What is a case study? How to get started?

As well as discovering what is a case study, find out why they’re useful – and how to get
started with them.

What is a case study? Here’s why you should use them, and how to get started

Choosing a supplier can be a big step for prospects – especially when it’s a high-value purchase, or when buying an intangible service. Here’s how case studies help buyers get over the line more easily.

What is a case study?

In the sales and marketing context, a case study is an in-depth look at a customer’s buying journey. The case study will cover the problem or challenge the customer was experiencing; the company’s solution to this problem; and the final outcome.

Case studies tell the customer’s story – and like all good stories, they should contain a bit of drama. That’s why they discuss the problem, and any apprehensions the prospect had, as well as the solution, for example. Talking about the risks and fears makes case studies more believable – and something that other prospects can empathise with. It’s real and relatable.

Case studies can be in a written format, or video – or both. They can feature on your website, and you can also engage a graphic designer to make the case study into attractive documents you can give to prospects as part of your marketing collateral.

To get a clearer idea of what is a case study, and what they look like, here are some of our case studies as examples. You’ll see that we’ve turned our case studies into a PDF as well as web pages. 

9 benefits of using case studies in your marketing

There are numerous benefits of using case studies in your marketing:

1. Believable: A good case study is more believable and credible than a testimonial, because it contains a bit of drama, and goes into detail. Tell the story of how you dealt with any challenges – and how there was a successful outcome.

2. Relatable: A case study turns the customer journey into a story prospective buyers will relate to, and they will start imagining themselves in that scenario. This visualisation can help significantly with getting prospects over the line.

3. Addresses objections: A good case study also talks about any apprehensions past customers have had – and how they were overcome. Addressing these objections up front in a case study can alleviate their worries a prospect may have. And again, the real life drama adds credibility and interest to the story.

4. Relationship: A case study should cover the relationship between yourself and the client. This lets future customers know what it’s like to work with your business. This is particularly important in industries where the work with the client is over a longer period.

5. Values: A case study can bring your company values to life, and demonstrate that your business really walks the walk.

6. Competitive advantage: If a prospective buyer is shortlisting suppliers, a strong case study canelevate you over competitors.

7. Online benefits: A case study can increase your website traffic if keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tactics are used. Plus the case studies can improve website conversion rates to increase the number of enquiries you get online.

8. Testimonials: The case study will contain a good number of sound bites you can use as testimonials throughout your marketing.

9. Longevity: An investment in a case study has longevity, as it’s content you can use in your marketing for many years to come.

Tips on getting started with case studies

Now you know what is a case study, and what their benefits are, you may wonder how to get started with gathering your own case studies.

The process of creating case studies is easier than you may think:


    • Build it into your sales process: Position the prospect in your very first sales presentation by saying something along the lines of: “Our business grows through word of mouth and referrals from our customers, as we like to do an outstanding job. Would you be happy to help us with that, when your project is complete and you’re happy with it, by giving us a testimonial and referring us to other people who could benefit from our services?”
    •  Keep checking in: At key points in your sales and construction programme, make sure everything’s on track and that the customer is enjoying your work for them. This means conversations shouldn’t just be about the nitty gritty details of a project, but also about your relationship, communication, and so on.
    • Pick a happy time: Tee up the case study interview once the project is complete, and the client is delighted with your work. This step should be documented in your sales process.
    • Hire a professional: If interviewing the client and writing a case study isn’t in your wheelhouse, engage a copywriter to do this for you. A copywriter has the benefit of being impartial – and can also ask for constructive feedback that the client may not otherwise give. This feedback can be absolute gold for your business development.

Need help? Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help with your sales and lead generation.