Infrastructure Case Studies Always Work

My primary business offering is case studies for infrastructure and geospatial firms, and I’ve published more than 1,000 case studies since 2002, in several dozen infrastructure trade journals including Professional Surveyor, Roads & Bridges, Public Works, Municipal Sewer & Water, Trenchless Technology, Cadalyst, Arch Daily, and Informed Infrastructure. 

Case studies are in demand because they always work; in my opinion, and in the opinion of my clients, they’re the most cost-effective form of marketing content, providing value over lifecycles of many months, and sometimes years. Here’s a closer look at two of my clients who use case studies aggressively to generate leads, nurture prospects, and close deals.

American Highway Products: Continuous Exposure With Short Case Studies

My client since 2006, American Highway Products makes an adjustable manhole riser based on patented turnbuckle technology. President Scott Fier places as many as 15 case studies a year, usually one to two pages, and considers it a good value. Continuous exposure with brief case studies works for AHP because adjustable turnbuckle risers are a clear winner compared to traditional manhole raising solutions—they’re cost-effective and convenient, and they’re a better quality riser too, which limits liability claims for cities and contractors. Since many cities and highway departments still use traditional methods like cast iron risers or concrete ring replacement, due mainly to inertia, Scott feels his best marketing tactic is simple; continuously publish brief case studies focusing on successful municipal use of his risers—just getting the word out generates interest from agencies and contractors, and once they actually try out AHP’s adjustable risers, they’re customers for life. 

Scott also creates additional value from case studies by repackaging them as white papers, brochures, website content, and continuing education courses. These generate leads outside of trade journal publication, effectively getting far more value from his marketing dollar. It works; this mid-size American manufacturing firm, in business since 1978, continues to raise revenue and market share every year.

AP/M Permaform: Educating Prospects With Long Form Case Studies

My client since 2009, AP/M Permaform develops and distributes several innovative trenchless sewer repair technologies, including centrifugally cast concrete pipe (CIPP) for sewer and manhole rehabilitation, and an anti-corrosion concrete admixture. They publish as many as 20 case studies a year, usually about four pages. Longer case studies are effective for AP/M because their solutions are a relatively new entry into a crowded, high-risk space—trenchless sewer repair. And as I said in my (free) white paper on infrastructure marketing: 

“When a solution is new, it is likely that prospects will be seeking basic education about it, to see if it even applies to their problems. In this case, the new product marketer should publish informative, entry level content that assumes very little reader knowledge—the content publisher is creating a pool of new prospects who know about the new solution and may consider it themselves or refer others to it.” —Long Sales Cycles and Skeptical Customers are Good Things: Information Marketing in Infrastructure

Like American Highway Products, AP/M also extends the value of their case studies by repackaging them as white papers, and also presents them as papers and talks at conferences and trade shows. This approach has led to acceptance and specification at major agencies, such as state DOTs and large cities like Chicago… and it’s hard to over estimate the value of that.

Regular publication of case studies focusing on successful use of your firm’s solutions is an absolutely critical component of any infrastructure marketing program, particularly when those solutions are new, need to differentiated in a crowded marketplace, or if your firm is trying to establish thought leadership in a particular sector. If you’d like to learn more, please download my free white paper on infrastructure marketing, or just call me at 270.363.0033—I’m always happy to talk about case studies.

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Angus W. Stocking

Angus W. Stocking, L.S., is a licensed land surveyor who now prepares information marketing content for the infrastructure industry.


Angus W. Stocking, L.S.
P.O. Box 872
Paonia CO 81428
270.363.0033 office