The case for the Case Study: A genuinely effective marketing tool
First and foremost, a good case study is one of the single most persuasive ways for you to establish your credibility. It's a cast iron reference from a satisfied customer, someone who was so pleased with what you did for them that they took the time to help out and put their name and reputation to a detailed endorsement of your company. A customer quote is a little marketing nugget that goes a long way to creating trust with your prospects and helps to move them a little further along the pipeline.
Secondly, a case study brings the benefits of your product, service or company to the fore in a way that many other marketing tools don't. Narrating the story of a real-life situation takes you away from the dry, technical features that can dominate marketing collateral in high-tech industries and allows you to focus squarely on benefits. The case study should tell a convincing story of how feature A translated in concrete business benefit B for customer C. It puts hard to grasp features in a context that customers understand, moving them another step closer.
Thirdly, a case study is a hugely versatile piece of marketing collateral. Editors love them, a good case study is a great way of gaining free editorial space in your target trade journals. They're excellent linkbait (more of this in an upcoming newsletter), websites have a huge appetite for new material, so a well written, keyword optimised case study can have a profound impact on your site profile, generating numerous backlinks, raising search engine performance and site traffic. Let's not forget that they're a great tool for the kit bag of the field sales team, excellent supporting collateral for technical sales.