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4 Tips for Writing a Strong Case Study

By: Drew McLellan

 

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Everyone loves a good story. And there’s a reason why Aesop and others opted to teach their life lessons through stories that have been told and re-told for many years.

 
Case Studies are the marketing version of Aesop’s Fables. Stories told to make a point or teach a lesson that demonstrates the value of your product or service. So how do you create a good case study?
 
CS Tip #1: Structure it like a story.
 
Make sure there’s a logical flow. Explain the problem (identify the villain). Introduce your company/product (bring in the hero). Describe how the challenge was overcome (tell of the battle). Sum it up (give it a happy ending).
 
CS Tip #2: Include lots of details.
 
Don’t just say, “We were losing customers.” Give specifics. Our sales were down over 42%. Be sure to give details in describing both the problem and the solution. If your client isn’t willing to let you use their company’s name and information, choose a different example. This isn’t the place to be generic or vague. Your credibility goes hand in hand with the level of disclosure.
 
CS Tip #3: Use quotes to give your case study its authenticity.
 
Be careful not to dumb them down so they sound generic.
 
CS Tip #4: Make sure everyone signs off on it before it goes public.
 
The power of a case study is that it reveals an actual problem and its solution. Some businesses may be reticent to air their dirty laundry. Before you pitch your case study to a reporter or post it on your website, get everyone’s blessing.
 
Case studies are incredibly compelling when done right. If you’re lucky, you’ll tell a story that people will tell over and over.
 
This article was originally published by Drew’s Marketing Minute
Published: September 27, 2013

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Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan has owned an advertising agency for almost 20 years, serving local, regional and national businesses. He also coaches hundreds of agencies on business best practices through peer to peer networks, workshops and consulting.  Drew is often interviewed/quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.” He blogs at both www.DrewsMarketingMinute.com and www.BuildABetterAgency.com.

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