How identity businesses can attract new customers via case studies

(Updated 4/18/2022 with additional customer focus information.)

I recently had the occasion to observe the digital marketing of a particular company, which I will refer to as “WidgetCo” in this post. (WidgetCo is NOT a current Bredemarket customer, and for various reasons will probably not become a future Bredemarket customer.)

Without going into detail, most of WidgetCo’s digital marketing (online information about the company on its website and its social media channels) emphasized its financial achievements, all related to startup funding.

TechCrunch’s recent funding news. (“WidgetCo” is NOT one of the companies listed.) By the time you read this, it will be updated. From

If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know how I reacted.

So what?

Let me give you an example of why bragging about your Series X funding is meaningless to your potential customers.

  • When you go to Amazon, Best Buy, or a similar online product-buying service, you can search for products based on various criteria.
  • For example, you can search for TVs based on screen size, or can search for computers based on the available storage, or search for CDs based on the artist.
  • Have you ever seen an online marketplace that lets you search for a product based upon the company’s Series C funding amount?

The reason that you can’t search for a product based upon its company’s Series C funding is because the customer doesn’t give a, um, hoot about the company’s Series C funding. You never hear a customer say, “You know, this product is good, but this other product comes from a company that just completed a $25 million Series C funding round. I’ll buy the other one instead.”

So why do people talk about this so much?

Customer-centric marketing

Marketing efforts need to begin with the customer, what the customer needs, and how you can fulfill the customer’s needs.

I think this makes the point quite nicely. From the Gary Fly / Brooks Group article “7 Tips for Implementing a Customer-Centric Strategy,” at

From Bredemarket’s perspective, this means that I shouldn’t be emphasizing the needs of my clients, but instead should talk about the needs of my clients’ end customers.

So, for example, my company Bredemarket shouldn’t EMPHASIZE my 25-plus years of biometric expertise. It’s fine to mention it in passing, but that shouldn’t be the most important reason why you should use my marketing and writing services.

Instead, I SHOULD be emphasizing that you should use Bredemarket’s marketing and writing services because I can help you tell the stories that you need to tell to attract customers to your product or service.

  • You have the need to attract customers.
  • Bredemarket can help you attract customers.

I think you notice the theme here.

From the Gary Fly / Brooks Group article “7 Tips for Implementing a Customer-Centric Strategy,” at

There are various ways to tell these stories. Today I just want to talk about one of them.

Case studies

You can say that your company provides an excellent product or service.

But it’s more important when one of your customers says that your company provides an excellent product or service. Outside praise is more important than self-praise (something I realized myself when I set Bredemarket’s second goal for 2022), and a case study that quotes one of your customers speaks the same language as your other customers.

As of February 16, 2022, I have created fourteen (14) case studies for clients. For example, one of the case studies featured a law enforcement agency that used a product from a particular biometric firm. The law enforcement agency faced a particular need, the biometric firm provided a product that met this need, and the law enforcement agency apprehended a criminal with the product much more quickly than it could have without the product. (In fact, it’s possible that without the biometric firm’s product, the criminal may NEVER have been apprehended.)

So how does the biometric firm use this case study? It goes to OTHER law enforcement agencies and says, “Hey, YOU have this problem. Look at how another law enforcement agency solved this problem.” Because the case study was written from the perspective of a law enforcement agency, the message resonantes with other law enforcement agencies.

Cops talking to cops. It works.

From the Gary Fly / Brooks Group article “7 Tips for Implementing a Customer-Centric Strategy,” at

Now YOU are asking ME, “So what?”

To be fair, some of the identity businesspeople who are reading this are saying, “I don’t work with law enforcement agencies. How can your case study services help ME?”

I have not only worked with companies that sell to law enforcement agencies, but with other types of firms, ranging from sole proprietors to huge multinationals, that need to communicate with their end users.

If you’re sick of focusing on the customer by this point, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in business. From the Gary Fly / Brooks Group article “7 Tips for Implementing a Customer-Centric Strategy,” at

In addition, YOU remain an essential part of the case study creation process. (Along with the customer that we will feature in the case study, of course.) When you engage with Bredemarket, we start by agreeing on the goal of the content, the benefits to communicate, and the target audience.

Bredemarket’s content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) advances your GOAL, (b) communicates your BENEFITS, and (c) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE. It is both iterative and collaborative….

(At the beginning) You and Bredemarket agree upon the topic, goal, benefits, and target audience (and, if necessary, outline, section sub-goals, relevant examples, and relevant key words/hashtags, and interim and final due dates).


You can read about how we will work together here, in my description of the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service. (If you want me to prepare a really LONG case study or testimonial, I can do that also.)

But will you enjoy the final product? I just happen to have a testimonial…

“I just wanted to truly say thank you for putting these templates together. I worked on this…last week and it was extremely simple to use and I thought really provided a professional advantage and tool to give the customer….TRULY THANK YOU!”

Comment from one of the client’s employees who used the standard proposal text

If my services can help you:

Hey! Didn’t I just read something similar?

Perhaps you recently read a Bredemarket blog post that included many of the same words that you saw in this post, and you’re now wondering if you’re going through deja vu all over again.

Yes, I wrote two similar (but not identical) posts.

  • One post is targeted to Inland Empire West companies who need Bredemarket services for testimonials (or case studies).
  • This post is targeted to biometric/identity customers who need Bredemarket services for case studies (or testimonials).

Why TWO posts, each of which is targeted to SEPARATE Bredemarket social media channels?

Because I need to address the needs of DIFFERENT types of customers, by using my skill set as applicable.

(4/18/2022: For additional information on customer focus, click here.)

And if I grow both sectors of my business, my Series B funding round will be HUGE.

By Beltane43 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

External content creators, part four: DIY

We’ve finally reached the fourth post in this four-post series. If you missed posts one, two, and three, follow the links.

The series, based upon an article by Andrew Wheeler of Skyword, address four possible concerns that companies may have in using external content creators. Lack of expertise. Lack of brand knowledge. Lack of quality control.

And this one.

The concern

Wheeler’s fourth concern is as follows:

It’s faster/easier to just do it ourselves

By Marjory Collins, 1912-1985, photographer, for the U. S. government – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USF35-1326], Public Domain,

There are two reasons why a company may decide to turn to external content creators. One of these was addressed in a previous post: the company is so swamped that it’s hard to get all the work done that needs to be done.

There’s a second reason: the company doesn’t know HOW to do the work that needs to be done. For example, a salesperson might walk up to a technical writer in the company.

“Our customer just published an RFP. Even though we have a really good relationship with the customer, I didn’t know this RFP is coming. Of course we’ll win it if those idiots in finance don’t gouge the customer with a high price. We have to respond to the RFP in three weeks.”

In some cases, the technical writer may turn to the salesperson and ask,

“What’s an RFP?”

Regardless of which of the two reasons is prompting the company to bring in outside help, the company may dread the whole idea of bringing outside help up to speed. Even if the outside help has the required expertise, understands the company’s branding, and can provide accountability and quality control, it’s such a hassle to bring someone new onto a project. If we adjust a schedule here and there, and maybe work just one Saturday, we can take care of all of this ourselves without bothering with an outside vendor!

What Andrew Wheeler said

Again, I encourage you to read the entire article. This is but a short excerpt. But the article makes an excellent point about it being faster/easier to do things in-house.

It is—until it isn’t.

As we all know, internal bandwidth gets eaten up as soon as it’s created. Unless you anticipate zero business growth—and then I’d say you have another problem—you’re going to need creative skills tomorrow that you don’t have on hand today. It makes more sense to work with external resources who can be changed up or tapped the moment you need them than it does to try and hire a team that can cover everything.


I won’t go into the flexibility that project-based contractors can provide, but I can say that it’s not only helped Bredemarket’s business, but the business of Bredemarket’s clients, to bring someone on for a few hours or a few weeks to get a particular project done.

It’s better than overloading your in-house staff. I know from experience.

What I say

Let me expand on a story that I’ve briefly referenced before.

In the summer of 1994, Printrak proposal manager Laurel Jew went on maternity leave. This left Printrak in such a bind that the company had to bring on TWO consultants to replace her.

So one day in October 1994 Kimtech sent me out to Printrak’s office on Tustin Avenue in Anaheim to write AFIS proposals. I had never written a proposal, but I knew how to spell AFIS (and didn’t know much more about AFIS at the time). That first day on the job I stayed in Anaheim until 11:00 at night. In a way it was nice because I was getting paid by the hour, but it was a tough road for the next several months. We even worked on Super Bowl Sunday in 1995. The employee who had to cancel his Super Bowl party and bring his TV to Tustin Avenue was not happy.

Eventually both of us consultants were hired and became permanent employees of Printrak, and we weren’t pulling all-nighters any more.

But a few years later our business was expanding, the number of proposals that we had to write was expanding, and we had to bring in a new set of consultants to help with the workload.

I remember one of these consultants was stressed by the heavy workload, and adapted his behavior to fit the environment in which he had been thrust. We realized this when he published his proposal schedule, complete with Saturday meetings.

“We don’t meet on Saturdays,” we told him.

“Why not?” he replied. “We’re working every Saturday.”

Eventually he ended up leaving and presumably took up a more relaxing activity such as high-wire balancing.

And all of this stress happened WITH consultants. Imagine if the decision had been made in 1994 and 1998 NOT to hire consultants. Perhaps Printrak would have scheduled Sunday proposal meetings.

A less stressful example

Fast forward twenty-plus years, and I’m consulting again. And I’ve noticed something.

When a company contracts with me to work on a project, I am focused on that one project for the company. Now perhaps an hour later I am focused on another project for another company, but during that initial hour the project receives my undivided attention.

But the company itself is focused on all the other things that the company has to do. There’s the project for which I’m helping out, and then there’s all the other stuff that the company needs to address. If I’m helping a company with a proposal, few if any of the company employees are dedicated 100% to that particular proposal. Proposal specialists may be simultaneously working on other proposals, and subject matter experts (SMEs) are working on the proposal in addition to their “real” jobs.

Depending upon the craziness of the other work that the company’s employees are doing, I may be the only person who is thinking about the project on a regular basis. If it’s a proposal project, I’m the one who always has the due date in mind, and occasionally have to remind the employees that the proposal has to be submitted in two weeks, or one week, or two days. Sometimes my content projects have due dates of their own.

Enough storytelling.

Doing it yourself doesn’t work if you have too much work to begin with, and doing it yourself doesn’t work if you don’t know how to do it. So in those circumstances, you want to contract with a company such as Skyword (or another company) to help you with your writing project.

And if you contract with Skyword, maybe I’ll be assigned to your project.

External content creators, part three: accountability

Part of a series (which started here) on why companies are reluctant to use external content creators, and how to mitigate those companies’ concerns.

The concern

In his article, “The Truth About Trusting External Content Partners,” Skyword CEO Andrew Wheeler highlighted this concern:

We’ll lose accountability and quality control

By GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Think about this from the perspective of the company. Often (but not always) companies consider using external help because they are overloaded with work. (There’s another reason to use external help, which I’ll address in the fourth post in this series.) The boss is already having a tough enough time getting the worker bees to generate quality content in such a high-pressure situation. The boss is going to be really concerned about some outsider, not under the boss’ thumb. How will the boss control the outsider?

Many bosses are not like this, but even the most enlightened ones will have a concern about how an outsider that they don’t know is going to meet the quality standards of the employees that they do know.

What Andrew Wheeler said

When addressing this concern, Wheeler starts out by presenting an uncomfortable truth.

I’ve found this concern usually resonates with teams for whom process and quality control are already sore spots. Either no content creation infrastructure exists, the current structure is too rigid to scale, or the structure is chaotic and there’s fear that an external partner will exacerbate the problem.


Because Skyword is in the business of connecting freelancers with companies needing their services, one of the things that Skyword does is to institute its own process to ensure the maintenance of accountability and quality control. Wheeler’s article describes four key elements that any process should include: documented guidelines, good briefs, dedicated gatekeepers, and good content management technology.

What I say

Every project has a process. Perhaps the process may be chaotic, but it’s a process. It’s better to institute a good one. When Bredemarket takes on a project, there are three ways to implement a process.

  1. If I am sent out to a project by a service such as Skyword, SMA, or Dragonfly Editorial, often the service does what Skyword does and institutes its own process.
  2. There are some cases in which the client has a mature process, and in that case I just slot myself into the client’s existing process.
  3. In other cases, most notably with very small companies, I institute a process myself. When used, my content creation process has a simple order of steps, starting with the kickoff described in a prior post in this series.

Regardless of where the process comes from, the goal is the same: to institute accountability and quality control over the final product.

We’re almost to the finish line. We have one more concern to address: It’s faster/easier to just do it ourselves.

External content creators, part two: branding

If you missed the first post in this series, I’m looking at four concerns that companies may have about contracting with external content creators. These four concerns were identified by Andrew Wheeler, CEO of Skyword, who addressed each one in turn.

In this post series, I will augment Wheeler’s responses with some thoughts of my own.

The concern

The second concern Andrew Wheeler raised in his article was the following:

They’ll never “get” our brand like we do

This differs from expertise. It’s one thing to have the expertise that a company needs. It’s another thing to know how companies do things.

I’ll choose an example well outside of my areas of expertise to make the point. Specifically, I’ll talk about insurance companies.

Would someone explain to me why multiple insurance companies choose to air ads in which the spokespeople are intentionally annoying? There’s one company that makes a big point about how annoying its white-clothed female spokesperson is. Another insurance company has a spokesperson referred to as “mayhem.” And then there’s the company that used to feature the performing voice of Gilbert Gottfried; if you are not familiar with his voice, it’s not smooth and calming.

Other insurance companies have adopted an older, more traditional branding approach that hearkens back to Allstate’s old “you’re in good hands” or State Farm’s “like a good neighbor.” New York Life still maintains this more soothing approach.


What if an external content creator approached a company with the wrong branding tone? “Your lifestyle commercial is BORING. Here’s my pitch for an ad with an emu and a gecko who are seriously injured in a major automobile accident!”

That pitch meeting wouldn’t end well.

What Andrew Wheeler said

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

Making sure a partner is well-versed in your brand is both a process and a two-way street. 


It’s a two-way street because the company has to communicate to the freelancer its branding standards, while the freelancer has to research the company to get a feel for how the company communicates.

What I say

So how do you make sure this required communication happens?

By allocating time for it at the beginning of the project.

On occasion I’ve described the process that Bredemarket uses when kicking off a project with its clients. I start by providing a high-level overview.

Bredemarket’s content creation process ensures that the final written content (a) advances your GOAL, (b) communicates your BENEFITS, and (c) speaks to your TARGET AUDIENCE. It is both iterative and collaborative.


When I drill down into the content creation process itself, here is how I describe the kickoff meeting with the client.

You and Bredemarket agree upon the topic, goal, benefits, and target audience (and, if necessary, outline, section sub-goals, relevant examples, and relevant key words/hashtags, and interim and final due dates).


Agreement upon the branding strategy can fall into this initial discussion, perhaps when talking about the goal of the content. If the goal is to gently reassure potential clients that the service will ease their burdens, then the content will take one approach. If the goal is to shock and amuse potential clients with a stronger call to action, then you’ll use the mayhem guy.

Regardless of your process, it’s important to communicate and reach agreement on the critical things at the beginning of the project. This saves expensive rework later in the project.

Time to move on to the third concern, “we’ll lose accountability and quality control.

External content creators, part one: expertise

After reading a SideHusl recommendation for suggested work for nomads (even though I’m not a nomad), I signed up with yet another external referral service, Skyword. My Skyword profile is here, by the way.


After getting everything set up, I explored the company more deeply, and ran across this article by Skyword CEO Andrew Wheeler entitled “The Truth About Trusting External Content Partners.” The article addresses the reluctance of companies to trust outsiders to create their content. Wheeler cataloged four concerns and addressed them one by one.

As I read Wheeler’s article, three thoughts came to mind.

  1. I have things to say myself about each of these four concerns.
  2. Hmm…four-post series. Because the four-post series last week wasn’t enough.
  3. And then I can add the series to my Skyword portfolio.

So, let’s dig in. I’ll summarize the concern that a company may have with using an external content creator, look at how Andrew Wheeler addressed the concern, and then add a few thoughts of my own.

The concern

The first concern Andrew Wheeler raised in his article was the following:

The content won’t be in-depth or expert enough for our audience

From the perspective of the company, they’ve spent years or decades acquiring the expertise in question. What happens if they bring someone off the street who can spell “AFIS,” but has no idea what it is?

What Andrew Wheeler said

Wheeler addressed this concern by noting that there are a lot of people out there who have the expertise that a company needs. This is but a small part of what Wheeler said; read the rest here.

The reason we believe in tapping into freelance creators for content, rather than agencies or insourcing, is that the talent pool is so large it’s guaranteed that people with the skills you’re looking for are out there. 


As part of the process of signing up with Skywords as a freelancer, you are asked to go into detail about your specific expertise: identifying the types of expertise that you possess, and where you acquired that expertise.

What I say

From the freelancing perspective, it is incumbent on the freelancer to identify the specific expertise they can provide.

I won’t link to the specific conversations, but I’ve seen social media posts from aspiring freelance writers saying, “Hey, I can write stuff.” When pressed for details, they often respond, “Oh, I can write anything.” No wonder companies get jittery about using freelancers.

If you’ve read any of my stuff, you know that I have identified some specific areas of expertise that I provide. You know, the biometric content marketing expert and biometric proposal writing expert stuff. Although I’m certainly willing to expand beyond these core markets (see my first goal for 2022), I realize that my best chances at writing are with companies in the biometric/identity space.

In fact, my issue is the inverse of the company issue. While companies are looking for freelancers with relevant expertise, I am looking for companies that can use my relevant expertise. There are obviously a number of biometric/identity companies out there, some of which have used Bredemarket, others of which have not used Bredemarket.

Why isn’t EVERY biometric/identity company using Bredemarket?

Well, the concern about expertise is only the first concern. There are three others that must be addressed:

On corporate identity (not personal identity)

I was checking on Bredemarket’s appearance in various searches (have I told you that I am a biometric proposal writing expert?), and I ran across something having to do with proposals and identity that was outside of my usual definition of “identity.”

This article talked about writing a proposal to help a company establish its corporate identity.

(Yes, I know a corporation is a person, but this is something different. I can’t capture IBM’s face, and Wendy’s face is not necessarily a unique biometric identifier.)

Establishing an outward-facing corporate identity

In the article, Ruben described how to help a company establish its corporate identity. After suggesting that you ensure that you understand the company, Ruben focused on the company’s needs.

Identify the Needs – having described the company, the next step is to explain why your idea for a logo or marketing campaign is suitable for their goals. There may be many “needs” you need to address. For example, it might be a good idea to describe why rebranding can make a company look more modern and approachable.

From there, you would naturally describe how you would meet the company’s needs, and why you are qualified to meet the company’s needs.

If all goes well, the company will contract with you, then you will come up with a plan to optimize the company’s corporate identity. The company will implement the plan, the company’s revenue will increase, and you will be a hero.

But corporate identity goes beyond the logo, the website, and the marketing materials.

Establishing a strategic corporate identity

There’s an important step that a company needs to take before making decisions on outward-facing marketing.

The company has to decide who it is.

There are a multitude of ways to do this, ranging from a detailed business plan to a brief mission statement or statement of purpose. Regardless of the avenue you take, you need to know what you want to do.

Take an example from the 1980s. Perhaps some of you may remember Mita, famous for the advertising slogan “all we make are great copiers.”

There was a reason that Mita used that slogan:

If you are sixth in unit sales in the office copier industry and you are one of the few manufacturers that does not have a diversified product line, then the thing to do in your advertising is disparage diversification.


In this case, the advertising slogan helped shape the entire strategy of the company, resulting in a corporate identity that was very successful.


Revising a strategic corporate identity

In fact, it was too successful. Because if you already make great copiers, what else do you need to do? Not much, I guess.

But early in the 1990s, it started making mistakes: relocating factories in expensive Hong Kong, letting management become bloated and backsliding on technology. At the same time, Fuji-Xerox, Ricoh and Konica stepped up their presence. Among other things, Mita failed to embrace digital technologies.


See Kodak.

Mita eventually went bankrupt and was acquired by Kyocera, who immediately decided to work on Mita’s corporate identity. The company was rebranded as Kyocera Mita Corporation in 2000, and was re-rebranded as Kyocera Document Solutions in 2012. Mita schmeeta.

In today’s business world, digitalization is proceeding at an unprecedented pace and the volume of documents is growing exponentially.
In this business environment, we believe that our mission is to support our customers to effectively manage their information, and turn that information into knowledge, in order to address their challenges with a sense of speed.


You can see how the corporate identity has evolved over the decades, and how a company that once concentrated on taking pieces of paper and making identical pieces of paper now aspires to transform document information into knowledge to address challenges.

What does this mean for your corporate identity?

As I’ve noted, establishment of a marketing corporate identity is only part of an overall strategic plan to guide the future direction of a company.

Taking Bredemarket as an example, the corporate identity established by my logo is only a part of the plan guiding Bredemarket.

Bredemarket logo

The pencil symbolizes writing, and long experience in writing, but it does not say WHAT Bredemarket writes. That has been established, revised, and expanded, partially through the annual goals that I set.

As long as I don’t blow it and get too restrictive (Bredemarket: all we write are fingerprint RFP responses), I should be fine.

Bredemarket and proposals, part four: other services

So I’ve been going through my list of red bullets from this graphic.

Excerpt from

I decided to write posts on some of the red bullets to explain the types of services that Bredemarket offers.

  • The first post described Bredemarket’s RFx response services.
  • The second described Bredemarket’s sole source response services.
  • The third described Bredemarket’s proposal template services.

Which brought me to the fourth bullet, which was a fairly interesting project.

The technical leave behind project

This particular project was an unusual one, for two reasons.

First, there were four companies involved:

  1. Bredemarket.
  2. The company that contracted Bredemarket.
  3. The company that contracted the company that contracted Bredemarket.
  4. The final customer.

Despite all of the layers on this particular project, the people from all four companies worked well together and got the job done.

The second unusual thing about this particular project was that although it was not a proposal project per se, it required proposal expertise.

While I can’t go into details, I can briefly say that the goal of the project was to provide “technical leave behinds” for the final customer. The customer was a consulting firm with significant technical expertise in a particular vendor’s product family. When the customer visited one of its clients, it wanted to leave its client with one or more of these technical leave behinds, each of which was devoted to one of the many products in the product family.

So while these technical leave behinds were not proposals themselves, and on first glance appear to be more along the lines of Bredemarket’s content marketing work, they fulfilled a proposal-like purpose by providing information that the client could subsequently use to request information or a proposal from the consulting firm.

Because of this, the technical leave behinds had to be customer centric and respond to specific needs that customers may have. Maybe not to the specific level of detail that would satisfy 100% of any one customer’s specific needs, but the leave behinds at least had to address some major needs in template form.

So what?

Those of you who have read my writing on benefits knew that this question was coming.

“So Bredemarket can author technical leave behinds. So what?”

The benefit to you is that Bredemarket can work with you to create text to meet any of your needs, even if it doesn’t fit into some nice neat category such as a sole source proposal or an RFP response or a case study or a white paper or a blog post. For example, over the years I’ve not only created technical leave behinds, but I’ve also created and/or maintained trade show demonstration scripts, brief company analyses, customer and competitor installation lists, internal information services, external information services (including dedicated LinkedIn and Facebook pages devoted to particular topics), website and social media analyses, and a myriad of other pieces of written content.

If you need any type of written content that can help your company connect with other companies, let me know and I’ll work with you to create that content.

OK, now I’m done with expanding on the red bullets. There’s no point in expanding on the fifth bullet, “Additional proposal work for Bredemarket itself,” because that service is of no benefit to you. It only benefits me. Similarly, my MorphoTrak and Printrak proposal work won’t benefit you, unless you work for IDEMIA and are making money off of my prior work.

Again, if you missed any posts in the series, be sure to visit parts one, two, and three. And let me know if I can help you.

Why am I using the word “casetimonial”?

We often get bent out of shape trying to come up with precise definitions of things. While sometimes this precision is warranted, there are times when it is overkill.

Take the answer to this question:

What is the difference between a case study and a testimonial?

Not that type of case. By Thomas Quine – Lead type case, CC BY 2.0,

Some people have taken some time answering the question about the difference between a case study and a testimonial. For example, here’s what Juliet Platt says:

The difference between Case Studies and Testimonials is really length and depth.


Platt then gives examples of the longer, in-depth nature of case studies vs. the shorter nature of testimonials.

Another person who has addressed the question is Donna St. Jean Conti:

“Show me ROI, or it’s not a case study.” An editor told me this some 15 years ago, and he was so right.


This gets into the difference between quantitative information and qualitative information. By this definition, a case study always has to address return on investment, or it’s not a case study.

I have a different view

While I respect the views of these two people (and others), I have a different view. My answer to the question “What is the difference between a case study and a testimonial” is as follows:

Who cares?


Let me explain.

Regardless of what you call the document, a case study or a testimonial allows a firm to attract new customers by showcasing the successes of existing customers.


And as far as I’m concerned, the length of the piece and the choice to use quantitative or qualitative data (or both) is secondary to the primary purpose, which is to present an example that resonates with a potential customer.

Not that I don’t have ANY rules. Whether you’re writing a case study or testimonial, I like to structure it with the following format:

  1. The problem.
  2. The solution.
  3. The results (from using the solution to solve the problem).

This format allows a customer-centric presentation with which the reader can identify. “Hey, Joe’s Garage used this widget to solve their problem. Maybe I can use this widget to solve a similar problem.”

Now perhaps others use a different outline for their case studies or testimonials. And that’s…OK.

For those of you old enough to remember Stuart Smalley. By, Fair use,

My own term

So for ease of communication, I’ve decided to adopt a different term. It’s not original with me, but it doesn’t look like anyone else is currently using the term on a regular basis.

Instead of using awkward references to “case studies and/or testimonials,” I’m just going to refer to casetimonials.

I used the casetimonial term a lot on this page (recently revised) on the Bredemarket website, which not only includes a shorter form of the discussion above about the difference between a case study and a testimonial, but also discusses how a casetimonial can be used, how it can be repurposed, the types of firms that can benefit from casetimonials, and how Bredemarket can help you create your own casetimonials.

If you can use Bredemarket’s assistance with communicating past customer successes to future clients:

Retabulating the work that Bredemarket has done for clients (as of February 16, 2022)

My biometric/identity collateral wasn’t the only thing that I updated yesterday.

As part of my preparation for yesterday evening’s Ontario IDEA Exchange meeting, I took the time to update my “local” brochure. (Because local is important: see the first of my three goals for 2022.) This brochure includes a section that discusses the types and numbers of pieces that I have prepared for clients, including the number of case studies, the number of RFx responses, and so forth.

Those numbers hadn’t been updated since last September.

Before going to the meeting, I wanted to make sure my “local” brochure had the latest numbers.

I’ll go ahead and share them with you. This covers the projects that Bredemarket has completed for clients over the last 18 months, as of February 16, 2022:

  • Fourteen (14) case studies
  • Eight (8) articles (blog posts)
  • Three (3) service offering descriptions
  • Three (3) white papers
  • Nine (9) RFx responses
  • Four (4) sole source responses
  • Six (6) proposal templates
  • One (1) technical leave behind
  • Two (2) biometric analyses
Inland Empire B2B Content Services from Bredemarket.

As it turns out, I didn’t hand out my local brochure to anyone at last night’s IDEA Exchange. (It was a small crowd, most of whom I already knew.)

But at least I’ve tabulated the numbers.

Now I just have to update all of my NON local collateral…

Who said something about marketing channels that lack content?

Good evening, loyal readers. Although I’ve tested your loyalty lately.

This is my first post on the Bredemarket blog since December 24.

As in nearly a month ago.

Now who was it that said “If your marketing channels lack content, your potential customers may not know that you exist”?

Oh, yeah. That was me.

So what happened? Why haven’t I been posting anything here in nearly a month?

Well, business picked up considerably, and I haven’t had the spare time to conceive and write new blog posts.

(Incidentally, it turns out that the “(non-identity) proposal consulting contract” that I referenced in my December 10 post will extend beyond Tuesday, January 25. The end customer granted an extension to the proposal due date, and we’re taking advantage of the extension.)

And I already have two new projects lined up, as well as some continuing work.

Now I just have to figure out a way to continue my own marketing efforts.

Because as someone once said, “If your channels lack content, your potential customers may forget about you. And that’s NOT good for business.”

Perhaps I should hire myself to create content for myself. That would result in some interesting entries in my accounting system. And would I issue a 1099 to myself?