The Beat: The Story of Us

Trust and vulnerable co-creation

Welcome to The Beat by Rockstar CMO. I’m Ian Truscott, a 3xCMO, trusted advisor, strategy consultant and Chief Bottle Washer at Rockstar CMO. In this newsletter, I’d like to share a mix of what’s caught my eye from our community, our podcast and our street knowledge blog.


I hope you’ve had a great week. Thanks for opening this email, and welcome if you are a new subscriber; I’m glad you are here.

While I am not a huge Taylor Swift fan, it is my habit with this newsletter to use a song title as the subject line, and Ms Swift’s ‘The Story of Us’ is perfect for this week's topic: Case studies or customer success stories.

Specifically for me, in B2B marketing, we need to do better than a story that goes something like this: The buyer had a problem, the buyer contacted the vendor, and the vendor rode in and saved the village.

It’s a topic we often come back to because who cares about this story?

The future buyer already knows the ending; after all, the vendor is telling the story, and they also know the beginning, which is that organisations have similar problems to them.

What does the future buyer need? The bit they need, the bit this story misses, is: what was the journey?

I am not suggesting we tell a Tolkien’esque hero’s journey, but to give a bit more on what happened between the customer identifying the problem and the unicorns and rainbows of a solution. A bit about the struggle, what options they tried, what worked and what didn't and some reference to the inevitable teething problems with the solution or service.

An authentic telling of the story requires a level of vulnerability, and vulnerability builds trust, and building trust is why we create success stories.

In the past, I’ve suggested on my weekly blog that in these stories, we make the customer the hero, and on the podcast this week, Robert has a better suggestion (that he also shared in his column for the Content Marketing Institute) that we need to shift to co-creation.

As he says:

The story should center neither on the brand nor the customer. It should exist as a story in which the audience can put themselves.

Yep, as all the Swifties out there know; create the story of us.

I’ve shared some links on this topic below, and I hope you find them useful and maybe give the podcast a listen. I’d love to know what you think.

Have a great week, cheers!


Ian Truscott | Chief Bottle Washer Rockstar CMO

I am still trying to get the Threads habit, and I would love to connect with you there -

Street Knowledge

The good stuff from Rockstar CMO, our community and other stuff I’ve liked:

The Power of Vulnerability.

I mentioned vulnerability in my opening and I was recently introduced to the work of Brené Brown, and while this TED Talk is over a decade old, it’s worth a watch, if you’ve not come across this before.

Get your Monday Morning Marketing Mojo Working

Who better to pick to get your marketing week off to a cracking start than the commercial juggernaut that is the talent of the Swift? Maybe pick your favorite one of her tunes if this isn’t it….