Over the past several years HTR has received dozens of requests from vendor across different categories asking if HTR Agency could help produce case studies for them.


Related Article: Verified Case Study Builder


Common Pain Points Clients Reported About Case Study Creation

When we asked these clients why it would be helpful for HTR to produce case studies for them vs having their own team create case studies the common replies we heard were:

  • Time + Resources: Clients reported that producing even a single case study was extremely time and resource consuming and required complex coordination amongst writers, graphic designers, editors, web developers, internal stakeholders and the client.

  • Authenticity: Clients mentioned that producing case studies about their own company inherently makes them less 'believable' and compelling since they are producing content about their own company. Clients mentioned that if these case studies were produced and verified by HTR, it would enable them to become more valuable, compelling and trustworthy to readers

  • ✍️ Relevance: Clients reported that when they produce case studies they feel the need for it to be substantial (in terms of length) to make them seem more professional and extensive to prospects. The downside to this is that it tends to introduce the need to add fluff and filler and lower engagement rates. The benefit mentioned of working with HTR is that we could introduce a standardized format of just the most compelling and necessary content to make them more impactful and make sure users get only the content they need without it feeling like the vendor posted something that was lazy/'half baked'

Shifting from Features and Categories to Benefits & FOMO

In addition to having this be a commonly requested service for HTR to offload/assist clients with, HTR philosophically has been looking for ways to shift from the core focus of product marketing on the site from categories, products and features-->to benefits based selling. If you think about what a case study is they are essentially (when done well) a perfect product advertisement that showcases social proof (via the client) and speaks to the benefits and outcomes of onboarding a given technology (vs talking about its features).

Our vision is to continue building this library of rich content around the benefits that technology can bring to hoteliers and to weave this throughout the site in more organic and native ways to surface engaging content and instill FOMO in hoteliers' minds to get them to become interested in technologies they may not have even been in market for/considering previously.

In a world of category and product based selling, this is extremely difficult to do because it assumes that someone knows the benefits of another category that they aren't in market/looking for. Vs these new case studies (examples below) introduce an element of discoverability to pique the interest of hoteliers to achieve specific business outcomes rather than just purchase a specific category of software.

The Purpose of HTR's Verified Case Studies Feature: To Create, Not Regurgitate

While at the start we certainly expect many companies to look to migrate existing case studies into the HTR format, it's important to remember that the verified case study feature was designed to help create short, impactful case studies in a fraction of the time that creating a new case study from scratch would take.

On average our clients reported that across stakeholders between production, client communications and editing the average case study takes ~5-7 hours to produce across the span of 2-3 weeks. With the case study wizard, a single marketer can create a case study from scratch and get it verified by the customer without any other parties involved in ~20 minutes and it all happens same day.

With that said, it makes sense why at the start companies may want to migrate existing case studies and why this might be a bit more complex and time consuming at the start because your existing case studies weren't designed in the format that HTR's wizard was built with but as you create new case studies you will find that the creation of new case studies will be lightning fast and simple going from several hours to a matter of minutes via the fill in the blanks wizard and case study generator.

Verification Flow: Designed to Save Time, Boost Authenticity and Be Less Intrusive to Customers

One of the key value points that customers requested was that HTR verify their case studies to add authenticity and trust.

Now one way to do this would be for HTR to manually reach out and setup an audit call with each customer and have them walk us through their outcomes with the software. The other way to do this is to automate and streamline this process by productizing the verification flow.

With the new case studies feature companies can now collect customer quotes without even manually reaching out to the customer, all they do is pre-fill the quote and click verify after-which the customer can verify (or edit) with a single click.

This flow is 1-click for the vendor and 1-click for the client (shown here) which ultimately is the simplest, fastest and least intrusive flow and process for the hotelier.

We also heard that it felt like a burden and was intrusive to reach out to customers which is why we strategically designed the psychology of the verification flow not to be about asking for help, but instead as 'recognizing the client as an innovator' to flip a burden into a positive. Since launching the feature we've gotten dozens of replies from hoteliers to the automated verification notification actually thanking HTR and the vendor for recognizing them which shows the power of this subtle feature. The verification flow was intentionally designed this way to turn what previously for vendors was a request along the lines of 'can I hassle you to do me a favor'...and turn it into 'we want to recognize you as a leading innovator in the industry'.

Minimizing Client Burden and Maximizing Outreach

We also heard from clients that they felt like it was difficult to reach out to a customer to ask for help to create a case study and then reach out again to ask for a review. As such, we built a native feature where quoted hoteliers in case studies can then turn their quote into a review by adding ratings enabling vendors to get more value out of this outreach by collecting both a case study and a review all again, with a single click.

Post Mortem: Progress in the First Two Weeks After Launching the Feature

Within the first two weeks of launching the verified case studies feature, dozens of vendors from all over the world across disparate categories have already produced 100+ success stories!

You can find a complete up-to-date list here but below are a few examples for inspiration:

What's Next

If you think about what a verified case study is at its core, it's essentially a perfect product advertisement that showcases social proof (via the client) and speaks to the benefits and outcomes of onboarding a given technology (vs talking about its features).

Our vision is to continue building this library of rich content around the benefits that technology can bring to hoteliers and to weave this throughout the site in more organic and native ways to:

  • Surface engaging and relevant content for hoteliers

  • Showcase social proof of how leading hotel companies are leveraging tech to grow their business to instill FOMO

  • Introduce an element of discoverability to pique the interest of hoteliers to achieve specific business outcomes rather than just purchase a specific category of software

  • Get hoteliers to become interested in technologies they may not have even been in market for or considering previously to grow the market and speed up adoption

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