Refresh your testimonials

I’ll never forget how he said it: “Are you telling me that we have NO current clients that are happy with us?”

Anil Singh, former sales and marketing chief at Yahoo!, was having a bad day at work. It was mid-2001, and we were working on our response to Holly Becker @ Lehman’s charge that we weren’t delivering advertising value with banner ads. She had been going around giving presentations on how bad banner ads were, and it was driving down our stock.

Several sales execs at the company reached out to customers for testimonials, and through the process, got some troubling news about the value of our service. While the news was bad, the end result a few years later was quite good. We reinvented how we sold, delivered, tracked and reported on banner ad placements. We looked into rich media ads and full page campaigns. Most of the 2002-2004 ad innovation was spurred by the realization that we had to make online advertising work for marketers – especially traditional ones like Disney or Nike.

When is the last time you’ve asked your best customers to give you a testimonial? Would they? Are you still relying on old accolades? Embark on a refresh campaign today, and you may get some interesting feedback along the way. Besides, the more current a customer blurb, the more relevant it will be to a prospect.