Case Study: Short Summary
A case study is a description and examination of a specific case, project, or campaign. It will typically include some background information, details of a problem or challenge, an explanation of the actions that were taken to solve that problem, and an examination of what the eventual outcome was. Case studies are widely used in fields like education, social sciences and life sciences, but also serve as an effective type of content marketing for businesses.
For instance, a marketing case study could focus on a particular project that a business carried out for a client, while a scientific case study might examine the case of a particular medical patient and how they were treated. Within marketing, case studies are generally used to provide a practical example of the work a business does, or how their products or services help customers, with a view to persuading others that they can benefit in a similar way.
Case Study: Detailed Summary
The history of case studies can be traced back to the early 19th century, first emerging within the field of social sciences. Throughout the remainder of the century, case studies were adopted into other areas of science, such as the biological sciences, as well as into education and business. Today, such studies continue to be used in each of these fields, in addition to several others, but they have become especially popular as a marketing tool for businesses.
Regardless of the setting, a case study is intended to provide insight into a particular case, or even a number of cases. The cases in question could be projects, campaigns, organisations, events, actions or individuals. It will look at the task at hand or problem in question, before outlining the solution and explaining what the eventual outcome was. Case studies can, therefore, be used to inform and educate, but also to persuade or promote products or services.
A case study can be set out in a number of ways, but a typical format is as follows:
- Background Information – Information that helps to contextualise the rest of the case study. This may include a basic overview of the organisations or individuals that are featured in the study.
- Problem, Issue or Challenge – An explanation of the problem that existed, the issue that needed to be resolved, or the challenge that needed to be overcome. For example, you might describe what a customer, client or business was looking for, why they were looking for it, and challenges they had faced previously.
- Solution, Answer or Action – Information about the solution to the problem, or the action that was taken to deliver what was needed. A business offering a service or product may use this section of a case study to explain what they have to offer, why it was the best solution, and why they were chosen.
- Results or Eventual Outcome – Details of the results or eventual outcome. This section is generally used to highlight the successes of the project or case and to provide insight into overall satisfaction levels. It may include quotes from a client or customer, and could also offer details on what the future is expected to look like.
Within marketing, a case study usually functions in a similar way to a client or customer testimonial, providing some evidence of the benefits of working with a particular business, or using their products or services. By documenting a particular case and providing potential customers with access to it, the business is setting out what a typical business dealing might look like, the types of problems that can be solved, and the effectiveness of the solutions.
The standard procedure is for a case study to be carried out or written up with the full knowledge of all of those involved. It may include using techniques or research methods like interviews, surveys, observation, field trials and more, with the chosen methods usually depending on the nature of the case and the aims of the case study.
Most case studies are ultimately intended to provide a representation of how well a business, organisation or individual has performed, often with a view to creating a sense that that performance level is typical. For instance, a business might promote case studies of particular projects they have carried out, in order to showcase the quality of products or services they provide, and the customer satisfaction levels they achieve.
Case competitions are a concept that has emerged as a direct result of case studies. These are increasingly used by employers or academic institutions as a means of testing or otherwise separating applicants. Those who are participating in the case competition will usually be given a case study and tasked with coming up with the best solution to the challenge or problem described, either on their own, or as part of a team.
Tips For a Marketing Case Study
When it comes to using a case study for marketing purposes, there are certain best practices that can help you to improve the overall quality of the study, as well as its effectiveness. First of all, it is important to get a customer, client or business to actually agree to be the focus of the study. This will ensure they have time to talk to you about the project, product or service in question and what it actually did for them.
A good case study will usually include direct quotes from those same people, serving as a kind of customer or client testimonial. You should interview individuals and transcribe what they say. Use quotes that put the project or case in a positive light and which indicate satisfaction. You can paraphrase at certain points too, but direct quotes tend to be more powerful, as the people reading the study will relate to it and find it more trustworthy.
An informative title can go a long way, and it is best not to be too ambiguous here. A good title should inform readers that it is a case study, and explain something about both the case and the solution. An example of this would be: “Case Study: How [Customer] Overcame [Problem] Thanks to [Solution] From [Marketing Business]”.
Moreover, the best case studies tell a story, but you should not rely entirely on your storytelling abilities. Instead, when possible, you should also try to use statistics and other forms of hard data, as these provide evidence to back up what has been said. Finally, you should include a dedicated case studies page on your website, but you should also promote specific case studies elsewhere, such as in marketing emails, or on social media platforms.
Case studies offer an analysis of a particular case, project, campaign or practice, exploring the nature of the problem, the solution that was chosen and the eventual results. Although it originated as a scientific research method, the case study has since emerged as a popular form of marketing content, offering insight into the work that a particular individual, organisation or business has done, in order to convince others that they can benefit from similar work.