iBeam Marketing Consulting Services

Website Visitor Tracking Software

software tools that help identify anonymous web visitors
What is website visitor tracking? This is the process of 1) identifying anonymous website visitors by performing a ‘reverse IP lookup’ on their IP address and matching this to a company or organization name, and 2) recording, analyzing, and scoring website user session activity for sales lead generation and follow-up. Many businesses use B2B website … Read more

B2B Customer Case Studies and Testimonials

Testimonial Cartoon

B2B customer testimonials and B2B case studies — What’s the difference? In the world of B2B content marketing, real-world customer testimonials and case studies continue to stand out as preferred sales support tools for convincing new prospects that your solution truly does deliver tangible value. There’s a spectrum of possibilities here that differ in terms of complexity, customer commitment/involvement, and long-term value for the solution vendor.  So what’s the difference between a customer testimonial and a case study? Here’s a breakdown that may be helpful:

Writing Branded B2B Customer Case Studies

B2B customer case studies come in several shapes and sizes, but one of the first considerations for marketing teams and their writers for each new case study opportunity is this:  Should we go for ‘branded’ or ‘unbranded’?
What do we mean by this distinction?  A couple of quick definitions will help:
Branded Case Study — A case study that clearly identifies the actual customer/client who is the subject of the piece.  This customer willingly lends their name and logo to the finished piece, so we use the term ‘branded’ (or ‘fully branded’) here.  Further, we can usually then also get a customer executive to fully participate in the finished case study, including name, title, and (optionally) a photo of the executive.
Unbranded Case Study — A case study that obscures the identity of the customer or client, usually at the customer’s explicit request to remain anonymous.  These can still be useful marketing and sales pieces and can be faster to produce, but usually lack the punch and credibility of a fully branded alternative. 

Estimating Target Audience Size in B2B Marketing

Image - Estimating B2B Market Audience Size

When thinking about a B2B target market segment for any particular solution, it’s obviously important to consider the size of the total (human) population the company needs to reach, at least as a rough estimate for framing the discussion about coverage and outreach efforts.

The diagram below provides one way to visualize this.

Target Accounts:  The darker blue dots in the smaller circle at bottom represent the individual accounts the B2B vendor should be targeting with its solution.  These can be company headquarters, geographically distributed divisions of companies, etc.  They are basically any entity or ‘purchasing unit’ that can make an independent buying decision for your solution category, place orders, pay vendor invoices, etc.  Estimates for this number should be available from your company’s market segment research and market sizing work.  

In the business-to-business world, this number can range from literally a handful of accounts, to hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands or even more.