Customer case studies

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Customer case studies program

The goal of the customer case studies program is to share and market the success of our customers. We do this by helping them craft their story in a way that makes them proud and excited to talk about their success with GitLab.

Examples:

Objectives:

A formal case study produces a polished, finished document or video published on our customers page. Case studies can include multiple formats, including a web page, video, downloadable PDF, and associated blog posts.

A customer story is a blog post about how a customer solved a particular problem or received a specific benefit and are published on GitLab's blog. Customer stories can also be anonymous. e.g. "A large international financial services company used Gitlab CI/CD to reduce build times from 1 hour to 10 mins."

Case study process

Internal discovery

Once you have a customer who either (1) has an excellent use case or (2) has committed to participating in a case study:

  1. AE: Create & fill out a new issue in the Marketing issue tracker and use the "Customer_Story_Kickoff" template. Mark issue confidential and assign to @erica.
  2. Content: Assign to a writer and label case study.
  3. Content: Schedule an interal discovery meeting between AE and writer to discuss the use case, angle, and identify potential metrics.
  4. Both: Set timeline for engagement and deliverables.

*If you included a case study as part of a deal, great! Set up a call with the content marketing team and the customer to go over how they plan to use GitLab and metrics the customer is willing to track. Set a follow up call in 3 months and again in 6 months.

Customer discovery

  1. AE: After you've met with the content team, schedule a discovery call with the customer and assigned writer for a pre-discovery call.
  2. Content: Label issue case study - discovery.
  3. Content: Affirm the customer has agreed to a case study, determine format, and metrics.
  4. Content: Schedule formal interview.
  5. AE: Update SFDC record to document the engagement.

Interview

  1. Content: write abstract and interview questions 1 week ahead of interview.
  2. Content: Conduct 1 hour interview with case study subject(s).
  3. Content: Confirm deliverables and set timelines and expectations with the customer.
  4. Content: Confirm case study storyline, and schedule a follow-up interview if necessary.

Production

  1. Content: Submit audio recording for transcription using Transcription Panda's standard (2-3 day turnaround) option. Use JJ's credit card (found in 1Password) and send her the final receipt.
  2. Once transcription is returned, label issue case study - production and create a draft following the case study format.
  3. Once the draft is completed, writer will label CMM - In review and ping the Content Marketing Manager to review and send for approval.
  4. Once the case study has been reviewed and approved by the customer, follow the publishing process below to add to the marketing site.

Collecting Metrics:

Possible quantitative metrics that the customer can be asked to share with GitLab include:

The customer case study should then be written by the Content team, and the draft sent to the customer for their input and approval.

Other sections in the case study can be found on the customer's website or by searching the web - Sidebar summary, The Customer.

Following approval from the customer, the Design team should be sent a doc of the case study to include in the case study design template. The case study can then be published on our website.

Case Study Format:

Headline: The name of the customer and the benefit they gained from implementing our solution

Sidebar Summary: Summarize key points

The Customer: A brief introduction of the customer, not the solution.

The Challenge: What was the customer trying to change or improve. What regulations or market conditions drove the customer to search for a new solution. Share the steps the customer took to solve the problem, including other products and services they investigated.

The Solution: Detail the solution and how it aligns to the customers requirements. Also detail other solutions that GitLab interfaces with. Also include customer quote.

The Results: Detail how GitLab supported the customer to solve their problems. This is where the use of benchmarking metrics such as such as time saved, reduced costs, increased performance etc. are required.

About GitLab: Short paragraph on GitLab - about, solutions etc. Call to action of solutions offered.

Possible Additional Supporting Documents:

Case studies should put the spotlight on our customers and tell a story about the ways in which they help their own customers. In telling that story, we should detail how GitLab helps them get that job done. Case studies should include metrics, but a compelling story can be told without them if there aren't any available. If metrics are unavailable, consider including the customer's overarching results, such as increased collaboration or stronger relationships between developers and operations.

SLA

Case studies should always take high priority. Once a case study is initiated, it should take no longer than 2 weeks to turn around a draft for review. Once the case study has been reviewed and approved by the customer, it should take no longer than 5 working days to publish on the marketing site.

Publishing

  1. Start by creating a .yml file in /data/case_studies directory under Marketing site repo (www-gitlab-com project).
  2. Keep the name of file same as company name (this is not mandatory but it is easier to manage), for eg; if company name is "Foobar", create a file as /data/case_studies/foobar.yml.
  3. Once created, add contents of the file using this sample Case Study template, and then update the values of each property based on case study details, remember, do NOT change property names.
  4. Once this file is added, you'll need to restart marketing site server by first closing it using Ctrl+C and then running bundle exec middleman again.
  5. When the server is started, you can view generated Case Study page in your local instance of marketing site under the URL, for eg; http://localhost:4567/customers/foobar.
  6. Please note that you don't need to restart server again if you make any changes to foobar.yml file, this is required only when a new file is added to the /data/case_studies directory.