Over the holidays I’ll admit that I watched far too much football…and hockey. The challenge of being Canadian and having lived in Texas is that I get caught up in both of them at times.
As I was watching yet another bowl game last weekend, I thought about the fact that so much of a football game is actually time spent when there is no play happening, and it made me realize just how well the major networks have become at holding my (and many other people’s) attention…and I think it says something about what we look for from providers of all kinds as well.
I think we look for a deeper understanding of how things work. In a football game, when a great play is over, the commentators always go back over the play in slow motion, they use the telestrator, they talk about what one specific player did to make it happen…often not the running back or the receiver who made the play, but the teammate who made the key block or bought the quarterback time to make the pass.
When we realize that something special has just happened, we want to know more so we can make sense of what took place (“How did he get so wide open? How did Favre have that much time to sit in the pocket before he made the pass?”). When prospects are looking at customer case studies, white papers and other reference materials, I think they want that same understanding…and I think sometimes we miss that. Many case studies talk about the customer and the great results they achieved, but they gloss over the ‘how they did it’ part or focus on the product’s features more than how the company actually implemented it in a way that worked best for them. When we understand how something worked it makes us feel smarter and more engaged with the story. I think it also makes the incredible results seem more realistic and achievable to the prospects we’re marketing to.