Customer profiles (also known as case studies) are one of the best ways to promote your business. Here are some of the benefits:
Establish brand recognition
Build trust and credibility
Gain more exposure
Increase website traffic (by including it in your marketing automation campaign, adding a call to action or link to your website)
Like a great novel or film, the customer profile that uses storytelling infused with drama or emotion will have a greater impact than one that is flat and boring. Here are the basic elements of a good customer profile:
Set the Stage.
The Customer Overview introduces the customer and gives specific information about who they are and what they do. It could include information about who they sell to, when they were founded, where they’re located and even the number of employees, if that’s important to your story.
Establish the Plot.
The Challenge describes the obstacles the customer faced, explaining the specific impact they had on the business and what they were using before they implemented your solution. It’s important to include examples of why and how the problem affected the business, such as business inefficiency, high costs or even the effects of brand reputation. Here you can include stats and numbers, but don’t bombard the story.
We’ve written several case studies for B2B clients whose customers are in many different vertical industries. For each industry, we’ve identified specific industry challenges and even industry terms they use to make the customer profile relevant to that target market.
Give it Some Action.
The Solution details how your product “came to the rescue” and solved your customer’s need. Here are some questions to consider:
What did they purchase?
What does it do?
How did they go about finding your product?
How did they arrive at making their final decision?
Some case studies don’t give this section enough attention. But that’s a mistake. Great case studies describe something about the journey. It’s important to include a few sentences describing the customer’s search for the right solution. It adds more depth and credibility, and better positions your product as the solution.
Also, whenever possible, it’s important to include some information on how the solution was implemented, including:
How long did it take?
How difficult was it to implement?
What challenges did the customer encounter during this phase?
How did you resolve those issues?
Finish with a Flourish.
The Result describes the key benefits of using your product (e.g., cost savings, time reduction, streamlined operations). It should describe how your product improved your customer’s business. As one client put it, “What did they achieve or accomplish that others will look at and say: ‘I want that, too!’”
The Results section should focus on metrics that are specific and relevant to the target audience. Use tangible and detailed numbers when possible (for instance, “increased sales by 20 percent” instead of “increased sales”). This section should include the benefits of the results as they relate to the challenges the customer faced.
In the end, it’s about taking the time to interview the customer to uncover their challenges and how you’ve helped solve them. On the one hand, customer profiles benefit you because they give you trust and credibility and help build your brand. But they’re good PR for the customer, too. They show that the customer was creative and responsive to a challenge, rather than letting it go for disastrous implications.
That’s a winning formula for success!
Tags: Alpine Communications, Alpine PR, Blogging, brand management, branding, Digital Marketing, media, media relations, PR, PR plan, PR professional, social media, Success in Business, Wendy Alpine