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Cassie Sneed on Reputation's Customer Marketing Strategy

May 21, 2024

tl;dr: Reputation's Director of Global Customer Marketing Lead, Cassie Sneed, unveils the secrets behind Reputation's success in customer advocacy. Discover how Reputation transforms customers into enthusiastic advocates, driving positive word-of-mouth and boosting brand reputation.

Cassie dives into:

  • Actionable advocacy hacks for elevated customer engagement.
  • Essential metrics to track advocacy impact effectively.
  • Strategies for fruitful collaboration with sales teams.


Angela, Laudable: What does customer marketing look like at Reputation?

Cassie, Reputation: When I joined Reputation about three and a half years ago, I built customer marketing from the ground up using three pillars: community, advocacy, and expansion. Community is about bringing our people together and highlighting experts. Advocacy focuses on our champions who love our product and drive customer-led growth through reviews, testimonials, and speaking engagements. Lastly, expansion involves upsell opportunities and growing the customer relationship over time.

Angela, Laudable: You've been promoted at Reputation from manager to global director. What's your secret?

Cassie, Reputation: I credit my manager’s advice: always tie your efforts to revenue. Whether it’s net retention or upsell revenue, tie everything to revenue. For example, with G2 reviews, we used to just report numbers and ratings. But she pushed us to go further and see how new reviews impact new business. When you get new reviews on G2, you rank higher, get more lead generation, and more opportunities. So we now tie all our G2 efforts to actual new business. This mindset of always tying efforts to revenue has been crucial in proving the value of customer marketing to our organization.

Angela, Laudable: You mentioned G2 reviews. How have you tied other pillars to revenue?

Cassie, Reputation: Totally. Looking at our three pillars, community focuses on retention. We create micro moments of exceptional experiences for our happy customers. Tech products can have hiccups, but I want our brand to stand for exceptional experiences. We over-communicate with newsletters, product releases, and webinars. Those who engage with us have higher net retention revenue than those who don’t. We consistently track this and see higher community engagement quarter over quarter, which resonates with the C-suite. They love seeing those numbers.

Angela, Laudable: With everyone being so busy, how do you get value out of community engagement?

Cassie, Reputation: So I actually see it the other way. Because everyone's so busy, communities are great. I'm always running around and don’t have time to put in a support ticket and wait. Instead, I go to the community and ask for help. It’s amazing how many people raise their hand and solve the problem quickly. I'm involved with the Customer Marketing Alliance and their weekly communities. I love joining these because they provide fantastic brainstorming sessions for new campaigns. I get a laundry list of amazing ideas to put my spin on and execute. It ends up saving me so much time. That’s what we try to do for our community—provide support, share resources, discuss pain points, and ultimately save everyone time in the long run.

Angela, Laudable: What tools are your top value drivers for community, advocacy, and expansion?

Cassie, Reputation: A dedicated community platform is essential. We use that consistently. Luckily, at Reputation, our product consolidates online reviews into great insights. So I feel fortunate to work in advocacy for a company that supports multi-location businesses, allowing us to pull in our own reviews and act on customer feedback. I rely on our tool a lot internally. 

We've also started investing in Riverside to capture more video case studies. People don't want to read a five to six-page PDF; they prefer the video aspect and the human element it brings. So now we're doing more video work and using podcast-style tools to facilitate that.

Angela, Laudable: How do you find that community-focused content, initially aimed at customers, ends up resonating with prospects and becoming valuable to them?

Cassie, Reputation: In our community, when people bounce ideas around, you can see who's passionate about their topics. We identify those excited individuals and invite them to share their insights on a blog or social media. User-generated content resonates with prospects much more than marketing content. Prospects expect thought-provoking articles from a marketing team, but when a customer shares something helpful, it feels more genuine. Reposting customer content spotlights their success and excellence, boosting their personal brand too. It's a win overall.

Angela, Laudable: If you had to eliminate one customer proof type, what would it be: customer video, G2 review, or case study?

Cassie, Reputation: I could never say G2 reviews because that's just such a powerful tool. I would eliminate traditional case studies. Video content is our go-to over case studies because it's what people prefer – quick, auditory information. Getting customers to participate in case studies can be tough, so we frame it as a success story or customer spotlight, easing concerns about sharing sensitive information. While visually appealing PDF case studies are nice, lengthy documents often go unread.

Angela, Laudable: What new strategies or tactics are you excited to try this year?

Cassie, Reputation: We're finding that virtual events are still a hit, even as we transition back to in-person activities. Whether it's virtual wine tastings or unconventional pairings like wine and potato chips, these events create memorable experiences for our customers. We're also seeing success with our internal "reputation baseball card series," which provides quick snapshots of customer success stories for our internal teams. This approach addresses the challenge of using customer logos in public-facing materials and has been well-received internally.

Angela, Laudable: What are best practices for sales to use content generated by advocacy?

Cassie, Reputation: On the customer marketing side, the constant request is for more content. However, it's crucial to take a step back and adopt a data-driven approach. We analyze industry and product matrices to identify gaps and prioritize efforts. Instead of solely relying on case studies, we focus on making customers feel special and seen. We also empower our sales team by analyzing the usage of different content types in our LMS tool. By identifying the most frequently used materials, such as specific slides or stories, we can enhance and prioritize content development effectively.

Angela, Laudable: Do your sales and CS teams use call recorders, and do you use that in advocacy?

Cassie, Reputation: We utilize Chorus extensively, and it's fantastic. Our sales enablement team reviews and shares highlights internally, empowering the whole company. Aligning our language with customers' enhances our authority with prospects. Plus, hearing kind words from customers boosts internal motivation. Chorus helps us stay informed and timely.

Angela, Laudable: Do you have a customer love Slack channel for sharing positive feedback?

Cassie, Reputation: Yes, we have a #CustomerObsessed channel. We encourage all our CSMS to share because they're on the front lines, hearing customers firsthand. I wish I could be on every call myself! When they hear praise or golden nuggets, we want them shared in our #CustomerObsessed channel so we can all celebrate and learn.

May 21, 2024

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