Research is an important part of my work. I’m constantly looking for new information about trends, benchmarks, and objective ways to understand the seismic shifts that are impacting how organizations operate. The benefits of research are:
- New perspectives about what’s happening in a larger context.
- Additional insight into how others are responding to or dealing with organizational challenges.
- Validation of key internal decisions, systems, and processes.
Research doesn’t have to be limited to charts, graphs, and tables. It can also include case studies and white papers, one area of marketing content that is sorely underestimated. Case studies and white papers are similar in some ways and different in others:
- Case studies are typically one to two pages in length while white papers are usually eight to ten pages in length.
- Case studies profile the experience of the client while white papers are intended to be more objective and data intensive.
- Case studies are presented in story form while white papers are intended to convey ideas rather than emotion.
The primary reason case studies and white papers are underutilized tools is because they take time to ideate, to gather the necessary information (including client interviews), and to write. Therefore, those who choose to invest in them will have valuable content assets that your competition most likely will not.
The secret to the potency of case studies and white papers is the reality that what others say about you, your product, and your organization is more important that what you say about you, your product, or your organization. Case studies and white papers are worthy assets that will pay exceptional dividends with prospects, clients, and donors.
For our clients who need research assistance, we help them:
- Gather and summarize research for any number of projects.
- Ideate and execute case studies and white papers.
- Stay current with trends, benchmarks, and options.
How are you meeting the research demands of your work?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.