Agency New Business Case Studies When You Don’t Have Results?

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Case studies are often the bane of our clients’ existence, especially at the beginning of a targeted new business effort.

There’s a lot of craft that goes into any given case study (I know, I’m preaching to the choir on that point). Length, form, and content are only some of the factors that go into the process and we’ve seen firsthand new business efforts get completely stalled by agencies agonizing over the “perfect” case study.

We plan on several posts dedicated to agency case studies in the future in the hopes you‘ll get some value from them, but thought we’d start with a great post on writing a case study when you don’t have results. It’s an issue that comes up more than you might think and can get pretty frustrating when you know you’ve got some quality work but it’s too early to show the results.

The post comes from Kelly Parkinson’s Copylicious blog, which you should check out if you get a chance. Kelly sums it up pretty well in the this paragraph:

It’s not that results won’t ever materialize, but if what you do is truly needed–and especially if you’re tackling a complex problem–results can take a while to appear. Your client may experience some immediate benefits, but many of the biggest results take time.

So, how does she propose you tackle the issue-4 tactics to get you thinking:

1. Focus on how you solved the problem–the insights you had along the way.

2. Let your solution stand out in a sea of sameness.

3. Get someone to interview your client for a project case study.

4. Consider omitting the client’s name.

As you might imagine, these are just the bullets; she goes into further depth under each heading. And all-important is the follow-up:

Update your case study again when you’ve gotten more results–three, six, twelve months later. At that point you can even turn it into a press release.

Good advice and another valid reason to reach back out to your prospects with a substantive update.

Take a look at the whole post and the Copylicious blog here.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.