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Any strategies for developing gold-standard customer testimonials / value case studies?

5 Answers
Suyog Deshpande
Suyog Deshpande
Samsara Sr. Director | Head Of Product & Partner MarketingMay 13

Learn from the best in the industry. I love the customer marketing from the following companies: 

1. Salesforce - unbelievable focus on customers! Look at the trailhead, attend Dreamforce if you can

2. Gong - I like how they call out specific outcomes and challenges

3. Adobe Experience Maker Awards: https://www.adobeexperienceawards.com/ 

3570 Views
Mandy Schafer
Mandy Schafer
Mastercard Director of Product MarketingJune 15

The best customer testimonials are those where you let the customers talk about their own personal pain points at work, and not have them try to focus on what the company pain points. Their personal pain is generally the overall company pain, especially in an enterprise setting. When it becomes personal, and your software is what helped make their lives better, then the true passion comes out. This personal touch is what resonates to other customers and buyers. When your software helped promote their career, make their overall work easier or helped them solve headaches so they can focus on other things, it’ll come out in their testimonials. These become the best stories you can get out of a customer, and resonate the most with other potential customers and buyer.

322 Views
Hien Phan
Hien Phan
Pinecone Head of Product Marketing, Partner, and Customer MarketingOctober 5

(1) problem (2) solution (3) benefit and value. 

Remember there is a difference between benefit vs. value. For example, if something is automated, the benefit is you don't have to do it manually, the value might be you get to spend more time on more important tasks. Most prospects just want to see if (a) your company helped someone like them (b) was it a similar problem (c) what are the immediate benefits and (d) what are the long term value. 

737 Views
Jeff Hardison
Jeff Hardison
Calendly Head of Product MarketingJanuary 10
  1. Ensure you're writing the correct case studies for your business. Align with your executive team — particularly sales and CS — on the types of customer stories they need. Enterprise or mid-market? Certain products or use cases? Which industries or job roles? Then, try to check off each with a "gold-standard" case study.

  2. Work with your customer success and sales teams to create a shared OKR around delivering the biggest names associated with these targets. If you can't get big names, work to compromise with execs to deliver the next best logos they approve of.

  3. If you don't have a customer-reference manager, be prepared to help sell the customer on participating. Get them excited to tell their story for their own glory and career. And, bonus points, work with sales on delivering customers' discounts or other incentives in return.

  4. Most executives controlling budget don't just want a good story; they also want to see return on investment (ROI). Challenge is, perhaps the customer doesn't know their ROI. Offer to help them think through metrics they care about and do the math for them. These ROI calculations are obviously the most difficult thing to learn how to do, but it's what takes case studies from silver to gold.

    Here are some examples of Calendly case studies where we try to do the above.

446 Views
David Bressler
David Bressler
BackBox Director, Product MarketingFebruary 8

Here are a three strategies I use to make my case studies better:

  1. Keep in mind you have two audiences. First, it's the prospect that reads the case study to find out more about what's in it for them. Second, it's the sales team who you might be educating on the outcomes of using your product through storytelling.

  2. Start the case study earlier in time than you're thinking. Start with when the customer realized they had a problem. During the interview, ask them to talk about when they realized they had a need. What was their decision process like between realizing they had a need and making a purchase? This focuses on their selection of your product as their solution, which is important information for sales to use when guiding a prospect through the buying-lifecycle.

  3. Make the case study compelling using relevant news that helps highlight the urgency of the solution. Some buyers recognize a need, but don't have a sense of urgency. Putting it in the case study will help move the project along the buying-cycle.

359 Views
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