June 26

Case Study or Testimonial? When To Use Each For Maximum Effect

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Using the right tool for right job is really important.

When it comes to case studies and testimonials they are two very different tools.

Both are incredibly effective.

But using them at the right time in the right context is key to you excelling at marketing and helping give your sales team the best chance of winning sales.

Episode Transcript - CLICK HERE

When it comes to case studies and testimonials, they are two very different tools. Both are incredibly effective, but using the right one at the right time is key to you, excelling at marketing and helping give your sales team the very best chance of winning sales.

Hello, and welcome to w clients with case studies. So this week on the show, we are going to be posing the question case study or testimonial, and when to use each one for when is the right time to use a case study. And when is the right time to use a testimonial? Well, recently I've been running a poll on LinkedIn just to make sure. And just to check what professionals consider to be the case when it comes to the difference between test studies and testimonials, because what I see happening quite a lot is that people are using testimonials online. And as part of their sales process, when in actual fact they should be using a case study. So it occurred to me to run a poll, to ask, do you consider that to be a great difference between a case study and testimonial?

And I was expecting actually the to answers to come back around about 50 50, but you know what? It actually came back that 95% of people came back with a yes, that there was indeed a great difference between a case study testimonial. Now, that was interesting because what that means is that's essentially everyone is fully up to speed with the difference between the two, but what seems to be missing, however, is knowing when to use either the case study or the testimonial. So that is the driver behind today's episode to answer that question and to provide complete clarity at the same time. So let's start with some honest to goodness best practice advice for me when I'm producing, I will always produce a case study and a testimonial at the same time. I really don't think that you should ever set about producing one or the other, because it's is the marketing equivalent of asking, would you like to keep your right leg or keep your left leg?

You know, you want both. And the other way of looking at it is that if a client has agreed and is totally up for doing a case study, they're not likely to decline giving a testimonial at the same time. It does take extra work to produce both. Yes, but bigger picture right here. It's definitely worth it because you've then got the required two different tools for, for each respective job. So moving forward always produce a case study and a testimonial at the same time. So you'll never have to make that awkward decision call or be left in a position where you haven't got the other only the one. Okay. With all of that said then, so let's do the first part case study. When, when do you use a case study? A case study is for the beginning and the mid part of the buyer's journey.

Now this point is super important and that's because a case study when it's produced correctly as an education resource, I'm probably mentioning this every single week so far on, on the show, but you know what, I'm gonna keep on doing it because it's really, really important. A case study when it's produced correctly is an education resource. That's its primary purpose. And that is what pulls people to it. And that's the value. It offers buyers who are currently undergoing or undertaking their research process. Okay. So the case urge to recap on that very briefly, the case study is for the beginning and the mid part of the buyer's journey. Looking a bit deeper into this to understand why is it that case studies as an education resource offers so much value to a buyer who's undertaking their research. You can understand it because if you look at it from their perspective, what they're actually doing is seeking to learn about how best to solve their problem or need.

And you can break down the buying journey loosely speaking into three distinct phases. So the beginning of the buying journey, first one is trying to establish what is the problem or need that I have understanding that problem or need in more detail than the second part. The mid section is how do I set about solving it? And then third, who should be the best company to help them with that problem or needs. So with that said, this is why a case study is perfectly suited to helping a buyer understand about their problem or need that they have followed by how do you actually set about solving it? Because it tells a story of who, someone who was in a similar position to the buyer, the problem, or need that they were facing and the challenge they were up against. And as part of that, the story then moves on to cover how and why they embarked on the path that they did, why their choice was the right one and what life is like from now on.

So all of that contained within that is really nicely covering what is the problem or need that I have. And then two, how do I solve it? So that's the beginning and mid stage of the buying journey completed really nicely, but it's probably also worth pointing out that there is indeed a bit of an overlap here because at the end of a case study, we do of course, introduce your company as the solution, which the buyer ultimately came to. And we then go on to cover why it was a good choice and what life indeed is like from now on. And that in turn positions, you as, or your company as the ideal choice of provider or vendor, but after we've done that, the crossover happens because the final part of the buying journey is who should be the best company to help. And whilst the case that he covers that the testimonial is introduced after that, to give the all important reassurance that yes, your company is definitely the right company to help them with because the case study has set everything up to position you as the ideal choice.

And the testimonials role is to give the all important reassurance that yes, you will deliver on time. You are not going to let them down. You've got the capabilities you are great to work with and all of the other deal, tipping points and final reassurances that a person would need to be fully, fully confident that your company is definitely the right choice and they won't regret it. And in fact, that's really the main part of a testimonial strength is that people are really motivated to avoid making a bad decision. They want that reassurance. And the testimonial is there to give them that reassurance that if a, the buyer chooses you and goes with you, they're not going to be let down. So therefore they're not going to be making a bad choice. And they are definitely on the course to making the right choice. There's another thing I should probably add in here as well.

And this is hopefully going to be of use, but with the ever increasing preference for buyers to self serve and to, and this is kind of awful, but avoid contact with sales teams for as long as possible. And in a lot of cases, if not avoiding them completely, the role of marketers has never been more crucial because it's only marketers that have the ability to influence a buyer's thought process and decision because sales teams, aren't actually able to get one on one time with them. And I'll, I know I covered this. I think it was in the first episode, but the, the latest research on the subject is that 49% of people or 49% of buyers with influence in a purchase decision, never make direct contact with a vendor sales team. Now, these are people that I refer to as invisible influences, and they're invisible simply because no one in your company ever gets to know who they are and cannot directly influence them.

The only way in which you can influence them is through marketing. And when it comes to how to do that, then without question the best way and the most effective way of doing it is through a case study, followed by a testimonial. So then in summary, case studies and testimonials are the two most powerful tools that you are able to deploy. And when it comes to producing them, you have to produce both a case study and a testimonial at the same time. There's no point doing it where you have to choose between one or the other, because you need both. And so long as you do, you are then able to do an incredible job of marketing because you are taking care of the entire buying journey, including the beginning, the middle and the end of the buying journey. And the result of this is that when your sales team then set about engaging with your buyers or your, your prospects, they end up speaking with and engaging with a buyer who's very well educated on the subject matter and who are also predisposed to seeing your product or service as the ideal solution to their problem or need.

And, and that will in turn result in much higher sales figures and much higher conversions. And with that, we are done, goodness. I was getting all serious there towards the end. And didn't mean to, so I'll leave you on a, a bit of a high, so just recap, use the case study for the beginning and midsection of the buying journey and then the testimonial to finish at the end. And if you do that, you will do some amazing stuff. All right, well, this is the end then of episode number five of win clients with case studies. I really hope you've enjoyed this and you've got value from it as well. And so long as you have, then please do make sure that you subscribed on your favorite podcasting app, or if you'd prefer to sign it by email, you can do that a, the podcast official website, which is casestudies.uk that's casestudies.uk. And finally, just in case we're not already connected, then please do send me a connection request on LinkedIn. And until then this has been win clients with case studies. I'm James Rostance. And I look forward to joining me on the next one.

Win clients with case studies, subscribe on your podcast app, or sign up for casestudies.uk, make winning new clients easier, faster and more certain.


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