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What's Your Evidence?

  |  March 25, 2013   |  Comments

The key to proving our value and receiving the desired verdict is in presenting the right mix of evidence.

I recently was summoned for jury duty and selected to be a juror on a three-day criminal trial. It was my first time being actually selected and my first real-world look into our justice system. As the U.S. court system is based on the premise, "Innocent until proven guilty," it's the prosecutor's job to provide evidence and convince the jury of any guilt.

In our world of technology and "Law and Order" episodes, we often think of evidence as hard or quantifiable stats, actual DNA, or the smoking gun with finger prints. But oftentimes, the smoking gun isn't always found and, even when part of the hard evidence is available, it may not be enough to convict. More evidence is ultimately needed.

During the trial, the prosecution presented numerous types of evidence and, in the end, all pieces supported the one outcome she hoped we'd come to - a guilty conviction. There were many testimonies, photos and drawings, walk-throughs of the timeline and order of events, video, and even an expert witness who was qualified to talk about typical patterns or trends with this case type.

The idea of evidence, as seen in our justice system, can also apply to our marketing automation practice. As we build out nurture streams to use in our campaigns, ultimately we're trying to convince a juror or jury of buyers to engage and buy from us. We should assume the premise, "No contract until offering is proven valuable."

So, under this premise, how do we do the convincing? How do we deliver the conviction, er, contract? With undisputable evidence, of course! Even if we don't realize it, we're most likely already using evidence within our marketing campaigns. The key to proving our value and receiving the desired verdict is in presenting the right mix of evidence.

Buying a product or service is oftentimes a balancing act of emotional and rational decision-making. Here are some of the questions buyers ask themselves:

  • "Do I trust this person or company?"
  • "Do our values align?"
  • "Will this purchase help my bottom line?"
  • "Do others in my peer group buy from this company?"

To paint a full picture of our value, we need different types of evidence to appeal to the various decision criteria in the buying process. Focusing on nurture or drip campaigns, here is a list of some pieces of evidence that can help play to both the emotional and rational decision criteria and can easily work their way into an email.

  • Videos are visual and, when done right, can really help bring a point home. Videos can allow us to show versus just tell and they can easily be shared with others from the buying team. And, depending on the content, videos can appeal to both the emotional and rational sides of buying.
  • Case studies take a business challenge, provide a solution, and highlight proven results. We can basically show that we've solved certain business challenges before. Plus, case studies speak to results and help appeal to the rational decision-making side. This form of incontrovertible evidence is essential to making your case.
  • Testimonials from current clients can be invaluable. Let's not make prospects take our word for it. Quotes from clients speaking to their experience with our company are easy to digest and can help back up our claims. These can speak to everything from business results to why they like working with our people. Again, play up the rational and emotional stories.
  • Third-party analyses or data can also help back up any claims we're making. Do we say that we're a leader in our industry? Well, hopefully we can back that up, and what better way than citing a third-party research company who audits our space? This type of back-up evidence can help appeal to more of the rational side of decision-making.

Hopefully this list helps you get started in building out your evidence. In the end, there usually isn't one piece of evidence that can generate the verdict you want. It's about all of the pieces working together to tell a story and walking our prospects through the reasons to buy. Let's prove our case, er, value!

Evidence image on home page via Shutterstock.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stacie Levy

Stacie is senior director of marcom and PR at Kenshoo, a digital marketing technology company backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, and Tenaya Capital. Kenshoo powers nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks.

Prior to joining Kenshoo, Stacie worked as director of client strategy and development at Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group Company. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the growth of key accounts, in addition to leading Resolution Media's account management practice. During her tenure, Stacie led relationships with brands like Bank of America, Gatorade, Norwegian Cruise Line, Restaurant.com, Sirius XM, and State Farm, while working with partner agencies to ensure all search programs are integrated into the overall marketing mix. Prior to Resolution Media, Stacie worked as an account manager at Nielsen Claritas. There she was responsible for managing and growing relationships with key clients, such as Sprint, US Cellular, Alltel Wireless, and Charter Communications.

Stacie graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Marketing. When she's off the clock, Stacie enjoys yoga, rooting for Wisconsin football teams, and exploring her new state, Colorado.

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