Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Make your case studies FABulous

Things go in cycles, the cuts in marketing budgets caused by the recession have had a positive impact in as much as large organisations are thinking about value as opposed to volume (believe me, as a creative and a businessman there is nothing more depressing than being measured by the number if items you deliver for a client, it's like creating case studies by the gallon/square mile/cubic metre and not a smart business strategy long-term).

So what IS value when it comes to case studies?I don't mean cost. I reckon value = great stories that meet a genuine need from prospective clients, making our client's solutions real in a way no amount of marketing bumph ever could (fifteen genuine words from a happy customer must be worth 100 words of messaging, feeds and speeds).

This also means maybe NOT doing so many, or doing them later (when there are benefits to talk about).

Quantifiable benefits...hmmm

The fact is that anyone creating case studies for global organisations will be aware of the drive for metrics with everything (I like fries with everything but that's another story).

Do you know how to be FAB?

  • Feature
  • Advantage
  • Benefit
I never ceased to be amazed how many good marketers get confused about this; we all learnt it, maybe we forgot so here's recap:

Features provide Advantages, Advantages provide Benefits.

  • Feature - The Reference Geeks blog is online
  • Advantage - This allows you to access it from any Internet-enabled device, anywhere
  • Benefit - Which means that no matter where you are, if you read it you can stun your boss with your customer reference knowledge and gain the promotion you have always dreamed of (OK I'm dreaming here)
The benefit statement is the WIIFY (what's in it for me?) and once you start to think this way you will be amazed how rarely you see marketing that really nails this, people seem to get stuck at the Advantage stage (describing the features).

Of course you know this stuff, my next blog post is about sucking eggs...

Just for fun though, go back and read the last case study summary you wrote and see if it was as FAB as it could have been.