Case studies are the best marketing asset you can have, fact. In my experience not many marketing activities can earn as much money for you as case studies. If you do it right your portfolio will act like a magnet which can attract three types of customers:
- Similar customers with similar problems,
- Similar customers with different problems,
- Customers with the same problems but from different industries.
Each one of these scenarios can be good for you. This mechanism is one of the most powerful engine of growth for companies – especially in professional services like software houses, consulting, law services and so on.
This tool is so powerful because once it starts working it becomes a self-perpetuating mechanism. I’ll describe it through an example of a company that optimizes conversion in e-commerce.
- We publish the first case study in which we describe how we helped improve conversion in a mid-sized fashion ecommerce
- We promote this case study (it’s important!)
- Because of this promotion another mid-sized fashion ecommerce comes to us to improve conversion
- We have another case study of e-commerce optimization from fashion industry which can be utilised for promotion purposes
It’s important to collect case studies concerning the use of our services in relevant industries. The size of the company that we work with is also important. The last point of this mechanism is the collection of knowledge and use of conclusions that we drew from previous projects. If we do a similar thing again then it takes less time and better results are achieved. That means that we deliver value to the client faster and with less work. As an effect we obtain profitability on the project and client’s satisfaction increases.
Beware of publishing case studies which are based only on cooperation with big and prestigious companies, unless your goal is only to work with the biggest. Sometimes small and medium companies can come to the conclusion that you would be unlikely to work with them, perhaps your services are too expensive or you might treat them worse than larger clients.
The value of the following case studies does not increase linearly but geometrically. Three case studies are not worth the same as 1+1+1. When we have 10 of them, we are experts in the matter of conversion in the fashion industry and are the first thought of every e-commerce company in the industry which seeks to extend their conversion. Then you find space to increase the numbers on your price list. When you have 50, the main task of the salespeople on your board is not to interfere with customers’ buying.
A good case study contains 5 elements
Here we answer the question of who the client is. We want to achieve the point in which potential customers notice that we cooperate with companies similar to theirs. The questions that you answer to here are:
- Which country is the company from?
- What industry does it represent?
- On what scale do they operate?
- What is the position of our cooperator?
- What kind of clients does the company have?
What kind of problem did they have?
Here you should inspire your audience to think “I have the same problem too!” and “this problem is important!”. Companies that we work with here at Casbeg are especially likely to forget about the second point. Remember to emphasize the weight of the problems you solve because your clients won’t have the time to take care of every small thing. Just describe problem as if it were at the moment the client showed up in your company.
How did we solve the problem?
This is the moment when you show how great you are. The problem is that no one really cares as much as we do, so dwelling on your specific way of helping a client save money or earn more doesn’t mean a lot here. The paragraph you’re currently reading is as long as this part of your case study should be. Keep your ego in check. The best companies don’t have to be like a gorilla which has to pound his chest to make himself the center of attention. If you have to explain how great you are all the time – you’re not that great. The exception to this rule is a company that wants to be seen as a specialist in matters which are big and complicated – in this case you can allow yourself a bigger form.
What is the result for the client in business terms?
The fourth point is the place for numbers. Everything we sell in B2B can be reduced to numbers. All numbers in case studies can be divided into three groups:
- Savings (As a result of restructuring, our client saved XYZ% or ABC $)
- Increases (As a result of a successful campaign, the customer increased sales by XYZ% or ABC $)
- Improvement of something (As a result of working on the algorithm, its accuracy increased to 99.99%)
Sometimes percentage is better. Sometimes absolute numbers. The key thing is that the numbers need to be large and make an impression. The closer the number is to money the better. For example, in the lead generation industry, it is better to talk about the number of transactions than the number of leads generated. Of course, it’s best to talk about the amount of revenue generated for the client. If you are doing something which falls under the numbers from point C, do not forget to explain to your readers what this number is due to – usually what you did indirectly affects savings or increases. (eg As a result of work on the algorithm, its accuracy increased to 99.99%, which caused sales to increase by XYZ% because our salespeople could sell the most accurate product on the market). Sometimes it is possible to talk about two things at the same time.
The last section is used to let the client praise your service and eliminate a potential reluctance of contacting us in the reader.