and sometimes they just trust recognizable.

Or alternatively, they need to have good ROI or impressive metrics. When a prospect hears a good metric of improvement, they naturally ask themselves like, what if I came back to my company with this result, it’s appealing. Right. And last. Pick a persona that resonates with your desired audience. it allows people, you know, the person consuming the content to see themselves in the person they’re listening to the person who did your success story, but really a third tip is really to have a good awareness of your own internal resources to help you identify a good candidate.

Know, what’s in your back pocket. I break this down into several things. First of which is like internal relationships. I touched on this a little bit earlier, but for example, our customer marketing team is quite close to our customer success team, our CS team and our sales team focused on growth.

And. You know, given a business priority and a need for a case study, I use the expertise of our CSMs and reps to help find happy customers. And not only that, like charismatic or enthusiastic individuals, because, you know, as a company grows, you don’t always have a pulse on who’s like, you know, very engaging to deal with.

But the rep or the CSM might know, you know, who do they find pleasure talking to? Right. in talking to like this person, right? So first of all, work in your internal relationships, make sure allies in different areas of the business next is look at your existing programs. I mean, aside from customer stories, there are other programs and customer marketing that can float up customer advocates.

We have a revenue champions program at golf. we have a reference program at Gong, but like I mentioned earlier, you know, you can also use other programs like customer surveys, customer. communities to kind of help source, folks for your customer stories. Lastly, I would say, take a look at your tech stack.

You know, you have a tool belt, of different technologies. In any sort of company. And what I tend to do is I look at our customer health scores on gain site and look at dashboards and size sense to get a picture of what is going on in a customer account. I look at NPS scores, cause we have an NPS score integration into our slack channels.

So I know who loves the third knots and you know, other reporting system. And lastly, I have to say it, but, this is why it’s also awesome to work at Gong because we drink our own champagne. I’m able to go into Gong and see how engaged the customer is. I’m able to listen to business reviews within Gong and see like email, the last city who’s engaged.

And I studied up also on who seems active and willing and a true raving fans. So yeah. use your relationships, use your existing programs, use your tech stack.

[00:19:57] **Sam:**
That’s that’s great. It’s, definitely, it’s really all of, all of the above, right? that, that makes a ton of sense. So, so now that, I’ve identified the customers that I want to feature. What about getting that agreement? You know, getting them in like, you know, getting them to participate. What have you learned about, how to ask them? So basically yes.

[00:20:20] **Patricia:**
Yeah. So for customer buy-in, I make sure to approach people who love us already, and hopefully people would influence, people have been known to be champions of our solution in the past. but you know, again, like take a look at NPS scores, listen to those business reviews, kind of get the gauge of whether they love you. you know, a lot of times these champions, these champions in your customer base are willing to fight the good fight to make the story happen. It helps to appeal to how the story helps them also appeal to their self-interest. for example, with Gong success stories, having case studies or videos puts the leader and their exciting vision into the spotlight, right?

It shows their personal success, the accomplishments of. Career goals, their team’s goals. For example, if they were able to reduce their team’s ramp time, you know, resulting in X amount of dollars saved for the company, this is something they should be proud of. And we really want to emphasize that this story puts them in the pedestal.

It’s less of like, oh, talk about Gong. It’s more. What are you proud of as an individual? And we want to really make sure that they’re proud of that and willing to kind of share back to their company because it makes them look. But, you know, going back to the practicality of it, even before starting the process, we try to get permission, from the legal or comms teams before, you know, even taking next steps.

I mean, last thing we want to do is put in a ton of effort of work and tons of work and find out that. Can’t get published. I mean, that’s happened to me before in previous organizations and it doesn’t feel good, but, in general, like sometimes you have to pull out the big guns. If he wants support, investigate the relationships of your senior leadership team, with key players in the customer’s leadership team, they can be very influential. another thing is to perhaps get it in the contract, once the customer signs up as, to be a business partner, or if a prospect moves into becoming a full-time customer, a lot of times negotiations take place. So sometimes it’s a good time to weave in reference ability as part of, the contract.

So there are many different ways you can kind of examine it and, take advantage of, what’s already in place.

[00:22:47] **Sam:**
It’s really good tips there. one that I don’t hear a lot is that, that leadership team relationship, I think that is something that a lot of people. Forget that that’s a, that’s a great, you know, kind of card to play. And that, that is, that is powerful. As you said, it’s sometimes surprisingly powerful and people like to do help out people that they are friends with or have helped them out.

So, yeah, that is, that’s such a good point.

[00:23:12] **Patricia:**
Yeah. going back to that and we had this like great story of, like, I thought a success story had been shut down. You know, we got the, no go further from their legal team, late in the game because, you know, natural flows of the business, but then our CRO reached out to their, you know, co-founder or something.

And then the co-founder was like, Hey, can we get this done? We love this company. And then boom, like the doors were opened and we were able to get the success story out the gate, even though we thought that it had died on the vine, right?

[00:23:45] **Sam:**
That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s, there’s always, you know, there’s always a way when you can reach to the co-founder or the executive level there always might just be a way to revive it and that’s, that’s such a good reminder. you mentioned legal and any other best practices, because I think that’s another thing that is a challenge for everyone, right.

Is like getting the approval. yeah. Can you tell, tell us more about that and like, I think it’s particularly around like what you, you all have learned. ‘cause I, I think that it can be like a blessing and a curse to like ask in advance in sometimes. Right. Cause I think there’s, there’s the old adage it’s like, sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, but you know, obviously like that can backfire just as easily.

Right. So like, how have you found that the sort of pre-approvals can work. Even, especially with companies, you know, medium and larger companies who the default answer is basically from the legal team at least is like, no, no, you know what I mean? That’s like they’re going to kind of start there.

[00:24:50] **Patricia:**
So I’m going to challenge things a little bit and ask customer marketers to reframe their way of thinking around it. You know, I would like to say that you should treat the pursuit of a case study. Like you’re a sales person trying to close a deal. You know, this is your opportunity to like multithread or speak to power, trying to get multiple people to vouch for your cause.

You know, instead of just having one. Champion in the company. What if there are other people that love you as much as, you know, your main contact, you know, have your base of allies within the customer organization, or maybe these folks can loop in someone with influence so they can get this story approved through their own org.

Another thing is like what I mentioned earlier, negotiate. You know, again, some of our most amazing customer success stories were actually negotiated early on. you know, let’s say pricing, concessions or negotiations were happening during a renewal or a new contract. Try to make sure it’s in your sales process to weave in referenceability.

Or at least the possibility of referenceability in the future. mean, it’s not ideal because of course you want them to pay full price, but if it’s happening, if you know that there’s a lot of like a negotiation going on, try to take advantage of it as a customer marketer and get it in early on. again, they may not do the case study with you just yet, but it might be valuable eight months after the contract side.

Right? Think ahead. And as I mentioned before, and like use your connections to help influence the outcome. Again, sometimes it all takes as a person with power in the customer organization to help influence the legal team and to make them more pleased with you. I would say if I had one other suggestion, it would be to be flexible.

You know, if you have a really great case study and suddenly the legal teams. Ma, you know, that you can go back to them and say, Hey, what makes you feel uncomfortable about this? Is it a matter of changing the tote so that the challenge doesn’t seem so challenging? Is it a matter of removing the stack?

You know, it still sucks to remove your important metric yet if the logo is good enough, it’s worth it. Right. So be flexible, make sure that, you’re in there assigned. You want to make them feel comfortable. Bend over backwards. If you want something approved.

[00:27:16] **Sam:**
A couple of things I want to drill down into there, just the treating the pursuit of a case study like a salesperson. And like, it’s like a, a deal that you need to close. Such a key point in, in, you know, I actually come from, well, I’m the founder and CEO, I’ve done a lot of sales. So I guess I could kind of come from a sales background.

It’s like, when you, when you get one, no, it doesn’t mean you, you abandoned the deal, you know, it’s you figure out, you know, who and really you’re mapping all the different stakeholders. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s such a key point. And I totally agree with you about you know, if possible, get it, negotiate it into the, into the contract.

I’ve actually noticed there’s that is interestingly sort of like divisive point in the, sort of in the customer marketing community, because I think it’s sort of misunderstood and, my take on it is, cause I I’ve heard some people say like don’t. Make it contractual, because like, it’s not about like holding your customer’s feet to the fire, but I, my thing is like, well, it’s really more just preempting the conversation and it’s like, it’s obviously pending satisfaction.

Like, no one’s going to hold them accountable. Like, to it, there’s a case where like for whatever reason, like they weren’t thrilled. It’s like just, unfortunately they got a discount and you’re not going to collect on that case study. If you do, they’re happy, it just preempts the conversation.

Is that the way you sorta look at it? Because I completely agree, but I’ve talked about that and I’ve gotten some pushback on that before.

[00:28:40] **Patricia:**
Yeah. I mean, it’s just good to have it in the paperwork. It doesn’t mean you’re going to bully them into doing it. It’s just like, for example, let’s say they want a discount because you’re getting more seats, right. You’re not going to be like right after the contract is signed. You’re going to be like, give me a case study.

Right. First you have to roll it out to people, right? This is just creating, long-term relationships. And when the legal team. Surfaces after a case study has been agreed to, then you can say like, Hey, this is what we committed to. Again, it’s no pressure. And you have to make sure that it’s, it’s emphasize that this is just pending customer satisfaction.

[00:29:24] **Sam:**
Yeah. That’s, that’s a great point. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a bit more nuanced than like, you know, then sometimes it’s made out to be and, yeah, great point. I want to talk about the different formats of. You know of customer stories, right? I, in particular, the big three, you know, which I think are, you know, written case studies, third-party reviews and then, you know, customer video in, in various forms and length that we can loop, we can kind of lump customer videos into one category. yeah. Patricia, how do you think about those different kind of mediums of customer storytelling?

[00:29:59] **Patricia:**
Yeah. So you were talking about case studies, review sites and, customer videos or testimonial videos, right? Well, I mean, I love them all. I think they’re what makes being a customer marketers. So exciting. I mean, who doesn’t want to listen to happy customers talk about how much they love your company, right.

It’s, it’s energizing, right? I believe it’s the bread and butter of advocacy programs, right? Again, in like 2020, I would say it’s like, that was a huge focus for us at Gong, especially since I was the only customer marketer. Then I orchestrated campaigns that brought in. 1,500 plus reviews across G2 Capterra trust radius to strengthen Gong’s competitive advantage.

You know, this, let us turning the number one software product and G2. And I was able to like produce 33, videos and written customer success story. Including a series that focused on the pivot to the remote work environment. Right? So basically I love them. All right, but let’s be practical here. Like a lot of people consume information differently.

People trust differently. Some people would prefer an industry analyst, assessment of customer happiness over review sites, others like reading long form case studies that kind of give you the whole narrative. Others will stop watching a customer success video after like 20 seconds, you know, as a customer marketer, you need to be able to cater to all these different ways of consuming storytelling.

However, my advice is always to think about priorities, but also, And aside from the goals and the resources, you have always link it back to addressing the needs of your sales team and always picture these people as being real human beings that are relatable. You know, they’re not stories, there are people who have achievements to share, right.

And, you know, make sure that each of, you know, the big three aligned back to these things.

[00:32:09] **Sam:**
That’s yes, such a good point. And, I want to talk also about measurement as well, and I think, your CMO uh UDIA he has some really great points about that on LinkedIn. I’m sure you can share more about it, but I’d love to hear. yeah. How do you, all that Gong and you yourself, you know, think about, measuring or, you know, calculating the results of, you know, a customer story program, to the extent that you you feel the need to, you know, measure it.

And I’m sure it depends on the channel, but yeah. We’d love to hear about.

[00:32:43] **Patricia:**
Yeah, a really great question. One that is I’m sure on top of mind, for most customer marketers, that’s just a question that always pops up. You know, how do you measure the value of your customer story program? Right. I mean, in the simplest barest sense, you can count how many you’re producing. Aligned to how, what your business seats are.

For example, if you want to move up market, you need to have three stories from up-market companies, right. But there’s a lot more nuance there that you can do. So one of the things about Gong is that, we drink our own champagne. I actually use trackers in Gong to know when the term case study is being mentioned by our sales team.

So I get informed each time a sales person shares a story in a presentation. So I use this for my own personal understanding of what’s resonating or not, which stories are popular or not with a sales team. And I’m able to track the growth in the mentions of the term case study, for example, But as you mentioned, it really depends on the channel who is tracking what you decide to track. Like if I do a customer webinar, which is still a customer story, by the way, is it getting replayed? Did it touch white space accounts or growth opportunities are existing customers rewatching it in our academy or community?

What was, you know, what was registration life? But it was, attendance like, or if I provide quotes or customer numbers from a survey tool, how can I get more eyeballs on it Like for example, we recently did new product marketing use case decks. We made sure to include case study slides in it and customer stats from. customer surveys into it has this new messaging and their associated stories, has been adopted by the sales team. Or if you’re in, just imagine, you know are you driving people to the review sites? what are the results? Are you creating banners with customers on them? What are the results there? there’s so many lenses that you have and, you know, I’m totally against gating customer stories, which is, I know huge for the digital space, but it’s good to just get up like a pulse on whether your content is being used internally, externally.

Is it being liked? Is it been shared? There’s so many ways of doing it. It’s it’s endless really. I would say to any customer marketer out there, see what is important to your organization. Sometimes it’s just like, look, we need five more stories on this topic and that’s good enough for your org, right?

Sometimes it’s like, we need to help demand gen. So reorient yourself to that priority. So every organization is different. Adjust accordingly.

[00:35:32] **Sam:**
That’s yeah. Great advice. And, I think ties back to your earlier point about yeah. The starting with the right strategy in place.

So winding down here, just another thing I wanted to ask you about is customer events.

I know you’ve done a lot with customers what have you, I guess, what have you learned in, in, how does that relate to all things? Customer storytelling.

[00:35:53] **Patricia:**
Yeah. So, it’s been a wild ride since the pandemic. I mean, we started off with zoom events that were very intimate, almost like little circles for customers to share their concerns, to vent about what’s going on and be used, breakout rooms to really, Kind of gets into a more intimate audience, our CSMs, where our hosts in this room. and we really just wanted to scale up that support and that kind of like relationship in that sense. Now people are a bit more picky about the events that they go to. So we decided to scale up into more webinars formats, which is a little bit more, you know, like case studies we bring in our revenue champions.

We bring in customer speakers to share their stories that these. And what has been really good about this as well, is that we’re able to create two pieces of content. From this, for example, we have the webinar recording as a whole, that gets watched from our, our community Gong gets watched from our, education teams, academy Gong, but we also try to do is do a writeup post event. So let’s say we have a customer that speaks to them about. Talks about their achievements using Gong. What we do is that we send this recording over to our writer. Who’s able to make a whole case study. That’s two pages long just based on the event. And that actually generates another piece of content that we can share out.

So again, I invite you to look into making the most out of whatever programs you are already doing and to kind of link that back to customer stories, to produce more.

[00:37:28] **Sam:**
Such a good point and how can we all as marketers, you know, extend the content that we have and, take that and make it more extensible, you know, create additional micro content as well.

We talked about how like customer advocacy is very much a timeless concept.

But it’s also one, I think that, you know, is evolving very quickly and, you know, in exciting ways and to some extent, you know, everything old is new again, and we’re just getting new technology, but, where do you see it going in the future? you know what, specifically with, you know, customer stories, what do you see changes. you know, over the next, two, three or so w when, as it pertains to, you know, B2B customer stories,

[00:38:11] **Patricia:**
Yeah. So the future of storytelling continues to evolve as our channels evolve as behavior changes. Will I be using Tik TOK for customer stories? I have no clue. I’m not sure if I want to, but I believe that as a whole B2B customer storytelling or customer marketing is moving towards rawness and authenticity.

I mean, there’s a saying, I heard recently from one of our Gongs tours. No one wants the corporate version of you and the pandemic was so awful in so many different ways. But one thing I did appreciate was that people were more open to sharing their vulnerability, their quirkiness, their families, their holes earlier in the pandemic, before we got to like slick remote filming figure.

I did a video series that showed how Gong was essential to remote work. And these were filmed on zoom. They were Grady. We had some bloopers with like kids coming out to print stuff in their dad’s office. Oh, we had delivery service come in. Midway. Of course those were edited out, but that’s 100% fine.

I just think that there’s room for us to bring that humanity back into our storytelling B to C companies do this really well. We need to bring that back into B2B customer storytelling, and I’ve made it my goal to make this happen more often at Gong. And I think we have had some pretty good starts, with getting a true customer voice and giving that authenticity back.

[00:39:40] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s definitely something that’s not going to change. We’re only moving toward more of it, of a need for authenticity. It will be really interesting also, maybe in the future with video deep fakes, how that’s going to be impacting things.

So, that’ll be interesting. Maybe we’ll all be watching our customer story videos in the metaverse and we will see.

Well, this has been fantastic, Patricia. Where can people get in touch with you and Gong, and connect if they want to learn more?

[00:40:15] **Patricia:**
Feel free to add me on LinkedIn, and also please subscribe to the Gong LinkedIn page to watch or read our latest success stories, and visit our website. You could admire our new branding, but feel free to reach out to me anytime.

[00:40:32] **Sam:**
Amazing. Thanks for joining the show today. It’s been a pleasure, and we’ll definitely have to do a “round two.”

[00:40:38] **Patricia:**
Thank you, Sam.

[00:40:39] **Sam:**

Alrighty, folks. That’s another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast. I encourage you to follow Gong on LinkedIn to see exactly what we’ve been talking about, and connect with Patricia. Follow her. You’re going to learn a ton.

There’s so much that we couldn’t unpack in that episode. Aligning with priorities, figuring out those priorities, the strategic priorities, and ruthlessly aligning your customer storytelling with that. Finding allies internally. Leveraging your CS team. Using your tech stack. Using your NPS scores. Mining third-party reviews. We’ll have it all in the show notes.

As always, this has been another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling. I’m Sam Shepler, and we hope to hear from you in the next episode.

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