6 Keys to Writing a Great Case Study

By Connie Howard, ETMG VP & Founding Writer

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In technology marketing, case studies are extremely effective. Telling a story about customers who succeed using your product is golden. There’s nothing like it. It helps potential customers with the same challenges understand how easy it is to realize similar results by adopting your company’s solution.

The keys to writing great case studies and how they work:

1. Background

All stories start someplace, and in case studies, it’s a good idea to give readers a little history about the company, what business it’s in, along with company size and reach. Companies in specific sectors often share common operational structures, and have similar challenges. Also, size and reach can often reveal the foundation for very different kinds of problems. Is the company a 10-person organization in one office, or a 10,000-person organization, with sites on three continents?

2. Challenge

Who was impacted and how? End users, the IT staff, or even customers may all figure into the problem that needed to be solved. What went on? Why did it need to be fixed, upgraded, or replaced? Including diagrams or other visuals can be very helpful, if you’ve got them.

3. Solution

Describe the solution that’s in place, or nearly in place. Again, if you’ve got a diagram or other visual aid showing the fix, readers want to see it.

4. Results

How did your solution benefit end users, IT staff, or customers? Go ahead—list all of the benefits, and describe them. If you’ve got information about improved productivity, performance, security, or cost savings, please don’t forget to include that too. If you can get a quote about the great outcome, even better!

5. The Future

With your solution as a foundation, new opportunities open up to add new features, functions, levels of performance, or groups of users. This is a great place to talk about plans, or even trials or pilot programs.

6. The Call to Action

Now that readers know what they can do with your product, invite them to do just that, with a very strong close to an impressive case study.

Case studies can be long or short, heavy on the technical side or the user/benefits side. But no matter how you write them, they are a great way to grab and hold potential customers’ imaginations, and at the right time, their business as well.
 

Additional Resources:

ETMG Writing Services Portfolio

3 Keys to More Compelling Case Studies
 

Further Reading:

Case Study or White Paper? Do Both If You Can!

The Case for the Content Editor: Polish Makes Perfect

Ground Rules for Document Review & Collaboration

 

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