The Benefits of a Business Case Study
Everyone loves a good story. Our preferences vary from fiction to non-fiction, suspense to romance, tales with a moral or just a rollicking good read. And case studies are, in essence, stories.
Stories may be short and simple (children’s books) or long and complex (has anyone ever actually read Tolstoy’s War and Peace?) but they have one thing in common: they have a beginning, a middle and an ending.
- Beginning – describes circumstances that present threats or opportunities, hurdles or choices. The reader is encouraged to identify with its central character – the customer – and the dilemma they face.
- Middle – describes the various ways in which this protagonist might respond to the situation. The pros and cons of alternatives might be weighed in the balances, but ultimately our hero chooses the best option.
- Ending – describes how this decision is carried through to a successful outcome and finally concludes with the customer relating how pleased they are with the decision they made.
The days of extravagant claims and advertising hyperbole may be largely over, but the subtler methods now used are equally persuasive.
They still target the same primal emotions of acceptance, desire, fear, gratification and guilt, all now directed through a wider selection of marketing media.
Bombarded by constant messages, consumers are naturally becoming sceptical of conventional marketing and are increasingly relying on peer recommendation to make their decisions. Companies can provide for online product reviews on their websites, but they have little control over who responds to these or how they respond.
Case studies allow companies to regain the initiative and proactively encourage high-quality customer engagement, particularly if their market is contract- or project-based and requires a longer-term customer relationship.
Case studies highlight genuine situations faced by actual persons and resolved with real solutions. Enough detail is included to satisfy readers that the narrative is genuine, and this is reinforced by verbatim customer feedback at the conclusion of the study.
As a company accumulates its own collection of case studies, it will more frequently be able to associate new enquiries with past projects and provide prospective clients with case studies that illustrate the company’s ability to fulfil their needs.
This becomes a highly effective marketing tool, as it demonstrates relevance, competence and customer satisfaction.
If you supply a perfect product or do a job well, you will create a satisfied customer. If you ask the customer to share in that success, you can create a Brand Evangelist.
This is someone who is so pleased with your product or service that they will not only recommend it; they will actively tell others about it, without being induced by ‘refer a friend’ marketing.
Asking a satisfied customer to participate in creating a case study is one way to make them an evangelist. As they step into the process, they will remember the challenges they faced, the downsides to other options and the reasons they chose your product or company. They will recall how they felt when the situation was resolved, and they will feel good about being a part of this success story.
Share them into the link to their case study if you’re publishing it online, and they are likely to post it on social media.
How Do I Write a Case Study?
The good news is, you don’t have to. At the Write Company, we can do almost everything for you. During a brief telephone conversation, we will ask you for a few details as bullet points, which we will convert into a first draft for you to check.
When you are satisfied with the result, we can either supply the content as a Word document or create it as a high-quality PDF document complete with your brand identity and illustrations.
If you’re interested, please complete the following fields and we will be in touch.