Maryanne Steidinger, Director of Advanced Applications Global Product Marketing at Invensys, discusses why Invensys uses TechValidate, the impact on their marketing, and what it’s like to be a TechValidate customer.
Here’s the video (scroll down for a full transcript):
“I absolutely would recommend TechValidate for one really simple reason: there’s always going to be a challenge in getting customers to speak on your behalf.”
“Out of a population of about 600, we were able to get over 40% response rate, which is amazing.”
“We were able to really understand a customer’s behaviors, their attitudes, their feelings about why they were buying SimSci software. It was incredible and this is data that we would have never been able to get first hand.”
What challenges did you face creating content before TechValidate?
Maryanne: The main challenge we had prior to using TechValidate was getting current customer references. So, of course, we in marketing need to support our sales force. We also need to help them to justify why our customers are investing in Invensys. We were using a set of customer success stories and other proof points that were relatively old. So, we needed a way of not only getting current content, but also understanding other aspects about our customers; why are they using our software and for what reasons, and also financial returns. That is kind of a big deal – trying to get ROI. And so, we were hoping that because we were unable to do it any other way, that TechValidate would help us.
Before TechValidate, how was it getting customers to go on the record?
Maryanne: It was relatively easy once they decided to go on record, but it was relatively difficult to get them to agree to it. So, we have something like 750,000 software licenses — a lot of licenses — and yet we were unable to get, but a handful of customers willing to be a published success story on an annual basis. So we were looking for the means to get more proof points. Again, even if it wasn’t a published success story, getting customer testimonials and getting sound bites that we could use in order to support sales.
Would you recommend TechValidate?
Maryanne: Yes, I absolutely would recommend TechValidate for one really simple reason: there’s always going to be a challenge in getting customers to speak on your behalf. Customers — either because of legal reasons or just because of the time aspect — can’t provide success stories. And yet, if you reach them through other tools, you find out that they’re amazingly both enthusiastic and positive about using your products. And that’s what TechValidate has done for us — it’s helped us to get that voice of customer, to get that testimonial and be able to use it effectively.
What are some of the business impacts you’ve seen from using TechValidate?
Maryanne: One of the business impacts we’ve seen is we just recently revised our software website and the reason we did that is because we’re always looking for search engine optimization and we want to acquire new customers. We’re using TechValidate in order to boost and to supplement that website and, for example, the SimSci Group, they’ve gotten over 13,000 hits. Those are directly attributable and it can be tracked so it’s providing us with that additional SEO, and that’s business value because that’s something that we’ve invested in once and now it continues to return. The other thing is we’re using it for sales deals and it just helps us to build out the opportunities to win deals. That’s really the ROI that we’re looking at.
How do you create customer content with TechValidate?
Maryanne: We’ve been using TechValidate for about eight months. We have three major product lines and we started with one of the bigger product lines. They were actually an older product line so they’ve been around for about 45 years, but their number of customer success stories and really other types of sales assets was very thin. So, we thought, “Well, if it worked for them it will definitely work for the rest of us.” So, we started out creating a couple of questionnaires, asking customers, and we got really amazing results.
Out of a population of about 600, we were able to get over 40% response rate. So, first of all, we were thrilled just to get that many people to reply, but then, drilling down, it was really what they were telling us. So, we were able to really understand a customer’s behaviors, their attitudes, their feelings about why liked SimSci software, why they were buying SimSci software. It was incredible and this is data that we would have never been able to get first hand. And so, having TechValidate act as an independent, third party qualification source for us was really key.
How are you leveraging your TechValidate content?
Maryanne: We started out with just SimSci, and they’ve been able to create about 400 different assets, which is amazing in itself. And so they’ve been able to take various product lines and really document customer attitudes, customer testimonials, success stories. We’ve since then implemented two other projects, one Wonderware MES, which is a very high-level specialty software product and we’ve been able to create over 45 assets for that. We’ve used them in blog posts, we’ve used them in customer PowerPoints, we’ve used them for sales training. I’m actually doing a presentation in a couple weeks and I’m going to be using one of those.
So, it’s been able to be used in many different form factors. I think that’s one of the real benefits of TechValidate is that it’s not just for sales, it’s for sales and marketing. It’s to use for anything that is externally focused, as well as internal. So it’s to both train people, as well as to help to justify and build out your customer base.
How has it been working with the customer success team?
Maryanne: [The Customer Success team] has been amazing, because they’ve helped us to really understand what it is that we got from TechValidate. When you first run the projects, there’s so much amazing data, that it’s almost overwhelming. And that’s a really good thing, that is not a detraction, but how do you use it and how do you configure it to be most effective? So that’s what the TechValidate team has done for us is to help us to understand what data we have, all of the different form factors in which it can take form, so again, not only blog posts, but being able to look at customer testimonials, success stories, charts and graphs that help to build out the story. And it’s been a really good experience, you’ve worked with probably 10 or 20 different people within our company, and all of them universally are really thrilled with the service that we’ve received.
Thanks, Maryanne! To see more customer interviews, please visit our customer videos page.