3 Ways To Get Great Manufacturing Case Studies
Manufacturing case studies are an amazing way to show your prospects and customers your skills and capabilities. Case studies add third party credibility and could be the difference between your prospects choosing you over your competition during the decision process of the buyer’s journey.
Yet, many times when I ask my business-to-business manufacturing clients if they have case studies, a surprising number of them will answer: “We don’t do case studies. Our customers won’t agree to work on them with us.” I cringe, as they are not only losing a valuable content opportunity for both their website and even the industrial trade media, but missing an opportunity to deepen their customer relationship (hence turning them into promoters). Below are some ideas to combat the dreaded case study feature dilemma.
Highlight The Benefits For Your Customer
Many times, companies will approach a customer for a case study feature like it’s a favor. This is a major no-no, as your customers already feel they are doing enough for you giving you their business. Instead, approach the case study as a win-win that will benefit both of your companies. Make sure you promise to spend a significant portion of the case study highlighting the benefits of your customer’s products, processes, and services.
Also, let the customer know your intentions to distribute the case study. A simple write up on your website is fine but agreeing to pitch the case study to publications, trade associations, or websites that reach your customer’s prospects and customers makes a case study seem more valuable. As an agency, we have honed the art of making our customers’ customer comfortable with how the trade media works and will feature their company.
Make It A Low Pressure Commitment For Your Customer
After presenting your customer with the benefits of a case study feature, explain the amount of time or effort required on his or her part to bring the case study to fruition. Offer to have someone from your company interview them, write the draft and submit it to the customer for final approval. If you have an established PR professional facilitating the case study, your customer should only have a 45 to 60 minutes time commitment for the interview. Whether you have a PR professional onboard or a marketing professional in house, it is important that whoever is facilitating the interview has a technical background. Remember, always be sensitive to the time commitment.
Make Sure Your Customer Loves The Finished Product
Engage your customer throughout the case study writing process. Email them questions during the writing process to check for accuracy, double and triple check to ensure you aren’t giving away anything your customer wouldn’t want the public to know and ask for photo suggestions from your customer, all the while making sure nothing proprietary is being shared. Show your customer you value their opinion and want to promote their company in the best light possible. Remember to send the final print article or, even have it framed as a gift to your customer. Then, when you come back in a year or so and ask that customer for another case study feature, your customer will be more inclined to accept.
Interested in learning more about the power of PR for manufacturers? Check out these blogs: Why Manufacturers Still Need PR in a Digital World and Why Your Manufacturing PR Firm Should Be Sales Focused