• Your Marketing Ace-In-The-Hole: The Case Study

    by  • November 1, 2012 • Case Studies, Copywriting

    Everyone knows about the basic marketing materials that an established company should have: business cards, an effective website, a Linked In Profile…you get the idea.

     

    And yes, these are all very powerful tools that your company can use to its advantage. But there is another, often over looked, tool that is so powerful it can literally kick your marketing momentum into high gear. From increasing the amount of interested prospects to helping you complete the sales cycle, this one is the Swiss Army Knife of marketing.

     

    I’m talking about none other than the case study.

     

    Why Case Studies Work

    Sometimes known as success stories, case studies are simply a narrative about a product or service. Basically it is a detailed, engaging, and targeted testimonial from a very satisfied client. On the surface this isn’t complicated, but when written and used effectively, it can convince perspective clients that you are the company they want to work with.

     

    When you give it some thought, the reason that this marketing tool produces results is easy to understand. When you are looking for a new doctor, a mechanic, or even a place to grab a quick bite, what do you do?

     

    Probably ask friends or look up reviews.

     

    In other words, you want to hear about someone else’s experience and their opinion.

    We all know that a company is going to produce marketing materials that make them look great. But when we hear that a company is great from someone not affiliated with the company, there’s a better chance that we might actually believe that Company ABC really is terrific.

     

    There’s another reason that case studies pack a punch. Few companies use them. Although some of the most successful companies around effectively use case studies (see bazzarvoice, Deloitte, and IBM) many companies still aren’t sure about the how’s, when’s, and why’s behind using them.

     

    The Power Behind a Case Study

     

    A quick write-up about the advantages of using a particular product or hiring a certain company is no more a case study than a gift card is a unique gift. Instead, a well-researched, well-written case study provides:

     

    • targeted details
    • appropriate background information
    • clear explanations about how a client truly benefits from using Company ABC’s products or services

     

    Most importantly, a case study provides specific information that allows someone to make an informed decision. Instead of strong handling someone into buying your product, you are giving them honest information related to your product via a reader-friendly anecdotal twist.

     

    A case study is easy to read and understand, but before any word is typed or client is interviewed, a marketing objective is established. When you provide a well-directed, well-written case study for potential clients, you are addressing the doubt that comes with any big-ticket purchasing decision.

     

    After all, if you ask a stranger where the best place to grab a burger is, just think how effective reading about someone else’s opinion is when the price tag is much, much higher.

     

    Interested in learning how case studies fit into your marketing plan? Contact me and we’ll go from there.

    About

    Janet Rucka-White is a freelance writer and Austin based blogger.