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Crafting effective case studies - Using the voice of your customers to tell their story (not yours)

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How you should structure and explain your customer's story when creating case studies, rather than focussing on just the specific results.

Published in: Business
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Crafting effective case studies - Using the voice of your customers to tell their story (not yours)

  1. 1. Crafting Effective Case Studies: Using the voice of your customers to tell their story (not yours). Mark Colgan
  2. 2. ● Where most case studies fall short ● What 4 things you need to include in your case studies; ○ Contrast ○ Analogies ○ Emotions ○ Descriptive Language ● Why you need to begin and constantly work on your ICP’s and Buyer Personas ● Questions to ask in order to encourage your customers to use their voice ● How this information can apply to all elements of your Marketing What we will cover
  3. 3. Who is this guy? ● 10 years in Sales and Marketing ● Currently help B2B SaaS companies drive revenue through the selection, implementation and effective use of CRM & Marketing Technology Stack ● Speak with circa 20 founders a month ● Noticed that Ideal Customer Profiles and Buyer Personas research are too high level and are often set and forgotten by most companies ● Not a fan of generic case studies
  4. 4. People buy from people they know, like and trust
  5. 5. People justify their emotional signals to buy with logical reasons
  6. 6. The buyer is more informed than ever… but they are also more confused than ever
  7. 7. Customers care about themselves, not your product or solution
  8. 8. Majority of Case Studies 1. Customer Background 2. Current Situation / Challenge 4. Results/Benefits 3. Solution
  9. 9. What you need to focus on... 1. Contrast 2. Analogies 4. Descriptive Language 3. Emotions
  10. 10. 1. Contrast ● One of the most powerful vehicles for storytelling ● Spell out where your customer is today versus where they could be tomorrow ● It is the old way vs new way (and you are the new way) ● Use examples to show contrast so you are not simply telling Think: Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream (intolerant society of the day with an ideal future society) Check out: The Wolf - HP
  11. 11. 2. Analogies ● We all speak our own speak...and our customers don’t get it. ● Analogies help you simplify your story ● Not just “the Airbnb of X” or “the Uber for Y” - you need to go deeper ● They help explain who you are and what you do ● Aim to make the unfamiliar sound familiar ● Don’t force an analogy though - if it doesn’t fit, leave it out Try: With your team, contribute to a spider diagram with “<<Company Name>> is like…” There is no right or wrong answer.
  12. 12. 3. Emotion ● B2B purchasers are almost 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value (i.e. opportunity for career advancement or confidence and pride in their choice) ● B2C: nostalgia, sadness and humour ● B2B: focus on trust, reliability, credibility and a sense of partnership ● Aim for emotion, but always back up with facts and relevance Read: The Role of Emotions in B2B Marketing: Telling a Story, Making a Sale
  13. 13. 4. Descriptive Language ● Use descriptive language to talk about what’s really going on versus facts and statements ● Don’t just focus on the “problem” and “solution,” use descriptive language to take the reader through the experience ● You’re telling a story For examples, check out: Salesforce Box Invision Intercom
  14. 14. Ask yourself... How did it REALLY change their life
  15. 15. Desire is what starts the person on their buying process. However, as soon as they begin the buying process, their skepticism kicks in. The more expensive and complex the purchase, the greater the scrutiny that the customer will apply to the purchase.
  16. 16. So, where do you start?
  17. 17. There are hundreds of ways to market your product or service. But, only your customers can tell you how they want to buy what you sell.
  18. 18. Back to the basics Ideal Customer Profiles (Company) Think about your Ideal Customer as the customer type that – over a clearly-defined time frame – you will dedicate Sales and Marketing Resources to acquire. Further reading: Ideal Customer Profile Framework Buyer Personas (People) A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. Buyer Persona Tool
  19. 19. 5 questions to ask your customers 1. When you bought ‘product X’ what problem were you trying to solve? And what outcome were you hoping for? 2. How have you used ‘product X’ to solve that problem? 3. What is your biggest challenge right now? 4. What difference has product X made for you? 5. How do you imagine your life would be without ‘product X’? Further Reading: Book: Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy Generating revenue: are these the 14 questions to ask your customers?
  20. 20. Improving your case studies 1. Ask open ended questions 2. Keep asking ‘why?’ 3. Record the call/meeting 4. Pay for transcription (rev.com) 5. Don’t rely on sales to have these conversations 6. Treat this as an opportunity for honest feedback
  21. 21. Recap: ● Customers care about themselves, not your product or solution ● Focus on contrast, empathy, emotion and use descriptive language ● Treat your ICP and Buyer personas as a ever-evolving exercise ● Ask open ended questions and “why?” repeatedly ● I like GIFs
  22. 22. Bonus Tips: ● Segment your case studies by industry ● Try to include name, job title and photos of customers (social proof) ● Include quotes when possible ● Turn quotes into testimonials ● Use video for case studies if possible ● Have a specific CTA at the end of the case studies ● Never put your case studies behind a form ● Leverage this content everywhere and in different formats ● Apply this approach to all of your copy (presentations, webinars, marketing site etc) Thank you Any questions? Connect with me: yellowo.co.uk/free-drink

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