Case studies, customer stories, application articles, success stories…
Whatever you call them, an extended testimonial is probably the most powerful marketing piece any software firm can produce.
But what makes case studies so powerful?
“Dollar-for-dollar, case studies are the best marketing investment a company can make,” says seasoned case study writer Steve Slaunwhite.
“I recommend them to 99 percent of the companies that I work with.”
The power of case studies comes from three key factors:
- They help prospects visualize using your software
- They provide built-in credibility
- They deliver high impact and high readership.
Case study power #1:
Help visualize your software
“If you’re buying a car, you can test-drive it,” says Slaunwhite.
“If you’re buying a piece of software—especially enterprise software—you can take a demo, you can read the brochures, but you really can’t experience what it’s like to use it on a day-to-day basis.
“A case study helps a prospect visualize what life is like with your software.”
Case study power #2:
“It’s one thing to have a piece of software that you’re marketing,” he says. “But it’s another to say, by the way, Mr. Prospect, it’s working at ABC Company, XYZ Company, this company and that company in your industry.”
And because a third party has gone on record for you, a case study instantly has more credibility than any ad, brochure, or any other piece of product literature a vendor can produce.
Case study power #3:
High impact and high readership
“Case studies tend to break through the clutter,” says Slaunwhite. “You can send brochures, e-mail, newsletters and those things often get ignored, but a case study gets noticed.
“People want to know what their colleagues in other companies are doing. They want to know if they’re doing something better and gaining a competitive advantage. So case studies tend to have a very high readership.
“Nothing brings the benefits to life quite like a case study.”