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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Use the “Challenge/Solution/Results” Formula to Write Successful Case Studies

 
Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka told savvy salesperson Zoot how to create client case studies and use them as sales tools. This week, Marka gives Zoot a tip for writing a compelling case study. Remember, fire=print.

Zoot returned to the office after interviewing Dione, owner of Dione’s Donuts, for a case study. He found Marka in her office. “The interview with Dione went great,” he said. “But now we have to write this darn thing. I don’t even know where to start! I have a half-hour audio recording, all these pictures and videos...”

“Relax, Zoot,” Marka said. “You’re overthinking it. Most effective case studies can be created using a simple formula: Challenge, Solution, Results. All you have to do is examine the information you’ve gathered and decide which category each piece of data belongs in. Once this initial organizational step is complete, writing the case study should be easy!”

“Can you describe each of these categories in a little more detail?” Zoot asked.

“My pleasure.” Marka scribbled on the whiteboard near her desk.

Challenge—
What obstacle (or obstacles) did Dione’s Donuts face that required purchasing a solution such as FEI’s FireExcel Kiln? Were expensive baking costs eating up their profit margins? Were their current kilns taking forever to bake donuts, causing customers to get annoyed or go elsewhere? Identify and describe this challenge. Strike a careful balance by clearly demonstrating the problem without making it sound like Dione’s baking production was a complete disaster before FEI. Remember: we want to make the client look good, too.

Marka scribbled some more on the whiteboard.

Solution—
Explain why Dione’s chose the FireExcel to help them overcome their challenge. Detail the FireExcel’s benefits and illustrate specifically how it helped Dione’s achieve their goals.

Results—
Prospects reading this case study will be looking for hard data on how we helped Dione’s Donuts save money, save time, or make some sort of quantifiable improvement. If possible, include specific numbers and an ROI statement. “My business runs more cost-efficiently with FEI” sounds nice, but it’s vague. “FEI helped my business reduce cooking costs by 20 percent” is a killer results statement. See the difference?

“Boy, this was helpful,” Zoot said. “Just one question: who is this Roi fella?”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Marka exclaimed.

“Of course,” Zoot said with a wink.

Next week: Marka gives Zoot more tips for writing a compelling case study.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Follow the simple, tried-and-true Challenge-Solution-Results formula to create case studies that get attention and drive new business for your printing business.

FIRE! In Action: Hubspot Uses Customer Case Studies to Bolster Web Presence
The internet marketing software company posts dozens of case studies on its Website. Every case study is relatively short, includes graphics or video content, and, most importantly emphasizes the measurable results the client has seen.

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