Case Studies in 5 easy steps
The object of a case study is pretty simple…to Inform prospective customers:
What you do
Who You Do it for
Outcomes you deliver
I have used this technique to open up deals in the £millions but the Case studies in 5 easy steps template works effectively whatever you're marketing.
The Psychology of Case Studies
You want to tell the audience just enough to encourage them to get in touch or to take a phone call from you.
Try not to tell them everything. The Psychology of a Case Study works heavily on intrigue and incompleteness, leading to FOMO.
Ideally, you want people to say, “if Keith can do it for (that company), then maybe he can do it for (my company)”.
The art is to create a case study in which the customer looks very similar to the company you’re sending the case study to - i.e. someone who looks like Your customer.
It’s not always so simple, so here are a few pointers that may help:
Step 1: Who was the Customer?
Tell the audience a bit about the customer:
If you’re allowed to mention the customer’s name, amazing.
If you don’t have permission to use customer’s name, all is not lost - there is nothing to stop you talking about your customer “in the round“.
Don’t assume people will know your customer’s profile, so it’s worth pointing out some key factors or metrics - e.g. annual turnover, number of employees, industry sector, office location
Mention job titles of the people you engaged with so people can get just a bit more understanding about how you go about things and who you engage with
Step 2: What Was Their Problem?
Tell your audience what the customer’s problem was.
How did the customer know they had a problem?
That might sound a bit weird but how the problem came to the attention of budget holders and/or senior managers speaks volumes about the culture of the customer, who you did the work for and shines a light for your target market around context and environment.
What was the customer’s worst fear?
Quantify the problem in terms of money if they choose NOT to address the problem – i.e. the “do nothing option”
e.g. in 1 clients’ case, there was a “near-miss“ around an autism event, leading them to invite you in to help them.
So, as I understand it, your work was to educate management and workforce on what to do next time and how to support colleagues.
Step 3: What Did You Do To Solve It?
Again, in bullet point form, tell the audience what you did - e.g. workshops, webinars, communications plan, risk management strategy, corporate training video?
Did you train everyone or was it a “trainer the trainer“ type approach?
Did you develop any documentation and is there any ongoing support being delivered etc?
In other words, what’s happening next?
Step 4: What Was the Result?
Hopefully, the result was, that the risk was mitigated, employees felt supported, empowered, valued and that the action contributed to greater employee retention/reduction in flight risk.
As with all case studies, it would be fantastic if you could put a number on this, but it’s not always possible.
For instance (this is me speaking now), I worked with a customer who had a problem with sickness absence. The average employee took 8 days of sick leave per annum, which given they had 700 employees, cost at least £500,000 every year in lost productivity.
We put an Occupational Therapy solution in place where people could quickly get help over the phone. This reduced anxiety and directly led to a reduction in sickness absence. Next year, sick leave averaged 5.6 days - a productivity improvement of over 25% and saving £125,000 every year.
Step 5: How Did the Customer Feel Afterwards?
Obviously, I’ve got to believe that the customer felt delighted with the outcome, but we need to put a bit more flesh on the bones to speak.
And this is where a direct quote from the customer would be really helpful e.g. “working with (your company) has educated and informed our people how we can support our neuro diverse colleagues.
As a result, our people now feel empowered and more confident in coming forward if they are experiencing issues of some kind and this has led directly to a marked reduction in sick leave taken“
Obviously I just made that comment up, but I’m sure you can work with Your customer to create a suitable statement.
Step 6: How did the opportunity come about originally?
Were you introduced by another client? (the best of all)
Did they find you online
Did you approach them directly?
You don’t need to be too specific, but just give a flavour of what happened.