«Return to Blog List What Works in Customer Stories: About Face on the “About Section”
How often do you read the "About" section of a marketing piece – a brochure, press release or case study?
Probably not very often.
There are times when an "About" paragraph makes sense in a case study or success story, but often it just takes up prime real estate.
When do you include one and when should you leave it out?
"About" the vendor
In a customer story, there are two potential "About" sections: one for the vendor and another for the featured customer. Many vendor companies – especially those that are publicly traded – feel the need to include this boilerplate copy on nearly everything.
If the case study or success story is only going on the web, or will be emailed to prospects, then a hyperlinked URL and contact information is sufficient. Any reader is just a click away from complete information on the company.
However, if you’re printing and handing out customer stories at trade shows or meetings with prospects, include a company description. If prospects are looking at a stack of materials from various vendors, you probably want the basics about the company on there.
"About" the customer
If written well, a customer case study or success story weaves interesting information about the featured customer throughout the story. The story can easily integrate what the company does, where it operates and stats about employees or annual revenues – everything that usually goes into an "About" paragraph.
A stand-alone descriptive section on the featured customer will likely be repetitive information, and the reader is likely to skip it anyway.
If you can use a few inches of a case study for reinforcing measurable results or a powerful customer quote, instead of a staid boilerplate section, then do so. Your story will be much more powerful.
However, if the featured company is publicly traded, or extra protective of its brand and messaging, the organization may request such an addition (occasionally they do). In those cases, you have to determine whether it’s worth it to push back or just include it.
There’s something to be said for consistency across all your stories, but you want to keep the customer happy.
Don’t forget. It’s easy to include URLs for the vendor and customer on every story, giving readers the option to get more information.