Pros and Cons of Case Studies

By Karen Layman, aka Karen pros and cons of case studies

Case studies can be one of the most powerful B2B marketing tools out there. They can inform potential customers how your existing customers achieved success with your products or services. They can also help generate leads for your business. But as with everything, there are some benefits and potential drawbacks to case studies. Here are some pros and cons of case studies:

3 Pros of Case Studies

Here’s why case studies can be a positive exercise for your business:

1. They Are Inexpensive

Comparatively, case studies are less expensive than other methods of research. Costs that commonly come along with doing a case study are accessing data, which is most often free, and the time to put it together. Even if in-person interviews are conducted, costs are minimal. This is an easy way for you to gather data without spending a lot of money.

2. Case Studies Can Be Done Remotely

Another pro to conducting case studies is that they can be done remotely. This way, you can gather a variety of data from a wide base much more easily. Research can be done via email, through a survey conducted online, or even over social media.

You can even conduct interviews remotely, over the phone or video chat. This is helpful for many companies whose customers are not located in one general area. It also gives you a much broader range of data to pull from.

3. They Can Turn Opinions Into Facts

Case studies provide you with data in real time. Researchers are able to take their opinions and turn them into verifiable data. They’re able to do this because there are conclusive negative or positive outcomes.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Scott is an excellent book on marketing that has real-life case study examples.

Researchers also can single out a specific event and gather specific details about the process. This provides extra credibility to any outside observer. Using these facts through case studies in your marketing strategy is one of the most powerful ways to use social proof on your website.

3 Cons of Case Studies

Of course, there are some potential drawbacks to case studies.

1. They Can Take Longer to Analyze

The process by which data is collected for case studies can take a little bit longer than other research methods. Case studies often have a large amount of data and it simply takes a long time to sift through.

Because case studies often rely on information from participants, it can take a long time. Participants may not fully answer a question or may skip entire portions of a survey or questionnaire. Researchers have to verify the information so results are accurate. This process can take a long time.

2. Case Studies Can Be Inefficient

There are a lot of moving parts to case studies. Case studies require the participation of researchers and interviewees. It can also be difficult to efficiently gather data from participants. Some people may not give in-depth enough answers or will struggle to understand questions.

Researchers may need to intervene if participants talk too much or go on too many tangents during in-person interviews. They will need to steer the conversation in the right direction without being overbearing. If researchers aren’t sure how to do these tasks, incorrect data may be collected.

At the same time, it’s important for case studies to be on the right topic. Just as the wrong topic is one of the webinar mistakes to avoid, the same is true for case studies or any other marketing efforts you’re doing. It needs to be relevant to your target audience. In the context of case studies, they need to show benefits and results potential customers in your target audience will care about.

3. They’re Labor-Intensive

Case studies require researchers who have a good grasp of several skills, including language, personal, analysis, etc. skills, in order to collect data. These researchers must also be involved in every aspect of collecting data. Reading files, conducting interviews, and compiling surveys can be a very intense job. It’s important to have a solid team to balance the load so no one becomes too overwhelmed.

These are just a few pros and cons of case studies. Running case studies helps showcase results to potential customers and provides some evidence to back up the authority and trustworthiness of your business. They can also help inform your marketing strategy, giving you a much clearer plan. For help with your website design, development, and marketing, contact us today for a meeting of the MINDs!

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