Using our dog rehabilitation example from earlier, we knew that the possible similarities between training difficult dogs and using Ad Words as a newcomer to paid search was interesting.
We also knew, however, that despite the compelling angle we chose to explore, the client in question had experienced many of the problems common to our core target market of small businesses with modest monthly Ad Words spend.
Yes, we want to create a useful, helpful resource for prospective customers, but let’s be real – nobody’s winning a Pulitzer for a case study, and it won’t be going viral on social media, no matter how well-written it is.
Case studies are little more than tools to be used by either self-motivated prospects researching your company, or by sales professionals as tools to help convince prospects to convert – nothing more.
We don’t have unreasonable expectations about our case studies, and we know that both our sales teams and prospects find them useful.
Last year, one of our Product Marketing Managers asked me to write a case study for a client that rehabilitates badly behaved and aggressive dogs.Try to find an interesting customer for your next case study. Are any of your customers using your business to solve difficult or unusual problems?Get creative when searching for someone to serve as the basis for your next case study. Yes, you want your case study to be interesting and feature a compelling angle, but you also want the vast majority of your target market to be able to identify with it.However, the storytelling label most definitely does (or should) apply to case studies, because stories are exactly what case studies are.Case studies are self-contained stories about how a real customer overcame their problems using your products or services.The case study has long been a staple of marketing departments everywhere.However, despite the prevalence of marketing case studies and their potential impact, most of them are dull, boring, and forgettable.Or, even worse, they simply can’t stop themselves from harping on about how great their company is, the gravest of sins when case studies are concerned.Case studies may not be as sexy as a viral blog post, and as such they’re often overlooked in favor of other content formats.My first thought was whether there were any similarities between training difficult dogs and getting to grips with Ad Words as a new advertiser.This thought became the basis for the entire case study.