By illustrating the measurable success that a customer has had with your company’s products or services, case studies can serve as very effective marketing tools that help move the customer through the marketing funnel. Promotional Consultant Today examines the key elements that make up an effective case study.
1. Goal first, customer second. The most important element of an effective case study is the goal of the study. Often times, businesses take a backward approach to developing a case study by determining the customer first. Instead, determine what you want to illustrate. Is it your success in developing incentives programs? Is it your company’s ability to deliver fast turn-around service? Whatever the sales objective, identify it first and then determine the customer that best represents this capability.
2. Key takeaways. Once you’ve identified your goal and the customer that best represents this area of success, identify the top three or four key points that you want your reader to get by reading this case study.
3. Customer insight. The next critical step is to interview your customer to get that person’s insight on the program you worked on with them. What the customer might have found valuable in your program might be different than what you found valuable. Also, customer quotes are important in providing that third-party endorsement to your case study.
4. Metrics. The key to making a case study compelling is to show the quantifiable difference your product or service made to the customer’s business. Identify key metrics that best represent your level of success with that customer.
5. Graphs and images. Once you’ve identified the metrics, showcase these results in a visual way through graphics, charts and images. This visual element adds a level of appeal to your case study. Be sure to use key words in these charts and provide alt tags for your images in order to optimize your case study for search engines.
6. Easy format. Finally, put your case study in a fast, easy-to-read format so that it serves as a quick reference tool for potential clients. They should be able to understand the customer’s problem, your solution and the measurable results in a short glance. Plus, link to other customer case studies at the end of your case study to show the reader additional ways you can help their business.
For more case study tips, read tomorrow’s PCT for ways to distribute your case study.
Source: Cassandra Johnson is a tech-savvy marketing communications consultant and freelance writer. She reports on the latest trends in the promotional products industry, public relations, direct marketing, e-marketing and more. She supports clients in a variety of industries, including promotional products, hospitality, financial services, technology and healthcare.