If you helped a customer achieve success, congratulations! A case study is how you tell the world about it. In this video, get an overview of typical types of case studies, which fit both online and print formats well. See some parts that go into it, and what to expect when putting together your first one.
- Which do you think is more believable? When someone proclaims, I am great. Or when someone says, that person over there, they're really great. I'd say it's the second for two reasons. First, because the person who says how great they are has no perspective. They honestly don't know if they're great. Second, because they're acting in their own self interest. They have something to gain from convincing you that they're great. But the independent voice has an outside perspective and won't gain directly from the endorsement.
More over, that outside person has stories to tell about what makes that other person so great. This is the main benefit of a case study for marketing purposes. And the focus of this course. Helping your customer tell their success story with your product or service as the star. Case studies have some common characteristics. Although, there are exceptions. They tend to be fairly short. Running anywhere from 300 to 1200 words. That's because you want them to be eye catching.
With clear headlines and pictures. The idea is that anyone who sees them in passing will still get the message. But for those who actually stop and read them, they should tell a story, a clear narrative from problem to solution. These are mostly told through customer quotes with care to keep the sales talk quotion low. Again, let someone else proclaim your greatness, not you. As a side note, you'll sometimes see the term, case study, to mean something in the social sciences or in the study of law.
And in fact, much of Sigmund Freud's writings are actually psychological case studies of his patients. But of course, these are quite different from case studies for marketing purposes. I only mention them because an online search for case studies will lead you to a lot of scholarly dead ends if you're not careful. But let's get back to the kind of case study you care about. And the steps you'll take to make it happen. First, you'll determine who you're trying to reach and why. This will determine everything. From interview subject to how you distribute the final product to the kind of language that you'll use.
Then you'll decide which of your past or current customers will arouse sympathy in that audience. You'll confirm their willingness to be interviewed and to be public with their comments. You'll also make sure you have any pictures, charts or any other material you want in the case study. Including, perhaps, a photo of the subject. With all these pieces in place, you'll write the case study and then let the stakeholders review it for corrections and buy-in. Finally, you'll lay it out and publish it and reap the rewards.
You might have noticed that the actual writing is only a small part of the process. Those parts are only possible after you've already satisfied the customer with excellent service. The case study memorializes how well things went. If done right, this will not only make your benefits clear to perspective customers but will also help to cement and continue your good relationship with the subject.
- Describe the features of a case study.
- Cite the various elements of a case study.
- Explain how to choose the word count for your case study.
- Define a stakeholder.