Editor’s Note: The original article has been updated with new images and information.
Because our clients are software and technology companies, we know firsthand how challenging it is to tell a complex story in a way non-techie people understand. Oh, and by the way, you’ve also got to make it creative, engaging and relevant. How the heck do you do THAT?
The answer, my friends, is USE CASES!
What is a use case?
First, a use case in the marketing context helps technology companies illustrate products, services and value in a creative, concise and visual way. Just like when you create a use case or diagram for software configurations, a marketing use case lets you show people what to expect and the outcomes they will achieve. Think about how many times you’ve tried explaining a complicated customization or workflow to a customer and you know it’s Greek to them, but as soon as you show a process diagram, you hear your customer say, “Oh! I get it now!”
People can scan a use case, digest the information and see your point much faster and easier than reading paragraphs of text. A use case is a very powerful and reusable piece of content on its own and complements your other marketing pieces and messaging beautifully.
Because I know you’re just dying to see one, here is a sample use case we created to show the many ways a CRM solution can help companies put data to work to improve customer experiences and profitability – in just a couple of minutes. Brilliant!
How can I use a use case?
Oh dear, how do I count the ways? If you sell it, do it, deliver it or help customers achieve it—a use case is a perfect marketing solution for you. Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning. Keep in mind, and this won’t always be the case, but most of the time the end goal is to have customers take away the value of working with you.
- How products work
- How processes work
- Value for specific industries or roles
- Solving customer challenges and pains
- Streamlining, automating time-consuming processes or tasks
- Product, version enhancements
- Accelerating the sales cycle
- Customer/field service cycles
- Customer success stories
- Connecting systems, processes or people
Another excellent idea for use cases is to use them for anonymous customer success stories. We know how difficult it can be to get your customers to commit to a case study. Many are either too afraid to make the information public or just too busy. A use case can illustrate the results you delivered for your client and industry in a fast and visual way, without naming names.
I really could go on all day with ways you could use marketing use cases, but I won’t. Instead, I invite you to connect with us to brainstorm your ideas or see if a use case might fit the story you are trying to convey.
Where can I use a use case?
How about everywhere? As I mentioned, a use case is a powerful marketing tool on its own and can be used across all your marketing channels—website, email, social media, etc. When combined with your other marketing messaging such as white papers, blogs or case studies, you amplify the value even more. Remember, people like to consume information in different ways. It’s smart to be diverse in your approach so you capture the attention of every customer, no matter how or where he or she likes to get that information.
Here’s a tip: Take a look at what pieces you already have and think how you could transform it into a use case. I bet you are sitting on a goldmine of potential uses cases right now.
I want a use case! How do I get one?
I get a little excited about use cases as you can tell because I think they are such a unique opportunity for technology marketers right now. There are so many possibilities! If you’re ready to get started on yours, just get in touch and we’ll kick around some ideas.