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I recently watched The Banshees of Inisherin, a film starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. I thoroughly enjoyed it and, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do.

My wife and I watched it because our friend Dan told us it was excellent. He didn’t lie.

Would I have gone to see it if my friend had not spoken so highly of it? Probably not. My taste in movies these days has turned to older, more obscure, and even foreign films, rather than what’s been coming from Hollywood.

Why did we watch a movie based on his recommendation alone?

We have a history. Like me, he’s a musician and a writer. Over the years, we’ve discussed movies, books, bands, and music genres a lot. I know him well enough to know that, if he raves about a movie, as he did this one, there must be something pretty darn special about it.

But I’m not alone…

Studies show that friends and family are the number one source of trusted information, and have been for a long time. This will probably always be the case.

Unfortunately, I sometimes need products or services that my friends and family know nothing about—like the time our microwave died. Dan knows less about microwaves than I do.

To solve my microwave issue, I turned to online videos and articles. I was particularly attracted to people who had a similar experience as I did with my current, now dead, microwave. Most were not repair technicians—just plain people like me whose microwave had broken. Except they had found a solution.

Did I follow their advice? You bet.

People who are “just like me,” rank a close second on the list of most trusted information sources. It doesn’t matter if they’re a stranger in a faraway land—if they solved a problem like the one I’m currently facing, they have my attention.

There’s a saying in the East that goes something like, “To know what’s on the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Chances are, you’re not the only one experiencing this issue. More than likely, others have not only gone through what you’re currently going through, but have found a way to overcome. Today you can find these people and experiences online and use them to address your current situation.

What ranks low on the list of trusted information? Ads and most information put out by a company to promote products and services.

Most smart marketers understand this and incorporate customer case studies into their overall marketing strategy. Rather than making promises which may fall on deaf ears, they leverage the power of a company’s existing happy customers.

These customer stories highlight the challenge the customer faced, how the company’s solution addressed that challenge, and the end result.

The “just like me” approach is a time-tested strategy that works—regardless if your solution is a software that saves businesses time and money, a new microwave, or just a darn good and entertaining movie with an excellent set and cast.

Editor’s note: Customer case studies are a time-tested and proven method to build trust in your products/services. Contact us to learn how we can help you put this powerful tool to work for you.

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