As a marketing director, you've got solutions. You have satisfied customers and a winning strategy. But how do you prove that you really do have what it takes to make your clients successful?
Enter the case study.
What is a case study?
There's an old adage in writing that goes, "Show, don't tell." This piece of advice is actually the secret to the success of case studies.
In marketing, a case study is an analysis of a particular campaign or project for one of your clients that examines the client's needs or problem, outlines the solution, and identifies factors contributing to the outcome. In short, a case study shows a real-world example of how your product helped one of your clients. It's a way to use facts and evidence to demonstrate the ability of your company to identify problems and implement solutions.
Case studies back up your statements about your company with facts and evidence. When you're looking for ways to turn leads into clients, there really isn't a better way to do it than laying out a well-researched case study that will show them exactly what to expect and what kinds of solutions you provide.
Creating a compelling case study
Businesses who are looking for a marketing company like yours are going to be most compelled by well-researched, clearly communicated case studies. This doesn't mean you can't be creative, but it does mean you'll want to be thorough, ethical, and honest.
Keep in mind: launching an effective case study requires a lot of time and research. The hard work will absolutely pay off, though. Once you've put together your case study, it'll be that much easier to convert leads into clients.
We've compiled some guidelines to make sure that your case study is as effective as possible.
- Choosing the subject
The best client to choose for your case study will have experienced significant success with your company. Choose a client that experienced noticeable improvement after hiring you.
It's also important to obtain the consent of your client before using them in your case study. Some companies have specific policies preventing them from participating in case studies; others may require permission from upper management or other departments and obtaining that permission may take a while. But making sure you have the full consent of your clients is not only a legal and ethical imperative, it'll also help your case study progress smoothly.
- Gather usable data
Determine ahead of time specifically what information you need.
Examples of what information to obtain includes: a description of their problem before they chose your company, how they implemented your solution, and the measurable improvement it had on their business.
- Distribute case study creatively
Once you've pulled the case study together and compiled all the necessary data, interviews, and research, it's time to distribute it.
It's a good idea to have your case study available in multiple formats so that you can share it on multiple venues and so you'll have versions available for a variety of situations. It's good idea to have pictures, graphs, video content, downloadable, and text only versions at hand.
These guidelines will help get you started and give you a solid idea of what case studies entail. But if you're looking for templates for the various stages of creating case studies and an in-depth guide to launching your own case study, we recommend this template.
Beyond your customers: the hidden value of case studies
The most obvious benefit of case studies is the power it gives you to generate a higher conversion rate from prospects to clients. But increased revenue isn't their only benefit. Case studies can also teach you a lot about your own firm.
By creating case studies, you are able to view your your services from the perspective of your clients. As you interview your own clients and examine the real-world results of your franchise marketing strategies, you'll get new inspiration for future campaigns and see fresh opportunities for innovative strategies in the future.
Case studies are an invaluable way to demonstrate the real-world application of your marketing strategies. They give your prospects objective evidence that demonstrates what your franchise marketing company can do for them.