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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Tough love in compliance and breach liability

News

Industry Update

Visa consolidates, restructures

Cabbies roll with VeriFone terminals

Negotiating the wireless security minefield

SPVA broadens membership base with global players

Features

AgenTalkSM:
Esteban Marin

MWAA raises the conference bar year by year

Embry enters payment hall of fame

ControlScan extends involvement with ETA

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Financial storm perfect for prepaid?

Keeping patients sticky

Triumphs and travails of kiosk deployments

Views

Community counts

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Consumers love rewards, why don't sales reps?

Lori Breitzke
VeriFone

Education

Street SmartsSM:
The proper approach to MLS hunting

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Seven reasons to avoid exclusivity

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

A case for case histories

Nancy Drexler
SignaPay Ltd.

The MLS opportunity

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

Call reluctance: Diagnose it and treat it

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Digging into PCI:
Part 1 - Securing the network

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Company Profile

First National Merchant Solutions

New Products

Advertise for free processing

UpClick
UpClick

Purchasing made easy and secure

codeOne
M-CodeOne

Inspiration

As in work, so in life

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 10, 2009  •  Issue 09:08:01

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Marketing 101
A case for case histories

By Nancy Drexler

Let's face it. All ISOs provide similar products and services in much the same way - and at comparable prices. Yes, some of us have built brands that connote dominance in key industries. Others of us are known best for our technology or our sales incentive programs. But, at the end of the day, differentiating ourselves to end users is not easy.

That's where marketing comes in. When I started in our industry seven years ago, most ISOs were relying on clip-art ads and tradeshow meetings to build sales. Today, many have come to depend on more skillful and experienced marketing practices and practitioners.

We, however, are not miracle workers. To maximize our companies' differentiation and awareness, we continually rack our brains for new or different ways to set ourselves apart. And sometimes, we remember an old way to do it that worked pretty darn well.

Timeless solution

One old standby is strategic placement of case histories. They are, quite simply, stories told by satisfied customers about how your company helped them achieve an objective or exceed a goal. Also known as case studies, they are testimonials fleshed out to include facts, details and results in the form of a narrative.

The benefits of including case studies among your marketing staples are numerous. For one, they are fairly simple to do. They require none of the design or print work that a sales piece or advertisement requires and, as a result, they cost far less.

In fact, they can cost nothing, depending on how you use them, which is another benefit of employing case studies: They can meet a variety of marketing needs. Formatted similarly to this article, case studies can be "white papers" used on Web sites, offered in e-mails, or presented at meetings or tradeshows.

Related as narratives and wrapped in four-color design with photos of your "speakers," case studies can also be lovely additions to sales kits, presentation materials or direct mail campaigns.

Because they are stories, case histories can be much more attractive to readers than other marketing collateral - and far more compelling. People remember stories. Best of all, case studies are likely to be the most credible form of marketing you use. They involve, after all, your customers, not your marketing director, extolling your virtues.

Easy implementation

Ready to get started building your own library of case histories? This article will guide you through the process.

Decide what you want to accomplish. Every case study should clearly demonstrate how you were able to get tangible, measurable, successful results for businesses similar to the ones you are targeting for this project.

Ideally, you should decide what the focus of your case history will be and then find the best story to illustrate it.

Admittedly, some of us start from the opposite end, identifying a willing customer spokesperson and then basing the narrative on that person's experience.

Either way, it helps to decide upfront what your end goal is. Then, you have a framework by which you can take the following steps:

Distinct advantages

You've done the hard part. Now, make sure you reap the benefits. Case histories never go out of date; they can be reformatted and used for years. Turn case studies into sales letters.

Send your spokesperson to tradeshows to speak on your behalf. You can even submit well-written case histories to trade journals, garnering publicity for your customer and yourself, and probably picking up a few good clients in the process.

Have I made my case? If so, then go ahead and make yours.

Nancy Drexler is the Vice President, Marketing for SignaPay Ltd., an ISO headquartered in Dallas. Reach her at nancyd@signapay.net.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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