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Customer Case Studies: More Effective, Loss Costly

Time and again, I've posted on the effectiveness of customer case studies. But now, there's more evidence that they not only work, but also that they're one of the least expensive content marketing options out there.

In a 2011 survey by TechValidate, 126 B2B marketing and sales professionals weighed in on their challenges and strategies for content marketing. Case studies were included in multiple questions, and emerged as leaders on several fronts. The only downside of case studies, as indicated by the survey, is the time to create them.

The highlights:

Question: How does the source of marketing content affect its effectiveness? How effective are the following types of content in convincing prospects of your value proposition?

Response: 94% said content sourced from existing customers is either extremely effective or very effective, with case studies topping content written in house and third-party analyst content.



Question: What are the three most costly content assets to create?

Response: Third-party white papers, business/thought leadership white papers and customer videos were overwhelmingly described as being most costly to create. Case studies (written) came in next to last, with sales presentations as the only piece of collateral that was considered less costly.


Question: Rate the effectiveness of the following types of content for lead generation.

Response: 73% of respondents rated case studies as extremely or very effective in their lead generation efforts.


Question: What are the most time consuming content assets to produce?

Response: Case studies came in second among the answers, with business/thought leadership white papers first. Why? Unfortunately, including customers in edits and approval of named case studies adds an uncertain amount of time to every case study project.


Give yourself plenty of lead time to get case studies done for any big marketing effort (web launch, trade show...), and you'll find they are a powerful and effective addition to your marketing portfolio.

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More Stories By Casey Hibbard

Casey Hibbard is the founder and president of Compelling Cases, Inc. and author of "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset." She has helped dozens of companies create and manage nearly 500 customer case studies and success stories over the past decade. Casey is featured in numerous books, articles, and teleclasses. She consults with organizations one-on-one and conducts online customer-story classes.