Marketing collateral that tells the stories of other customers’ beneficial experiences with your product or services are very powerful. Why beat your own chest when you can turn to your successes with current customers and have them do it?
Why not market those solutions to others? Your current customers had a problem. It stands to reason others have the same problem too.
How much time could your customer save if you had a solutions oriented document that already presented the problem and the result? They would not have to call around and hunt for answers on the internet. It would save them time. And time is money.
When presented with a case study that tells a compelling story interwoven with important details your customer is much more likely to call for a follow-up. Whether that be literature or a sales call.
This is why I promote a solution marketing campaign that uses case studies as the cornerstone.
Why Case Studies?
This is marketing and every word either makes money or loses money. So use each word wisely by painting a story for your prospect. Make it tangible in their mind. An effective case study highlights how a specific situation was originally identified, what solution was selected for the problem, and a summary of the final results.
Case studies tend to be short. One to two pages in length, or up to 800 words. A general rule is to aim for only one graphic per page. It breaks up the copy. But more than one tends to skew the page and make it hard to read.
Like any good advertisement, your title should include a benefit of the product or service solution. A good case study will include:
- The challenge your customer faced. Start by introducing the problem. It’s important to highlight the stakes involved. If possible use the customer’s own words in the form of a quote to frame this.
- The customer. Introduce your customer. Who are they and what do they do?
- The route your customer took in finding a solution. What steps did the customer take in trying to solve the problem? Did they try other products or services? Why didn’t it pan out? Share some numbers here so your prospect can feel the frustration.
- The discovery of your solution. This section will act the bridge to the rest of the case study. How did the customer learn about you and your solution? Were you featured in an article? Was it the result of a cold call? A direct mailer?
- This is where you strut your stuff. The solution to their problem. Be more educational than promotional and you will reap the benefits. Remember, your prospect wants to know what’s in it for him. Highlight facts that matter most to your reader. This is a targeted marketing piece. Remember to make every word count.
- How was the product or service implemented into the customer’s business? What areas of trouble were encountered and how did you make sure your customer was satisfied? Remember, a buyer or manager can smell a sales job a mile away. Be honest. It only lends to your credibility and makes it more compelling.
- The end result. How well did the solution perform? Use hard numbers and be as specific as you can. Use savings, revenue gains, up-time vs. down-time, sales growth, ROI, and so forth. DFV Company gained over $672,924 this year in revenue while slashing labor costs 15%. All by utilizing OPD’s solution software.
Decision makers will use a great case study as a reference. Buyers will use them as source document to make the purchase order flow more smoothly. Sales reps will use them to make a point. As trade show brochures line the trash cans your case study will be kept and read.
The mileage is incalculable. The results are not. You will notice an increase in qualified leads and sales.
It’s not unusual have a compelling case study rewritten into a press release, magazine article, ezine article or used in annual reports.
You can send it in emails or link to it on your site. It truly is a great start to a marketing campaign.