A B2B Key to Establishing Expertise
A case study is really a story. A story about a company faced with a decision. The plot of the story is the circumstances leading up to the decision. The drama of the story is the fears and concerns of the main characters as they consider the consequences of their decision. The climax of the story is point of decision - the solution they decide to impliment. The resolution is the result of their decision - how it impacted the individuals and the company.
A well-developed case study has three components:
- Situation - This would be the company and the dilemna in which it finds itself.
- Decision - The decision involves explaining what choices the company had. These should be distinct options along with expectations of risk
- Outcome - This is the "closer" that shows how the decision affected the company.
Sales and marketing often share the role of gathering the information needed for case studies. The sales team is on the front line and can most easily identify the best candidates for case studies. It can also be a great bit of exposure for the company that is the subject of the case study. The information needed for each case study will vary depending on the individual circumstances, but in general, try to gather the following information:
- Organization name
- Type of organization
- Location of organization
- Length of time in business
- Who was faced with the decision?
- What problem were they trying to solve or opportunity trying to capture?
- What were their options?
- What were the perceived risks and rewards of each option?
- What decision was made?
- What was involved in implementing decision?
- What was the outcome in terms of effort, quality of life, and ROI?
- Up-to-date statement of results
Pull all this information together and then write the story. Write a persuasive story with the core decision as the story line. Some things to focus on are a solid hook that catches the readers' attention, building drama throughout the piece, and revealing results in a way that targeted readers can make application to their own situation.