Year after year, B2B executives and buyers are surveyed about the techniques most effective in influencing their purchases.
And year after year, what technique works the most effectively to influence purchase decisions via referral and word-of-mouth marketing? B2B case studies.
That’s right – the un-sexy, no-hype, straight-from-the-customer’s-mouth case study.
Why do B2B case studies work so well? Because they remove the vendor or seller’s pitch out of the equation – and tap directly into previous customers to sell to prospects.
B2B buyers can be (very generally) classified as more skeptical than B2C buyers, and not willing to take a seller’s word for how amazing their product is.
At the same time, they don’t have leisure time to spend wading through PowerPoints and pages of features, specs, and claims, trying to decipher what in the world any of it has to do with the business problem they’re facing. So for word of mouth marketing, case studies bridge the gap.
Great b2b case studies can do the heavy lifting of shortening a long sales cycle when they hit some important marks:
- They spotlight a customer who matches your target readers: a company in their market sector, a person with their job title, a department with the same pain point or goal, etc.
- They cover the most ideal, typical, or profitable use of your product or service. If your case study is about a highly unusual or novel use of your product, then even if it’s interesting, it won’t make a relevant connection to a buyer looking for the more well-supported use case.
- The interviewer asks questions that are directed to your customers’ industry, that will elicit responses your audience can relate to. Questions that make the buyer the star.
- Most importantly, their focus is about directly resonating with the business outcome your readers want, rather than a pep rally about your product.
These are just a few reasons B2B case studies are unrivaled in their effectiveness for B2B buyers.
But they’re even better for the B2B vendor or seller, because conducting just one B2B case study interview can pay off in tons of other marketing and sales content, such as collateral, ebooks, pull quotes, articles, and social posts.