Advertising: Generic Case Studies



I'm looking to put together case studies for all of our clients. We're a contract engineering firm. At this point I need to get our case studies approved by our clients, which brings up the following question..

What makes for the better case study? A generic mention of the client "We worked with the client.."

Or to actually put the client on there? "We worked with So-and-So to develop. So-and-so loved us!"



asked Apr 28 '10 at 10:27
140 points
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3 Answers


I would look at it from your target audience's perspective:

What are they concerned about with hiring you?

I can think of some topics I would address:

  • cost
  • Value/cost effectiveness
  • how easy it is to work with you
  • are you competent/get results
  • how easy/well do you handle support
  • what policies do you have that are important to know about
  • why choose you over someone else
  • how do you mitigate risks and handle challenges
  • etc

A case study could probably highlight how you well deal with unexpected issues or problems.
answered Apr 28 '10 at 23:14
Tim J
8,346 points


Of course it's always better to be specific.

When you say the name, not only does it feel more real, you know it is real because some lawyer and group at some company "approved" it.

Half of the purpose of a case study is to explain the pain, how you solve it, and what it looks like after. You can do that without names, and certainly that's better than nothing.

But the other half is the testimonial -- the social proof or external proof that you really are as good as you say, or at least good enough to be well worth the money and hassle.

This latter half doesn't come through unless you have a name to go with it.

answered Apr 28 '10 at 23:40
16,231 points


How I would act if I were you:

  • Decide what topics to address (as Tim said).
  • Then choose for example three most important of them (it is the topics that form your unique value proposition);
  • Map three satisfied clients to these topics, write original text for each topic/client pair;
  • Important: all texts should be written in the first person, like ' "They have incredible support. Everything is done in time and I definitely recommend So-and-So if you want to be treated as a very important client even if your project is small." John Smith, CEO of N.'
  • Place these quotes along with clients' photos on your site/commercials.

Don't forget though, that generalized texts do not work as good as original ones. It's satisfied client speaking for you and you must use this chance to deliver your message, not the "They loved us" one.

answered Apr 29 '10 at 19:59
Kirill Blazhko
393 points

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