Case studies are written for two primary reasons;
– To drive brand recognition
– To provide greater customer exposure
Two very simple intentions that many fall very short of delivering. These Seven Steps will give you a checklist that can be used as a litmus test before publishing your study.
– They need to put your customer in the best possible light- Case studies are written about how your product solved a challenge that your customer was experiencing. Without a problem, the customer would not have needed your product in the first place. However, if you divulge too much about your customer’s challenges, readers of the study may develop a negative view point on your customer. Make sure that your case study doesn’t show any weakness or incompetence in your customer.
– Provide clear reasons how your product solved a problem-The problem with many studies is that while a customer problem may be well defined, the way the product solved the problem is hazy or hard to understand. When it comes to how your product solved a specific issues, give specific examples of what was solved, how it was solved, and why your product was the the best choice to solve the problem.
– Don’t present a problem that can be solved by many different products or services-All businesses have challenges. Some are unique to each industry while some are universal. If your case study is about a very common problem that can be solved in many ways, your case study will not provide any value to the case study readers. You need to show how your customer’s challenges were unique and could not have been solved by a common method or means.
– Provide reasons why your company is the best company to solve a similar issue-Most cases have a “Why Us” section, in which contains information about why your product/service/company is the logical choice for prospects experiencing a similar challenge to the one depicted in the study. The contents of this area represents your -USP-, or Unique Selling Proposition. Your USP tells prospects why they should choose you other any other choice, including the choice of doing nothing at all to solve their challenge. Make your USP powerful or you risk losing prospects to your competition.
– Make sure it is very well written. The words you use say a lot about your company. And the way the words are strung together says even more. Next time you read a poorly written advertisement, website or sales brochure, ask yourself how you feel about the company who marketed the piece of collateral. Poor writing yields poor results. Excellent writing yields excellent results.
– Have a call to action-The call to action needs to be subtle. If you try to use a case study as a closing tool by filling it or ending it with -What are you waiting for? Act now and take advantage of our special offer,-your case study will be wholly ineffective. Sales should be reserved for sales and case studies should be reserved to demonstrate your company’s ability to solve a customer challenge. If you are doing your own writing, ask someone who is not in sales to proof read the piece and cross out anything that reads like a sales-pitch.
– Use it!-Case studies can be very powerful tools to build confidence in your product, service, company. If written correctly, case studies can be your most powerful and effective sales tool. But only if they are used. Case studies need to be read by your prospects before they have any chance at being effective. If you are using studies for internal use only, the case study’s focus is to act as an agent of change to get your employees motivated to do something. Again, if your employees do not have easy and immediate access to the material, it won’t be read.