I have lost count of the number of client testimonials that we have worked on over the last 20 years and it is still true to say that testimonial articles remain a valid marketing tactic in the B2B arena.
With technology just a click or voice command away, it is often all too tempting to interview clients and their end users over the phone. However, where possible, especially when we are covering a significant technological breakthrough or improvement, the face-to-face approach is still king.
Just as when conducting market research, face-to-face interviewing of a satisfied end user allows for a much deeper conversation and more comprehensive appreciation of the factors that led to their purchase. Aside from the potential to witness an in-situ demonstration of the product or service, or to speak with additional members of the team, one-to-one interviewing enables body language and facial expressions to be more clearly understood and identified; enabling further probing and explanations of responses given during the interview that may not be so easy to pick up on over the ‘phone.
Whether to interview in person or not depends on many factors, including the objectives for the finished piece. Before any interview, we define the audience we wish to influence and set objectives.
In addition to helping to establish trust and credibility in the market, another benefit of client testimonials is that you get to understand the ‘normal’, natural language that end users use when talking about their purchase. For a cutting edge scientific product or technology, this intelligence can be invaluable in supporting message formation and keyword identification.
Whenever we interview face-to-face we often arrange to take a professional photographer along. It is hard to imagine any trade press activity on or off line that does not use or need great photography to capture the imagination of their audience. We would always recommend that a professional photographer is used as a good quality set of photos can often influence the likelihood of your testimonials being published. Despite our lack of photography skills, we have worked with a number of excellent photographers over the years and we know what makes a good press photo.
At Accelerate, we recently created a customer testimonial piece for Dr Weigert UK, a provider of technical cleaning solutions. We interviewed the Head of Sterile Services at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne about the recent installation of Dr Weigert’s neodisher ® ALPHA dosing system. The article has been published in the Clinical Services Journal and features photography taken on location.
Philippa Bevan has over 25 years commercial and public sector experience in marketing, market research and product management spanning the education, laboratory, medical device, technology transfer and packaging industries. Philippa has a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology and is a Chartered Marketer.