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Most people won’t have a “favorite” case study, or even be able to remember one at all.Before you sit down to create your magnum opus, it’s important to realize that case studies aren’t that important to your audience.
Well, just as any good story has a beginning, middle, and end, so too do the best case studies.
Here at Word Stream, we typically structure our case studies in a similar way every time.
Using our dog rehabilitation example from earlier, we knew that the possible similarities between training difficult dogs and using Ad Words as a newcomer to paid search was interesting.
We also knew, however, that despite the compelling angle we chose to explore, the client in question had experienced many of the problems common to our core target market of small businesses with modest monthly Ad Words spend.
My first thought was whether there were any similarities between training difficult dogs and getting to grips with Ad Words as a new advertiser.
This thought became the basis for the entire case study.
Your angle is the “hook” that will catch your audience’s attention, but it’s essential that ALL prospects can relate to and identify with the problems encountered by your case study’s “protagonist.” This means catering to your core demographics and target markets, and solving the problems most commonly experienced by your customers.
Remember how we said that most marketers are obsessed with the notion of “storytelling” despite not actually telling many stories?
They should be able to relate to the problems of your featured customer, and see themselves achieving their own goals by using your product or service. Although case studies can be used to accompany new product launches, they are not merely vehicles to talk about new products. They can be used to advertise new products or features, but it’s not about in the most literal sense.
They get preoccupied with things like brand voice or messaging matrices and forget to leverage the narrative form that makes stories so compelling.