Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Case Studies Rule

This week, Seth Godin wrote in his blog, "The market is not seduced by logic."

"People are moved by stories and drama and hints and clues and discovery.  Logic is a battering ram, one that might work if your case is overwhelming.  Wal-Mart won by logic (cheap!), but you probably won't."

A stick-in-the-mud B-to-B marketer would react to Godin by saying, "Sure, that's great advice for a B-to-C company, but it doesn't apply to us."

But B-to-B marketers who "get" the power of case studies would nod in agreement with Godin.  What else are well-crafted case studies but stories with drama, hints, clues and discovery?

Case studies woo customers for one simple reason.  People love stories.

Case studies work because customers empathize with fellow customers in plight.  They like hearing that others face predicaments comparable to their own.  And they like learning how others escaped those hair-raising (more likely blood-pressure raising) situations.

Case studies are also a lot more credible than 99 percent of the propaganda a company typically pumps out.

And when products or services are complex or arcane, case studies go a long way in clarifying what a company's actually selling, because they provide examples.   Think about it.  How often have you sought to understand someone by asking, "Can you give me an example?"
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