What IT Pre-Sales Engineers Really Think About b2b Content Marketing.
Video 7 of 18: Case Studies
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An edited transcript of the conversation is provided below.
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Video 7: Edited Transcript
Let’s talk about case studies, or customer success stories, for a little bit.
Matthew, how do you see these documents being of value to VARs, or to end customers and prospects?
I think case studies have a lot more value to the reseller or the VAR, than they do to the end customer.
This is my personal opinion and I say that because, from a VAR perspective, depending on what the product is, a case study at least helps the account manager get a good idea for what that product is, or how it can be used in certain situations.
However, as an engineer, I really only care about the technical merits.
Yes, I have to understand the business a little bit but really, when I go and talk about a solution, it’s really that the solution does ‘X, Y and Z’.
I’m not really concerned with how does an IT manager for a small manufacturing company in the North Eastern section of the United States… I’m, not really interested in that stuff and I don’t know that the customer, or the potential client, is either.
It might be because I’m in a part of the country that is extremely relationship-focused.
They want someone to talk to them and who understands what it is that their business does, understands what they’re trying to get done and can empathize with their pain points, and get that figured out so.
IT Case Studies: Economical With The Truth?
I don’t see these case studies as being as completely accurate to reflect the realities of the various people that we deal with.
I think they’re kinda generic.
Obviously, they have to be generic in nature but I see more of the value as a tool for the sales staff to be able to maybe “turn some wheels upstairs” to figure out, you know, better ways to talk to potential clients.
Matthew, do prospects or customers ask you for reference customers rather than for case studies?
Reference customers, absolutely.
That’s a constant thing, especially if it’s a vendor that is up-and-coming, a vendor that isn’t public, that they’re not familiar with, or they’re (in) a segment that they’re just getting involved with.
I’ll go back to load balancing, as an example.
It tends to be a somewhat expensive solution, so they want to know that this is going to work.
One thing that’s always asked is how many implementations has your company done for this? Or, how many projects have you done?
And right next to that is usually, can we talk to someone who has implemented this, or has used this product, and see what their thoughts are?
Right. Right. (It’s) back to the relationship side then, Matthew. They end up trusting you more.
It’s absolutely about relationships. One hundred percent.
(It’s) rarely (just) about the technology.
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