«Return to Blog List How HP Case Studies Cater to Readers and Skimmers

Over and over, we hear that most buyers don’t really read marketing copy, but rather skim it. So how does that affect the way you present customer stories?

First, that may not always be true. Some skim while others want to read more. Or, someone might intially skim but read more closely further into the buying cycle.

Given that, it’s important to structure your customer case studies and success stories to meet the needs of both types of readers.

One of the best ways is to summarize all the key information on page one of a multi-page story in a sidebar. On a web summary, do the same. Give the highlights and then offer the option of reading and/or downloading the full story.

HP does this nicely in a story featuring a restaurant customer

HP restaurant

Page one of the four-page story includes very little text. Instead it highlights the objective, approach, IT improvements and business benefits in a sidebar section.

It’s not just critical because it’s a four-page story. If it’s a two-pager, or even a one-pager, feature that sidebar summary early on.

Skimmers have all the info they need right there. But for those who want more, there’s the detail unfolding in the accompanying text.

You get all the can’t-miss highlights out there quickly and readers can decide if they want more detail.

And remember, prospective customers aren’t just reading your content online. If you create a downloadable PDF version, they can grab it, email it to colleagues or print it.

What other ways do you cater to readers AND skimmers in your customer stories?

2 Responses to How HP Case Studies Cater to Readers and Skimmers

  1. Mike Sweeney says:

    Good thought Casey. Another thing a media-savvy company could do is offer a short online video, along with a longer article (which could be downloaded in PDF). Even if they don’t do videos that much, it’s not difficult to produce one. A short 1-3 minute video is great at conveying lots of high-level information quickly. Save the lists of features and specs for those who really want them.

  2. Casey Hibbard says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your comment! That’s so true. A video can showcase the highlights in the same way a sidebar does. Get people interested with the key points and then they have the option of digging deeper.