Have you wondered why tabloids attract so many readers? I’m guessing it has a lot to do with the way their stories are told. Sure, they may not be the most credible examples of journalism, but they are usually easy to read and are often compelling in nature.

Telling a good story is not of course limited to the tabloid magazine. You can find well-told stories in all sorts of publications, including newspapers, trade publications and on news websites all across the Internet.

When it comes to telling the story of one’s business success, however, entrepreneurs often fail to tell it in a story-like format. We plop up brief testimonials on our websites hoping that those words of praise will lead us to the next customer. Unfortunately for many of us, the simple testimonial does not tell the whole story. In other words, it does not tell the reader the problem that existed before you stepped in to help, the solution that was offered by you and the result that came about from the collaboration.

IBM has been particularly good at this kind of marketing. You’ll find a myriad of customer success stories/case studies on its website, including an exciting series called the “Smarter Planet Leadership Series” that highlights the innovative thinking of business leaders around the world who have used IBM solutions to grow their companies/organizations.

Examples include Bangkok Hospital, which enhanced its reputation in the medical tourism industry by choosing IBM servers, software and collaboration with a reputable IBM partner to get the job done successfully; Air Canada; First Tennessee; and Reliable Life Insurance, to name a few.

Customer success story marketing can be particularly beneficial when talking about products and services. Why? Because readers are more engaged when there’s a human element to the story. After all, products are not manufactured without involving people in the process. The same is true for the delivery of services. As with most things in life, there is always a challenge to overcome, a solution to provide, and hopefully a happy ending will emerge. And very often customer success stories can fulfill all three.