Widening Your SME Bench For a Modern Corporate Narrative

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Author: Kate Johnson
Kate Johnson

Cultivating trust with a prospect is arguably the most important — and difficult — aspect of conversion. Our recent survey of over 100 marketing leaders revealed building trust as the top priority for 2024. But how can SaaS companies genuinely earn that trust? The answer lies in humanizing your brand through an authentic corporate narrative that moves beyond product talk tracks and CEO speeches.

The rising voices of subject matter experts like CHROs, DE&I leaders and ESG specialists are key to adding depth and resonance to your story. These SMEs provide an inside look at your company’s culture, values and real-world impact that today’s purpose-driven buyers crave. Incorporating their perspectives is a powerful way to reveal your brand’s humanity.

Example: Laurel McKenzie of CoachHub discussing how organizations can keep employees engaged: “A Behavioral Scientist’s Antidote to Resenteeism

Why does humanizing your narrative matter? For one, millennials now make up the bulk of B2B decision-makers. These buyers prioritize aligning with companies that reflect their values around purpose, DEI, sustainability and more. Older buyers are increasingly adopting this mindset as well. When all else is equal between you and competitors, that authentic connection can be the deciding factor.

So what defines an authentic, human-centric corporate narrative in 2024? It should embody traits like:

  • Authenticity – Genuine, unpolished stories revealing your personality and core values.
  • Transparency – An open book on company practices, partnerships and even shortcomings.
  • Conscientious – Clearly incorporating social and environmental impact and sharing proof points on prioritizing and elevating diversity within your organization.
  • Community-Focused – Positioning your company as an active local/global citizen.
  • Risk-Aware – Effective policies and clear communication on data use and protection.
  • Adaptability – The flexibility to respond in real time to current events.
  • Consistency – A unified narrative across all channels and human interactions.
  • Conversational – Using accessible language that speaks to people, not businesses.

Example: Ivori Johnson of ChartHop quoted on the struggles DE&I leaders face in an enterprise: “DEI leaders are burning out from diversity fatigue: Here’s how to survive

Putting this into practice means creatively integrating SME voices and perspectives across your content and communications. CHRO thought leadership on work culture, DEI leader bylines on equitable hiring practices, ESG specialist commentary on your sustainability roadmap — all of these can bring more authenticity to your narrative.

The corporate narrative is evolving, with SMEs taking center stage to reveal the human side of your brand. By embracing transparency and elevating diverse voices, you can craft a narrative that breaks through and earns the trust of today’s discerning buyers.