There are several instances in life when a person can learn from observing the world around him, which also applies to organizations. When a firm wants to understand a product’s or strategy’s success or failure, they turn to case studies. There are several types of case studies out there. Some of them are – a marketing case study, a finance case study, or a case study in innovation.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject. This could be a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are prevalent in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
Also, they are helpful in a variety of fields. These include psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work. However, we will look at the different elements of a marketing case study in this article.
Case studies are based on evidence; they begin with a question or problem that requires an answer through research. The researcher then collects information using interviews or observations.
The researcher might even conduct an experiment to test an idea related to the case study. After this data is collected and analyzed, the researcher writes up their findings in an article called a case report or case study report.
Also, a case study focuses on a detailed description of an individual or group experience from beginning to end. A case study does not provide generalizations about the larger population but rather focuses on how an individual or group responded to an event.
Case studies may also involve multiple individuals or groups with similar experiences. Case studies are used for:
- Testing Hypotheses
- Exploring an Issue
- Developing new ideas, theories, Models, or, Concepts
- Helping you understand specific individuals or groups in detail
What Is a Marketing Case Study
The marketing case study is a persuasive document that uses real-world examples to demonstrate the value of your product or service. It’s a powerful tool for marketing, sales, and customer support teams as it enables them to share the results of their work and how it helped solve a customer’s problem.
A marketing case study is basically a good story. Like all good stories, it needs to have the following elements:
- A Hero – This is the main character who is the good guy.
- The Problem – A situation that puts our hero in a difficult situation.
- The Solution – The product or service that saves the day. Also, it makes the hero happy.
Approaching a case study like a story is something that will be exciting for marketers. This is because marketers are fond of creating memorable stories for their brands.
However, it is essential to remember that the readers of the case study must be able to connect with it. This also means that they should be able to visualize themselves in the main character’s shoes.
Why Should Companies Write a Case Study?
Writing a marketing case study is hard work. It is not as simple as writing a blog post. This is because a case study has a large number of data points. All of them have to be accurate. Also, when a firm intends to mention a client by name, they need the necessary approvals. This can be a time-consuming process.
However, there are many compelling reasons to create a marketing case study. Here, we look at those reasons in some detail.
Demonstrate the power of your product.
Case studies can be compelling marketing tools because they show your audience what your product or service can do for them and are much harder to ignore than an ad or blog post.
Build customer loyalty.
Keeping in touch with happy customers will allow them to voice their opinion about your business. However, it will also give them an opportunity to reaffirm why they chose your business in the first place.
When a salesperson has case studies to share, it’s an opportunity for them to talk about the benefits their product or service can have for the customer. Also, they can speak about the resounding reception of the product. This, in turn, leads to an increased volume of sales.
Multi-Format and multi-purpose content.
Testimonial quotes and data snippets from your customers make great calls to action on various pages of your website. These could be your homepage, product and service pages, landing pages, etc. You can also repurpose these into PDFs, ebooks, videos, and infographics.
An opportunity to tell your story.
Case studies allow you to share your story, showing readers that your products and methods are effective. This makes for a fantastic form of advertising because it’s not pushy or over-the-top.
Case studies help convert positive customer opinions into tangible data that prove your value. In fact, a vast majority of marketers trust this type of content.
How to Write a Marketing Case Study
This section will look at how to write a high-impact and persuasive marketing case study.
The headline should share the most critical information about the case study. It should be able to capture its essence in a single sentence.
Write about someone your customer can relate to.
One should know their target audience before working on a marketing case study. They must know the industry the readers are a part of.
Ultimately, the audience must understand that the author is knowledgeable about the industry. Also, they must understand that he knows the customer’s pain points and can provide a solution for them.
Provide a summary.
A marketing case study should start with a crisp summary. The history of the firm, the industry it is a part of, and its leading products or services must also be covered in the summary. Also, the summary should introduce the client.
Narrate the complete story.
You must have got the gist by now. A marketing case study is a fantastic opportunity to tell your story. Furthermore, it is essential to tell it well. As always, one can rely on the STAR framework to make a good business story.
S – Situation: What was the situation that your brand was facing? How did it affect the customer? And, how did it affect you?
T- Task: What did you have to do to fix the situation?
A- Analysis: What approach did you use to analyze the problem? Also, what are the steps to solve it?
R – Result: What were the results of your efforts? To what extent did you solve the problem?
One can also report aspects such as improvement in customer satisfaction. Also, regular follow-ups with a select group of customers can get their feedback on after-sales service. It helps to focus on the long-term and emotional benefits as well.
The case study should be easy to read.
A marketing case study cannot be in the form of continuous text. Otherwise, people will doze off while reading it.
Rather, it should contain a small paragraph, and one must make sure that the case study includes headers, tables, images, and text. This will help improve SEO. It will also make the case study easy to read.
One can include short videos, infographics, and other multimedia to make the case study even more compelling.
Use actual facts and figures.
When writing case studies, it is always better to use actual data. This lends credibility to a person’s work instead of vague terms like ‘increased sales’ or ‘tripled footfall.’
One must mention whether the footfall has grown from 100 to 300 or from 2000 to 6000. Also, one must use charts and graphs to convey the meaning and scale of the data. Finally, any number is meaningless without context. Always remember to present the data points with some reference to the context.
Outline clear strategies
When an organization sets a challenging goal for itself and achieves the target, it calls for a celebration and also a marketing case study.
When speaking about the reasons behind the firm’s success, one should always substantiate strategies. For instance, targeting only the middle of the funnel, customers saw conversions increase from 50 a month to 75 a month.
Experiment with different formats
Case studies need to be put into text formats all the time. One can play around with different formats to see what works best. It could be a video interview where the customer talks about the challenges he faced.
However, the end objective of the case study remains the same irrespective of the format.
The problems of the customer and how your product solved them for him.
Case studies can also be in the form of brochures, webinars, or podcasts. Another advantage of different formats is that the content will appeal to a wider audience.
Case studies must be easy to find
The case studies must be presented in a prominent section on your website. Further, they have to be optimized for search. Also, all case studies must be promoted on social media and by email.
Marketing Case Study Examples
In this section, we will look at some case studies examples. These case studies demonstrate how to present a sticky situation and its solution in a wonderful manner.
Porch case study
This case study details a year of content marketing that resulted in 931 unique domain links, 23,000 monthly organic visits, and more. The content marketing agency Fractal worked with Porch to achieve these results.
This is a great way to demonstrate your ability to deliver the desired results without disclosing confidential information. Also, these case studies give confidence to other companies in the same industry. You can read the case study here.
IDEO case study
This case study shows that IDEO aims to transform the airport experience by putting the passenger first. They have presented the facts exceptionally well. The case study explains how the firm helped Pearson International Airport respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The entire case study is broken down into three parts: the challenge, the impact, and the outcome.
Another good thing is that there are visuals and images to break the flow of text. You can find the case study here.
Chevrolet DTU case study
This case is an excellent example of how a well-known brand fuels the curiosity of the reader. Here, the initials DTU are used. Everybody was interested to know what the abbreviation stands for. Well, DTU is ‘Discover The Unexpected.’
A mix of images, videos, and bullet points is used to sustain the interest of the reader. One of the best things about this case study is the fact that only the name of the brand is used to catch the attention of the audience. You can read this case study here.
Omnichannel Challenge – Bitly Case Study
Bitly uses a PDF format for all its text-heavy case studies. The case study in question here is one of an e-commerce company, Vissal. The entire case study consists of different sections such as ‘The Goal’, ‘Top Omnichannel Obstacles.’
Also, it includes images in ‘The Set Up’ and ‘The Launch.’ The PDF is available for download and opens up in a separate window.
The colors and text used follow Bitly’s brand guidelines. It just goes to show that a PDF is an excellent format for a case study. However, it is essential to keep the case study short. This case study is available here.
Some disadvantages of case studies
People write case studies so that learning from one situation can be applied to other similar situations. However, that does not always happen. This is because each situation has its unique nature.
Also, case studies can become theoretical in nature. This is even though they are based on real situations.
Marketing case studies are one of the best ways to build credibility and trust with potential customers. They also help you generate leads by showcasing your expertise and proving that you can deliver results. Most importantly, they can help you win over new clients by showing them what to expect from working with you — and how much better things will be when they do!