Using case studies to boost Amalgam’s website traffic


Location: Bristol

Customer type:  Small business (<50 employees) Industry: Manufacturing

Ultimate audience: Product designers, developers and inventors

Services: Communications support, developing case studies, copy writing

The client

Amalgam offers an extensive range of creative services to develop and make models, displays and prototypes. The team delivers high quality results in fast timescales – being under one roof means they can offer economical pricing for projects. For architects and boat designers, they make high detail scale models, to represent a visionary design or use as a planning tool. For innovators, engineers and manufacturers, Amalgam offers prototyping, design and product development services.

They can quickly turn around a full size functional prototype or an eye-catching trade show display. For TV and Film producers or art directors, they create authentic props and build special effects or scenic theming. Run by four directors, Amalgam was established in 1984 in the heart of Bristol and quickly earned a reputation for precision making. The skills and expertise in their workshop is diverse, ranging from CAD and 3D printing to interactives and electronics, metalwork and complex engineering.

The project

Working to a deadline on every project meant Amalgam had very limited time or resource to focus on routine marketing activities. Their blog was entertaining and light-hearted, with a goal to engage existing customers occasionally with in-house news, and share stories of interest among their client base. However, they were unable to sustain a weekly blog or manage the volume of new stories to load onto their online portfolio Our Work.

Debra was recommended to them to help boost their marketing resource, and support their marketing planning. She quickly spotted the opportunity offered by the fantastic photos of the projects to create engaging case studies – where Amalgam can describe their delivery in a way which appeals to other potential clients in similar industries. Each month Amalgam publishes new case studies either on the Blog, online portfolio, or directly releases them to the trade press – meaning they have regular content to share on social media and by email to clients. Web site traffic has increased steadily.

Creating consistent case studies

Amalgam’s directors have a clear goal to raise Amalgam’s profile in Bristol and across the South West – with director Mike Harvey focusing on their department for prototyping, design, and product development services.

To help meet the goal, Debra recommended increasing the number of customer case studies Amalgam talks about each month. After working with Mike on the first few prototyping case studies, they introduced a process for identifying the best stories, and gaining customers’ buy-in, for Debra to contact them and write about their prototyping projects. As Mike found, when you’re busy delivering work for customers, it’s difficult to pause and develop a case study about one that’s past – yet it’s essential for promoting your business talents on blogs, social media and in the trade press.

Debra speaks directly to our clients to seek their feedback to develop a case study.

Frank feedback to write the story

Customers open up more when you speak to them directly, rather than send a questionnaire – and it’s easier for them to give constructive feedback when talking to a third party. So, Debra designed a short ‘Amalgam’ interview for speaking directly to end clients. The idea is to glean as much information as possible about the service benefits, and the resulting outcome from each project on a call with the client.

When producing an Amalgam case study, the focus is on telling the story from the customer’s perspective – and that means the potential readership can vary drastically from project to project, because Amalgam’s client base is diverse. What matters most to Amalgam, is reaching more businesses who are facing the same challenge: how to test a design, create a physical prototype and develop a new product ready for the manufacturing process. Writing the case study as a story means using the typical framework of who, what, when, where and how – yet it also explores the product designer’s struggle to develop their ideas as the key focus of the article. The goal is to achieve a consistent shape to their marketing content, clearly showing how Amalgam adds value, and what it would be like to work with them. The call to action is always to contact Amalgam, if the reader needs help when tackling their new product design.

Client feedback

Mike Harvey, director at Amalgam,

“By focusing on marketing and publicity for us, Debra has dramatically improved our exposure online and in the trade press while freeing the directors up to concentrate on running the company and developing our long-term strategy. Right from our first meeting she inspired confidence by showing a real grasp of what Amalgam is about while approaching the company from an outsiders point of view and thereby offering an insight that none of us quite saw from within. Her professional and experienced approach to marketing and getting us noticed has raised our game not to mention our profile, whilst also offering us a sounding board and facilitator to rely upon for all things publicity related. Whatever your business does Debra’s can help it get noticed.  She can also relieve you as a business owner of having to keep quite so many balls in the air at once.  A great help not to mention a great relief!”

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