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Case studies: it’s all in the presentation

Case studies are great, we all know that. Even if you can’t get the customer to agree to appear in them, it’s quite possible that you can write up an application without naming names. In the past this has been considered a waste of time, because case studies were intended primarily for magazines to publish, and magazines wouldn’t be interested without naming names. But now you’re writing case studies for your own website, and it’s quite possible to do things this way.

However, if you can quote the customer, don’t hide the fact! I’ve seen so many case studies over the years which on first look appear to be non-customer-specific, but when I read them, not only do they name names, but they have great endorsements in them! Why would anyone headline a case study “Major automotive manufacturer chooses Blue Widgets” (which is very common), when they could headline it “Blue Widgets have halved our production time, says Nissan Engineer”?

Don’t forget that on your website, headlines are everything, because all that most visitors will see of that article will be the link to it (i.e. the headline).

And it doesn’t have to be a household name customer, another common error. Magazine editors might have favoured stories featuring big names, but now you’re writing for your prospects – and they want to see case studies which they can relate to. So you sold one blue widget to a local farmer? I’d still read “Blue Widgets have halved my production time, says innovative Yorkshire Farmer”. It has a benefit, and it’s very real.

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