Customer case studies tell the story of how a particular product or service performed after the customer purchased it. Case studies feature information on the problems that the customer originally faced, how the purchase solved their problems, and the results after the sale (i.e. their happiness factor).
One of the reasons why case studies are so effective in marketing is because people love reading about other people. They’d prefer to read a story on how others were able find a solution to a problem that is similar theirs. And let’s face it. Rarely do people want to be “guinea pigs” when it comes to home improvement projects. They want to be confident in their decision to hire you. What better way to ensure a homeowner that you can do the work and be trusted than by providing them with case studies?
Here are three ways contractors can leverage case studies:
1. Lead Generation. Case studies can be used as a free giveaway. Whether you are conducting an email, advertising or direct mail campaign, you can use case studies to entice people to provide you with additional information (such as first names and email addresses). You can even give them away at home shows.
Here’s how it works: In essence, you “sell” the case study by promoting what the person will learn by getting the case study. For instance, if it is an online campaign, push the traffic to a special page (aka squeeze page) where the prospect will fill out some basic information to gain access to an instant download (PDF version) of the case study.
2. Sales Support. Sales people love case studies. Case studies add a human touch to the presentation, and the sales representative can use a particular project case study to help your homeowners visualize the results.
Case studies usually have a longer shelf life, too. Marketing brochures are often thrown in the garbage, but case studies are held onto – and read again (and again) as the homeowner contemplates his decision.
3. Publicity. Case studies are stories that you can build an entire campaign around. The content can be repurposed into a press release, a video, or an entire direct mail campaign.
For example, Northwest Savings Bank has an entire campaign called “My Switch Story” (which I love, love, LOVE!). They are taking everyday people and giving them a platform to tell the story of why they switched to Northwest Savings Bank or if they’ve been a long-time customer, why they’ve stayed. Their entire campaign is based on dozens of case studies (you’ve got to check it out!).
Case studies are one of the most effective marketing tools you can use (probably only second to white papers). Why? Because people are more apt to believe what others say (even if they don’t know them) over a slick marketing piece (a form of “word-of-mouth” marketing). If you haven’t considered using case studies, quite frankly, you should. Make it part of your 2012 marketing strategy to capture all the good things your customers want to say about you.
Have you used case studies in your marketing mix? Why or why not?