5 May 2020

ServiceNow Case Study Critique: Hits and Misses

Monthly case study critique of a high-profile SaaS company

Each month, we dive deep into a case study from a well-known SaaS company, analyzing where the content shines and where the gaps are. In this month’s ServiceNow case study critique, we’re looking at the case study it did on its customer SAP SuccessFactors.

Our mission with this series is to help you, as a SaaS marketer, see that even the big guys aren’t perfect. We can all learn from what they do well and what they need to improve. Case studies are a critical piece of the marketing and sales funnel, so it pays—literally—to get them right.

ServiceNow case study critique: SAP SuccessFactors 

ServiceNow makes the world of work, work better for people. The company delivers digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity. ServiceNow’s IT service management (ITSM) and IT business management (ITBM) technology helps customers modernize IT, drive efficiency and enhance user experience.

Check out the case study we’re critiquing: SAP SuccessFactors – Foundational “DNA” Innovation for Transformative Service Delivery.

What worked well

1. Prominent statistics

ServiceNow features three stats at the top of this case study, immediately highlighting the value that the company’s products delivered to SAP SuccessFactors. The case study also includes more results in the form of hard numbers throughout the story.

2. Useful sidebar

The sidebar near the top of the case study provides educational ‘fast facts’ about the customer, SAP SuccessFactors. The sidebar also travels down the page with the reader as they scroll so that they can access the links to ServiceNow’s products at all times.

3. Strong quotes and testimonials

The customer quotes and testimonials successfully paint a picture of the pain points that SAP SuccessFactors was experiencing prior to working with ServiceNow, and why the company needed to implement a technology solution.

4. Clear structure

This case study clearly outlines SAP SuccessFactors’ challenges, then highlights the solutions provided by ServiceNow and the benefits the customer gained from ServiceNow’s products. The piece ends with a look to the future for SAP SuccessFactors, mentioning how ServiceNow’s solution will help the organization achieve its goals. This case study format creates a flow and helps the reader understand where they are in the story.

5. Pull quote

The pull quote and accompanying image in the middle of the case study offer a visually compelling element that breaks up the text.

6. Call to action

This case study ends with a clear, prominent and compelling call to action (CTA) at the bottom right where the story finishes. This guides the reader to the action that ServiceNow wants them to take next—to explore demo videos.

What could be better

1. Title choice

The title of this case study does not read smoothly, which makes it difficult to digest. It also doesn’t mention ServiceNow or include a statistic. Try to be more compelling with a results-oriented title, for example, ‘SAP SuccessFactors transforms service delivery and saves $400K with ServiceNow’ or ‘SAP SuccessFactors transforms service delivery and reduces mean time to repair by 68% with ServiceNow’.

2. Use of acronyms

The beginning of this case study is acronym-heavy and assumes that readers understand what the acronyms mean. It’s essential to spell out acronyms on first reference, for example, ‘mean time to repair (MTTR)’ or ‘IT service management (ITSM). Without context, using these abbreviations can result in the reader navigating away from the case study to find out what the acronyms mean, or continuing to read the case study but simply not understanding the content.

3. Flow of quotes

The challenge section of this case study relies too heavily on quotes to tell the story, using three quotes in a row to illustrate the problem. Alternating between a regular paragraph and a quote from the customer interview makes for a more dynamic flow and enables customer quotes to have a greater impact. This approach also ensures that a case study does not simply repeat quotes from the interview to tell the story.

4. Sidebar functionality

The floating sidebar works when the main body text is in the left column, but when the text flips over to the right column, the floating sidebar gets in the way and impacts readability, increasing frustration.

5. Floating CTA

The call to action gets in the way of the body text in the right column. It is busy and hard to read, especially with the pop-up message.

ServiceNow case study critique is a wrap!

Stay tuned next month for a new critique, and in the meantime, check out our Splunk case study critique.

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Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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