Marketing Matters

Blog archive

Bring Life to Partner Marketing Content Using Scenarios

"Storytelling," the latest buzzword being tossed around in the world of content marketing, suggests that you need epic narratives to connect with potential buyers.

If, like the rest of the common world, you don't have a "chief storyteller" on staff, don't worry. You can use scenarios to help your prospects envision the benefit of your solutions.

While the term may be pretentious, the idea behind the storytelling movement makes sense. Instead of listing out the features and benefits, you should use a compelling example of how your solution solved a problem for a customer. For most partners, that's where the challenge comes in.

Case Studies Versus Scenarios
Over the years, case studies have been the go-to content vehicle to "tell the story" of how your software, services or solutions improve the business lives of your customers. While case studies can certainly be effective, they are time-consuming and expensive to create. The yearly commitment to do one case study each quarter usually falters somewhere between the third interview reschedule and the customer's legal review.

Without an actual case study, partners have been hesitant to tell stories -- which is where the scenario can help. Using life-like examples helps your prospects envision how they would use your solution to overcome a challenge or improve a business process. Like a demo scenario, the example doesn't have to be an actual event -- just a realistic representation of a business situation.     

Here's an example of a scenario a partner might use to illustrate the value of proactive business intelligence: 

Before the full impact of the housing collapse was understood, a lumber and construction supplies distributor noted a trending drop in orders. While the trend was subtle, company management compared the data with previous years, recognized the risk and chose to act quickly.

By lowering inventory on hand and open purchase orders for materials, the company averted disaster. Lower carrying costs and related inventory expense allowed the company to weather the recession.

Scenarios Augment, Not Replace
Even though scenarios will help you engage with prospects, you still need to clearly explain what your solution does. Visitors to your Web site scan to find a solution to their problem. If they don't see what they are looking for quickly, they will move on. Easy-to-read bullet lists with features and benefits are still important to help readers hone in on what they are looking for.

There are plenty of Web sites that have gone overboard with storytelling, making it hard to find answers to simple questions about what the solution delivers. Scenarios should augment, not replace.

Scenarios are also a great way to make your webinar or seminar presentation more effective. Instead of reading the bullets on the slide, make the point through a scenario that listeners can imagine happening in their business.
You don't have to be an epic storyteller to come up with great scenarios. You know your solutions, you know your customers; combine the two using a touch of imagination. Make it fun, keep it simple and, above all, keep it short.

How are you getting creative with content? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on February 19, 2015 at 7:49 AM


Featured

  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft, Salesforce Ink Deal Around Azure Cloud and Teams

    As part of a new partnership, CRM service provider Salesforce will leverage certain Microsoft Azure services, as well as Microsoft Teams, for services to customers.

  • 2019 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss this year.

  • Version 1909 of Windows 10 and Windows Server Released

    Windows 10 version 1909, also known as the "Windows 10 November 2019 Update," was officially released by Microsoft on Tuesday.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.