Monday, August 14, 2006

Case Studies: An Effective Promotional Tool

Next to White Papers, case studies are the second most popular device used to endorse the benefits of your product or service. A case study demonstrates how a specific situation was initially identified, which solution was selected to resolve the issue, and a summary of the final results. Case studies usually take a “soft-sell” approach. With that in mind, graphics and other relevant pictures create impact.

The definition of the problem should be communicated in a way that the reader can relate to. Be sure to demonstrate how your product or service resolved a critical business issue in the past. The more specific the case study, the better the chance you will be taken seriously. Avoid making your case study too technical or overloading it with excessive jargon. The ultimate goal is to persuade the reader that they too can resolve their similar business issues using your product or service.

Don’t dilute the case study by addressing more the one issue – stick to one area and explain how you can solve the problem in measurable and quantifiable terms. For example:

- Support your case study with statistics, figures and tables.

- Use return on investment numbers to explain how the investment in your product/service pays for itself. Be sure to demonstrate how you can apply these results to future business; otherwise, your argument loses credibility.

- Mention how using your product or service will help contain costs. This area is very important as budgets are always a sensitive issue. If you can illustrate how a similar company saved a certain amount of money by adopting your product, you'll certainly capture the reader's attention.

The long term rewards of your case study efforts will be extensive. Well written, impressive case studies stand out and decision-makers will use them as a source of reference. These promotional tools also help establish your reputation as an organization performing successful business. Making these case studies available via your Web Site will increase visibility and demonstrate to prospective clients that you are credible, effective and successful.

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