Show Don’t Tell

Show Don’t Tell

These words echo the work of popular fantasy author, Jesikah Sundin, who was once quoted as saying, “Sometimes words just ruin everything.” Just the same, some brands have demonstrated that showing instead of telling customers brand actions or potential can be more successful in generating sales and satisfactory resolution to their challenges.

Case Studies

After American mattress manufacturer Nolah added a slider on its website, sales rose 20%. The slider on its home page included reviews from consumers as well as quotes from experts and the press. A spokesperson for the company attributed the increase in sales to their decision to show third party experts and customer perspectives. This was chosen instead of simply telling visitors what their products could do. Placement of expert comments and reviews at the top and customer comments below enhanced the firm’s credibility.

15-year-old Scottish travel company, Secret Scotland, experienced great success on its website by also showing instead of telling. The firm’s co-founder, Mike Peddie, wanted his agency to avoid the boastful tones and bold claims he said many of their Scottish competitors used. Peddie’s answer was to demonstrate their depth of knowledge by showing webpage visitors evidence of their expertise.

When visitors landed on Secret Scotland’s webpage, they were greeted with an invitation to take a sample video tour. The video tour offered visitors four options from three to five days and some visits lasting as many as 17 days. By breaking out each day’s itinerary, the video also allowed visitors the flexibility to adapt their own itinerary complete with recommendations on where to take breaks.

The sample tour has been viewed by an average of 5% of all their website visitors. More importantly, the exit rate of visitors to the sample tour is only 11%. Other Secret Scotland videos and blogs showcase some of Scotland’s lesser-known attractions as well as detailed reviews of other popular attractions by satisfied clients.

Sage Appliances

Sage Appliances is part of the Breville Group and sells high-end coffee appliances globally. Prior to the pandemic, Sage had already been successful in presenting live masterclasses put on by professional coffee roasters at which potential customers could not just smell but also taste the coffees being brewed. The goal of the masterclasses wasn’t to sell their machines but to show consumers how to make specialty coffees at home.

The masterclasses were a huge success. Within a six-month period, Sage had put on more than 150 sessions in six countries. What’s more, they were charging 20 to 40 pounds (about $28-$56) per attendee and were 95% filled. There were an additional 55,000+ views on the company’s Eventbrite page.

But when the pandemic hit, it was a proverbial blessing in disguise. Sage transitioned the in person masterclasses, to virtual classes. The earlier in-person classes had a cap of ten participants but going virtual opened the door to reach many more consumers at the same time. Going virtual allowed Sage to scale their program and turn it into a major sales offering.

The result was more than 500 tickets being sold within hours of announcing the first virtual masterclass. Each subsequent session was sold out and resulted in a global reach of 35 countries. Going virtual also opened up new markets. One of them was France where the first masterclass resulted in 100,000 pounds (about $137,900) in sales. The lesson here for marketers is that this experience placed an exclamation point on the value of omni-channel marketing.