How to Make Your Marketing Case Study Anonymous Yet Effective
How to Develop a Great Marketing Case Study - Bonnie Nicholls
How to Develop a Great Marketing Case Study
February 24, 2021

How to Make Your Marketing Case Study Anonymous Yet Effective

Image by Bethany Legg of anonymous person

Customer case studies are highly effective because your client is willing to go on record and sing your praises. But what if your client doesn’t want their company name mentioned?

This happens for all sorts of reasons:

  • Maybe your client is such a high-profile company that they don’t want to broadcast their business challenges.
  • It could be that your client’s legal department has its own set of criteria for approving case studies.
  • Perhaps your client’s marketing department is concerned with highlighting a business area that’s not a high priority.

Whatever the reason, it’s not unheard of for other cogs in the proverbial corporate wheel to gum up the progress of a case study.

That doesn’t mean all is lost.

This happened to me recently. Everything was on track until the case study went to the client’s client, and because the client is a major player in transportation logistics, the case study went to marketing and then to legal. And it did not pass go.

How to Make an Existing Case Study Anonymous

Fortunately, the company was open to an anonymous case study. The rewrite was easy.

Here’s what I had to do:

  • Remove the source’s name and replace the source’s title with something generic
  • Remove the name of the company and provide a generic company description
  • Adjust the challenge section of the case study so it didn’t specifically identify what the company was struggling to achieve

With those minor changes, the company greenlighted the case study.

See an example of an anonymous case study I wrote.

How to Avoid ‘Anonymous’ Surprises

If you want to avoid the surprise “Sorry, we can’t approve this case study” situation in the first place, I suggest you ask your client the following questions when you’re vetting them as a source for a potential case study:

  1. Is your company OK with including your name, title, and company name in the case study?
  2. What approval process does the case study need to go through on your end? Does it include legal and/or marketing? If so, what are their requirements for this case study?
  3. If your company doesn’t want to be identified, are they open to an anonymous case study? What are their criteria for an anonymous case study?

With these questions answered, you’ll determine the necessary steps for getting the case study through the review process on your client’s end.

Are Anonymous Case Studies Still Effective?


Just because your client doesn’t want their name or company name in the case study doesn’t lessen its impact. Even an anonymous case study offers more context than a testimonial. It allows you to explain the process you use to solve a client’s problems, providing clear results and compelling client quotes. Done right, it will resonate with your targeted audience that has similar challenges.

Putting the client’s specific name and company logo on the case study is simply icing on the cake. With all the right ingredients, the cake can hold its own.

Ready to Hire a Case Study Writer?

I’d love to talk about your case study project. Go ahead and contact me!

Bonnie Nicholls on Linkedin
Bonnie Nicholls
Bonnie Nicholls is a freelance writer specializing in thought leadership content: case studies, articles, white papers/ebooks and blog posts. She supports industries such as Agile/Scrum, defense, cybersecurity, and business services.