Case studies: a win-win

I just found out that Bredemarket will be getting more case study work, which I’m looking forward to because case studies can often be enjoyable.

No, not that type of case! By Michael Kammerer (Rob Gyp) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

While case studies can take a variety of forms, my primary experience with case studies is when a customer explains how a vendor’s solution helped to solve a customer problem. While customers may sometimes want to avoid direct endorsements of a vendor products, a customer can truthfully state how a vendor product helped the customer solve the problem.

If I can use an example that predates my consulting career, I was once involved in a case study in which a law enforcement agency talked about a particular product for law enforcement customers.

  • This type of customer is all too happy to talk about something that keeps the bad people off the streets, since the case study lets the citizens know that the law enforcement agency is taking steps to protect the citizens.
  • And of course the product vendor is all too happy to be associated with this, since it provides a vivid demonstration of how the product works.

A win-win for both customer and vendor, both of whom can look like heroes with the proper case study.

Whenever constructing a case study that features a law enforcement agency or anyone else, it’s important to remember that the vendor’s solution is not the COMPLETE solution to whatever problem is solved in the case study. Again returning to the law enforcement example, the most amazing product gizmo is completely worthless unless a trained person actually applies the gizmo, and knows when to apply the gizmo. And most criminal cases are not solved with a single gizmo, but with multiple gizmos…and a lot of hard work from the law enforcement agency that brings everything together to solve the crime.

Of course, case studies aren’t restricted to law enforcement customers and software products. You can construct a case study out of anything. They can be medical (“Case Study: A Patient with Asthma, Covid-19 Pneumonia and Cytokine Release Syndrome Treated with Corticosteroids and Tocilizumab”), service-related (Direct Travel’s case study of a consumer goods manufacturer), or even relate to adult toys (SEO Design Chicago’s case study for a client who had to overcome advertising challenges due to Google restrictions on sensitive content).

Anyway, I’m looking forward to more case study work…in the biometric, secure document, or technology areas. (I’m not going to cure COVID with novelty items.) In the work I’m about to do, I’ll get to learn about the vendor, and about the vendor’s customer, and how they worked together to solve a particular problem. My part in the process is to help the vendor communicate the story, while emphasizing the benefits that the vendor’s product can provide to customers.

(If you’re interested in understanding benefits, and the difference between benefits and features, take a look at this Hubspot article.)

While brings us to the shameless plug (you knew this was coming after my last post): if you need assistance in coming up with the words for a case study, contact me. I can help with the initial ideas, participate in customer interviews to get information, and draft the words of the case study itself. Bredemarket’s collaborative process ensures that the final written product communicates the client’s desired message. For case studies, this includes mutual agreement on the objective and the outline, and client reviews of the draft iterations of the case study until the final text is delivered.

And even if you don’t use me, business leaders should be thinking about how case studies can help their business, and which of their customers would be willing to participate in a case study…for mutual benefit.