662: A Framework for Telling Customer Stories w/ Christine Deakers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Christine Deakers, Customer Marketing and Advocacy Manager at Mixpanel.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BETB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Christine Deeker's she is the customer marketing and advocacy manager at mix panel. Christine, how you doing? Hey, what's up? I'm excited to chat with you, Christine. We have been trying to get this one on the calendar for for a little bit and really excited to dive into this because we're going to be talking about customer storytelling and you've actually got a framework that listeners can use when they're when they're thinking about how do you tell customer stories? You're also going to share some different ways that that you can tell those customer stories. It's not always just, you know, case studies and blog posts. There are lots of different ways that we can tell customer stories. You're going to dive into that a little bit later. Before we do, I'd love for our audience just to have a little bit more context. Tell us about mixed panel. What you and your team wrote to over there awesome. Well, I work for mixed panel. We're a user analytics company. So we help companies learn from their data. So anything that a user or a person action that they take within an APP or website. So we help everyone from like a product manager, marketing managers, data scientists, you know, really anyone who wants to learn and make better decisions with data. We help people do that. So I actually start...

...at mixed panel just about two and a half years ago. I joined the team to help build out what is called the signal. This is our inhouse publication and our goal with the signal was to really prove out a thesis that, you know, people are really hungry to learn about how to learn from their data and how to build better products by learning from their data. So I worked on an incredible team where we got to interview people like Stevensonofski, who is an investor at a Z sixteen, Andrew Chen, who is like the famous growth hacker, the CTEO The New York Times, Max love Chen, founders and product people who are just really incredible thinkers and inventors in the world. So for the first about year and a half we grew this publication from about two thousand subscribers to close to fifty and subscribers. So that was a whirlwind and it was really fun. But along the way we really saw that there was a lot of potential with storytelling and particularly when it came to our customers. All our customers, you know, the obviously use mixed panel. They were getting great value out of it. They were making like incredible impactful decisions with data. So this led me down a new path where I started to tell the story of our customers. So that's where we're at today and now I'm leading up our customer marketing and advocacy team our efforts. I'm currently a team of one, but it's been a great ride. And so, in talking about you know, you realizing the need for storytelling as you started to dive more into storytelling, not just in the sense of telling customer stories, but more, you know, general storytelling, and what were those? Did you instantly go to kind of how can we do storytelling with customers, or were there other types of storytelling that you started to dip your toe into first? Yeah, we first wanted to really carve out a niche for ourselves with the signal. We wanted to be able to really connect with the...

...product people of the world and people who are inventors and who are like diving into data and building some of the best tech companies out there with data. So that was our first goal, was to really connect with the you know, the Kreme Dela creme of tech. And meanwhile, while we're doing that, we realize that there is our customers were also those people. So that's where we you know, we met with like the biggest investors, the biggest CEOS and the product builders inventing these crazy new APPS and websites and how they use data to do great things. But then also then we found that, like you know, our customers have really compelling stories to tell as well. So that's where we dove into it and what we found is that, I think in the world of like influence our marketing, you always want to go to the person who has like the most wisdom, the share and the expertise. But something that we love to see is that the people that we interview as these experts who are are customers who, you know, might not have like the biggest brand, but they're doing really smart things with their data and making great decisions. Like when we work with them and we, you know, write an article about them or have them at one of our office hours events, slowly but surely we notice that they're with their social profile or their personal brand really climbs and we love to see that that we're able to help people kind of define and craft throughout their own story and help them see what powerful things they could do with data. So it as we get into now this concept of customer storytelling, you had talked off line about really having a framework for approaching customer storytelling. Can you tell us a little bit about the because this is going to vary from business to business. Talk to us about the framework that anyone listening to this can apply so that they can start to tell really compelling customer stories? Yeah, I mean, I think I want to kind of take a step back before we kind of dive into this framework.

But I have a few beliefs that I really think are true, just from my time being a writer, content marketer, working in a variety of like disciplines and marketing, and over the course of a few the past few years, I've noticed a few things. So one, you know, when you meet a person, you realize that they come with them like they come with them like filled with stories. Everyone has their own story, whether it's their career story, whether it's how they solve the big problem, everyone comes with them comes with a lot of drama and like narrative. And what I also learned is that, you know, I think as human beings were very inherently connected to stories. Stories are the ways that we build relationships with people and how we see value and something so with. Someone is able to really connect with you over a story, they're able to really understand like the meaning behind it. But you know, that's very like we're waxing poet right now. I'm an English major, are I was an English major, so that's something that really makes me excited about my work. But in the SAS space, particularly with be tob tech, what you'll learn is that your customers are your greatest asset, next to you know, like the code or your actual product, and I would argue that, you know, that's the the relationship that your customers have to your code or your product. You can't do one without the other, obviously. So over the course of the past few years, I've learned that, you know, your customers are your greatest asset and oftentimes the Messenger is often the message. So when you have a customer who authentically shares how they use certain product or software and how they're able to be able to achieve these crazy things, that's gold, like that's gold for any...

...company to be able to capture, but also just to know that their customers are really getting incredible value out of the software that they're they're using. So the framework of Customer Marketing and advocacy, for me, it really begins with, it really begins with the basic principles of content marketing, and content marketing always begins with, you know, really understanding who is your audience, really beginning with that psychology of like what is that that this person wants? You know, what is their motivation? Where are the struggles that this person has? What is required of them to reach a certain goal or accomplishment that they're hoping to achieve. And then obviously, with that audience, those personas or those profiles of people would really change, whether you know you're talking to someone who works in media and entertainment or a person WHO's working in financial services, or you know all the different verticals out there, or even you know their titles. So you know, we work with product managers, we work with marketers, we work with people who are have like analytics and their title, and we also work with executives. So how do all these different multidimensional people like? What is it that those people want? And then how can you really help person understand the value of a certain tool? And really, you know, it really begins with meeting a person, with where they're where they are. So that's where I think customer marketing and advocacy can really begin. So, you know, we can begin with really asking people questions, you can interview them in order to not only understand like what are their goals? What were they trying to set out to do? How did the technology or the solution impact their business and impact them and how they were able to solid they problem or make a big discovery and then sort of what was the resollution in the Roi of being able to use your software and the company software for...

...their business. So it's like, with that framework of really understanding who you're talking to and the what is that rise and fall of, you know, the problem, the situation, the technology and then the results, you're really able to see the full picture of like how your software has made an impact on their company. But that's sort of like, I mean, if you kind of that's very classic like case study structure, but the thing with that is that you can really apply that same thinking to a lot of different mediums and channels. So you know, what we what I like to do, is kind of think about like if, if every person has a story that they can tell and we have proof that this story has great Roy for the individual and for the organization, and how many places can we tell that story? So can we tell it not only in a case study or a blog, but can we also turn that into a loven arch? Can we turn that into a fireside chat, which we love to do at our office hours in our and all our events that we have that happen across our country? So that's what we try to kind of think about, is like how do we tell this story and a lot of different Ms. for several years now I've been using a graphic design service called Capa Ninety nine. You've probably heard me talk about them on the show before, because it's one of the best investments we've ever made in our business. For just three hundred ninety nine bucks a month you can get unlimited graphic design. Seriously, it really is unlimited. You can have them design your infographics, case studies and all of your blog posts and social media graphics. They even do t shirt designs, email signatures and book layouts. So head over to BB growth showcom design and sign up for their fifteen day free trial. That's BB growth showcom design. You're...

...going to love it all right, let's get back to this interview. I just experimented with with telling one of our customer stories, a couple of customer stories actually, as like long form, linkedin status updates, and ended up having, you know, seeing incredible results, you know, with in terms of engagement and a lot of people reaching out, you know, sending messages. Hey, James, you would love to hear more about how you could do a show like that. For me, that ADA that it wouldn't have necessarily been something that I'll have thought about but I think it speaks to your point of kind of thinking outside the box in terms of how can you tell those stories on different platforms, using different mediums, because of the story itself is powerful and we don't just have to push it into a pdf and push it out as a case study. So I love that you brought that up. Yeah, and, to be honest, like I, we're just living in an age where the PDF is most likely going to be collecting like metaphorical desks. You could say that's a pdf is great for when someone really wants to do their due diligence and read it. However, as a customer marketer and like advocacy person, you want to create like a surround sound effect around your customer stories. So that means it's not just the written asset, it's also social. It's also like how do we like position these stories for potentially like paid advertisement, essentially, how can we make the customers Voice Frinton Center? When someone like Google's user analytics or product analytics, we want to be able to surface those things right away and I'm sure a lot of your your listeners know those statistics out there where it's like seventy percent of the buying process is done before a person even meets with a salesperson, and like eighty eighty percent of people require peer reviews before they look to buying, like Bebb Sass things like that. So it's difficult to create that surround sound, but I...

...think they're you always need to kind of think of like all your work in due lends up like integrated communications. Totally agree. So, Christine, this has been fantastic. Is there anything else around this idea of customer storytelling that you think our listener should know before I let you go today? HMM, honestly, I think. I mean, I think there's just like so much potential with how we can tell customer stories these days, and in a world where people are so obsessed with data, I think, especially in in the sales world, people might kind of lead with like with the big Roy metrics that are kind of required to show your impact. But I would really encourage people, no matter if you know they have an English degree or not, or if they're writers or are not, like even beings, are very innate storytellers and I think that our storytelling, you know, capacity is sort of stamped out of us at an early age. So you know whether you're a marketer, whether you're in sales, you know whether you're even, you know, Engineer. Being able to tell a story, to communicate your point, is a really powerful skill. So yeah, I just I try to really encourage everyone at mixed panel to remember that and just to practice it. It can be like a fun hobby and you'll be able to see that you're really able to build stronger relationships with people when you're able to effectively communicate a story. Christine, this has been fantastic. If somebody wants to learn more about mixed panel or they want to connect with you, what's the best way for them to go about doing it? Yeah, honestly, I'm active on twitter, so you can tweet me. My handle is at deep poust, so that's Da k h a us, and you can also find me on Linkedin. My name is Christine Dieker's last name spelled dea K ers. Awesome, Christine. Will thank you so much for your time today. Again, this has been incredible, so I really appreciate it. Thank you, James.

There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the BEDD growth community through this podcast, but because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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