Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Next Step After Achieving Happy Customers: Case Studies

After achieving the difficult goal of Happy Customers, the natural temptation is to start scaling aggressively.

Bruce Cleveland made an insightful suggestion in the early days of Marketo -- he requested case studies for each happy customer.  Each case study contained:  
  • the headline (eg, xxx converts more leads to add $xx ARR)
  • simple value proposition described in a short phrase (eg, increase conversions)
  • a customer quote
  • the challenges
  • the solution (including amount of implementation time)
  • the benefits (quantified, ROI)
After reviewing these case studies, the company then identified the major value propositions.

Preparing written customer case studies sounds trivial, and thus is easy to ignore.  Many times, management is reluctant to spend the time to prepare these written case studies, or management delegates the task to a junior person.  Management generally assumes that they already know all the materials.

But, this written analysis reinforces a culture of being customer data driven (rather than just opinions or intuition), provides the foundation for any Go-To-Market strategy, and is an easy reference for all employees (especially new executives) to understand the business.

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