There's nothing like a good case study from a happy client to prove your worth in a public endorsement. But if you're like a lot of B2B marketers, getting clients to agree to let you tell their success stories can be like pulling teeth. As Paul McKeon puts it in a recent article at MarketingProfs, "In the face of hard resistance from clients, most B2B marketers manage to publish only a smattering of case studies."

What's a B2B firm to do? McKeon suggests you focus on the benefits to your clients of telling their stories, because the value of case studies is not so apparent to them. "You are asking your clients for a big favor: a public endorsement. In return, they may perceive nothing but competitive, legal, and branding risks," he notes.

McKeon offers a list of steps to take to craft a mutually beneficial case study program. Among them:

Nurture the relationship early. "To identify a case study opportunity early, case study winners have strong communications with their colleagues in sales and customer service," he writes. But, he adds, wait until "the client is in a position to endorse you" before you ask for permission.

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