A Marketing Trilemma: Good, Fast, or Cheap?

As a marketer, there’s constant pressure to deliver great content. Effective content that looks good, costs nothing, and goes viral every week to every audience segment you’ve got, right? The problem is, this is the real world, and you have to work within budgets and meet deadlines. So here’s the puzzle: you can only choose two out of the three key elements in making a piece of content: make it good, make it fast, and make it cheap.

Let’s break it down:

If you want to prioritize quality (we’re a fan of this prioritization) and make a good video, you’ll need to invest in high-quality equipment, hire experienced professionals (quick glance to the Near Future team waving adorably from the other side of the room) and spend time on post-production. Your video will be top-notch, with crisp visuals, smooth transitions, and a clear message. But it will also cost you a pretty penny (a reasonable and fair amount, if you work with us…) or might take longer than three days to produce.

If you need to prioritize fast, and churn out something ASAP, you might need to cut some corners. Maybe you sacrifice and use lower-quality equipment, work with less experienced professionals, or skip some steps in post-production. Your video will be finished quickly, but it may not be as polished or effective as you’d like. ORRR, the help-quick-we-need-this-now nature of your job might come at a bit of a premium in terms of money. But hey, at least you’ll have something to show your boss, right?

And if it was your grumpy CFO that asked you to make this video, and you need it on the cheap… well, sure, you can do that. You’ll need to use low-end equipment, work with less experienced professionals, and edit it yourself, maybe… (um, do you know how to do that?) That’s ok, you have time to learn, right? Because this doesn’t necessarily need to be done quickly or anything, just cheap. Your video will be affordable, but it may not be as effective or professional-looking. But hey, who needs quality when you have a video that was made for pennies – maybe it’ll blow up on TikTok?

No matter which two you choose, authenticity and effectiveness are paramount. After all, a video that’s not effective is a waste of time and money, no matter how good, fast, or cheap it is. When we’re sitting down to concept for new clients or projects, this is our priority. We believe that something can look good AND perform well at the same time. How can we weave in key value propositions in an authentic way? How can our story connect with the community on an emotional level but also help them learn something new about a product or brand? Our goal is to raise awareness and gently nudge someone to act, while making a healthy deposit into the brand bank.

How it works, when you work with us: We start with a brief and creative discussions with your team. Then we share three to five unique concepts, choose the best one, and create a script, treatment, and storyboards. We quarterback the process to deliver a beautiful, on-brand final product on your schedule. The typical timeline is 8-12 weeks, but we’re experts at working under tight deadlines. Let’s tell your story and make some magic happen! Shoot us an email anytime, or check out some of the fantastic work we’ve done here.

Humanizing Your Brand: The Power of Customer Stories

As a creative studio that specializes in creating engaging content, we know firsthand how powerful customer stories can be in marketing. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, incorporating customer stories into your marketing strategy can be a game-changer for your brand. Here’s why…

Customer stories build trust

It’s no secret that building trust with customers can be a challenge, especially with so much competition and noise out there, but they’re a powerful tool in establishing trust with your audience. By sharing stories of real people who have had positive experiences with your brand, you can amplify your brand’s value, and build trust with potential customers. In fact, a survey by Salesforce found that 54% of consumers consider customer stories to be an important factor when making a purchase decision.

Customer stories create emotional connections

As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories that touch us on an emotional level. By sharing customer stories that demonstrate how your brand has made a positive impact on someone’s life, you can tap into this emotional resonance that drives customer behavior. In fact, a study by the Corporate Executive Board found that emotional connections are four times more powerful than rational connections when it comes to driving customer behavior.


Customer stories are more memorable than statistics

Let’s face it: most people don’t remember statistics and data points. But stories? Those stick with us. It’s rooted in empathy for people we “meet” – even if we just meet them through a screen. By telling customer stories, you can make your brand’s messaging more memorable and stand out in a crowded marketplace – leveraging compelling narratives to cut through the noise and leave an impression on your target customers. For example, Erin (on our team) doesn’t care a ton about baseball teams – but she likes the game, mostly because it’s a fun way to spend a few hours outside on a nice day, with snacks. When the LA Dodgers recently shared the story of former player Andrew Toles’ battle with mental health, and their decision to renew his contract for $0 so Toles could keep his health coverage, Erin bought herself a Dodgers hat.

You don’t need to be a do-gooder or have a heartbreaking story, though. Just telling a real, authentic, human story about your brand is compelling enough.

Customer stories showcase your brand’s values

Every brand has a set of values they stand for, whether it’s global sustainability, social responsibility, maximizing profits, or world-class customer service. By featuring customer stories that align with your brand’s values, you can “show-don’t-tell” your brand’s commitment to these ideals and differentiate yourself from competitors. For example, if your brand is committed to sustainability, you could feature a customer story about someone who chose your product because it’s environmentally friendly. Or, if you care about customer satisfaction above all else, you can highlight customers who had an absolute breeze overcoming the rare-but-still-frustrating issue they had in the purchase process of your product. Bam, empathy and values alignment all in one.

Customer stories drive customer loyalty

When customers feel like THEY are the priority, that their stories are being heard and valued, and that your company’s values align with theirs, they are more likely to feel loyal, perhaps even evangelizing on behalf of your brand (the holy grail of branding and marketing…) By incorporating customer stories into your marketing strategy, you can develop a sense of community and build long-term relationships with your customers. According to a survey by Ipsos, 72% of consumers say that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. By featuring customer stories that showcase the positive experiences people have had with your brand, you can build that trust and foster loyalty.

Square Customer Story – Spinning Bones

And last but not least…

Customer stories are high on ROI

Customer stories offer a valuable investment opportunity for businesses looking to create long-lasting marketing assets. While the production process for these stories may require an initial investment of time and resources, they have the potential to become evergreen assets that resonate with audiences for years to come. By focusing on high-level product benefits and brand value propositions, your stories will remain relevant even as products and services change over time. Additionally, customer stories offer a valuable return on investment by providing a wealth of content that can be repurposed across multiple channels. They can be broken down into shorter clips, used across social channels, and shared across various digital platforms, providing businesses with a variety of ways to connect and reconnect with their audience.

It’s definitely not true, but we kind of feel like we invented the “testimonial” style of storytelling on behalf of our clients. Lather, rinse, revise, repeat. It’s tried and true, tested and effective. Ready to get started telling your brand’s story? Give us a shout!