Making your case studies more potent

Oct 14, 2014 | Better Writing

Case studies can be a powerful part of your business book and great standalone marketing pieces. Here are four things to include in any case study to reap the maximum benefits.

Describe what the problem looked like at the beginning

Describe the problem the way your client or customer experienced it in the beginning. You want your prospect’s head to nod up and down when they read about the problem. You want them thinking, “Yep. That’s me.”

Tell the story of solving the problem

Tell the story of how you and your client solved the problem. Include false starts and misconceptions. Describe what worked and what didn’t.

Stories are the way human beings make sense of complex information. As long as we’ve had language, stories have helped us share our knowledge and experience with each other. People remember stories.

Use meaningful descriptions of the outcome

You described how the problem looked going in. Now describe what it’s like to have the problem solved. Tell about how it feels emotionally. Use key metrics like profit or number of new customers or a lower error rate, too.

Include a testimonial

Let your client tell about the project in his or her own words. That way it’s not just you telling the story and it’s more credible.

Credit where credit is due

I want to give credit to two of my clients for insights in this post. Rod Santomassimo taught me how powerful it is to add a testimonial to a classic case study. Bob Moesta taught me that we often describe problems differently before and after we solve them.