Case Studies

Recently, I’ve seen a rather big thread on LinkedIn about the power and use of case studies. The thing that gets me is that people are trying to “fit” case studies into a particular role in the buying process – they should be “used only for sales purposes” or only” for lead gen.” My question is WHY? Why would you limit a tool that has such power to just a specific role?

Case studies are powerful – no two ways about it. If you can get your existing customers to promote you, it makes it much easier for both marketing and sales.

I have over ten years of experience at high-tech firms and have successfully leveraged case studies for all phases of the marketing to sales process.

In addition, and more importantly, you need to match your content to your prospect’s selling process.

What it comes down to is this: What is the buyer seeking during their particular phase of the buying process? And this varies.

Case studies can be used very effectively for lead gen. For example:

  • “Wow, that’s a well know firm. I should learn more about what they are doing.”
  • “Hey, that’s my competitor and we need to keep pace. I need to learn more about this”

Both of these questions and many similar are great for early lead gen efforts. Use your case studies for people seeking to learn.

For the most part, however, I’ve found that case studies w/ good metrics (ROI statements) work very well later in the sales phase when organizations are looking to justify an investment.

That being said, case studies make for great lead gen/lead nurturing webinars and for PR purposes. Most trade writers love case studies for article ideas. Use your case studies to generate awareness through PR.

Case studies are powerful. Don’t short change them by pigeon-holing them into one area of the buyer experience.

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