Episode 19 - Adam New-Waterson - The Science Behind Customer Videos That Sell

In this episode, Adam and I discuss the tradeoffs between short-form and long-form content, and why long-form content is still important. We discuss the best time to capture customer content, and how to use that content to expand into new markets. We also talk about marketing as an art and a science. How your customers can sell your solutions for you, and why you should include your content throughout the buyer’s journey. All that, and more, on today’s episode.

Full Transcription

[00:00:00] **Adam:**

Marketing is art, and it’s science.

I’m going to take the best amount of information that I can get—all of the data that I have access to—and I’m going to use that to make a decision.

Sometimes the decision I make is to ignore the data, when I know, through experience, there is something better we can do that we haven’t done in the past.

[00:00:29] **Sam:**

Alrighty folks. Welcome to another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast, brought to you by Testimonial Hero. Testimonial Hero is the easiest way for B2B marketing leaders to create stunning customer video content that helps close deals faster.

My guest today is Adam New-Waterson. He is a Fractional Executive at HYE Partners. Adam, it’s great to have you here. Welcome to the show.

[00:00:57] **Adam:**

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to dig in.

[00:01:02] **Sam:**

To kick things off, you’re a Fractional Executive at HYE Partners. What is HYE Partners, and what does Fractional Executive mean? Tell me more about that. 

[00:01:10] **Adam:**


I grew up in marketing. Originally, I was in marketing operations. I turned that into a career in demand. From there I was a VP of marketing, and a CMO for several different companies.

When the pandemic started happening, I re-evaluated what I wanted out of life, et cetera. I decided instead of working for one company all the time, I wanted to help several companies in a fractional way.

I used to call myself a Fractional CMO. Now I’m the Chief Product Officer, or Chief Technology Officer for one of my clients. So I’ve been calling it Fractional Executive instead of Fractional CMO, because I’m doing more than just marketing these days, leading an engineering customer success organization as well.

[00:02:01] **Sam:**

That’s awesome. So effectively one executive level role wasn’t enough for you. You needed, you know, for in different departments.

[00:02:09] **Adam:**

Hey, you got to keep growing and tackling new challenges all the time. Otherwise you get bored in life. got to keep you gotta keep

[00:02:17] **Sam:**

Awesome. That’s that’s incredible. So, just to kind of kick us off, one of the big topics today is, you know, customer stories. And tell me a little bit more, you know, what’s why do customer stories matter in B2B marketing? 

[00:02:31] **Adam:**

Yeah, absolutely. No customer stories are the way that we humanize, selling in a B2B environment. So, you know, a lot, a lot of people talk about business to business, so are human to human, et cetera. And so. One of the, one of the challenges that need to be marketers have is that we’re often selling something that is hard to see, and it is impossible to touch.

So, you know, we can’t, we can’t actually sell ones in zero is to our clients. They don’t actually care about that. so, so customer stories really help us. Be able to take something that is hard to understand and make it easy for, for people to, to grasp what it is that we’re doing. There. There’s an age, age, old adage in, in marketing, sell the hole, not the drill.

Many marketers really want to focus on what are the features that in functions that my software can do. Customer stories, help us do is not sell the drill and the specifics of the drill itself, but rather than the whole and the potential for what it can do for our business.

[00:03:44] **Sam:**

Such a good point. And so I’m curious, you know, it seems like. Oh, you know, customer storytelling is, you know, just more of a hot topic than ever, you know, customer marketing as a job title is, you know, was just released as like one of the top three, you know, number three on LinkedIn, fastest growing jobs.

I’d be curious to get your take, what is it I guess about, you know, maybe like the macro environment right now that, you know, it seems like, you know, buyers really. And I mean, of course you touched on it, you know, a little bit there, but yeah. Buyers just really want to hear from customers.

Like, what is it about, what’s happening in the world right now or just like the space we’re in. That’s like, you know, pushing that, is it like, you know, as it like a lack of trust, is it just that like, we need a new way to cut through the noise and like, people are just tired of hearing from, marketers and sales reps and just want to hear from a different person.

Yeah. I’d be curious to get your take on. 

[00:04:38] **Adam:**

So I’m going to, I’m going to take that in two parts first and foremost on the idea that that customer marketing is growing a time. It has been, become very apparent over the last sort of decade that it’s a lot easier to, to retain. customer and grow the value of that contract and it is to go acquire new customers.

Right? So, so, this one thing that was harder early on in my career for, for me to grasp was that, you know, I could, I could invested a dollar in, in a post sales environment and make more money off of that. And then if I win, acquire a new customer, The top of the funnel. and so if I could grow that contract, et cetera.

So, so we, we, as B2B organizations are investing a ton in this customer marketing function. One is a steward of helping carry customer stories to other parts of the organization. But two is really about, expanding the footprint within that particular company. So that you were getting more money and you’re not spending as much money in order to acquire new customers.

Why does this, why does this matter? and why do people care about, customer videos is, is really important in, in good question. because. There’s so much noise, as you just said, as I can go, there’s so much noise, but it’s not just like noise from B2B companies. It is like, you know, everybody has new expectations that are set by Amazon or, by Hulu or Netflix or, or, or whatever.

And there are so many things that I can go, pay attention to at any one moment. To the point that I now don’t really trust marketing content very much. If there’s something that a company has put together, they packaged it up and they they’re trying to get me to consume. It’s self-serving and everybody knows that, and everybody thinks that these days.

So, so the true benefit of customer videos is that by, by allowing your customer to share things in their authentic voice, and then that’s really important. Part of making customer videos really super successful is in their authentic boys. they, they do the selling on your behalf. you don’t have to.

Do it yourself and the in result is so much stronger and more interesting for, for clients than, then if they were to read a written case study or something that your team put together, et cetera. 

[00:06:57] **Sam:**

I love that you brought up the, you know, in the authentic voice and then kind of, that’s a perfect transition to, yeah. Let’s talk about the different, the different mediums in the, in the sort of, you know, pros and cons, you know, all of those mediums. How do you think you, you know, you mentioned video, I’d love to even dive into that more, but you know, how do you think about the.

Yeah, they’re kind of pros and cons or the mix of these different customer story mediums, you know? and actually we could even include, you know, different advocacy activities that, you know, are like a reference call as well, perhaps in there. Like how do you sort of thing. written case studies third-party review sites are obviously, also really have been, it seems like they’ve been booming the past couple of years, you know, customer video, and then maybe like, you know, reference programs, as well, like one-on-one reference calls. 

[00:07:49] **Adam:**

So customer advocacy is, is just so super important. as I sort of alluded to a second ago of having, having our customers. So our, technology or solutions, in, in their voice rather than, rather than ours. So, you know, when I was getting started in my career, we did that entirely to written case studies.

So, we would, we would meet with a client, when we heard from customer success that they were happy. We would, interview them. We would get this like written list of things that was self-serving and. Like do do our ability to sell, in an easier way. And then we would give it back to, the, the client and they would, take out everything that was interesting from the case study, and red line.

To something that was very watered down a little weak. and so, you know, we, we as marketers have not been able to tell a really compelling story through, through written content because of the approval and PR hurdles that we have to go through, et cetera. And so. You know, we have really started to look for other avenues to allow people to provide a more authentic, rich, rich, experience.

So, so you mentioned third-party review sites. you know, I guess when, when gardener, when Gardner purchased, a review site, that’s when you sort of really knew that this was. An important part of people’s purchase process. But if you think about just like the way that, that you buy things on Amazon, I don’t know about you, but if I’m not certain with what I’m going to buy, I go down and I look at the reviews and I look at all the top rated and all the bottom rate of reviews.

And I see what are the most likely complaints and what are the features that people really enjoy about it. So, you know, they’re, they’re pretty review sites are really interesting for, for marketers. because as a consumer, I have the ability to look across a bunch of businesses in aggregate and see what sort of trends exists with all of the customers of that particular technology.

So if I, if I go to Capterra or trust radius, or G2 crowd, or, or the gardener review site, et cetera, and I go look at. you know, 50 people who have all used this technology, it allows me to see trends across all of them, which makes me feel confident that this is not just one person saying something because the company gave them a huge discount.

But rather these are a whole bunch of happy customers, or these are a bunch of non happy customers, whatever the case may be. and then, and then from there, our, having customers be the direct. On behalf of the company. So, you know, you mentioned reference calls, right? Reference calls, or, are really critical for sales to help close deals, really bottom of the funnel activity, but the reference calls.

Especially senior leaders at large enterprise businesses to ask the questions they want to ask of an actual customer in order to get there. They’re real off the cuff, reactions to things, right? And so there’s a higher level of trust that is put into this by saying, okay, this is this person from this company.

They’re like you, go talk to them and ask them whatever it is that you want to ask. You know, there’s a little danger on, on behalf of the company in that, in that you cannot control it or see what is happening, right? So you let those two people loose and you allow them to come to their own conclusions and you have no input on what, what the customer is going to say or what the prospect is going to ask, which is great.

It makes them authentic. It makes them trustworthy. It also means you have no control and they’re not reproducible. Right. you know, one of the things that, that customer success organizations really good playing by is the fact that they burn out a really great. By asking them over and over and over to go help them sell in a bunch of different companies. And you can’t go back to that. Well, oh, a bunch of times you can ask somebody two or three times per year to be a reference for you. And that’s it, anything more than that? And people get irritated. Right. and so that’s, that’s why customer videos are such. essentially big tool in a marketer’s toolbox, because they, they allow a customer and they allow a company to, to capture the voice of the customer, edit it into something that is salient and really great for, for them.

That is, is shorter or cogent, but it tells a compelling story. And ultimately the company itself is in control of the narrative. Not, not just their, their, again.

I’m sure there’s tons more we can dig into there. 

[00:12:35] **Sam:**

Yeah, it’s a great, it’s such a good point about preventing, you know, reference burnout, and it’s like the ability to scale, scale out. And, you know, I think sometimes deflect that, you know, many times really deflect the need for the reference call and, which is always so valuable. I want to shift gears to talk a little bit about, customer content or, you know, customer media, which I think is.

You know, a term that I know I’m starting to use this customer media more. Right. Cause it’s just like, just like the best marketers are, you know, media companies and some, know, acting like media companies in some respects, I think they’re best like customer average to see is being more like a media company and rich media.

Right. And, you know, audio video. but you know, let’s talk about demand gen as it relates to customer media, because. A lot of times, you know, the classic know view of demand gen content would really not include, you know, customers, but, you know, I’m curious on your take, like, is there a place where we can, kinda connect those things when you, you said earlier the authentic voice of a customer that kind of.cuts through the noise and the, you know, the goals of. demand gen content at that earlier stage of the funnel. I, you know, is there a way to connect that? And if so, how do you do that? 

Or how can marketers do that? 

[00:13:59] **Adam:**

I love this question and Sam, because I think, I think too often this idea of customer stories or testimonial videos, or whatever gets pigeonholed into this, like really bottom of the funnel content idea. and that is, that is such a limiting view of, what it is that. a particular story can do for your business, right?

You completely can do a 15, 20 minute recording with a, with a customer and you can get enough content out of that recording to use it through. the entire funnel from, from both a pre-sales demand gen, et cetera. And I’ll come back to that in a second, although all the way through, through, through a deal to customer expansion and renewal, there are aspects of it that you can, that you can pick up and carries through to expand the size of a contract for your business.

But you know what? It doesn’t even stop there. Like smart marketers are using customer stories as a way to showcase for investors, who are the people that, that are super happy with your product or technology that can expand your, your valuation in. You know, foresee, you know, what is out there.

This is a critical tool for you in order to be able to expand your valuation. The next time you go for a funding round or you’re working in private equity farming, et cetera. so, so if I just like, if I, if I back up to the top of the funnel sort of things, one of my favorite favorite uses of a customer video is a 15 seconds.

A little segment, that is a YouTube pre-roll video. So it is just like you do your customer story and you take that 15 seconds when they’re like really excited. Maybe they’re just talking about the category or the like the marketplace or some broader trend. And you’re like, you stick out right before somebody goes in to watch their video of how to like repair a light bulb or whatever it is that they’re on YouTube or, and suddenly you’ve got to engage.

Who gets hooked in just a small amount of time by hearing some real person say something really interesting. So you can absolutely use a within demand gen as an acquisition source for videos and pre-roll, you can, you can embed it onto your website or onto landing pages. Use that as a like authenticity hook that helps people have trust that when.

Form something good is going to happen on the other side of this, it’s not just a sales, person’s going to follow up with me, but I’m going to get real help. That helps me, do something else in, in my in my job. Better, easier, faster, smarter, stronger, et cetera. and then, you know, one of the other things that I love using customer videos. Was thinking about what are the common challenges that my salespeople have as they move through their sales process. So what are the common objections that somebody gets while, while they are talking to their clients and how do I, how do I provoke my customers to go ahead and practically respond to that?

So I can just give a 32nd or one minute clip to a salesperson. So, you know, anytime they hear this, like COVID. Dang up. Like, I don’t know, the implementation takes too long or whatever the thing is. They can just send this 32nd video of a customer being like, nah, we can do that in seconds or whatever the case may be and, and, and allow a customer to say the thing that enables your seller to move on to the next phase of their, 

[00:17:21] **Sam:**

I’m going to just highlight that part, you know, allow your customer to say the thing that enables your seller to move on to the next, part in their selling process. I think that line that needs to just be like, you know, a mantra or like, just like something I think that I know I’m going to internalize.

And, you know, even, you know, with our company, you know, being in this space, it’s still something that we can even, you know, do a better job of. So that I love that. I also want to kind of, underscore and kinda just go back to, you mentioned like the authenticity you hook in like driving a conversion.

With, you know, customer contact. And I think there’s like this like sort of paradox where like, you know, maybe the old way was like, oh, like let’s save our customer content to like later in the funnel when, you know, because that’s where it needs to be within, you know, the new way as well.

Like if you’re not using a, at least a little bit of it earlier in the funnel, in the right way, you’re never going to get to that later in the fall. Right. 

[00:18:18] **Adam:**

Yeah, absolutely. think that people too often it’s thought about this is a convergence or closing event I’d really, really like down, down, right. I’ve already liked. So my solution I’ve made them understand value. And then at the very end, they need social proof in order to justify to the other people in their organization.

But this is actually the thing that we should spend money on, or this is the thing we should spend time on and invest, invest our manpower resources. there’s no reason that needs to be limited to that one. Part of our process. There there’s so much, so many other places that we can, we can use customer stories in order to, help, help marketing and sales be more effective in customer success and renewals.

[00:18:59] **Sam:**

Yeah. And it’s interesting because I wonder just thinking out loud, if it’s somewhat of a function of. Just like, you know, the technology it’s, it’s much relatively easier to, you know, create and split up and atomize video content than it ever was. Right. We all have smartphones, you know, editing software is way more accessible and, but it seems like the, in many cases like the.

The mindset, as, as marketers, we’re still sort of living in this mindset where like we have to, you know, spend a bunch of money and create this one monolithic asset when really there’s no reason. You know, the, the future is like, you know, seems like it’s more atomized, more snackable and more full funnel.

And there’s just no reason that, we have the technology, we have the, you know, service providers, we have everything. It’s just like, we haven’t quite like shifted to like catch up with that reality perhaps. 

[00:19:52] **Adam:**

Yeah, I think that’s an important and important thing to just push on a little bit more, which is, it is, it is a pretty, Pretty commonly said thing in B2B right now that you need snackable, small pieces of content. You need a gift or, tweet or a 32nd video and everything else. people don’t have the attention span or, One of my friends works, a run, runs a big section of, past factory and they did some research and pat factory found that for all of the like 32nd webinars that, I mean, 30 minute webinars that people are or are running.

Their, their customers seem to only watch about five minutes of the video, but I must say. There is a time and a place for everything. And so a longer form video, a longer form white paper is still relevant and people do want to read it. It depends on the individual audience that you’re working with and developers love longer form content.

They really want to dig in and really sink their teeth into it saying they want all of the, all of the education possible. A lot of operations professionals are in that same space. And then there are a bunch of other people who will only look at 30 seconds and then, so we need to be able to, ask our customer one time for 30 minutes and we have to be able to get a really long, great piece of content.

And six or eight or 10 30, second, little snackable big. So we can utilize it in different ways because different people will respond to things in different ways, depending on where they are in their journey to do understand educate themselves and ultimately make a conclusion about what it is that they want.

[00:21:38] **Sam:**

Yeah. That’s thank you for bringing that up. That’s such a good point. It’s not, it’s, it’s really like, people have an indefinite attention span for really good content. Right. If it’s like, you know, at the right time, right? Like it’s, if it’s the right time. You know, in their journey and it’s extremely good.

It’s, it’s absolutely a fallacy that like, they don’t have the attention span. It’s just like, if you’re making really good stuff and it’s at the right time, people will have a lot of attention span. so yeah, it’s definitely not a either or it’s like a yes, yes. And. If I’m a marketer kind of, you know, and I’m listening to this and I’m like, great.

Like I understand, you know, I’m with you at I’m like, we need to do more customer content. We need to do it throughout the funnel. how do I, you know, go about kind of setting the strategy, you know, And cause, you know, it’s obviously like the better strategy. Just to be in with the better results I’m going to have. So, how do you, how would you kind of advise someone or to think about, you know, setting that, you know, customer story strategy, you know, how do you think about that? 

[00:22:36] **Adam:**

Yeah. learn from my mistakes. I’m almost gotten fired from a company over, over customer customer case study. So we can dig into that. But if we think strategic. There is, there’s who am I ultimately trying to get engaged first? Who am I trying to say? Before you do determine who do I want to, who do I want to interview?

What is the ask I want to make? How do I want to make that? You have to know who is the ultimate piece of content for, because that can dramatically change the person you, you asked to be a part of this thing that you’re doing. So if I’m trying to get the CFO of a company. To be the ultimate person to sign off on my technology solution.

I want a very different person than if I want somebody who is in CAMBA and making graphic design, et cetera is a totally different person than I want for a video for if I’m selling CAMBA, I want somebody who’s excited and happy and wants to click all the buttons. I want them to talk about how easy it is for them to do their stuff.

Even if I’m talking to the CFO, I want a CEO. Going to, be able to speak strategically at an executive level for, for that ultimate end user of the content to, to understand. So, if you think strategically about, about customer stories, If you start from the persona of the person that you ultimately want to be end-user of the content from, from there, you have to get people engaged.

You have to actually like have somebody to do showcase in your. there will never be a good time. According to your sales in customer success for marketing to do a video, the way it works, we always want them. But now is. And why is it because we’ve got a renewal coming up because, they just launched because they haven’t finished their implementation yet because they had a bad week last week, or we had a system outage or whatever the case may be.

There are, there are all kinds of roadblocks and hurdles that will come up every single, every single day. so as a marketer, you can’t let those roadblocks prevent you from being successful. You know, one of, one of the things early on in my career that I struggled with a lot was, I didn’t realize it was my job to change reality in order to make the things that I needed to make happen.

So it’s not just, oh, well, you know, my counterparts in sales and customer success saying now is not the time. I’ll never get my job done. I can’t, if I can’t. Right. So I have to figure out how to change reality in order to make that successful. 

[00:25:24] **Sam:**

And, how have you found, you’re, you’ve been able to do that or, you know, how do you actually, you know, what have you learned, in terms of, you know, actually getting those agreements, you know, for, for the customer videos, for testimonials, any sort of, tips or perspective, that you can share on that.

[00:25:44] **Adam:**

Yeah, this is one thing where I think, I think marketers need to be a lot more heavy handed than they have in the past. And that is, first and foremost, as, as a marketer, we need to tell the sales team that this standard contract needs to include the laundry list of things that. From a particular customer.

I want to use your logo on my website. I want your people to be references for me. I want it written or video case study. I want somebody to speak on stage at an incredible conference and share my story, et cetera. And man, I want a laundry list in, in the actual MSA of like, these are all. And you know what, 100% of the time when you send that contract to a customer, their legal team will scratch that out.

And that’s great because it is a negotiating point for you in the future. Right? So when that customer comes back to you or when purchasing. It comes back to your seller and they say, oh, that’s great, but we can’t do it at this price. We needed at a lower price because your seller then has a leverage point to say, awesome.

Which of these marketing rights are we going to put back into this contract? Then I would prefer a customer. Video first and foremost. So let’s put that one back in and they go, Ooh, I don’t know about that, but maybe we could do a written case study and said, boom, I’ve got something that I can use for customer advocacy in the future.

Or, I don’t know, but we’ll definitely do reference calls and you can put our logo on your website or in your customer reference, et cetera, the way that you get the ability to do that and to have a bargaining chip is you have it in the contract standard. Again, no, one’s going to accept it. It’s just like, we need to understand that it will always get redlined out, but it gives your sellers a reason to put it back in when they go to negotiate something, something later.

Right. So. What, you know, you are being successful in this, when you are in a meeting, some pipeline review meeting or something like that, would, would your AEs and your eighties go, well, this is my deal. This is in the pipe. And I told them it was going to be $200,000 and they said, I can only pay $150,000.

And in turn, I got these five marketing rights put back into the contract. That’s awesome. one of the things about this though, to really enumerate. In the contract is. Like really, really specifically, what is the app? If the ask is a senior executive is going to be a part of a video, right. That in the contract.

So if you know that this senior vice president at Google is the person that you want in this particular video. That is awesome. Write it into the contract So that they can’t then push it off on a junior level. End-user later on. make sure also that it’s something that can actually get done.

Now you’re just talking about Google. Cool. It’s probably not going to give you PR rights. You haven’t had an, an actual relationship with this customer yet. So don’t burn any bridges late in your sales process, just to get just to get marketing rights, if you only go as far as you can. but once you get that, once you get that signature, in that, in that contract, it needs to say.

Case study we’ll kick off after 30 days after implementation, or as soon as this key metric is hit, we will start doing this, this case study. And the reason that is so important is, you know, you’re going to make sure that they get glove treatment, once they keep things off with you.

So you’re going to make them super successful. but there will always be this well, we haven’t proven ROI yet. so until we can prove our eye, we can’t actually like take this. you, you have the, you have leverage when you write it into your case study. And when you write it into your contracts specifically, that we’re going to do a case after 90 days or whatever the case may be.

You have incredible leverage to be like, okay, customer X you’re on a journey. Let’s talk about that journey. And let’s talk about what the next milestones are in ROI could be that next milestone on the horizon. They don’t have to have actually said. 2.5% return on investment of this software in order to do a customer video.

[00:30:05] **Sam:**

I love that, you know, so many good, really tactical, like takeaways there. And like, in my experience, I know we’ve done that. Actually. I learned how we can do it a lot better, you know, from you right now. But like I find it just, it can really just make the conversation. a lot easier when, when it’s already been broached, you know, it’s, it’s something that’s already been discussed and like, of course, and I think a lot of people, some, maybe some marketers are kind of hesitant to do this because they feel like, oh, Know, it’s not going to be a good piece of content if we, you know, our quote unquote like holding their feet to the fire or whatever.

But like the reality is at least in my opinion is like, obviously, like in the rare case that, you know, they didn’t have a good experience, like just not going to call it in. Like, that’s exactly what. At the end of the day, like it’s, it’s all pending their 

Satisfaction and success. So it’s like, it’s, it’s like an option it’s like, to use like a finance term, it’s like optionality, right?

It’s like you have the option, but not the requirement to, execute this, case study, this video testimonial, which is, I mean, optionality and having that option to speak very valuable.

[00:31:11] **Adam:**

Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:31:13] **Sam:**

And in terms of, you know, revenue in, in attribution. Let’s talk a little bit about that. yeah, I’d be curious, like, how do you think about, you know, measuring, you know, results, in sort of revenue and attribution. And I know there’s like, there’s a lot of different ways to kind of slice this and like, just to throw my cards on the table.

I’m in the camp of like, we should measure as much as possible, but some things in marketing, we also just do, because like they make sense and like, we know they work, like not everything important, you know, can be measured and, and, but yeah, I’ll pause there. I’d love to hear like, you know, how you think about it and, and, and I guess it’s also like a, a resources and effort question, right?

It’s like, technically, like, you know, it’s really how much effort do you want to put into. 

[00:32:00] **Adam:**

I’ve lots of thoughts here. I, I originally worked for a company that built an attribution, technology. So I was, I was in the thick of a first touch, multi touch. So damn well, what ways do we, we measure all of these points of our business. So I’m, I’m a believer in, in multi touch. So there’s a complex buying organization there, like somewhere between eight and like 30 people who are actually getting an enterprise deal across the finish line.

When you think they’re legal and procurement and finance, et cetera, there were all of these different stakeholders. In a complex deal and you’ve got to get all of those people aligned and moving towards your solution as the final outcome. Right? So if you were only looking at where one person came from, initially, you have a very clouded lens on what is actually happening to get your deals done.

And you can, you can actually throw yourself off of a production. Pathway, because you are getting the wrong information or you’re making, you’re making, complex decisions based on a single data point, which is not actually illustrative of what is happening in, in these deals. So I’m a multitouch person.

I want to know all of the people who were involved in a particular deal. What are all of the things that we can track about them? All of the engagements that they have. And then there is a thing that you said a second ago, which is there’s an X factor to all of this and that the most common way that I look to engage with a new technology or a new solution or a new service.

As I talked to my friends and my friends say, Hey, check this thing out. Or my friends say, Hey, this was an awesome thing for us. we’re seeing really great results from having done this. Then I will go to a website and start researching, looking at competitors. Before I ever fill out a demo request form or before I ever, like at all downloaded piece of content or anything, anything along those lines.

Right. So, so there, there is, there is a lot of things that are happening offline, without any potential to be attributed to, to your marketing efforts. And you know what, that’s, what. Right. The thing that I think that we have really gotten away from, or the slippery slope that has happened is, especially CEOs and CFOs.

They want to know if I give $1 to any part of my business. Where am I going to grow the most. Right. And they want it to be just as dead, simple as that and life isn’t that simple. It’s great. but they want to know if I hire one more or if I hire one more STR or one more person in marketing or doubled the marketing programs budget, which will be the most effective at getting me more customers.

And, and so if you’re looking at things through. World where you were trying to say the sales person got it. The SDR got it. Where the marketing team got it. And there was only one answer to any of this. You’re you’re you’re, you’re creating a fight internally for people to get credit and, and you end up slowing the business down rather than speeding it up.

You’re you actually become less productive and, and make it. You make the results harder than if you would just like ignore all of those things and just go focus on selling and being really great and looking at looking at your conversion rates throughout your funnel, et cetera. So, so as, as, as a marketer for all you marketers out there who are facing this challenging aspect of attribution, I, I would really like advise you talk about it as your internal way that you decide what things marketing is going to do differently.

It’s not about whether an SDR or an ag did whatever, whatever we’re all working together. We all have one outcome that we’re trying to drive towards, which is more revenue for the business. I need attribution to know. Should I go invest in a new blog? Do I need a new case studies? Should I do another webinar?

Or so I go to that event again. Did that event actually drive people that were of my target market in my ICP, et cetera. It’s not like the, so attribution is entirely about how do I help my. No, how to do my job better, not how do I prove that I’m better than sales or sales? Couldn’t do this without me, et cetera, which is where, where a lot of people, a lot of companies just get stuck in this loop of trying to justify, is it sales?

Is it marketing? Is it prospecting through their BDR or, a biz dev person. and they just sold their whole company down because of it. And they don’t actually get any material benefit. So I just think they’re there. there are a lot of people to just push back and say, Marketing is art, interdis science.

I’m going to take the best amount of information that I can get all of the data that I have access to. And then I’m going to use that to make a decision. And you know what, sometimes the decision I make is to ignore the data because I know through my experiences that there was something better that I can do that we haven’t actually performed on in the past.

So, if I think back through all of the attribution data that I’ve always looked at, customer case studies and videos are at the top of the list and it’s being nothing that drives is the most number of relevant touch points.

Yeah. As people are trying to move through their deal cycle. 

[00:37:37] **Sam:**

Such a good point. And I guess the flip side of it is like, it as marketers, like sometimes we can do more of things that aren’t. The most effective, just because those things are easy to measure You know what I mean? It’s, it’s, it’s a slippery slope, but I think, you know, that your point is so good.

What else? should I have asked you maybe, about, you know, all of these topics that I haven’t asked yet? 

[00:38:02] **Adam:**

Yeah, I’ll just say on the last idea, I used to hate PR. So I was like, you can’t measure PR what’s the effort of brand, et cetera. and now I realized so much more that you can’t be successful in selling things. Without, without a great brand. okay. Other things were on customer stories. one, if you were a Salesforce person, like check all this stuff in Salesforce, you can really easily create a custom object that has all of the different types of advocacy that you want.

When, when somebody goes to close a contract, if they click a couple of buttons, as they, as they close out that opportunity, you can automatically create all of these things. And then you. You have a dashboard that you can hit refresh on and you can see, Hey, these are all of the logos that I’ve yet to add to my website, or these are all the people that we can kick off the gates study with.

Or these are the three people I need to schedule to have a webinar with like, take, take, take the guesswork out of that. I don’t think we talked enough about. Thinking about the real person that you’re going to work with for, for a customer video, you can’t fake passion and enthusiasm for a particular problem and solution. so, you have to know, the people that, you’re you’re, you’re talking to, you have to know, are they charismatic? Did they have pizzazz and wow, or in-person that you really want to be showcasing your thing or. you know, if I’m selling entirely to developers, is the most dry, boring person, actually the person that helps me sell the best, et cetera.

So, you know, think through that, it makes sure that you have an opinion of, of who, who the people that you should actually have. You know, once it’s in a contract, you can push harder than you could if you didn’t have it in a contract.

Don’t push too far. As I, as I alluded to earlier, like I said, we had a written case study or we gave up a significant amount of money in order to get that thing. We had it in the contract and then there was a new leader came in, who didn’t want to approve the written case. Say they’d been waiting for approval for six months and, Yeah, definitely.

Definitely. I got myself on a slippery slope around that. I guess, you know, if we think about the, kind of the future, the future of customer stories, you know, one is, I think that we already talked about, which is how do I even record the super set of bangs and. Use those the long, long form piece of content to create a bunch of small pieces that I can then go use in a bunch of different ways.

I can use it in demand gen I can use it acquire new leads. I can think about the specific elements in my conversion process as I move through my funnel and where my salespeople keep hitting roadblocks, and then get a video that specifically helps align to those particular problems. I guess my videos are super important as you are moving into new verticals, into new sizes of companies being able to say, oh yeah, financial services.

Here’s how we work. in supermarkets, here’s how we work. And for technology companies here is how we work, et cetera. People want to know that, you have a core capacity for understanding the way that their, their industry is different and unique and that you can work inside of inside of their industry.

I think from here, the, like the, the things that are next up on the horizon, you called it rich media earlier, which is some ways I’m really old and really new term to me is really,

[00:41:36] **Sam:**

Yeah, I was a communications major in college and that’s. 

[00:41:41] **Adam:**

Exactly, exactly. It, it strikes me as a communications major in college or a term, but, but if we think about. You know, Hey, I’m going to take this video and I’m going to layer into it. Interactive infographics that are dynamically changing, and look really beautiful, et cetera. And I’m going to embed that onto a landing page.

That includes. Additional elements on it that I can actually interact with like an ROI calculator. So that like, as, as the, the video is going, maybe the ROI calculator has the specific number of dropped into it. And it shows the calculation in real time that they’re talking through. And there’s so much cool stuff that marketers can do.

Technology has never been easier for us to sink our fingertips into and be able to use. There, there, there are some really incredible things that marketers can do on the horizon. I’m excited for people to see what cool things people do.

[00:42:40] **Sam:**

This is awfully, they don’t keep doing a lot more of the same, but I’m sure you know that that’s always a possibility. No, in all seriousness though. Yes. It’s such a good time to, you know, be. in the customer advocacy space, the customer margin space, you know, be a marketer and telling customer stories, Adam, this, this has been fantastic. where can people connect with you and, get to know you or just get in touch.

[00:43:05] **Adam:**

LinkedIn, is, is easiest way to get in touch with me. I have a website. You were all that I am, that I purchased, but I don’t, I don’t ultimately have a website. I don’t use that in order to get clients. I’m a, I’m a word of mouth person. So if you want to have some words out of my mouth, come hang out with.

[00:43:25] **Sam:**

I love it. And, it’s just linkedin.com and then slash in slash Adam New-Waterson clean just for name, we’ll get that linked up in the show notes as well. Awesome, Adam, this was a blast. 

[00:43:38] **Adam:**

Sam, always amazing to get an opportunity to talk to you. customer videos are so critical. being able to share your customer’s voice helps your sales team do things that they can’t do on your own. It is your super power as a marketer for what you can give to them. So do not skimp on it is super important.

And in fact, do so many more than you think you should today. 

[00:44:01] **Sam:**

I love it. Thanks so much, Adam.

[00:44:04] **Adam:**

Good day.

[00:44:05] **Sam:**

Alrighty folks. That was another awesome episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast, with Adam New-Waterson.

A couple of key takeaways that I want to underscore: having customers sell your solutions in their voice, not yours. Such a powerful, powerful concept there. We also talked a lot about this powerful, big idea around customer content and customer media. It doesn’t have to be at the bottom of the funnel. That’s a missed opportunity. The opportunity to differentiate is, how can we, as marketers, create content throughout the whole buyer journey.

The format’s going to change, the tone is going to change, the actual information in those customer clips is going to change. But there’s no reason why we can’t start using customer content earlier in the buyer’s journey. There’s so many benefits to that.

We talked about how it doesn’t have to all be super snackable. Long-form content isn’t going away. Start with the ideal persona. Who are your ideal prospects? Are you trying to expand into a new market? Are you trying to expand into a new vertical? That could be the perfect time to get the customer content you need to support that.

We also talked a lot about attribution, and how at the end of the day marketing is an art as well as a science.

So many great takeaways there. I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did, with Adam New-Waterson.

Until next time, this is Sam Shepler. This has been the State of Customer Storytelling, brought to you by Testimonial Hero.

We’ll see you in the next episode.

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