Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Enter (Again) the Case Study

After a few decades in the marketing communications racket, a person can learn a thing or two.

What’s amazing about the experience is no matter the sector – whether technology, professional services, financial services, manufacturing, or nonprofits – the issues many b-to-b marketing programs face are the same.

One commonality is the challenge of developing sales and marketing content that speaks a prospect’s language.  This topic has been addressed numerous times in this blog.  

Many businesses need to spend time assessing what their customers or prospects want out of their service or products.

That way, a company’s web content, social media content, sales collateral and other materials can address head on how their product or service solves their unique problems.

Look at it this way:  a prospect doesn’t want to suffer through an executive's view of “strategic content” that showcases service or product features. They want to know how a firm’s products or services deliver value to help solve real business problems. 

The Case for Case Studies

Marketing studies show that B2B marketing and sales professionals rank case studies as top marketing content in lead generation and lead nurturing effectiveness.
Case studies are powerful because they put a laser focus on the business benefit achieved by the user of a product or service.
More than any other type of marketing collateral, real case studies showcasing a real customer and real business benefits deliver value to any prospect. The “user perspective” content (think “testimonials”) fuels all marketing programs including:
  • Direct mail offers
  • Social media content
  • Blog posts
  • Website copy
  • Webcasts
  • Speaking presentations, industry trade associations
  • Award nominations

Nothing New, Just Forgotten
I started out my career in marketing communications many moons ago simply writing “user case studies” for tech clients, so this is nothing new. It takes time and effort, for sure. 
What’s new to me is how so many b-to-b brands get off track and forget this simple truth: folks want to hear about “what’s in it for me” and a case study is a fast way to get them to listen.

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