oogsta blog

The value of giving people a voice

“The value of giving people a voice” / “How to set up a laser autoguidance system with a mallet and a spirit level!”

My Dad left school at the age of 14 to become a tractor mechanic. For over 40 years he met farmers and farm managers in all weathers and in all situations. He became friends with many of them. He knew when things were going well, he knew when times were difficult. He knew what equipment they needed most and what equipment they dreamed of owning and the impact that would make on their business. He helped them out at all times of the day and night. He enabled them to get harvests in on time and jobs done. They trusted him.

Towards the end of his career he had to go to on a training course at the head office/factory of the manufacturer he worked for. The course subject: “Installing laser autoguidance systems on tractors and harvesters”.

On the afternoon of the first day the course leader set up break out groups to establish what experience the mechanics already had of installing said equipment and the issues they had faced.

A spirit level and a mallet

Most spoke of their experiences in vague terms, some complained of not having the right tools to do the job. My Dad, not one to speak up in social situations and twice the age of most of these more academically educated mechanics, remained quiet until the course leader asked him directly if he had experience of installing the equipment and if so which of the many expensive factory supplied tools he had found most useful. His response – “a spirit level and a mallet”. After the laughter died down he explained that he wasn’t joking or being un-co-operative and exactly why and how he had found this worked best in many different conditions.

For the rest of the week the course leader found himself asking my Dad for his insights and knowledge on a range of topics and on the Friday as they were packing up to go home the course leader asked if he would consider helping out on future courses. Over the next few years, up until his retirement, my Dad would go back 4 or 5 times a year to be an assistant course leader. They were some of the most fulfilled moments of his working life.

A trusted advisor and a subject matter expert

The course leader had uncovered in an easily overlooked person and quite by chance, what we from the warmth of our home offices would describe as both a Trusted Advisor and a Subject Matter Expert. I would never have dared describe him as such to his face for fear of a violent and X-rated verbal response!

In any organisation it isn’t always the loudest voices or the heads of departments that hold all the knowledge or can provide the greatest insights. In businesses of every size, giving people a voice and uncovering your real experts is difficult to achieve but when you do, it has massive value in terms of commercial opportunities, knowledge management and personal development. We created oogsta to enable businesses to:

  • connect with their subject matter experts
  • unlock the knowledge of their networks
  • crowdsource insights on client’s pain points
  • learn how to better develop new product offerings
  • harvest the inspiration and raw materials to enable new and better ways to connect with clients and prospects

Peer reviews

Of course, not every response will be as “useful” as “a spirit level and a mallet” so we enable your contributors to peer review all insights gathered. We also enable you to see which contributors receive the most endorsements from their peers. This has real business benefits in terms of identifying which topics and opportunities you can pursue with confidence. Equally important from a knowledge and talent management perspective you can see and celebrate who your subject matter experts truly are, not just in terms of the quantity of contributions but in terms of the quality of their insights.

Authentic and original

My Dad wasn’t articulate, but he was authentic and very original and so were the insights he provided. We know that nearly 60% of C-suite audiences consider the content they currently receive as not being fit for purpose. They don’t believe it, they don’t trust it. By extension they don’t trust the businesses delivering that content. However, if you provide authentic, original content consistently you can engage with C-suite audiences and quickly establish trusted advisor status, driving sustained business growth.

Harvesting insights

And finally… I used to think that I had not followed in my Dad’s footsteps in any way. However, I co-founded a business that “harvests” insights and inspiration and the very name of our business; oogsta is derived from the Dutch word for harvest – oogst. Ok it’s a tenuous connection but it’s a connection all the same.s


Ensure your future success

We believe the most successful companies of the future will be those that are able to maximize the knowledge, expertise and influence of their whole team in pursuit of their strategic goals.

It will remain the role of your management team, marketing department and business development functions to define and champion your business and brand strategy.

However, it is only with a strong and consistent contribution from all of your business experts, at all levels of seniority, that you will be able to achieve your full commercial potential and exceed both individual and collective KPIs.

Now more than ever there is a fundamental requirement for businesses to ensure they remain relevant and front of mind with their clients and prospects.

In this post we explore the impact that unlocking the knowledge of your colleagues and contacts consistently and continuously can have on your business and how adopting a content driven go to market strategy will enable you to create and retain trust, develop deeper relationships with clients and prospects, generate demand and drive sales.

Becoming trusted advisors

Once upon a time all you need to be successful in sales was loads of charm and an excellent product. However, today across all B2B sectors that just doesn’t cut it anymore. Central to any successful and sustainable sales strategy there now has to be a focus on building and maintaining relationships and trust. Companies ignore this new reality at their peril because if you aren’t building relationships with your prospects and customers by providing authentic, targeted, thought leadership content, your competitors will be.

We know that expert, relevant, authentic content connects at a deeper level with target audiences resulting in higher levels of trust. When you provide material of real value to each individual prospect, you can very quickly become a trusted advisor. This helps you gain their trust, retain it and quickly begin to build the foundations of a solid, long term relationship.

From first contact to closing a sale, timely, expert, differentiated content can ensure you remain connected with your prospect throughout the sales cycle.

To do this, you need easy access to a continuous flow of the right insights for each prospect you talk to. Oogsta can help you do this by crowdsourcing content from your colleagues and contacts. Continuously.

Making it real, creating emotional connections

A survey by Gartner and Google found that B2B buyers were twice as likely to consider a business if they felt an emotional connection to it as opposed to being offered a service using traditional methods focused on emphasising functional value.

Many companies are busy mapping their customer experience and tracking customer activity across physical stores, call centers, e-commerce sites, and social media, gathering mountains of data from their own surveys, customer tracking systems, loyalty programs, and third-party providers. Their stated goal is typically to improve customer satisfaction at each step of the customer journey. But overall customer satisfaction is often already high, and seldom a competitive differentiator. In a recent study across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories Harvard Business Review found that the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and demonstrating an understanding of their needs through targeted insights as we have already highlighted above and also their unspoken emotional motivators. Telling your business’s unique story well, consistently and in a true and authentic manner will make your brand real to its audiences and engage them on a deeper emotional level.

A good story helps clients connect with your brand and care about what it stands for.

In order to do this it is essential that you are true to your story and that it is authentic, sustainable and unique. The most authentic, original characters in your story are always your people. Your colleagues on the front lines always have the best material, but don’t necessarily know who to share it with. By crowdsourcing content from an engaged and enabled workforce you can ensure that your story is able to live, grow and succeed.

A content driven approach can also have the broadest immediate and long-term benefits across your entire business functions:

Mobilising your workforce and giving your experts a voice will have both immediate and longer-term benefits company-wide:


  • Increase sales without increasing cost of sales
  • Retain and grow existing clients
  • Convert more prospects, more often

Brand building

  • Develop brand advocates across the business
  • Support Marketing initiatives through high level continuous content
  • Demonstrate a consistent, compelling point of view

Knowledge Management

  • Capture and share organisational knowledge
  • Create cross business learning
  • Identify and measure intellectual capital

Talent Management/Learning and Development

  • Develop talent and give it a stronger voice
  • Increase organisational performance
  • Identify the skills to grow the business

Broader and deeper engagement with clients and prospects

From current clients to the newest prospects a content driven sales strategy enable engagement across the board and is more essential than ever in the current climate. Such an approach will provide for broader, deeper engagement with key audiences across all channels.


Developing content to grow contacts and conversations with existing and lapsed clients and current leads.


Developing a framework to create and deliver successful new business prospecting campaigns.

Publishing – Thought leadership

Ensuring a coordinated, consistent approach to the publication of targeted thought leadership briefings focused on key areas of opportunity.

Participating – Webinars/Public speaking

More opinion and content means more public speaking opportunities, and contributions to events.

Programming – Social media

Continuous content across all forms of social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Crowdsourcing content from your colleagues and contacts with oogsta

oogsta can be a core tool in your move towards becoming a content driven organisation. We enable marketers to unlock the knowledge of their networks giving experts a voice.

With oogsta knowledge no longer sits with one person or one team; it can be accessed by anyone with permission and used to create sales and marketing material that resonates deeply with the target audience, directly addressing their pain points and driving inbound leads.

Benefiting anyone involved in content production, oogsta can be used to crowdsource content and then intelligently organise that information and inspiration in multiple formats. Peer reviewing enables you to identify the most important insights and potentially valuable content opportunities. You can generate new content by sending out requests for input to your network and curate responses by topic ensuring that the content produced is always original and always market leading.

Book a Demo to find out how oogsta can help you to easily engage with the experts inside and outside your organisation. 

content builder

Thought leadership content builder


In order to assert yourself as a thought leader it is important to create insightful, targeted content that engages and informs your key target audiences. Creating worthwhile, original content takes time and effort. A clear communications structure will enable you to create powerful thought leadership level content with a clear focus and the greatest possible reach, every time, in less time.

There are a number of key elements we need to consider before we ever begin writing:


in order to ensure the greatest impact and the strongest assertion of your thought leadership position, it is important that every communications piece builds upon the next. This doesn’t mean that all content has to be about the same subject or even related subjects, but they should all share the same core focus and purpose. Your business will have a clear purpose, brand values and core marketing pillars, (each business describes these slightly differently but they are always present) and these should always be reflected in your communications.


Before committing valuable time and effort to developing any new content we need to ensure it is a worthwhile and commercially relevant exercise. Answering the following questions each time will validate this:


What existing company sources of Knowledge/Data/Products do we have?


SPECIFIC target clients/prospects we know who would be interested in this.


Justify why for as many of the following as appropriate. Minimum of 2:

Presenting – Growing contacts & conversations with existing/lapsed clients & leads.

Prospecting – Creating a successful new business prospecting campaign.

Publishing – Thought leadership – targeted briefings focused on key areas of opportunity.

Participating – Public speaking – Where, who, when?

Programming – Social media, Which and what and why– Li, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

We can use oogsta to both inspire and validate all of the above.


Having validated the topic, the audience and potential delivery channels, it is time to begin creating the story. Constructing a story is very simple and there is a well established structure that your audiences will respond best to: tell readers what you are going to write, write it in the body paragraphs and reinforce it by writing it again in the conclusion in a summarised fashion. You can polish and embellish the final copy afterwards but always map out the shape of your article in bullet points first. It’s easier to edit, move or discard potential areas of interest in this way before creating the final long hand version. If you do this and follow the sections below you will automatically build a story as you go.


Tell them about what you are going to write. Never introduce something in the intro that you do not intend to address in the body paragraphs. Try and limit to 2 sentences.


All articles should have a minimum of two paragraphs. Each paragraph should have a short, simple and engaging heading and contain a minimum of two sentences. The content is detailed information that flushes out the purpose of the article. Transitions are important between paragraphs. The transition is best achieved by making the first line of subsequent paragraphs reference the last subject previously discussed.


Summarise what you just told your readers. Include information about your business and suggestions/links for further investigation.


Content will flow easily and consistently if you apply the techniques above and remember the story framework:

Intro – maximum 2 sentences

Body = Minimum 2 paragraphs

Paragraph 1 – Sub heading. Min. of 2 sentences.

Paragraph 2 – Sub heading. Transition Sentence. Min. of 2 sentences.

Summary – Minimum Two sentences. Information and links to your business.

You can use oogsta to develop drafts of your story, collaborate with colleagues, and ensure the most powerful communications every time.

Download this free PDF template to help structure your next piece of content.

Book a Demo to find out how oogsta can help you to easily engage with the experts inside and outside your organisation.