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Advertising Insights 
From left: Steve Slaunwhite, Michael Katz, Ed Gandia and me (Mandy Marksteiner)
The secret to gaining your customer's full attention

Yesterday, Ed Gandia was describing what happened when he was in a client meeting with the VP of marketing for one of the first companies he ever wrote for. 

The VP walked into the room, stood before a white board and said, "I'm going to explain what we do here..."

Now, there have been many times when the exact same thing has happened to me and the person dove into a complicated explanation that required charts and equations and I retained a small fraction of what was said. 

Ed thought that he too would have to start franticly scribbling down equations-but his VP did something completely different. The VP that he met explained the company in a way that he would never forget. 

He told a story.

The story was simple, and easy to understand: the VP had a client who owned a warehouse. The warehouse was full of merchandise and inventory that their customers needed, but the problem was that there were hundreds of thousands of duplicate and obsolete items mixed in. 

Now, that may not seem like such a problem when times are good. But when the recession hit, they could not afford to pay for the space that these items took up. The situation was causing them to lose money-if they can't find a product, they can't sell it.

The company provided a software service that allowed people to enter data about a product in one centralized hub, and it would automatically update every system that they used. 

Simple. No dry-erase markers required.

As human beings we respond to stories more than any other form of communication. You could say that our brains are addicted to stories. Once we realize that someone is about to tell a story, we start to pay attention. 

  • Stories make it possible to retain more information
  • Stories trigger emotion-and emotions lead to action
  • Stories build credibility-storytellers are believable by default. 
If you are trying to get through to a business buyer who in inundated with marketing messages-and completely immune to them-a simple story will get their attention. 

Case studies are before and after success stories about how someone used a product or service to solve a problem. Using case studies is the key to gaining someone's attention, and finally making an impression. They help the customer retain more information about your company and they give you an opportunity to forge a real connection with the person who will buy your product. 

Plus you can get a lot of bang for your buck with a case study. You can use them to...

  • generate new leads
  • train your sales force
  • give your salespeople something to show the customer
  • validate claims
  • vehicle to get news coverage
  • repurpose them for a newsletter, webinar, or Powerpoint presentation. 


Really, once you have the story you can use it any way you want.


That's why I'm excited to be in Chicago this week, learning a winning formula for writing case studies from one of the best case study writers in the industry, Ed Gandia. 


I'm also learning the best practices for writing white papers, newsletters and lead generation from Steve Slaunwhite, Gordon Graham, Bob Bly and Michael Katz. 


I look forward to spreading the word about your business success. Keep in touch!

Mandy Marksteiner
Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

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