In a recent post, I told about my favorite discovery as we interviewed B2Bs for our new white paper, “Secrets of Case Study Winners.” That discovery was that the “winners” created benefit for the client. As a result, they get more case studies from their clients, to the delight of their sales forces.
In contrast, other B2Bs think of case studies merely as another marketing project. They expect their clients to serve as subject matter experts for their content in the same way they would ask one of their internal product managers to be the subject matter expert for a technical white paper. No wonder these companies get turned down by their clients. The client doesn’t owe its vendor any favors. What’s in it for them?
To illustrate this contrast, we tell the “Tale of Two Companies” in the white paper: one company that takes the traditional approach, and ekes out a few passable case studies per year, and another that takes an integrated approach, in which writing the case study is just part of the B2B’s customer experience. This company has a an ongoing case study program that generates great content with the cooperation of happy clients.
The marketing department, in most B2Bs, is not a client-facing group. It makes sense, then, for marketing to work with client-facing teams in sales, services, and support to get the approval for the case study, as well as the facts to write it.
If your B2B company is atypical, like the ones we interviewed for the white paper, let us know how you work with your client-facing teams to execute your case study program.