30 Sep 2022 | BY Karl Pontau

Case Studies are a powerful marketing tool, if done right.

Sadly, most companies fail to use them to their full potential.

What do they do wrong?

They focus too much on what happened, and present a bunch of dry facts and figures.

Why is this a problem?

Because people make decisions using emotions, not logic and reason.

So, throwing a bunch of numbers and stats in chronological order and calling it a case study is not going to impress people as much as that same info wrapped in a story.

I’ll prove it to you.

First, I’ll recount a series of events like you’d find in a Case Study.

Then, I’ll turn it into a Case Story.

You be the judge.

Case Study:

  • XYZ Corp needed to increase sales of their new product by at least 50%
  • We surveyed their target customers, identified a subtle messaging misalignment, and created a new campaign
  • The campaign ended up 2x-ing their sales the following quarter.

Case Story:

I could hear the stress in Jeff’s (XYZ’s CMO) voice as soon as I picked up the phone.

It turns out their new product launch was not going well. Their ads were not generating enough good leads. But, they couldn’t figure out why, and the end of the quarter was fast approaching.

As we got on a Zoom call the next morning, I could tell Jeff hadn’t slept much. He was under a lot of pressure from his CEO and the board to turn the campaign around, fast.

After reviewing the info Jeff showed me, I immediately saw that there was a flaw in the questionnaire they used to research their target customers. That led to misaligned messaging, and the poor campaign.

I could see how relieved Jeff was, now that he knew what the cause of the problem was. His internal team was too immersed and familiar with their product, which caused them to assume their customers knew just as much as they did.

So, Jeff hired my team to perform a new customer survey that asked the right questions.

Then, we created an optimized campaign that focused on the proper channels and used improved messaging.

The night before the new campaign launched, Jeff and I were up late reviewing everything to make sure it was perfect.

A lot was riding on this campaign:

  • XYZ Corp was seeking another round of funding and needed to show they were to produce steady cash flow
  • They needed to increase sales in order to expand their offer to emerging overseas markets
  • Jeff and his wife had their first child and wanted to use the bonus he’d get to start a college fund

We were both on the edge of our seats as the first results started to come in…

The new campaign 2x’d their sales in the next quarter!

I followed up with Jeff a few weeks later.

XYZ Corp got their next funding round and was moving forward to expanding into new markets.

And, Jeff’s baby had a new college fund.

See the difference!

The Case Study and Case Story contain the same, basic info.

But, the Case Story is way more powerful!

It humanizes the entire experience, and shows you what you will experience when working with the author’s company.

Yes, it takes longer to read, but the increased impact is well worth it.

If you are interested in turning your Case Studies into Case Stories, email me at I’m building a product that makes it easy for you to punch up your existing stories so they connect with more of your best clients.

Emailing me will add you to the exclusive list of people who will get first access to my new product.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

Build your confidence and trust quickly with clients here

Learn how to create authentic stories to promote your business here.

Work 1:1 with me to optimize your brand story and attract more of your best clients.

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