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The Implementation: Another Crucial, Ingredient for Case Study Success

by | Jun 21, 2021 | B2B Copywriting, Collateral, Lead Generation, Case Studies, Technology Marketing | 0 comments

case study implementation

When prospects talk with your salespeople about purchasing your solutions, what are some of their biggest concerns?

If you’re like most tech industry executives, I’ll bet your list includes:

  • What will it take to implement your solution?
  • How long will it take to get it up and running?
  • What problems might we run into during the implementation?

Let’s face it. Unless your solution is extremely simple, there’s always an implementation phase. Tech buyers know that until they’ve completed that phase, there will be no ROI. And if the implementation doesn’t go well, there will be schedule delays, unplanned expenses, and lower returns.

So, your prospects want reassurance that implementation will be accomplished quickly and efficiently.

How can you help your sales and technical support staff address those concerns?

Well, if you publish case studies, you have the perfect vehicle. Once you’ve introduced your solution in the story, all you have to do is describe the implementation and how your company supported it. You’ll be supplying your sales reps with solid evidence—from real customers—that you’ve dealt with implementation problems successfully.

Strangely, many case studies fail to sufficiently cover this critical phase. We’ll examine why in a moment. Then, we’ll talk about how to make the most of your implementation discussion. But first, let’s look at why you should address the implementation process in your case studies.

Why the implementation matters in a case study

Like the customer Journey we discussed last time, the Implementation is important to your case study in two ways: first as a marketing force, and second as a structural element for creating drama—for making your customer’s story compelling.

From the marketing viewpoint, consider your audience. Tech buyers are a skeptical bunch. They know that no new system implementation comes off without a hitch. They expect unexpected obstacles. Any marketing claims of “easy installation and set-up” they take with a big grain of salt.

So, in your case studies, it’s important to describe the implementation in detail.

You need to talk about any difficulties or obstacles that were encountered and how they were overcome. This builds credibility with tech buyers. It answers some of their most important questions. It shows them you can handle those challenges. And it makes the results you describe later more believable.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but revealing the challenges in the implementation process—and how they were successfully resolved, of course—makes both your solution and your story more compelling for your reader.

The storytelling importance of the implementation

Which leads us to the storytelling importance of the implementation…

One of the most important forces in any story is the Resolution of Conflict, which begins when the hero of the story—just when all seems lost—determines exactly what she must do. In a case study, that’s where the customer discovers your solution. The implementation, then, is the next logical step. It shows our hero putting her plan into action. The implementation drives the story to its climax.

If you jump too quickly from purchase to results without spending enough time on the implementation, your story will feel hollow. Empty. Your results will seem too good to be true. Your readers need that resolution of the conflict so that they can believe in your “happily ever after.”

Why the implementation gets short-changed

So why does the implementation phase so often get short shrift in case studies? I think there are three reasons.

The most likely reason is that the Implementation, like the Journey, is not one of the four major divisions—i.e., the Customer, the Challenge, the Solution, and the Results—that we usually think of as the basic case study structure. Seasoned case study writers will usually discuss the Implementation as part of the Solution section. But other copywriters—like those from ad agencies, for example, who are trained to emphasize benefits above all else—may focus solely on the solution itself and not appreciate the importance of the Implementation.

A second possible reason is customer apprehension. Some customers may want to suppress or limit the implementation discussion because they fear they may lose a competitive advantage they’ve just gained. Others may feel they may somehow tarnish their corporate image if they reveal they needed help to implement your solution.

A third reason may lie with the solution provider—the company publishing the case study. If problems were encountered during implementation, they may fear it will reflect badly on their solution or their customer, They may, therefore, decide to suppress the implementation discussion.

Obstacles are Opportunities

But if you look at it from your prospect’s perspective, implementation challenges should be embraced in a case study.

Prospects want to know what they’ll be up against. They want to know what it took to successfully apply your solution to the customer’s application. They also want to know how your company helped the customer overcome any problems they encountered, and what the customer thought of the help they received. In other words, implementation problems are opportunities. You can easily turn them into credibility builders!

And when you think about it, problems encountered during implementation don’t really reflect badly on your customer at all. They were just going through what we all go through, dealing with everyday problems as they arise. What counts is how you dealt with those problems.

After all, this is a “success story” we’re talking about. If you hadn’t successfully resolved those issues, you wouldn’t be publishing it, would you? All you really have to do is emphasize the positive outcome: put your customer, company, and solution in the best possible light.

So give your audience a full, blow-by-blow description of the implementation process. Use as much detail as you can in the space available. Detail is the key to credibility. A detailed, engaging Implementation discussion in your case study will make the Results section that follows it all that more believable.

Take-Away Points

1. Case study readers (your prospects) want to know exactly:

a. What was required to implement your solution

b. How your company helped your customer overcome any obstacles encountered

2. Every case study should include a detailed, description of the system implementation.

3. Revealing challenges in the implementation process actually builds credibility and makes both your story and your product more compelling to technology buyers.

4. It’s not the problems but how you dealt with them that matters.

Next Steps

Need help crafting a compelling case study – one that includes a description of the implementation and follows the rules of good storytelling? Contact CopyEngineer by email at

Contact CopyEngineer



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