The ultimate goal of any marketing piece should be to create a vision of a solution in the mind of your prospect that points him or her to your product or service. I say ultimate because the sales process often can be long and complicated, with multiple contacts, marketing pieces and negotiations required to close the deal. Well-written case studies can go a long way in moving the process along.
Here at IRONCLAD we do two kinds of case studies. There are longer narrative case studies, what we call job stories, that feature one of our client’s customers using our client’s equipment or machinery to solve a problem, meet a challenge, improve efficiency, boost profits, etc. These generally appear in trade publications. Then there’s the shorter case study that gets down to the nitty-gritty in a hurry. These are one-page to one-and-a-half page pieces that can be referenced online or used as sales sheets in the field.
Your company might benefit from one or the other or both. Either way, here’s what your case study should cover and include:
Company Overview – A brief explanation of your customer, what the company does and what it’s all about. Whenever possible, provide a link to that customer’s website.
Situation – The problem or challenge the company was facing and its cause.
Critical Issue – The negative implication or result of that problem or challenge.
Solution – What your company did or provided and how it solved the problem or met the challenge.
Results – Improvements that your customer realized becauseof what you provided. Whenever possible, those results should be quantified.
Quotes – Quotes from the customer company’s key person about the quality of your product or service and/or the ease of the workingrelationship. These are powerful because they’re coming from someone other than you, a credible individual who has nothing to gain from promoting your product or service.
All of this will be wrapped in a compelling design that features imagery of your customer, preferably featuring your product at work.
It’s all about telling your prospects how someone in their industry – someone who faces the same issues that they do – has solved them by working with your company. It’s all about creating the vision. And, ultimately, it’s about closing more deals.