The Case for Case Studies
Never underestimate the power of the third-party endorsement! Used correctly, and with the hard sell avoided, it can be more persuasive than almost every other form of marketing. The most common form is the simple case study – highlighting how a company, person or organisation has benefited from your product or service. It often takes a ‘problem – solution’ approach and highlights to the reader, who may have a similar issue, how your product or service can help. It’s all about putting your product in context.
Of course, in these days of social media, if you have the right consumer product, the money, resources or connections, you can get a celebrity to wear, drive, or be seen with said product, though this is no guarantee your sales will rocket because of!
For more complex products and services, especially those within the business-to-business, trade and technical sectors, then there really is no substitute for the case study. It can explain, educate and inform, as well as place your product in a real-world environment that the reader can relate to. And as mentioned before, avoid the hard sell – in fact you don’t need to promote your product or service to strongly, as the story within the case study will do that for you.
Categorised on your website for viewing and download, sent out to customers new and prospective, or simply hard copies taken around by your sales team, they really are a multi-faceted tool that deserves a high place within your marketing activities.
One last point, a good case study can be as effective as sales person – and who wouldn’t like another member of staff that costs virtually nothing to support?