Customer case studies are often an under-utilised resource. Typically they contain information about a particular customer and proof of how your products have helped them resolve a problem and achieve their goals. They can be written or videoed and once approved they are an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool.
Why use case studies?
It’s a bit like PR versus advertising, as Fiona pointed out in one of our earlier blogs – a customer’s endorsement about a specific product carries far more weight than a thousand ads that are written by the very same company that is selling the product and it also gives you the opportunity to illustrate how your products or services are being used in different arenas.
I love writing case studies on behalf of IT vendors as I am able to talk about different customer scenarios that quickly get to the real root of the problem and show how the IT solution - cloud, security, networking or whatever the product happens to be - works with existing IT systems. I am by no means technical, but by asking the right questions and keeping things simple I can ensure the case study highlights relevant points. The solution can then be easily understood by technical and non-technical audiences.
So, what should a case study look like?
As with other marketing content, the subject matter needs to be compelling, easy to read, relevant and to the point, it should have a customer logo and if possible a picture showing the customer using your product.
What type of customer should you ask to endorse your product?
It goes without saying, a happy customer. Preferably a high profile client with a well-known brand, a large customer or perhaps a customer that has an interesting and unusual service, showing a different angle and use of the product.
The great news is that case studies and testimonials can have multiple uses - they are perfect for brochures, websites, slides and exhibition graphics at events or as part of a webinar or call-to-action for marketing and social media campaigns and my favourite.. as part of a PR campaign. Journalists love case studies, especially if they are able to contact the customer direct to find out more about how the product was used. The end result is normally an article featuring your product in a targeted publication read by your customers.
Yes, without a doubt, case studies are valuable assets, and the more you have the merrier!
Why not start the new year by warming your customers up to the idea of a case study during your own sales and after-sales process. At the very least it will keep you on your toes and encourage you and your staff to provide a tip-top customer service, with the possible and enviable outcome of more case studies and happier and well informed existing and potential customers.