I’m working with a lot of SMEs at the moment because of the Covid-19 situation. They are trying to get back on track or in some cases, completely change the track. One of the items that comes up again and again is case studies. Case studies are the most important but often least used marketing asset. What can be a better way to convince customers that you are the right company for them than by telling them their peers and competitors have used your services?
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So now that you have decided to write a one (hopefully more than one – you can’t have too many in my book), do you know what to include in a case study?
The most important thing about any case study is the customer name and logo. The content doesn’t need to be long. In fact one page is enough. If you can’t say how brilliant you are in a few paragraphs, then that’s an entirely different problem. (You might need to have a look at my Customer Value Proposition and Unique Selling Proposition posts!)
Here are the key elements to include in a case study:
- Customer logo
- Customer challenges (what the problem is that you solved)
- Why they chose you (here you can use your key messages and your CVP)
- Results – where they are now, what you helped them achieve. Use stats here if at all possible eg. Turnover grew by 15%
- Customer quote: This should be about how YOU, but said by them: How great you are, how you helped them together with their name and job title
- Customer related image if possible. Could be you and your customer. If that’s not possible, then grab something from their website
- Your logo
In terms of layout, it needs to be easy to speed read (because the logo is the most important thing here) and you should mix short paragraphs with bullet points.
The other important thing to remember about case studies, is that you don’t need to interview the customer to do them. Do get their permission first, because there’s no point in writing it, if they won’t approve it.
But you should be able to write the content without needing customer input (except possibly for stats). They may not be willing to participate if it takes them away from normal business. Providing them with the finished article means that all they have to do is edit or approve, making the best use of their time.