In B2B marketing terms, customer case studies are one of the strongest, most important pieces of collateral you can produce
We sometimes receive a fair amount of resistance when we prioritise the production of case studies, particularly from smaller businesses. So what makes case studies such an important part of B2B marketing?
The reason that case studies are so important is that they simultaneously satisfy two key demands of B2B marketing; one old and one new...
Case studies as evidence
The old one is that case studies provide the essential evidence that is needed in B2B decision making.
The need for evidence in B2B sales and marketing is best described by Steve Minett in his book B2B Marketing.
In it he states that every B2B purchasing decision, sooner or later, comes under scrutiny from above. Purchasers therefore have a need to evidence that their choice was safe, wise and properly researched. Minett shows how case studies can satisfy all these needs and more.
A well written case study provides credible evidence that your product, service or solution has been successful in helping another business achieve its objectives. Ideally, you will have a range of case studies that cover the range of industries you serve - so that your prospect may find an example of success in their specific industry, further increasing its value as evidence.
Case studies as content
But today there is new wave of pressure sweeping through the B2B marketing landscape, the pressure to produce content. As you no doubt know, content is the fuel that drives the inbound marketing machine. Since there is no known limit to how much inbound business you can generate, there is no known limit to how much content you need. Thus demand is insatiable.
Here, case studies come to the rescue again.
Good case studies meet many of the requirements for good content marketing. Although they do promote your offering, they are still far removed from pure sales collateral. They can be educational, describing how a business has solved a problem that others most likely face, and they provide insight, from another perspective, on the industry in question. All of which will be very compelling to a prospect.
In addition they are highly repurpose-able - being turned with ease in to flyers, blog posts, press releases and more.
Get started with your B2B case studies
So, if you are not already, start producing case studies now. One a quarter at least. Let the world know that you are doing good deals and helping your clients to be more successful.