On gating casetimonials

In my Bredemarket consultancy, I’m involved in the creation of content for Inland Empire West and other businesses, including case studies / testimonials, white papers, and the like. But I generally don’t get involved in the distribution of the content. That’s for my clients to decide and manage.

At my new day job, I’m putting my fingers into both content creation and distribution, so I’m having to think about things that I haven’t thought about much before. For example, when you should gate content, and when you shouldn’t.

Bredemarket and gated content

Over the years I’ve created white papers, case studies, blog posts, and other content for Bredemarket clients. Some of this content has been “gated,” while other content has not.

By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2808363

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of gated content, “gating” is simply a way to obtain some information about a prospect before providing content to them.

  • This blog post, for example, is not gated content, because anybody can read it and I don’t necessarily know who is reading it.
  • In other cases, companies (including some of my Bredemarket clients) require you to provide a name, company, email address, and possibly other information before you can download the content.

Why gate content?

The “Case Study Buddy,” (Joel Klettke), in a post that asks whether case studies should be gated, outlines why gating is sometimes desirable.

These days, you have to look hard to find a website that doesn’t have some sort of pop-up or downloadable resource begging you to surrender your email.

For this post, we’re going to call that “Gating” – putting a gate in front of your content that someone has to deliberately go through….

If the information on the other end is enticing and relevant enough and the source is trustworthy enough, then giving up your email might be a small enough price to pay.

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

The “sometimes” comes into play when you consider where the prospect is in the sales process. If the prospect is in an early awareness-building stage, they might not be willing to surrender their spammable email to just anyone. If the prospect is further along, they may want to provide that email to a few top-of-the-line companies to whom they’re willing to talk.

Should you gate case studies?

There are different views regarding whether case studies should be gated, but Joel Klettke the Case Study Buddy definitely has his thoughts.

Case studies are HUGE credibility builders. When done right, they prove you can get results for people just like your leads. Not only that, but they reveal by way of example what a lead should expect when working with you.

I can think of no better asset to show a lead in the awareness and evaluation stages than a well-written, beautifully designed customer success story.

So why on earth would you hide all of that credibility-building power behind a gate that a lead will need to trust you to open?

From https://casestudybuddy.com/blog/should-you-gate-your-case-studies/

Case studies vs. testimonials

If you’ve been reading the Bredemarket blog long enough, you’ll note that I often combine discussions of case studies and testimonials into a single “casetimonial” discussion. After all, case studies and testimonials accomplish the same thing, albeit in different lengths, formats, and authorships.

Testimonials are often written directly by customers themselves, although a company (or an independent consultant!) could ghostwrite the testimonial. Because they’re usually much shorter, they don’t necessarily include all of the components that you could find in a longer case study. Although there’s no reason why they couldn’t. Take a look at this particular testimonial, which some of you may have seen before:

“I just wanted to truly say thank you for putting these templates together. I worked on this…last week and it was extremely simple to use and I thought really provided a professional advantage and tool to give the customer….TRULY THANK YOU!”

From https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-and-proposal-services/ (and other places)

Although there’s no explicit problem description in this testimonial, there’s an implied one. Since the testimonial author praises the template writer because the templates were simple to use, this implies that the pre-template proposal creation process was difficult.

Other than lacking an explicit problem description, the testimonial has the other aspects of a case study: identification of the solution that solved the problem, what happened when the solution was used, and the benefits of the solution.

Now a case study might go into much more detail, with extensive statistics and proof points. Testimonials usually don’t.

Should you gate testimonials?

No.

I can only think of one conceivable reason to gate a testimonial, and that would be when the testimonial contains sensitive information. For example, I doubt that most testimonials written by secret agents are publicly accessible.

“I just wanted to thank you for the Acme Long-Range Recording Device. Before using this device, it was impossible to record conversations in the Mordor Embassy. But after adopting this device, I was able to uncover a Nazgul plot and use Rohan agents to foil it. THANK YOU!”

From…nowhere, actually.

Now that’s a testimonial.

Are you opening the gate?

What content are you gating, and what content are you allowing to run free? And why? Feel free to comment.

Five of my identity information sources that I have created over the years (and no, most of you can’t see the fifth one)

Back in January 2021, I wrote a post on the Bredemarket blog entitled “Four of my identity information sources that I have created over the years, including one that you can access in the next ten seconds.”

This post is an update to my January 2021 post about the four identity information services. Yes, I just created a fifth one. (But most of you can’t see it.)

The first three services

The first three were created for the benefit of employees at (then) Motorola, (then) MorphoTrak, and IDEMIA. Briefly, those three were:

  • A Motorola “COMPASS” intranet page entitled “Biometric Industry Information.”
  • A MorphoTrak SharePoint intranet page entitled “Identity Industry Information.” (Note the change in wording.)
  • An IDEMIA (and previously MorphoTrust and L-1) daily email newsletter.

The fourth service

Of course, since I wrote the January 2021 post in the Bredemarket blog, the main purpose of the post was to tout the fourth identity information source, the (then) newly-created “Bredemarket Identity Firm Services” LinkedIn showcase page.

January 2021 screen shot of a post in the Bredemarket Identity Firm Services LinkedIn showcase page.

I subsequently created a companion Bredemarket Identity Firm Services Facebook group, which like the LinkedIn showcase page (and unlike my previous efforts for Motorola, MorphoTrak, and IDEMIA) were publicly accessible.

Why did I do this?

I marvel at the thought that I kept on doing this over and over again for four different companies, including Bredemarket. Why did I have this pressing need to reinvent the wheel as I traveled from company to company?

Habitually I’ve been a reader, and have found myself reading a lot of information about the biometric industry or the wider identity industry. Of course it’s not enough just to read something, you have to do something with it. COMPASS, SharePoint, email, LinkedIn, and Facebook allowed me to do two things with all of the articles that I read:

  • Save them somewhere so that I could find them in the future.
  • Share them with other people who may be interested in them.

I didn’t collect information on my impact to others in versions 1.0 and 2.0, but by the time I started managing the IDEMIA email list, I not only received comments from people who appreciated the articles, but I was also able to grow the subscriptions to the email list. (People had to opt in to receive the emails; we didn’t cram them into the inboxes of every IDEMIA employee.)

Similarly, I’ve received comments from people on LinkedIn who follow the showcase page, stating that they appreciated what I was sharing there.

And while COMPASS and the MorphoTrak SharePoint are long gone, and IDEMIA’s Daily News may or may not still be in publication, I can assure you that the Bredemarket Identity Firms services LinkedIn page and Facebook group still continue to operate for your reading pleasure.

And that’s the end of the story.

No it’s not.

The fifth service

As some of you know, Bredemarket has become a side gig because of my new day job, which is with a company in the identity industry. During my first days on the new job, I set up subscriptions to my new company email account so that I could receive information from Crunchbase and Owler, as well as relevant Google Alerts on the identity industry.

And as I began receiving these subscriptions, as well as performing my usual scans of other news sources…

…well, you can guess what happened.

“I need to store these stories and share them with my coworkers,” I thought to myself.

Finally, I created a new identity information service using the well-worn title “Identity Industry Information.” (Hey, it’s easy for me to remember.)

Now I can’t actually SHARE this service with you, because it’s just for the employees at my new company.

And THIS iteration takes advantage of a technology that’s slightly newer than COMPASS.

It’s a Slack channel.

P.S. to employees at my current company – if you’d like to access this Slack channel, DM me on Slack and I’ll send you an invite.

Finding online writing references

Way, way back in the last millennium, professional writers would possess specialized types of books that helped them write. Of course in those days, “books” were thick objects made of wood products that did not need power or an operating system to function.

Gutenberg Bible. Source.

For example, at my first job out of college, my boss gave me a dictionary so that I could look up words and ensure that I was spelling them correctly. Over the years I have also owned thesauruses, general style guides, and more specific guides for proposal writing.

These books still exist today, although they may be in electronic form. But this information may also be available in other forms, where you don’t have to obtain an entire book to answer a single question.

For example, take questions about spelling. I am composing this paragraph in the WordPress iOS mobile app, and if I type a word that appears to be misspelled, I will receive a suggestion of the proper spelling. I don’t need to open up Merriam-Webster for anything!

Synonyms are also easier to discover. If I’m in Microsoft Word, I can just select the word and see a list of synonyms. Alternatively, I can just ask my smart speaker to fetch me a lot of synonyms.

And the smart speaker was smart enough to guess that “a lot” meant “large amount” and not “a guy who became widowed after leaving Sodom.”

And there are other one-off questions. I recently shared an example of a source that answered a specific question that I had. I wanted to pose the classic identity question “who he says he is” but wanted to use the singular they to do so.

Answer to my question, courtesy https://apastyle.apa.org/blog/singular-they

These are just a few examples. Many of the writing questions that required a book to answer in the last millennium are just a few keystrokes or voice commands away.

So you can get free answers to all of your writing questions in seconds!

Well, not really free.

If you look at the Word Hippo example above, four words appear at the very top that have nothing to do with “large amount.”

got milk? Learn More

My 1980s Merriam-Webster dictionary didn’t have advertisements.

But you know what they said, even in the 1980s:

The grabbing hands grab all they can

Everything counts in large amounts

“Everything Counts.” https://genius.com/Depeche-mode-everything-counts-lyrics
Rest In Peace, Fletch. From https://youtu.be/CzqqVFb9p4U

Maybe the stork should deliver packages also

On Saturday morning, my wife and I returned from errands to find a huge package on our front porch. The package contained a crib.

Not this crib. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Cveleglg at the Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Krevetac22.JPG

No, my wife is not pregnant.

We examined the package and found the following:

  • A tag from the delivery company. I won’t name the company, but I will say that this package delivery was “off track.”
  • The true destination address for the package, which had the same street number but a different street name.
  • A message indicating that the crib was a gift.

Wrong deliveries have been a topic of conversation in my Ontario neighborhood on the NextDoor app, especially after “R” posted this:

From NextDoor. Author anonymized.

Many people did not agree with “R,” including myself.

So I tried to load the huge crib into the back seat of my car, but it was wider than the car. Since I didn’t want to drive around with an open car door, we went over to the real parents, who thankfully had a truck and picked up the crib.

But the package was delivered several days ago!

The most upsetting part of the story to me isn’t that the delivery company misdelivered the package in the first place.

The most upsetting part is that the delivery company told the parents-to-be several days ago that the package was delivered.

When it obviously wasn’t.

They had been wondering for several days where their supposedly-delivered package was, which wasn’t delivered until today…to the wrong address.

That’s really “off track.”

There’s a technology lesson here

All of the delivery companies, both the good ones and the bad ones, are incorporating package tracking technology into their operations. In theory, the technology lets you know exactly where the package is at any given time. In theory, this benefits the recipient by making sure the package is delivered to the right place at the right time.

But theory is not reality. This crib was lost in the system for several days. And I’ve previously shared the story about my business cards, which traveled from Nevada to California to Texas before returning to California.

It took longer than expected, but I finally got them.

Why do these errors happen? One reason is because the automation isn’t completely automated. Everything still depends on humans in the loop. For example, this morning’s delivery depended on a human to verify that they were delivering the package to the street name on the address label, and not some other street.

Another example that doesn’t amuse me is delivery time guarantees. Let’s say a package is promised to arrive at 10:30 am. In the real world, the package may not arrive until noon or later, but if you check the system, the system says the package was delivered at 10:29…and that many of the delivery driver’s packages coincidentally were delivered at 10:29!

But this is not a technology problem. It’s a business problem.

But it’s really a business lesson

While the delivery company strives for on-time and accurate deliveries, their actual processes to achieve this end up hurting the company. Rather than making sure that the package truly arrives correctly in the real world, the employees are incentivized to make sure the system records correct delivery of packages.

And the employees are punished (maybe fired) if the system says the package wasn’t delivered to the right place and/or at the right time.

The result? Some employee, afraid of losing their job, recorded a crib delivery several days ago to address X when the crib was really delivered today to address Y.

This is something that technology cannot solve. This can only be solved when a company focuses on delighting its customers, rather than reprimanding its employees.

What are you doing to delight your customers?

Unrestricted use from the Truman Library, part of the NARA. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

ArcGIS StoryMaps: Every story has a place, and every place has a story

B2B content creators often find themselves telling stories to drive their readers to take action. Usually the desired action is to do business with the company telling the story. But as Redlands-headquartered company ESRI demonstrates with ArcGIS StoryMaps, there are many ways to tell a story.

Why tell stories?

Now you could easily adopt a “just the facts” approach to sharing the necessary information, but your potential customers’ eyes may glaze over.

Joe “The Facts” Friday was not a content marketer. By NBC Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33340402

About a year ago, when I was selling Bredemarket’s services to a potential biometric client (obviously before I announced Bredemarket’s change in business scope and stopped providing services to finger/face clients), I started off by presenting a SWOT analysis. For those not familiar with the term, “SWOT” stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

By Syassine – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31368987

For the topic of discussion with my potential client, I went through my independent analysis of all four of these items, engaging the people in the meeting who suggested some improvements. This SWOT analysis led into a presentation of the services that I could provide to the firm—services that addressed the weaknesses and threats that we had mutually identified.

What happened? I signed a contract with the company and worked on multiple projects to successfully address those weaknesses/threats.

Do you see what I did there?

As you probably noticed, I just told a story that had a conflict, actions, and a final resolution. “And they all sold biometric products happily ever after.”

Now SWOT analyses may not be your preferred type of storytelling, and frankly I usually don’t use SWOT analyses to tell stories. Stories can be of the “what happened to a company” or “what happened to me” form. For example, I recently told a “what happened to a company” story when talking about Conductor’s use of Calendly.

And some stories emphasize the “where.” No, not as one of the six factors of authentication, but as a setting for the story.

Enter ESRI and its ArcGIS StoryMaps product.

What does ArcGIS StoryMaps do?

On April 20, 2022, ESRI announced its introduction of ArcGIS StoryMaps, saying that “StoryMaps Allows Content Creators to Unify Digital Experiences in One Place Furthering Esri’s Mission to Bring the Geographic Approach to All.” In its announcement, ESRI started by presenting the problem:

Capturing and sharing life’s experiences today often requires multiple platforms and tools, which can result in disjointed storytelling.

From https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/announcements/esri-brings-powerful-mapping-technology-to-everyone-with-new-storytelling-tool/

ArcGIS StoryMaps seeks to allow marketers and other content creators to use a single easy-to-use tool to tell their stories. As ESRI’s video on ArcGIS StoryMaps states, “Every story has a place, and every place has a story.” StoryMaps helps people tell place stories.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-J9GjieYM

For an example of a StoryMap, go to https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/42b1a6fe6a524b578becd12c0bee4b4c to view “Sounds of the Wild West: An audio tour of Montana’s four major ecosystems.” Be sure to unmute the sound! (It’s an audio tour.)

What about YOUR story?

Now ESRI hasn’t asked me to tell stories for them (yet), but perhaps your Redlands-based company might want a storyteller. Consider the Redlands, California content marketing expert, Bredemarket. I provide marketing and writing services in the Inland Empire and throughout the United States.

Here are just a few examples of what Bredemarket can do for your firm:

I can provide many more B2B services; a complete list can be found here.

Before I create a single word, I start by asking you some questions about your content:

  • Why, how, and what do you do?
  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

After you’ve provided the relevant information to me, I’ll create the first iteration of the content, and we’ll work together to create your final content. The specifics of how we will work together depend upon whether you have elected the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, or something else.

When we’re done, that final content is yours (a “work for hire” arrangement).

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.

I’m still the biometric content marketing and proposal writing expert…but who benefits?

Beginning about a year ago, I began marketing myself as the biometric proposal writing expert and biometric content marketing expert. From a search engine optimization perspective, I have succeeded at this, so that Bredemarket tops the organic search results for these phrases.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And maybe it still is.

Let’s look at why I declared myself the biometric proposal writing expert (BPWE) and biometric content marketing expert (BCME) in mid-2021, what happened over the last few months, why it happened, and who benefits.

Why am I the BPWE and BCME?

At the time that I launched this marketing effort, I wanted to establish Bredemarket’s biometric credentials. I was primarily providing my expertise to identity/biometric firms, so it made sense to emphasize my 25+ years of identity/biometric expertise, coupled with my proposal, marketing, and product experience. Some of my customers already knew this, but others did not.

So I coupled the appropriate identity words with the appropriate proposal and content words, and plunged full-on into the world of biometric proposal writing expert (BPWE within Bredemarket’s luxurious offices) and biometric content marketing expert (BCME here) marketing.

What happened?

There’s been one more thing that’s been happening in Bredemarket’s luxurious offices over the last couple of months.

I’ve been uttering the word “pivot” a lot.

Since March 2022, I’ve made a number of changes at Bredemarket, including pricing changes and modifications to my office hours. But this post concentrates on a change that affects the availability of the BPWE and BCME.

Let’s say that it’s December 2022, and someone performs a Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo search for a biometric content marketing expert. The person finds Bredemarket, and excitedly goes to Bredemarket’s biometric content marketing expert page, only to encounter this text at the top of the page:

Update 4/25/2022: Effective immediately, Bredemarket does NOT accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using (a) friction ridges (including fingerprints and palm prints), (b) faces, and/or (c) secure documents (including driver’s licenses and passports). 

“Thanks a lot,” thinks the searcher.

Granted, there are others such as Tandem Technical Writing and Applied Forensic Services who can provide biometric consulting services, but the searcher won’t get the chance to work with ME.

Should have contacted me before April 2022.

Sheila Sund from Salem, United States, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why did it happen?

I’ve already shared some (not all) details about why I’m pivoting with the Bredemarket community, but perhaps you didn’t get the memo.

I have accepted a full-time position as a Senior Product Marketing Manager with an identity company. (I’ll post the details later on my personal LinkedIn account, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jbredehoft/.) This dramatically decreases the amount of time I can spend on my Bredemarket consultancy, and also (for non-competition reasons) limits the companies with which I can do business. 

Those of you who have followed Bredemarket from the beginning will remember that Bredemarket was only one part of a two-pronged approach. After becoming a “free agent” (also known as “being laid off”) in July 2020, my initial emphasis was on finding full-time employment. Within a month, however, I found myself accepting independent contracting projects, and formally established Bredemarket to handle that work. Therefore, I was simultaneously (a) looking for full-time work, and (b) growing my consulting business. And I’ve been doing both simultaneously for over a year and a half. 

Now that I’ve found full-time employment again, I’m not going to give up the consulting business. But it’s definitely going to have to change, as outlined in my April 25, 2022 update.

So now all of this SEO traction will not benefit you, the potential Bredemarket finger/face client, but it obviously will benefit my new employer. I can see it now when people talk about my new employer: “Isn’t that the company where the biometric content marketing expert is the Senior Product Marketing Manager?”

At least somebody will benefit.

P.S. There’s a “change” Spotify playlist. Unlike Kevin Meredith, I don’t use my playlists to make sure my presentation is within the alloted time. Especially when I create my longer 100-plus song playlists; no one wants to hear me speak for that long. Thankfully for you, this playlist is only a little over an hour long, and includes various songs on change, moving, endings, beginnings, and time.

Is Calendly customer focused?

Blake Morgan of Forbes just released his list of the top 100 most customer-centric companies of 2022. Why does he do it? Because he’s identified a benefit in a company having customer focus.

What is it they do? They make customers feel GOOD. That is why recent research shows that 89% of companies that lead with customer experience perform better financially than their peers.

From https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2022/05/01/the-top-100-most-customer-centric-companies-of-2022/?sh=244040502b38

If you want to initiate something at your company, it’s always good to note that it will help the company make money. Focusing on customers seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to learn how many companies focus on themselves rather than their customers.

I perused Morgan’s list of customer-centric companies and noticed that Calendly was on the list, in the B2B category. Since I use Calendly to set appointments for Bredemarket (more about that later, I promise), I thought I’d read further.

Calendly. Calendly was created to solve a common business problem: the hassle of scheduling meetings and appointments. The simple interface makes it easy for companies to schedule any type of meeting or appointment. Calendly saw huge growth during the pandemic as teams worked remotely.

From https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2022/05/01/the-top-100-most-customer-centric-companies-of-2022/?sh=244040502b38

Since Morgan was covering 100 companies, this three sentence description had to suffice. So I dug deeper and found a story (or, if you will, a case study) that showed how Calendly exhibits customer focus.

The problem with making connections at Conductor

Calendly’s website includes a case study page entitled “Enhanced customer support at Conductor adds value, boosts retention.” Conductor, one of Calendly’s clients, improves the organic marketing of its own customers.

As any good case study (casetimonial) does, the Calendly page begins by talking about Conductor’s problem. Here’s an excerpt:

Mergim Selimaj worried he had a problem. As the customer success manager at Conductor, he could see the company’s small accounts weren’t getting the personalized attention they really needed. As a SaaS company specializing in intelligent content and SEO improvement, Conductor helps companies customize marketing to fit their needs. Mergim needed to find ways of helping his reps deliver tailor-made service to match.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

Yes, a company that “helps companies customize marketing” faced a problem in customizing its own marketing for its small accounts. More importantly, it recognized the problem and realized that the problem needed attention.

So how was Selimaj going to focus on its smaller customers?

First, Selimaj had to identify the problem(s) to solve.

Reps spent hours just scheduling — not to mention re-scheduling — calls. A week of hectic service calls would come on the heels of months of limited activity.

Even when the service finally did connect with customers, they rarely had a clear picture of their individual needs. Some clients only needed to speak once per year, while others had hoped for many more touchpoints. There just had to be a way to spread meetings more evenly, Mergim thought. Meanwhile, the customer care team needed a way to know more about the needs of each client. If only there were a way for clients to specify the kind of help they needed, whenever they wanted.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

There’s at least three problems that Mergim identified:

  1. It was hard to schedule calls with Conductor’s small accounts.
  2. It was hard to know the customers’ desired frequency of contacts.
  3. It was hard to know the specific help that Conductor’s customers desired.

How would Conductor benefit by solving these problems?

Improved experience, and simpler ways of interfacing with customers, would only aid Conductor’s ability to deliver organic traffic and higher returns on customers’ tight marketing budgets.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

You probably noted that these were stated as benefits rather than features. If Calendly were to say, “We offer Scheduling Gizmo 2800,” Conductor could reply, “So what?” But when Calendly said that its solution delivers organic traffic and higher return on investment, Conductor paid attention.

The solution that Calendly provided to Conductor

So what three things did Selimaj do in an attempt to solve the problem?

He started by embedding a Calendly customer success scheduling page on the Help page of Conductor’s website.

From https://calendly.com/blog/customers/conductor

(Apparently you have to log in to see this page, because I couldn’t find it on any publicly available page. I’ll take Calendly’s word for it that this page exists.)

Second, Selimaj also created a scheduling link in Conductor’s app itself, to ensure that Conductor’s customers had easy access to meeting scheduling.

And third, he did one more thing: he instructed each of the company’s customer success reps to include a scheduling link in their email signatures.

I’d like to highlight two things:

  1. Now, rather than requiring the reps to spend huge amounts of time scheduling meetings, the scheduling process was now driven by the customers. When customers needed help, they could easily schedule meetings. When they didn’t need help, they wouldn’t schedule meetings.
  2. Also note that there were three ways for customers to access the scheduler: the web page, the app, and the email signature. Selimaj didn’t tell Conductor’s customers that there was only one approved way to schedule meetings. (And I’d be willing to bet that if a customer called a customer success rep on the phone, the rep would answer.)

So what happened?

The results

The article lists the benefits of Conductor’s Calendly implementation.

  • More tailored customer solutions via available information from integration with Salesforce, Slack and Trello.
  • Better service of large accounts as reps spent less time servicing small accounts.
  • Better engagement through quadrupling of customer contacts.
  • Maintenance of high customer quality, even as quantities increase.
  • Those quantities are increasing because of a 30% boost in renewals.

In short, Calendly’s focus on Conductor allowed Conductor to better focus on the needs of its own customers, thus letting Conductor make more money. And Conductor’s customers presumably made more money also. Customer focus benefits everyone in the B2B chain.

Can a customer focus benefit YOUR company?

Perhaps you own a business, large or small, that could use an increased customer focus and an elaboration of benefits that your company can provide to your customers. Part of this is the need to create customer focused content.

Maybe you, like Calendly and Conductor, have a story of your own you’d like to share with your customers. If so, consider working with Bredemarket (the Ontario, California content marketing expert) to create a case study.

Bredemarket uses a collaborative process with you to ensure that the final written product communicates your desired message. Bredemarket’s content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) answers the WHY/HOW/WHAT questions about you, (b) advances your GOAL, (c) communicates your BENEFITS, and (d) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE. It is both iterative and collaborative.

Often my clients provide specific feedback at certain stages of the process to ensure that the messaging is on track. I combine my client’s desires with my communications expertise to create a final written product that pleases both of us.

If you’d like Bredemarket to help you create a case study or other content, you can go to calendly.com/bredemarket to book a meeting with me. Or if you don’t like Calendly, there are two other ways to contact me:

Ontario Fire Station No. 9 Grand Opening

Ontario Fire Station No. 9.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the city of Ontario (California) held its COVID-delayed grand opening for its newest fire station, in the newer southeastern part of the city (2661 E. Grand Park St). The fire station actually opened in January, but the ribbon cutting was held this morning.

Ontario Fire Station No. 9 ribbon cutting. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9-Gmg2UlbE
2661 E. Grand Park St, Ontario, CA 91762. From Google Maps.

Public safety is a tough profession. I’ve worked with police more than fire/EMS, but it’s tough for all of them. At the ceremony, Ontario Mayor Paul Leon shared the story of a time that he accompanied the Ontario Fire Department on a call. Although Mayor Leon was wearing protective gear, he had to stop at a certain point because of the intense heat from the fire. The firefighters kept right on going, because it was their job.

And now the department has one more station, ensuring that the residents and businesses in that corner of Ontario will be safe.

From https://www.instagram.com/p/CcOwIKsvKV2/

Why the Toyota Arena’s square footage is unimportant in Zurdo vs. Boesel marketing…or YOUR marketing

There is a LOT going on in Ontario, California that escapes the attention of most of us. For example, only dedicated boxing fans may know what is happening here on May 14.

Former world champion and light heavyweight Mexican boxing star Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez (43-0, 29 KOs) of Mazatlán, Mexico, will face former WBA Interim Light Heavyweight World Champion Dominic Boesel (32-2, 12 KOs) of Freyburg, Germany on Saturday, May 14….The event will take place at Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA, and will stream live exclusively on DAZN.

From https://www.ringtv.com/638236-gilberto-ramirez-dominic-boesel-set-for-may-14-in-ontario-california/

So why didn’t I learn about the Ramirez-Boesel fight until a week after this April 22 announcement?

Because I’m not part of the target market for this fight.

The announcement that I quoted above was shared on The Ring website. Obviously people who visit that particular site are interested in boxing.

And the Toyota Arena is certainly promoting it. (“Zurdo” is Ramirez’s nickname.) Notice the prominent “BUY TICKETS” call to action. The Toyota Arena wants you to attend the event in-person.

And the DAZN streaming service is obviously talking about it and hoping that you sign up for the service. The yellow “SIGN UP NOW” buttons (two of them in this screen alone) are hard to miss. Unlike the Toyota Arena, DAZN doesn’t require you to be in person to view this fight.

DAZN website, Zurdo vs. Boesel streaming sign up.
From https://www.dazn.com/en-US/sport/Sport:2x2oqzx60orpoeugkd754ga17/abtjyjpn1btla7vxkzowzh5h5

What the Toyota Arena and the DAZN streaming service DIDN’T do when marketing the fight

Let’s look at one aspect of how the fight is being marketed.

Have you ever noticed that some companies believe that the best way to market themselves is to talk about themselves? They’re worse than a self-obsessed narcissist on a date.

Major Frank Burns (Larry Linville).
Major Frank Burns (portrayed by Larry Linville) of M*A*S*H fame. (Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan not pictured.) By CBS Television – eBayfrontbackeBayphoto front & release, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30082123

If the “my company is most important” people were promoting this fight, the Toyota Arena could have started its Zurdo vs. Boesel page with the text below.

Toyota Arena, built and owned by the City of Ontario, operated by ASM Global, can accommodate over 11,000 guests. The 225,000 square foot venue features 36 luxury suites located on two levels and a continuous concourse hosting a variety of concession and refreshment stands, merchandise kiosks, the VIP Club and other fan amenities. Toyota Arena hosts over 125 events annually including concerts, family shows, and sporting competitions. The Arena is home to several sport teams including: Ontario Reign (American Hockey League), Ontario Fury (Major Arena Soccer League), Aqua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (G League Basketball), and LA Temptation (Legends Football League).

From https://www.toyota-arena.com/arena-info/about

This text appears on the arena’s “About Us” page. Why not also put it on the page for the fight, to ensure that the readers see it and realize the sheer awesomeness of the arena, the City of Ontario, and ASM Global?

Why not talk about the arena at the beginning of the fight announcement? Because fight promoters are smart. Fight promoters know that to make a sale, they need to maintain a customer focus.

Let’s say that you’re a boxing promoter and YOU have to promote this fight. Which of the following two facts is more important?

  1. Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez has a boxing record of 43-0 with 29 knockouts.
  2. The Toyota Arena is a 225,000 square foot facility.

Now perhaps the janitorial staff that has to service the Toyota Arena is more concerned about item 2, but if you want boxing fans to buy tickets or streaming access, you’re going to aggressively promote item 1 and maintain your customer focus.

So what is MY call to action to YOU?

If I were to ask you, there is a high probability that you are not a boxing promoter. I know this because I’m not submitting this post to The Ring as a press release, but am instead sharing it in various Inland Empire West business channels.

However, there is a pretty good probability that you own or manage a local business, and you have your own news that you want to get out.

And this news must resonate with your customers.

  • Perhaps you want to share a customer success story, case study, or testimonial—a casetimonial, if you will. This document must appeal to your customers, speak to their needs, and ideally lead to them considering your company’s services or products.
  • Or perhaps you want to share a white paper that addresses your customers’ needs, but also drives them to consider your business. For example, you might distribute a white paper that lists seven critical criteria for customer success—and coincidentally, your company’s offering satisfies all seven critical criteria. (What an amazing coincidence!)

Regardless of your desired written content, you need the services of an Ontario, California content marketing expert who can work with you and maintain a customer focus in your content marketing.

Ontario Convention Center.
By Mack Male – originally posted to Flickr as Ontario Convention Center, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9512928

I, John E. Bredehoft, through my Ontario-based DBA Bredemarket, can write casetimonials, white papers, and other types of content, working with you to answer these and other critical questions BEFORE producing the content:

  • Why, how, and what do you do?
  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

After you’ve provided the relevant information to me, I’ll create the first iteration of the content, and we’ll work together to create your final content. The specifics of how we will work together depend upon whether you have elected the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, or something else.

When we’re done, that final content is yours (a “work for hire” arrangement).

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.