Crafting effective case studies - Using the voice of your customers to tell their story (not yours)
Crafting Effective Case Studies:
Using the voice of your customers to
tell their story (not yours).
● Where most case studies fall short
● What 4 things you need to include in your case
○ 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
What we will
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
People buy from people they know,
like and trust
People justify their emotional signals
to buy with logical reasons
The buyer is more informed than ever…
but they are also more confused than
Customers care about themselves, not
your product or solution
Majority of Case Studies
Current Situation /
What you need to focus on...
● One of the most powerful vehicles for storytelling
● Spell out where your customer is today versus where they could be
● 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
Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream (intolerant society of the day with an ideal future society)
The Wolf - HP
● 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
With your team, contribute to a spider diagram with “<<Company Name>> is like…”
There is no right or wrong answer.
● 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
The Role of Emotions in B2B Marketing: Telling a Story, Making a Sale
4. Descriptive Language
● Use descriptive language to talk about what’s really going on versus facts
● 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:
How did it REALLY change their life
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.
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.
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.
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,
Buyer Persona Tool
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’?
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?
Improving your case studies
Ask open ended
Keep asking ‘why?’
Pay for transcription
Don’t rely on sales to
Treat this as an
● Customers care about
themselves, not your
product or solution
● Focus on contrast,
empathy, emotion and use
● Treat your ICP and Buyer
personas as a
● Ask open ended questions
and “why?” repeatedly
● I like GIFs
● Segment your case studies by industry
● Try to include name, job title and photos of customers
● 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
● Apply this approach to all of your copy (presentations,
webinars, marketing site etc)
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