Right now, I need a break from thinking, reading and worrying about COVID19 – you probably do too!
Fortunately, my brain is getting busy with B2B case studies as new and existing clients launch their next round of marketing content.
Last week, in phone and email chats, they raised a number of great points and I’m sharing these tips:
Tell me which tip resonates with you and why, then tell me why I should write your case study at no charge! Who will get their first b2bcasestudywriter.com case study for free! I’ll let you know.
- Know your prospects and don’t scare them off: An operator or line manager probably won’t tell the boss about a product or service that will eliminate jobs no matter how much it helps the bottom line and justifies the investment. However, you know cost savings will sway the decisionmakers so what can you do? Make sure the decisionmakers see your case studies by contacting them directly. Alternatively, the case study includes the 24-hour ROI and cost savings, then details the reduced downtime and rejects without mentioning the role job loss played in improving the bottom line.
- Introduce the idea of case study participation during contract negotiations and renewals: The timing might be surprising, but it also makes sense. It tells customers you know your products and services will deliver the results they expect and that you expect your relationships with them will always be positive.
Thank customers for case study participation with rebates and discounts.
- Reward and incentivize case study participation. Happy customers want to talk about how your products or services addressed their pain points and delivered results, but they’re all pressed for time. A rebate or a discount on their renewal or order inspires them to make time and is a tangible way to say: “Thank you!”
- Use everything but real names (company, CEO, senior leaders): Whenever possible, I recommend naming the company and your key contacts because it makes your case study even more credible. However, you do have viable options when you can’t identify a customer by name. Refer to the company as ABC or XYZ and mention the industry and type of business. Beyond that, you write the case study as you normally would. Address their pain points, your product or service’s most relevant capabilities and the tangible results they produced. Prospects will identify with that customer and see themselves in that case study whether or not you name the company.
- Let your customers’ employees speak for you, even if it’s via your account manager: Real thoughts and ideas from real people bring case studies to life and help you tell a more engaging story. Ideally, your case study identifies the source of your first-person quotes by name, title and company. Of course, it’s best to talk directly to your customers and quote them! However, when that’s not possible, ask your account managers what customers said on the phone, in emails and via text. That feedback will ring true in quotes because it reflects business scenarios your prospects share.
- Check out your competitors’ case studies to learn from them: A new IT client is planning 20 original case studies to replace his company’s 10-year-old case studies. Before he even hired me, he searched competitors’ websites for case study best practices. He also thought long and hard about the questions his prospects typically ask. As a result, I revised the case study format I recommended to him based on his input. His case study template (customer profile, pain points/challenges, solution, results, case study story) also includes the specific services his company provided to that client, the roles his team played, team/duration (fulltime engineers required, time to build the solution), and finally, the technology they used to build the platform.
- Measurable and intangible results: When your solution helped saved $850,000 in its first year and paid for itself in six months, always make that result the first bullet. Prospects need hard numbers to make the business case for your solution, but they’re still interested in the intangible benefits and anecdotal results. When platform provides increased transparency and accountability include that results as well as the fact it also made employees more disciplined, careful and cautious.
I’m always interested in learning more case study strategies and best practices and look forward to further discussion – so please give me a call or email me.