Avoid Writing “Blind” Customer Case Studies

by John Spindler on January 27, 2011

Customer case studies, or customer success stories, can be outstanding marketing tools. Well-written, engaging case studies illustrate how your products or services helped a client solve a thorny business problem and boost your credibility in the eyes of prospects.

But it isn’t always easy to convince a satisfied client to be the subject of a success story. Some have a corporate policy against providing endorsements. Others may not relish the thought of their shortcomings being aired publicly. And others may not have the time.

In response, some marketers opt to write “blind” case studies—ones in which the featured company isn’t identified and its business situation is left intentionally vague.

I’ve had several clients ask my advice on writing blind case studies, and I always tell them the same thing.

Don’t bother.

Why? Case studies are all about building credibility. Readers want to see how you helped real people in real companies solve real business problems. As they read, they visualize themselves in the success story and anticipate how you can solve their problems as well.

But if they can’t identify with the featured company or its business situation, they won’t have confidence in your claims. Which undermines your credibility.

In essence, blind case studies are the long-form equivalent of reading a fantastic product testimonial only to find it signed by “Joe P., Controller.” Your time is better spent finding a client who will talk on the record about their great experience with you and your firm.

Leave a Comment

Previous post: