4 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Case Studies

4 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Case Studies
Heather Rubesch - Thu Nov 01, 2012 @ 08:00AM
Comments: 25

Case studies are very valuable elements of the B2B content marketing mix.  They can be stand alone pieces to leave behind with a prospect, inserted into an RFP or sales proposal or included in a newsletter.  Well executed they can solidify and clarify your benefits in the mind of your prospect.  Unfortunately there are some common mistakes that marketers are making with their case studies.  Make sure you aren’t one of them!


Making the before unbelievable

It is customary in a case study to ask the client to describe their previous state so the reader can get some feel for what their business drivers were for installing your system, implementing you product, hiring your consulting firm.  This is a critical piece not to over embellish.  You just make your client look bad and you set the wrong tone for the whole piece.  If you lose your believability in the first paragraphs of the case study then very few people will bother to read the rest of it.


The Fix

Stick with facts and metrics.  Use flowery adjectives sparingly.  Use as many direct quotes from your client as you can.


Letting your template constrain you

Templates are good as a guideline but they are not a one size fits all.  I recently worked with a client who had a very specific four page template that was their case study standard.  The interview material from one of the clients I spoke with was powerful but brief.  The sentiment could honestly be summed up in 2-3 paragraphs rather than four pages.  So let those 3 paragraphs be enough!  Better to present 3 powerful paragraphs that tell your story than belabor them in four pages of fluff and drivel!


The Fix

Write the case study without a particular format in mind.  Focus on telling the story with as much clarity and as concisely as possible.  Then see how it fits into a few templates your organization has agree upon recognizing that case studies will very in length.


Thinly veiled product pitches

Case studies are excellent reinforcers of product materials because they have the ability to put the product benefits into action in a relevant industry, company size, etc as the prospect.  Resist the urge to try to force your product feature laundry list into your case study.  It is fine to put a direct quote from a client about the product feature that has been most beneficial to them or the one that differentiated you from your competitors and thus served as the tipping point but don’t try and get them to quote every last feature or sneak them in to the body of your case study.


The Fix

Appreciate that the benefits of your product ranked greatest to least is less important than the sentiment and context of the story being told.  Be true to your clients voice even if it doesn’t fit your agenda.  Listen carefully because they might give you a bigger benefit than you could ever realize on your own!


Including only the overly positive

I recently did a series of interviews for a client in order to create some case studies.  I asked the same basic set of 12 or so interview questions to each customer.  In reviewing the quotes to assemble some testimonials for case studies and quotes for the website my client zeroed in on all the ones that were “This product saved our business” and “We couldn’t live without it”.  These are great but they aren’t really very specific.  The less “wow” quotes like “Their training was simple and effective and allowed us to cross train all our office staff for maximum continuity” is a lot less flowery but sure says a lot more about how you are different from your competitors. 


The Fix

Focus less on the headline quotes and more on the supporting details that describe what life is like with your company after the ink dries on the contract.  Let the customer describe the day to day benefits and balance it with the big picture results.


What are your organizations specific challenges with case studies?  How have you overcome them?

Tags: Case Studies
Comments: 25


1. Daniel Kuperman  |  my website   |   Mon Nov 05, 2012 @ 03:42PM

Great post! I would also add a suggestion to include images or some kind of visual that goes together with the story. It could be images that represent the industry or images that help the reader undertand the solution.

Case studies that are text-heavy can be a challenge for time-strapped buyers, so making it flow better with appropriate visuals is a must.

Another interesting tactic is to repurpose the case study once it has been published. Why stop with the PDF version uploaded to the website? Maybe you can take the case study and transform it into a SlideShare presentation, a short video, or a blog post. This way you ensure the core message of your case study is distributed among different vehicles and easier to find by buyers.

2. websitecompany8  |  my website   |   Sun Nov 11, 2012 @ 03:37AM

Your web design process starts with our company needs analysis phase. Discussing and deciding on a more personal level, what the main goals of your website are. With these goals analyzed down into objectives, we listen and find how to convert your company’s objective onto the Internet.

3. Jason Loy  |  my website   |   Tue May 03, 2016 @ 06:55AM

Thanks for sharing such great piece of writing.

4. Anonymous   |   Thu Sep 15, 2016 @ 12:15PM

In this cutthroat competitive world folks are feeling nervous with their works and stress to make relief we are going to deliver most entertaining android applications in this site. http://showboxdownloadmovies.com/

5. rohit  |  my website   |   Mon Nov 21, 2016 @ 12:39PM

Let the customer describe the day to day benefits and balance it with the big picture results.

6. lucky   |   Mon Nov 21, 2016 @ 12:41PM

thanks for sharing great info http://www.showboxforipad.org

7. raju   |   Mon Nov 21, 2016 @ 12:42PM

Download the official Showbox app here to stream or download free movies and TV shows on your Android device http://showboxappandroid.com

8. Emily  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 23, 2016 @ 09:17AM

Totally agree with the fact that case studies are of great importance in the B2B content marketing mix. I was very pleased to find this info, especially about these common mistakes that marketers are making with their case studies.

9. newily com  |  my website   |   Sat Nov 26, 2016 @ 09:58AM

I am haρpy that yoս simply shared this helpful informatіon with us.

10. Deon  |  my website   |   Thu Dec 01, 2016 @ 06:51AM

Order your college papers from an actually working custom essay writing service.

11. rohit   |   Sat Dec 17, 2016 @ 05:17AM

showbox app is one of the immense applications for watching any of your favorite movies and shows for cost free. showbox app can also be installed on other devices with the help of these guides http://www.goodervideo.com/showbox-for-ipad/

12. Alexandr Lukin   |   Sat Dec 17, 2016 @ 09:11AM

aaaaaaa Anmobi.inc is the developer name and you can easily trust upon this application from the very first moment. It had been reviewed by thousands of users till now and all of them are available on the Google play store easily. http://gamplay.org/xender-app/

13. appsxpo   |   Tue Feb 14, 2017 @ 06:06AM

SHAREit is one of the most excellent flash file sharing service which assists you to transfer contents from one device to another.
get more apps using-

14. Marketing plan summary   |  my website   |   Mon Mar 06, 2017 @ 05:33AM

Case studies are the best way to tell the world how importance of your business,product and services.

15. Emily Brown   |   Tue Mar 21, 2017 @ 02:30AM

Case studies are investigation and it aim is to collect gravity information about a particular group, specific person, and public or event and this research is based on impartiality. But there are some mistakes we are making with our Case Studies which are you discussing here very well. I would also like to discuss this mistake with my team of dissertation writers who are providing dissertation writing help service with me at http://www.dissertationhelp.uk/, and see what they say about it. You have to done good job by alert us to sharing this 4 mistakes of case studies.

16. www.researchpaperpal.com  |  my website   |   Wed Mar 29, 2017 @ 06:27AM

Contextual investigations are an examination and its point is to gather gravity data about a specific gathering, particular individual, and open or occasion and this exploration depend on fairness. In any case, there are a few errors we are putting forth with our Defense Studies which are you examining here exceptionally well. I am haρpy that yoս essentially imparted this supportive informatіon.

17. Torress  |  my website   |   Wed Mar 29, 2017 @ 11:52AM

Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”.

18. Calors  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 15, 2017 @ 01:04PM

nice and wonderful blog post thanks a lot for sharing this great info!

20. Brandon   |   Tue Jun 27, 2017 @ 10:57PM

Thank-you for the share, indeed these articles are pleasing and i enjoyed reading them.

21. Aptoide for iOS  |  my website   |   Tue Jul 11, 2017 @ 01:57AM

Aptoide for iOS: Most of the people prefer downloading apps from Aptoide as almost all the paid apps are available for free in Aptoide. Aptoide is not only an alternative to Google Play Store but the biggest competitor too. That’s the reason most of the iOS users want to use Aptoide on their iOS devices. The main problem is the iOS users don’t know the procedure of downloading and installing Aptoide on their device. If you are also looking for same thing then let me help you to install Aptoide on your iOS device.

22. Barbara   |   Fri Aug 25, 2017 @ 03:50AM

It is really a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us.

23. driving directions  |  my website   |   Thu Sep 07, 2017 @ 01:25AM

This is very much happy for the great services in this blog and the really impressed with this blog. Thanks a lot for using the great info is visible in this blog.

Post a Comment

powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder