What is a case study for?
We hear about them all the time. Case studies, and their cousin the white paper, are documents used mainly in the business to business sphere.
Where a white paper comes in three varieties—backgrounder, numbered list, and problem-solution—the case study really only has one flavor. The different types of white papers are used in different parts of the sales funnel. The case study is used predominantly near the end of the sales funnel, when prospects are looking for reasons to accept or reject a product as they comparison shop.
In a case study, often done in conjunction with a customer, demonstrates how your product solved somebody else’s problem. That problem should be non-trivial, and it should be relatable. By relatable, I mean that it’s reasonable to expect other people might suffer a similar problem as the customer being spotlighted in the case study.
This is where you are showing your product in action, putting it into the spotlight, where it saves the day. If the product were a naval officer, it would be wearing dress whites. The case study not only spotlights the delight of your happy customer whose problem has been solved, it also displays your product as the hero.
The case study can be accompanied by a backgrounder white paper that discusses all the technical details about your product. The engineers will eat up the tech in the white paper, while the brass see results (aka ROI) in the case study.
What is a case study for? Winnowing the competition by making you look good.