Case studies are an effective B2B promotional tool especially when your products and services are intangible, expensive, highly technical or provide benefits that are not instantaneously derived upon purchase.
Supporting marketing collateral that tells the stories of other customers’ experiences with what you are selling are often useful to share with prospects during the sales process.
Using Case Studies For B2B Marketing
Case studies are a powerful way to promote the benefits of a product or service. A good case study follows a specific formula that will optimize its effectiveness.
If you have been asked to write a case study, and you have little experience in this area, the following guide will help you write your case study.
Case Study – Where To Begin?
Write your case study to show the reader a certain perspective.
- You do not just want to tell them something.
- You want to demonstrate it so that the benefits become tangible in their mind.
- Highlight how a specific situation was initially identified, which solution was selected to resolve the issue, and a summary of the final results.
- Many case studies tend to be short, around 300-500 words.
- Aim for three pages, and include one graphic per page at most.
An image can be effective as it balances out the text. Avoid using more than one graphic, as you may clutter the message and run the risk of making the case study seem like a hard-sell.
Case Study – What’s the Title
In your case study title you should include a benefit of the product or service. Instead of writing Technology Case Study, say Case Study on How X Improved Sales by Y. This way you will grab the reader’s attention from the start.
Case Study – What’s The Structure
This includes three sections:
- the situation (or problem),
- the solution (or implementation) and
- the results (or future forecast).
The opening section that outlines the situation or problem being faced should carry a punch. This section has to discuss some sort of pain or problem that the reader can relate to. Next you should demonstrate how your product or service resolved a critical business issue. What you are saying in this section is that if the reader chooses your product or service their situation or problem can also be resolve.
Case Study – Show Me The Meat
The more specific the case study, the more effective it will be. Concentrate on how the main topic of the case study-the solution or service-addresses a specific issue. The case study is built around this single issue, so make sure to fine-tune and highlight this to the reader. Do not dilute the case study by addressing more than one issue.
Case Study – Give Me The Numbers
Stick to one area. Explain how your product or service can solve the problem in measurable and quantifiable terms.
Where possible, support your case study with statistics, figures and tables. Mention the measured Return On Investment (ROI) and explain how the investment in your product/service pays for itself. Demonstrate how you can substantiate this; otherwise, your argument loses credibility. If possible, discuss how the solution can help contain costs.
This area is very important, as budgets are always a sensitive issue to businesses. If you can illustrate through numbers how a similar company saved a certain amount of money by adopting your product or service, you’ll certainly capture the reader’s attention. To reduce barriers, demonstrate how your solution improves operations. Show how it fits into the business process. Mention how your system plugs into other applications or expensive business critical applications. Make sure the statistics stand out so that the reader can easily digest them and then remember them later on.
Case Study – Finalization
Use your judgment when compiling the final case study document. Avoid making it too technical or overloading it with excessive statistics. A case study should be an easy read, so make sure you are not making your explanation unnecessarily complicated.
Case Study – The Reward
The long term reward of writing an impressive case study is that they stand out. Decision-makers will use them as a source of reference. Your case study will be seen as a credible and reliable source of information and make the decision-makers think that this is the type of company people want to do business with.
Artistic Case Study (Chinese Dream of the Red Chamber)