Case studies are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
They are a tool designed to attract a specific prospective buyer.
If you’re aiming for a buyer that is vaguely defined, it’s like target shooting underwater. You’re never going to hit your mark.
A customer story has to speak to the right audience.
And different audiences need different types of information.
- A CEO or CFO may prefer seeing high-level results, such as how did the product or service affect the bottom line.
- A manager may prefer an overview of how it affected the team, and achieved key business objectives.
- A technical expert may prefer to see how easy it was to use, how well the product was supported, and how those solutions were deployed.
- NPOs may want to see the type of impact that you made in your community.
- A day-to-day user of your products and services may look for different types of results than executives.
You may even have several audiences reading your case studies, such as a CEO and a technical person. In that case, you may want to create multiple stories or one that gives each audience what they need.
Here are a four questions to ask to determine your audience:
- How will your case studies be used—at which part of the sales and marketing process?
- Who is the decision-maker(s)?
- Who’s the audience for your studies–executives, managers or technical people (or all of the above)?
- What key messages do you want to communicate to your decision-makers?
The key is to resonate on several levels with your target audience. When selecting a case study candidate, pick someone that is similar to your target audience and you’ll have the best chance at attracting your ideal prospective buyer.