Case studies are essential for B2B businesses, especially those in the commercial architect, design and building products industries. When done correctly, they show how your products or services solve a customer’s need. They can be powerful tools for your sales force. They can also be great content pieces for your website and social media. They can even be leveraged to drive media coverage in trade magazines.
But beware: Case studies can be time-consuming. Depending on the scope of the project, be prepared to invest time and resources. Time will be required to set up and conduct interviews. It will also take time to write and edit the copy. You should also allow time to obtain photography. Then of course, you should budget time for gaining approvals from all parties. This can be a challenge, especially if there are legal departments involved.
With all this in mind, you’ll want to be sure you’re pursuing only those case studies that will have the biggest impact for you.
Here are four questions to keep in mind before developing a case study:
1. Does it meet our business need?
Your products are likely used in a number of different ways by a number of different customers. This means you probably have no shortage of potential case studies you could pursue. But it’s important to take a critical look at the project. Does the project – and your product used in the project – align with your business goals? For example, if you are trying to grow marketshare in the healthcare sector, it’s best to pursue projects illustrating how your products serve that vertical.
2. Does it have a compelling story?
This can be subjective. But the essential ingredients of a strong B2B business case study are: The customer faced a unique challenge; your brand offered a solution; the results met or exceeded expectations. If your potential case study meets this criteria, you’ve got a good start. Other compelling factors could include: Is it a one-of-a-kind project? Is there an environmentally positive aspect? Does it involve well-known people or brand names? Is there an inspiring societal side to it?
3. Does it have great photography?
This is a must have, especially for the architect, design and building industries. It’s a cliché but it’s true: A picture tells a 1,000 words. Great photography is what designers or end-users will naturally gravitate towards. It’s also what can help sell the project to the media.
4. Are all partners on board?
For any commercial project, there might be a number of different partners involved. There is typically a design firm, a contractor or installer, and the end-user or customer. Before charging ahead in drafting a case study, it’s a good idea to reach out to each partner and get their OK. Remember to also ask if any partners require legal sign-off. And, be sure to get OKs if you plan to promote the case study to the media.
Once you’ve gotten the green light on all the questions above, you can begin to craft a killer case study. While the case study should tout the advantages your products brings, be sure to keep the focus on the customer and/or the end result. Your product is one part of the overall story. At the end of day, you want to show how your product helped your customer.
To help you determine what case studies you could pursue, we created a Case Study Evaluation Form. Click here to download your free Case Study Evaluation Form.
If we can help promote your products and how they are solving your customer needs, please let us know.