Case studies promote engagement, if you have the right structure

Anthony O'Brien


April 10, 2017

In 2017, informed consumers want to be able to road test your service offering. Likewise, giving them a reason to believe in your sales and marketing pitch is more important than ever before.

To this end, strong testimonials such as ‘user stories’ and ‘client referrals’ are a valuable way of offering a prospect an independent endorsement of your advice services. But there are case studies and there are case studies. The trick is to ensure the endorsement adds value to your marketing messages.

Structure is crucial. There is a simple three-step approach that can help you develop valuable testimonials for the marketplace.

The challenge: Clients generally approach a professional service business with a challenge. In the case of financial planning, people seek advice to supplement their own knowledge, or lack of financial proficiency. It’s critical that you present an overview of the challenge the client faces. This demonstrates authenticity and the issues they are confronting that need a resolution. Presenting the pain point in a case study is crucial. It allows a prospect to empathise with the story.

The solution: In this section of the case study, showcase how you examined the challenge and constructed a solution. To add legitimacy, include quotes from your client.

 The outcome: What was the result? A case study must demonstrate that, following your intervention, the client achieved their desired financial goals. Having some tangible results is the key to the success of the case study. Ideally, you want to demonstrate that you went ‘above and beyond’ for the client. And if you can demonstrate that you delivered more than you promised, you can be sure this will appeal to prospective leads. If there is some statistical data that can verify the results of your firm’s intervention, even better.

 There are numerous ways to present a case study. Video is an increasingly popular method. You can post it on your website and distribute it through social media. Video is quick and easy to consume, which is why it’s popular.

A well-written case study covering the challenge, solution and outcome is also useful. It should be easily downloadable from your website and can be emailed to a prospect.

Finally, a testimonial with a few key quotes is an easily digestible way of showcasing your service offering. Be sure to select quotes that focus on the outcome and the value a client gained by appointing your firm.

TOPICS:  case studiesmarketingtestimonialsVIDEO


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Anthony O'Brien

About The Author /

Anthony O'Brien is a principal of corporate marketing and communications firm Corpwrite. He is a business and personal finance writer with experience extending over 20 years in the communication industry. He is presently the small business writer for Money magazine and has contributed regularly to a range of other publications including Charter, The Australian Worker, INTHEBLACK, Rugby League Week, Jetstar Magazine, Australian Way and The Bulletin. O'Brien also worked as a reporter with NBN on its nightly television news service. O'Brien is a published author, working with leading finance commentator Paul Clitheroe AM, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, to co-author Make your Fortune by 40 (Viking 2001) and Road to Wealth (Viking 2000). Prior to launching into self-employment in 1999, O'Brien worked in a diverse range of corporate communication roles for IBM, Link Telecommunications, BT Australia, several NSW state politicians and a number of PR firms.