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The case for case studies

Posted by [email protected] on May 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

My first task this week has been to work on a case study document for a client. The client is based in Moscow and the direct translation of the Russian phrase is “success stories” rather than case studies. What a great way to put it! It baffles me why more companies don’t include a raft of case studies in their marketing materials and on their websites. Who wouldn’t want to shout about the good stuff they’re doing for their clients?


So many companies just include a bland list of client names and logos on their websites. Okay, so that proves you’ve got real-life customers, but if you’re a technology company and your product or service is even vaguely flexible then it stands to reason that some of your clients will be using it in different ways – and getting different benefits from it. Surely this is something to celebrate? And if you’re selling more than one product or service, don’t you want to give some indication of the ways you’re bringing value to different clients and helping them do better business?


Whenever I’m doing training, product demonstrations or business presentations I find real-life examples have the biggest impact. You can talk about the features of your product for ages, but it’s only when you relate it to a scenario that the listener faces in day-to-day life that you’ll really get their attention. You can tell, because that’s when they start asking questions. There is no better way to do this in your marketing materials than to put together a case study document describing a real-life business challenge for one of your customers and the way your product or service is meeting that need.


Obviously, there’s a challenge to get the client to agree to make this kind of information public, but there’s always a way to spin a case study that makes the client look good too – they’re innovators, they are not afraid to embrace cutting-edge solutions to improve their business.


And it stands to reason that you’ll look more attractive to a wider group of potential customers if you can demonstrate lots of different ways in which your product or service is being used by real-life clients to add value, solve everyday business problems or (the holy grail in today’s economy) save money. The more case studies, the more likely you are to hit a nerve that’s been bothering your potential customer.


For today’s project, I’m describing how the client’s IT security solution has improved security and provided cost savings to a major international bank at the same time as solving their corporate compliance nightmares. That’s three different benefits from one solution. What a positive way to start the week!


If you’d like help putting together case studies thatdescribe how your product or service is making life better for your customers, get in touch!

 

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