Yesterday I talked about the best way to put together a case study, something I believe is much more important than it used to be. Creating a case study has never been an insignificant exercise, and in the past, it may have been seen as something of a risk. If one of the trade journals didn’t run the story, the only place your lovingly-crafted prose might have seen the light of day would have been your own company newsletter, if you produced one. But now that everyone’s a publisher, and your website is hungry for good solid content, a case study can represent a really good investment.
However, the way in which you present a case study, when it’s part of your own marketing material, makes all the difference in terms of its effectiveness. The worst way to do it is to focus simply on the customer and what they’ve done with your product, and leave it at that. We’ve discussed before how you should always write about benefits and not features, and that you can go even further than benefits to the user and talk about the return on investment to the user’s company. The case study can be a fantastic way to do this. Don’t present your case study as a rather dull news item (“The Great Big Sprocket System uses The Blue Widget Company’s Blue Widgets”). Instead, present it as proof that your products can bring tangible benefits (“How to save £10,000 on your next Big Sprocket System”). A case study, with real figures, can be the ultimate corroboration of your marketing claims.