Last night I was soaking in the bathtub with a magazine—very girly and all—when I came across something that really jolted me into business mode. In a good way.
I’ve been writing case studies for companies like Microsoft, HP, and others for years now. They all have a very specific style, tone, and format that they insist upon, and most of them have not varied it for years.
What shook me up in the tub last night was probably the best, most effective Microsoft case study I’ve ever seen. . .and it wasn’t a case study at all.
This was a full-page ad for Microsoft Dynamics on the back cover of the June issue of Fast Company. This is why I love it:
- Huge visual of an actual person, not a piece of hardware or a company logo
- Customer-centric headline
- Less than 100 words from start to finish
That’s it. Really.
Yeah, it’s an ad, but I hope it signals a change in the way tech firms think about case studies. Because this is everything a great case study needs to be: Crisp, digestible, and no fluff. A fast read with a focus on customer benefits, tying it all up with a link for product info. No muss, no fuss, and never any need to download or scroll through multiple screens of anything.
BOOM. Microsoft, are you listening?