The marketing and sales teams at IgnitionOne sometimes have a challenging task of trying to sum up simply and convincingly why people should invest in our Digital Marketing Suite. We really are the global leaders in digital marketing solutions. But our competitors will probably try and tell you the same thing. Let’s be honest, in an industry where everyone is saying they have the best and latest solution to all of your digital marketing woes, it can all start to sound the same.
Case studies offer a step away from the hyperbole. They provide solid evidence and eliminate guesswork by providing facts through real-life examples and results. If you need more convincing, I have created five key reasons why case studies are your secret weapon:
- Narrative. We forget that people love stories. If you want to fully engage with someone, then tell them an interesting and meaningful story with a beginning, middle and end, otherwise known as the challenge, solution and results in the structure of a case study. With this information the reader can put themselves in the shoes of the clients and see how their problems were overcome and goals exceeded.
- Facts. The CMO of a company doesn’t want to hear another salesperson tell them they will solve all of their problems by using your amazing new product. The CMO wants less hype and more cold, hard statistics that show how the product you’re pitching helped a brand increase ROI by 30% or generated 7x more leads than the previous model.
- Visibility. Case studies get your brand name out there in a positive light: you are behind a success story! That success story is garnering coverage via company fliers, emails, website posts (think of the SEO!), Twitter updates and good old fashioned column inches in various weekly marketing magazines, creating invaluable visibility.
- Understanding. The digital space is still relatively new but evolves at a phenomenal pace. This means a lot of strategy can be hard to explain theoretically. Having a working example in the form of a case study puts the strategy into practice, making it much easier for a company to understand how they could use your product to achieve their business goals.
- Trust. Put yourself in your potential investor’s shoes. They want to believe that your product will generate great results for them, but need evidence. Past success and results help to generate trust to show that you can deliver what you promise.
While case studies are a great resource, they are not always easy to get, even from the most enthusiastic client. The main obstacle seems to be wariness that commercially sensitive information will be released to the public. To ease these concerns, outline the case study process clearly from the outset, and be transparent by ensuring their approval at the end of each draft. It might also mean using percentages to illustrate growth instead of specific financial figures, Do whatever makes the client feel comfortable, because the payoff is worth the compromise.
The client in a case study is telling you and whoever reads it that they trust you and your product implicitly, demonstrating the payoff of a strategic relationship between a technology provider and company. The more people who know about this, the more success stories you will have, and therein starts the positive and profitable cycle, making the case study your invaluable secret weapon.
Lucy Cleary is a Marketing Manager, UK at IgnitionOne