Germany is home to the Nürburgring, one of the longest and most challenging racetracks in the world. So much so that it has 3 to 12 fatalities each year. Surrounded by dense forest, the 22.8 km circuit has over 150 corners. These elevate over 300 meters through a mountain range. Formula One racing champion Jackie Stewart once called it “the green hell.” It’s also where the showdown between two of F1’s greatest drivers took place. And one almost lost their life.
This story was well told in a movie directed by Ron Howard called ‘Rush.’ Howard does a fantastic job of storytelling. So great, that instead of re-telling the story here, I’d rather describe the formula he used to structure his film. It’s the basis for a type of B2B content that has helped countless B2B companies succeed, the Case Study (aka. The Success Story)
Your Products and Services at Their Best
There are many types of business stories. Each with a different purpose. Like your origin story that inspires stakeholders with a common purpose. A Case Study has a different job. Its role is to help close the sale by proving you can deliver on what you promise.
If your services are complex, expensive, or innovative, then you need Case Studies. They’re critical to your sales process. B2B firms read them because they can’t risk making a buying mistake. But writing your own Case Studies can be a big mistake.
Steps to a Great Case Study
You may have read business success stories that impressed you. But you may not have realized that stories don’t just happen. They are like the evening news. A expert writer has conducted interviews, dug up the facts and shaped them into a compelling piece. The first interview in the process is usually with you, the business owner. What are your business goals? What are you hoping your customer will say? They may have a different version of events. And it may be better than yours.
Next, the Case Study Specialist interviews your customer. They’ll ask about the challenge they faced. What journey did they take to find a solution? How did they use your product to overcome their obstacles? What were the results? They’ll also dig for real-world details that make all the difference in making the story stand out.
What’s Your Story?
Formula One racing is inspiring, even mythical. The movie Rush inspired me to write my book The B2B Marketer’s Journey. Mythical stories are told about athletes because of the insurmountable challenges they overcame. Your product could gain mythical significance too, if you told stories about the challenges they helped your customers overcome.
The truth is, great athletes started with no special status. It’s the stories that make them significant. Otherwise, how would anyone even know what happened? Put yourself in the shoes of someone considering buying your product. One good story could raise it from the ordinary to the extraordinary. So, what’s your story?