CaseStudiesOnline.com is a new web site with hundreds of social media marketing case studies, all fully indexed and searchable. The site was created by Tod Maffin, a well-known strategist, consultant, speaker and thought leader based in Vancouver. The site is currently in beta with more case studies being added each day. Maffin also plans on interviewing both thought-leaders in social media marketing and the people in the trenches who are putting these tools into action.
Here’s a short video by Maffin showing how CaseStudiesOnline.com works:
I took the opportunity to interview Tod Maffin over the phone last week to find out more for the Slaw audience:
Connie Crosby: What inspired you to put this website together?
Tod Maffin: I do a lot of consulting work and presentations for a number of clients, primarily independent professionals such as lawyers, accountants, realtors and so on. I have always been racking my brain to find a really good source of case studies. There are lots of articles on the web where people have said, we did this phenomenal YouTube campaign and wasn’t it great, we had 4,000 views. But 4,000 views don’t necessarily translate into dollars in pocket. So it was really difficult to find true case studies where you could see the bottom line value.
What I had started to do was just collect a bunch on my own. I had originally just bookmarked them, then I built a little bit of a database so that I could just type in a couple of keywords like legal, Twitter and it would pop up with some case studies. And then I thought I built this database now, I might as well let other people use it. That’s where it was inspired.
CC: Are you thinking of creating a business model around it, or are you going to keep it free for everybody?
TM: – I’m going to keep it free for everyone. The business model is that I’m going to be doing some in-depth interviews with folks who have planned these campaigns and I’ll be doing hour-long interviews, sometimes video and I’ll have the complete transcript available. You’ll be able to download it and listen to it as an mp3 and for those ones I’ll charge a small fee for people to download and access. But by far the vast majority of case studies are going to be 100% free for people to access.
CC: I noticed on the site it says “welcome, guest” on the top. Are you thinking of having people sign in to something like a “my case studies online”?
TM: What you see right now is the first phase. There are a couple of things that are coming in the next few weeks. One is a ratings system so that people can flush out the exceptionally good case studies. Another is exactly what you are suggesting which is a “my case studies online” version of the site, where you’ll be able to identify the categories or tactics or demographics that are specifically of interest to you.
In the meantime there will be sort of a sub-version of that where you’ll be able to specify, just by typing in the special URL, you can narrow down specifically to the type of category you are interested in. So, for instance, you’ll be able to type in legal.casestudiesonline.com and it will take you to all the case studies that are around law. That’s not in place yet, but it’s coming. If I could only have the legal case studies there right now! But the same thing will apply for anything, such as moms.casestudiesonline.com or youtube.casestudiesonline.com and it will take you directly to those searches.
CC: What types of case study contributions are you looking for?
TM: I am really looking for examples where an organization did something in the realm of social media and received some knowledge back from it. So there are plenty of websites that you can go to where they will tell you how many hits they got to their website or how many Twitter followers they got. I’m not really interested in that so much as finding out specifically what we learned from that. How will we apply our brand in the future as a result of this marketing campaign that we did using social media?
So I want it to be a little bit more of a rich value. That said, those are harder to come by on the Internet. It’s going to require me and my contributors to do a lot of legwork, interviewing a lot of these folks. In fact, as we’re speaking right now I’m on my way to Toronto to do a bunch of interviews. One of them is with the ad agency behind the Doritos campaign, the one where they did a brand handover and they essentially gave the brand to bloggers and to the public to re-shape as it went. So, to be able to drill down into those specific case studies is where a lot of the value is going to be.
CC: If a law firm or other legal organization wants to contribute something they need to think about what they are willing to share in that regard?
TM: That’s right. There are some industries, the legal industry being one of them, that have in the past been rather sensitive about what they let go in terms of both their successes and failures in marketing campaigns and branding endeavours. I really hope by having some of these things out there it will provide more interest, certainly more value, for a lot of organizations to build that kind of knowledge internally and share it. You know, it’s sort of in the spirit of “co-opetion”. You hear that phrase quite a bit and the idea that you raise the tide and it floats all boats. I’m a really big believer in that.
Hopefully we’ll be able to get more independent professionals on board; my role and the role of my contributors is to provide that knowledge. Now, that said, that’s one approach for getting information and that’s really if I or some of the contributors just stumble upon it online.
There is a secondary way if your law firm or associated kind of company has a good example of something that you want on this website: that’s what some of the revenue model for this site is as well. If you want to appear on the site guaranteed and get interviewed by me and put together one of those packages, then that can be done for a fairly low investment.
Thanks to Tod Maffin for the interview. For more information, please visit the website CaseStudiesOnline.com.