Turns out the hero’s journey is not just for Star Wars or other epic tales. It also happens to make a great storytelling framework for writing better B2B case studies.
A B2B buyer loves nothing more than seeing how someone like them has overcome a similar challenge.
Here’s a five-part outline to help you write more compelling B2B case studies that will win the hearts and minds of your prospects. And while you may feel like you already know your client’s story inside and out, you may be surprised by what details you uncover in speaking with them, which is why we always recommend you start a case study with an interview.
Part 1. Meet the hero
Your client is the hero, not your product or service. Let that sink in, my fellow marketers.
I’m as guilty as the next marketeer of putting what I’m promoting at the center of the story. However, the reality is that your product or service is the power that the hero yields, which, as you will discover, is far more persuasive of a tale.
Taking this idea a step further, your B2B buyer is still a human, even though they represent a large health system or life sciences company.
In every case study, include the following information about your buyer:
- First and last name
- Job title
- Company name
- Organization’s mission
Pro-tip: Humanizing your buyer enables your prospects to imagine themselves as the future hero of their own story, in which your product or service will also play a starring role.
Part 2. Describe the undue misfortune faced by the hero
After you introduce the hero, it’s time to describe the challenges they face.
From supply chain issues and staffing shortages to ugly post-COVID balance sheets and notoriously hard-to-reach target audiences, these difficulties are the market forces that impact your hero’s ability to get their amazing product or service into the hands of those who need it most.
Pro-tip: This is the ideal time to present a testimonial from your hero that speaks to the hurdle your product or service helped them overcome.
Part 3. The hero states their quest
In this part of the case study, your hero should describe what they want to happen. What outcomes does the hero want to realize and how is your company’s product or service the right fit to help them meet their goals?
Pro-tip: Be specific about what the hero wants to accomplish, including any target KPIs or other metrics. If possible, bring in a third-party expert quote that reinforces why your company’s approach will help the hero achieve their goals.
Part 4. You come to the hero’s rescue
Marketers, now is the time for your company to shine. Describe how your product or service came to your hero’s rescue and don’t be afraid to double down on the brand promises that only your organization can deliver.
Pro-tip: Include any relevant images, charts, graphs, or statistics that demonstrate how your organization brought your strategy and approach to life for the hero.
Part 5. The hero is victorious
Ring that bell! Summarize the results of what your hero achieved and in what timeframe. Reiterate how pleased the hero is with your company and why they look forward to a continued partnership with your organization.
Pro-tip: End the case study with an additional client quote to round out the hero’s personal story of success.