All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study
What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.
What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?
While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.
Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.
The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.
Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:
Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.
Types of Case Studies
The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:
- Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
- Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
- Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
- Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
- Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.
Case Study Format
The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:
- Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
- Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
- Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
- Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
- Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
- Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
- References. Provide all the citations.
How to Write a Case Study
Let's discover how to write a case study.
Setting Up the Research
When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:
- Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
- Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
- Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
- Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
- Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.
Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'
Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:
- Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
- Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
- Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
- Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
- Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
- Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
- Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
- Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.
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Case Study Outline
Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.
- Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
- Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
- Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
- Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
- Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
- Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
- Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
- Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
- Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
- Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
- Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
- Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.
Writing a Case Study Draft
After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:
- Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
- In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
- Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
- Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
- At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.
Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study
Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :
With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.
Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.
Finalizing the Draft: Checklist
After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:
- Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
- Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
- Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
- Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?
Problems to avoid:
- Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
- Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
- Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
Let's see how to create an awesome title page.
Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:
- A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
- The title should have the words “case study” in it
- The title should range between 5-9 words in length
- Your name and contact information
- Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.
Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:
There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.
Citation Example in MLA Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.
Case Study Examples
To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.
Eastman Kodak Case Study
Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany
To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .
Get Help Form Qualified Writers
Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. If you’re having trouble with your case study, help with essay request - we'll help. EssayPro writers have read and written countless case studies and are experts in endless disciplines. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our writing service, and all of your worries will be gone.
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How to Write a Case Study (+10 Examples & Free Template!)
Ah, the case study: One of the most important pieces of marketing content for a business, and yet all too often, also the most boring. The problem with this is, lose a reader and you lose a customer. It doesn’t have to be this way!
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to write a case study that prospects will actually want to read. An attractive , inspiring , and convincing case study that turns readers into customers.
Table of contents
What is a case study.
- Why write a case study?
How long should a case study be?
- How to write a case study: Steps & format
- An example of a case study
- Tips to write a case study that gets read
- Real case study examples
- Free case study template doc
A case study is a self-contained story about how a real customer overcame their problems using your products or services. Notice how I used the word story. Marketers are obsessed with the notion of “storytelling” (usually without actually telling stories), but a good case study is a story with protagonist (your customer) who has a problem but who wins out in the end.
This case study example by Intercom puts faces to the name of their protagonist, Atlassian.
By the end of a case study, the reader should be able to visualize themselves as the hero of their own story. They should be able to relate to the problems of your featured customer, and see themselves achieving their own goals by using your product or service.
Why write a business case study?
Case studies may not be as sexy as a viral blog post, and as such they’re often overlooked in favor of other content formats. This begs the question – why create marketing case studies at all?
The answer is because they’re really effective.
- Build customer loyalty: Not only is this an opportunity to engage with your satisfied customer, but to reaffirm why they chose you and why they should continue to choose you.
- Assist sales: In addition to having case studies posted on your website, salespeople can share them with potential customers in conversations to help them build confidence in the prospect.
- Multi-purpose content: Quotes and data snippets from your case studies make great testimonial tidbits for your the homepage, products/services pages, landing pages, and more. You can also repurpose these into PDFs, videos, blog posts, and infographics.
- Earn trust: Case studies turn positive customer opinions into tangible data that actually proves your value. In fact, it’s among the most trusted content types according to 60% of marketers.
This varies by industry (a kitchen remodeling business could probably tell their whole story in pictures while a software invoicing solution, not so much), but here are some guidelines:
- Most resources tell you that a case study should be 500-1500 words.
- We also encourage you to have a prominent snapshot section of 100 words or less.
- The results and benefits section should take the bulk of the word count.
- Don’t use more words than you need. Let your data, images, and customers quotes do the talking.
What a marketing case study is NOT
A case study is an on-brand, data-driven, objective resource for potential customers to gain confidence in your business. Here is what they are not.
- Case studies are not press releases. Although case studies can be used to accompany new product launches, they are not merely vehicles to talk about new products. In fact, you should make your case studies as evergreen as possible so you can get the most mileage out of them.
- Case studies aren’t advertisements. Bits and pieces of cases studies can be used on landing pages or even in ad copy, but the case study itself should not be an ad. It’s not about roping in a customer or using exciting or embellishing words. It’s about sharing the facts.
- Good case studies are not about your company. They’re about the customer’s journey. Most case studies are bland, instantly forgettable crap because marketers ignore the fact that case studies are stories in the most literal sense. They get preoccupied with things like brand voice or messaging matrices and forget to leverage the narrative form that makes stories so compelling. Or, even worse, they simply can’t stop themselves from harping on about how great their company is, the gravest of sins when case studies are concerned.
How to write a case study: steps & format
Now that we’re clear on what a marketing case study is (and isn’t), as well as why you should be producing them, let’s talk about how to actually write a case study worth reading.
- Clear headline: Like a newspaper headline, it should give the most important information. A subtitle with supporting details or a customer quote is optional.
- Snapshot: Provide the TLDR prominently at the top, including the client’s name/industry, the product/service used, and quick result stats.
- Client introduction: One or two sentences describing the customer and a highlight about them.
- Problem: State the problem/goal, consequences, and any hesitations the customer had. Include quotes.
- Solution: Share how they found you, why they chose you, what solution they chose, and how it was implemented. Include quotes.
- Results: Describe the results and the benefits, as well as any bonus benefits that came of it. Include quotes.
- Conclusion: Share additional praise from the customer and words of advice they have for other people/businesses like them.
Click to view full-size.
A case study example
Let’s go into the details on each one of the steps above, using a fictional example. Our business is Kumbo Digital and our client is Currigate.
1. Start with a clear headline
This should be like a newspaper headline that gives the most important information. A subtitle with supporting details or a customer quote is optional.
Currigate Plugs $12k in Profit Leaks with Kumbo Digital
2. Provide a snapshot
There should be a section at the top with the important details. This includes
- Customer name/category/industry
- Product/service used
- Results (ideally three stats)
3. Introduce the client
Share one to two sentences with your customer’s name, industry, location, and a highlight.
Currigate is a software service that offers highly customizable subscription packages to banks, brokers, and investors in the mortgage lending market.
4. State the problem, consequences, & hesitations
Explain the issue the customer was facing or the goal they were having a hard time reaching—as well as the negative outcomes.
While this high level of customization is what sets Currigate apart from its competitors, it also requires multiple applications with disparate data and heavy manual work. Account owners were spending so much time manage invoicing, there was little left over to build relationships with clients, stay on top of overages, and upsell. This was leading to leaks in profitability and a weakening of customer service.
Include customer quotes as well as any hesitancies they had with using a product or service like yours.
“We were getting in our own way,” said Melanie Grigham, Currigate’s VP of Operations. “Our customer relationships were starting to falter, and we knew we had to do something. But the thought of manipulating just one of our data sources—let alone all seven—was scary. There were so many random connections in place and so much confidential information, we couldn’t risk it all breaking.”
5. Describe the solution
Share how the customer found your business and why they chose you.
Grigham learned about Kumbo Digital through none other than Google research and decided to get in touch. “The thought of explaining the whole thing felt daunting, but I was relieved to hear [the rep] finishing my sentences for me!”
Include which specific product or service they chose, how it was implemented, and how the customer used it. Stay brief!
After learning the details of the situation, the Kumbo team proposed a custom solution that would integrate all of the data sources into one dashboard. “I was hesitant at first, but they showed me a small scale example which helped me to understand a little more about how it would work. I appreciated their patience with me as I took some time to make a decision.” Grigham finally went with it. The dashboard took three weeks to implement and the data migration took just under a day.
6. Share the results & benefits
Share how the client used your product/service, what the results were, and the benefits. Include direct quotes and clear evidence (statistical data, before-and-after images, time-lapse videos, etc.)
With the new platform, Currigate’s account managers could access all seven data sources—as well as generate, track, send, and approve invoices—all in one place. Time spent invoicing went from days to hours, freeing up time for them to engage with customers and work toward strategic goals. “Our staff are less bogged down to the point where they’re asking to take on more clients—which is unheard of.” The redesigned and simplified product catalog (206 product codes instead of 1,024) has also made it easier for them to upsell as well as recommend combinations for specific needs. “Sometimes our new clients don’t know what they want, and this is perfect for giving them a starting point.” In addition, Currigate was able to identify $12,403 worth of overages they wouldn’t have caught otherwise. “Now, we can be sure that their customers are being billed appropriately (which is great for us) and receiving the services best fit for their dynamic needs (which is great for them). It’s a win-win.”
7. Conclude with words of advice and a CTA
Share where the client is headed, any additional quotes or praise, and/or their advice for similar potential clients.
Today, Currigate’s unique subscription model is as strong as ever. It’s even considering opening up to new markets. “We never thought we’d reach this point so soon—we thought new markets was years down the line,” said Melanie. When asked what advice she had for other businesses like hers, she talked about mixing faith and facts. “You’ve got to do your research to find a trusted provider, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to a leap of faith, and sometimes you just have to do it.”
Finish off with a CTA to contact your business and/or a link to view more case studies.
Tips on how to write a case study that prospects will want to read
Alright, so that was a basic example of a case study, but there’s more to it than just the words that comprise it. Here are eight tips to write a great case study that prospects will want to read and that will help close deals.
1. Make it as easy as possible for the client
Just like when asking for reviews , it’s important to make the process as clear and easy as possible for the client. When you reach out, ask if you can use their story of achievement as a case study for your business.
Make the details as clear as possible, including:
- The process (20 minute interview, follow up with a draft for their approval).
- Where the case study will live (on your website? in PDFs shared by sales reps? etc.)
- Their options for the interview (in person, phone/video call, via email).
- Any benefits (exposure on social, for example).
The clearer the picture you paint for them, the more receptive they’ll be to sharing their time with you.
2. Include a prominent snapshot with the results
While a good case study is like a story, you don’t want to hold out on your reader until the end. You want them to know the results right off the bat, then they can read further to find out how those results were achieved. In the example below, the overall picture is made clear with the title ( The Loot Box Uses Ad Factory and Content Marketing to Drive Sales ) and the three stats below it.
3. Choose an interesting angle
Apart from kitchen remodeling and website makeovers, it can be hard to make a case study compelling. But there is always room for creativity.
- Focus on particularly interesting customers who use your product in a unique way or who have a more extreme situation.
- Weave a theme into the story that connects your industry with theirs (this might mean puns).
- Hook the reader at the beginning with a teaser about the best result in the study.
- Incorporate the client’s unique personality into the story.
The more compelling your angle, the better the story. The better the story, the more engaging your case study will be. In Mailchimp’s case study example below, the customer name (Good Dye Young), compelling headline , and expressive image all work together to give this case study life.
4. But make it relatable to all prospects
Your angle is the “hook” that will catch your audience’s attention, but it’s essential that ALL prospects can relate to and identify with the problems encountered by your case study’s “protagonist.” This means catering to your core demographics and target markets , and solving the problems most commonly experienced by your customers.
The same Mailchimp case study example above finishes off with an “advice for other small businesses” section:
5. Make them visually appealing (and consistent)
We already know that case studies aren’t the most exciting reads, so don’t make it worse by throwing a bunch of text and numbers onto a page. A good case study is skimmable, visual, and organized.
6. Be the supporting character, not the hero
Your company should always be positioned as a helping hand that helped the real hero of the story—your client—overcome their obstacle. There are two reasons this approach is so effective. Firstly, you want your audience to visualize themselves as the protagonist of the case study. This is much more difficult if you won’t stop talking about how great your company or product is. Secondly, adopting a more humble tone can help increase your credibility in the mind of the reader.
- Allbird’s omnichannel conversions soared
- Gymshark scaled internationally
- Staples replatformed in half the time
- Bombas saved $108,000 a year
7. Let your clients tell their own story
As a storyteller, it’s your job to craft a compelling narrative about how your featured client triumphed over the forces of evil using your product or service, but that doesn’t mean your protagonist doesn’t have their own voice.
Let them tell the story in their own words and then incorporate direct quotes into your narrative. This will break up your text, increase credibility, and make your protagonist a tangible character that readers can relate to. Take an interview style format and use paraphrasing and annotations so the text isn’t repetitive. Set up the segue and create room for your client’s quote, and let them do the rest.
View the full case study example here.
8. Have realistic expectations
Yes, we want to create a useful, helpful resource for prospective customers, but let’s be real—nobody’s winning a Pulitzer for a case study, and it won’t be going viral on social media, no matter how well-written it is.
Case studies are little more than tools to be used by either self-motivated prospects researching your company, or by sales professionals as tools to help convince prospects to convert. Nothing more. They’re designed for audiences that are already strongly considering becoming your customers, which is a smaller but more qualified group of people than your general audience.
So don’t be disheartened if your case study content doesn’t attract as much traffic or engagement as your best or even average content. They’re not meant to. But that doesn’t mean you should stop creating them or start obsessing over how to improve them.
Business case study examples
Here are some business case study examples that put the tips in this guide into play.
Call us biased, but LOCALiQ’s case study format is pretty rad. What we like about it:
- High-quality visual at the top.
- Immediate snapshot of customer and results.
- Clear-cut sections with challenges, solutions, and results.
- Customer quotes layered in with paraphrasing and commentary.
Read this case study example.
You saw a sneak peek of this above! What we like about it:
- Special care given to give the client a face and a glowing description.
- Nice mix of real images with graphics ( one of our landing page design trends ).
- Newspaper headline approach (with a rhyme!): Atlassian powers sales with support at scale with Intercom
- Prominent data results
- Snapshot sidebar on the left with client information and features used.
After the “Good Dye Young” example earlier, how could we not include another Mailchimp case study? What we like about it:
- Compelling headline: How Stretch & Flex Started and Grew During a Pandemic
- How the subtitle aids in the TLDR: Surveys helped the virtual Pilates studio make quick adjustments and plan for long‑term success.
- Colorful, expressive images and clean snapshot.
- Alternating background colors to distinguish the quotes and stats—the best parts of the story, of course.
- Conclusion with advice to small businesses.
Wrike takes the case study snapshot to the next level in this example. What we like about it:
- Puts a face to the name of the client, just like Intercom does.
- Nice mix of photos and graphics together (like Intercom).
- Mega snapshot that basically gives you all of the information you need.
- Bright green result data.
Our final marketing case study example comes from Slintel, a go-to-market intelligence software. What we like about it:
- Attractive headline: Leoforce sees 2x increase in meetings booked with Slintel
- Coordination of image with branding colors.
- That it is written by their RevOps manager ( what is RevOps? ).
- Descriptive headings: The Challenge: Cleaning up bad data.
- Large results data and prominent quote callout boxes.
View full case study here
Marketing case study templates
To make things easy for you, I’ve compiled the tips and examples into a marketing case study template, in document form, that you can use to write your own.
- WordStream’s case study template doc: All the steps in this guide compiled into this case study Google Doc template to make your life much easier.
- Canva case study templates: Canva has a number of free case study templates (the one in tip #5 is one of them!) that look professional and polished.
- Visme’s case study templates: With a free login, you can access and customize some of Visme’s case study templates.
- Storydoc’s case study templates and design tips : Use Storydoc’s case study templates to create and customize a great story with a 14-day free trial.
Use these case study examples & tips to get started with your own
No two businesses are alike, and case studies vary widely in terms of style, tone, and format . One thing that all marketing case studies share, however, is their purpose – to convince prospects that doing business with you is a good idea. With these case study steps, tips, examples, and templates, you’ll be well on your way to producing stories your prospects will actually want to read.
Meet The Author
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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Writing a case study
What is a case study.
A case study requires you to analyse a specific situation and discuss how its different elements relate to theory. The case can refer to a real-life or hypothetical event, organisation, individual or group of people and/or issue. Depending upon your assignment, you will be asked to develop solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.
Generally, a case study is either formatted as an essay or a report. If it is the latter, your assignment is often divided into sections with headings and subheadings to ensure easy access to key points of interest.
There are different approaches to case studies, so always check the specific instructions you have been given. There are two main types of case studies: descriptive and problem-solving .
Case study types accordion
Descriptive case studies.
- ask you to explore a specific event or issue to identify the key facts, what happened and who was/is involved.
- can be used to compare two instances of an event to illustrate how one is similar to the other.
- generally does not include solutions or recommendations as its main purpose is to help the reader or stakeholder to gain greater insight into the different dimensions of the event, etc. and/or to make an informed decision about the event, etc.
- In Nursing, you could be asked to select a medical clinic or hospital as your case study and then apply what you have studied in class about wound care approaches. You would then identify and apply the relevant theories of wound care management discussed in class to your case.
Problem-solving case studies
- ask you to critically examine an issue related to a specific individual or group, and then recommend and justify solutions to the issue, integrating theory and practice.
- In Business and Economics, you could be asked to describe a critical incident in the workplace. Your role as the manager is to apply your knowledge and skills of key intercultural communication concepts and theories in management to determine the causes of the conflict and propose relevant communication strategies to avoid and/or resolve it.
Tips for undertaking a problem-based case study View
Writing to your audience.
Your language expression should be persuasive and user-centred communication. To do this, you need to carefully research your audience, or your stakeholders . Your stakeholders are not only those people who will read your writing, but also people who will be impacted by any decisions or recommendations you choose to include. In other words, your audience may be varied with different needs and perspectives. This applies to both your case study as an assessment task and a report in your workplace.
Understanding your audience will help you to edit how you express your information, including tailoring your language expression, tone and style to meet the expectations of your stakeholders. For example, if your case study is written for the Minister of Health, then your tone will need to be formal, ensuring that any technical terms are clearly and concisely explained with concrete examples.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who will read my case study and why?
- What are the stakeholders’ needs, preferences, expectations and goals?
- How can I write clearly and concisely for this particular audience?
- How will the stakeholders use my case study in their work?
- What are the relevant technical terms and have I explained them in clear and concise language?
Writing up your case study
If your case study is in the form of a report, you can divide it into 8 main sections, as outlined below. However, these vary depending on discipline-specific requirements and assessment criteria.
1. Executive Summary/Synopsis
- Introduce the topic area of the report.
- Outline the purpose of the case study.
- Outline the key issue(s) and finding(s) without the specific details.
- Identify the theory used.
- Summarise recommendations.
- Summarise the your task
- Briefly outline the case to identify its significance.
- State the report's aim(s).
- Provide the organisation of the main ideas in the report.
- Briefly describe the key problem and its significance (You usually do not need to provide details of findings or recommendations. However, it is best to first check your assessment task instructions.)
- presenting the central issue(s) under analysis,
- providing your reasoning for your choices such as supporting your findings with facts given in the case, the relevant theory and course concepts
- highlighting any underlying problems.
- Identify and justify your methodology and analytical tools.This might not be applicable to your assessment, so you will need to check your assessment instructions.
This section is often divided into sub-sections. Your headings and subheadings need to be informative and concise as they act as a guide for the reader to the contents of that section.
- Summarise the major problem(s).
- Identify alternative solutions to these major problem(s).
- Briefly outline each alternative solution where necessary and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.
- Depending on your assessment criteria, you might need to refer to theory or professional practice here.
Note that as a case study is based on a specific situation, it is difficult to generalise your findings to other situations. Make sure that your discussion focuses on your case and what can be learnt from your specific case analysis for your stakeholders.
- Restate the purpose of the report
- Sum up the main points from the findings, discussion and recommendations.
- Restate the limitations if required.
- Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted.
- Briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problem/s.
- Remember to integrate theory and practice as discussed in your unit with respect to the case.
- If needed, suggest an action plan, including who should take action, when and what steps, and how to assess the action taken.
- If appropriate include a rough estimate of costs (both financial and time).
This section is sometimes divided into Recommendations and Implementation with details of the action plan placed in the Implementation section.
Recommendations should be written in a persuasive, audience-centred style that communicates your suggestions clearly, concisely and precisely .
- List in alphabetical order all the references cited in the report.
- Make sure to accurately format your references according to the specified referencing style for your unit.
8. Appendices (if any)
- Attach any original data that relates to your analysis and the case but which would have interrupted the flow of the main body.
Ivančević-Otanjac, M., & Milojević, I. (2015). Writing a case report in English. Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo , 143 (1-2), 116-118.
Take it further
Buseco: report writing.
This resource is designed to assist you in completing a business report. It provides a guide to approaching and structuring your report and includes annotated examples with written feedback.
Engineering: Lab report
This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to turn practical work and lab experiments into a written lab report.
Engineering: Technical report
This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to write a report for key stakeholders, using experimental and practical data.
This resource provides information about what reports look like in IT, and how you might consider structuring your IT report. It includes student samples for each possible section of an IT report, along with video and written feedback.
MNHS: Health sciences case report
This resource provides a guide to approaching and structuring a patient-based case report. It includes an annotated example with written feedback.
MNHS: Comparative report
This resource is designed to assist you in completing your Comparative Report [CR] for Integrating Science and Practice [iSAP] assessment tasks. It provides a guide to approaching and structuring your report and includes an annotated example with written feedback.
MNHS: Psychology case report
This resource provides detailed guidance on the structure and content of the psychology case report, with numerous examples from the recommended reading.
Science: Lab report
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How to Write a Case Study: Bookmarkable Guide & Template
Published: January 12, 2023
Earning the trust of prospective customers can be a struggle. Before you can even begin to expect to earn their business, you need to demonstrate your ability to deliver on what your product or service promises.
Sure, you could say that you're great at X or that you're way ahead of the competition when it comes to Y. But at the end of the day, what you really need to win new business is cold, hard proof.
One of the best ways to prove your worth is through a compelling case study. In fact, HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing report found that case studies are so compelling that they are the fifth most commonly used type of content used by marketers.
Below, I'll walk you through what a case study is, how to prepare for writing one, what you need to include in it, and how it can be an effective tactic. To jump to different areas of this post, click on the links below to automatically scroll.
Case Study Definition
Case study templates, how to write a case study.
- How to Format a Case Study
Business Case Study Examples
A case study is a specific challenge a business has faced, and the solution they've chosen to solve it. Case studies can vary greatly in length and focus on several details related to the initial challenge and applied solution, and can be presented in various forms like a video, white paper, blog post, etc.
In professional settings, it's common for a case study to tell the story of a successful business partnership between a vendor and a client. Perhaps the success you're highlighting is in the number of leads your client generated, customers closed, or revenue gained. Any one of these key performance indicators (KPIs) are examples of your company's services in action.
When done correctly, these examples of your work can chronicle the positive impact your business has on existing or previous customers and help you attract new clients.
To help you arm your prospects with information they can trust, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to create effective case studies for your business with free case study templates for creating your own.
Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today:
And to give you more options, we’ll highlight some useful templates that serve different needs. But remember, there are endless possibilities when it comes to demonstrating the work your business has done.
1. General Case Study Template
Additionally, a backlink from you increases your subject's page authority in the eyes of Google. This helps them rank more highly in search engine results and collect traffic from readers who are already looking for information about their industry.
6. Ensure you have all the resources you need to proceed once you get a response.
So you know what you’re going to offer your candidate, it’s time that you prepare the resources needed for if and when they agree to participate, like a case study release form and success story letter.
Let's break those two down.
Case Study Release Form
This document can vary, depending on factors like the size of your business, the nature of your work, and what you intend to do with the case studies once they are completed. That said, you should typically aim to include the following in the Case Study Release Form:
- A clear explanation of why you are creating this case study and how it will be used.
- A statement defining the information and potentially trademarked information you expect to include about the company — things like names, logos, job titles, and pictures.
- An explanation of what you expect from the participant, beyond the completion of the case study. For example, is this customer willing to act as a reference or share feedback, and do you have permission to pass contact information along for these purposes?
- A note about compensation.
Success Story Letter
As noted in the sample email, this document serves as an outline for the entire case study process. Other than a brief explanation of how the customer will benefit from case study participation, you'll want to be sure to define the following steps in the Success Story Letter.
7. Download a case study email template.
While you gathered your resources, your candidate has gotten time to read over the proposal. When your candidate approves of your case study, it's time to send them a release form.
A case study release form tells you what you'll need from your chosen subject, like permission to use any brand names and share the project information publicly. Kick-off this process with an email that runs through exactly what they can expect from you, as well as what you need from them. To give you an idea of what that might look like, check out this sample email:
8. Define the process you want to follow with the client.
Before you can begin the case study, you have to have a clear outline of the case study process with your client. An example of an effective outline would include the following information.
First, you'll need to receive internal approval from the company's marketing team. Once approved, the Release Form should be signed and returned to you. It's also a good time to determine a timeline that meets the needs and capabilities of both teams.
To ensure that you have a productive interview — which is one of the best ways to collect information for the case study — you'll want to ask the participant to complete a questionnaire before this conversation. That will provide your team with the necessary foundation to organize the interview, and get the most out of it.
Once the questionnaire is completed, someone on your team should reach out to the participant to schedule a 30- to 60-minute interview, which should include a series of custom questions related to the customer's experience with your product or service.
The Draft Review
After the case study is composed, you'll want to send a draft to the customer, allowing an opportunity to give you feedback and edits.
The Final Approval
Once any necessary edits are completed, send a revised copy of the case study to the customer for final approval.
Once the case study goes live — on your website or elsewhere — it's best to contact the customer with a link to the page where the case study lives. Don't be afraid to ask your participants to share these links with their own networks, as it not only demonstrates your ability to deliver positive results and impressive growth, as well.
9. Ensure you're asking the right questions.
Before you execute the questionnaire and actual interview, make sure you're setting yourself up for success. A strong case study results from being prepared to ask the right questions. What do those look like? Here are a few examples to get you started:
- What are your goals?
- What challenges were you experiencing before purchasing our product or service?
- What made our product or service stand out against our competitors?
- What did your decision-making process look like?
- How have you benefited from using our product or service? (Where applicable, always ask for data.)
Keep in mind that the questionnaire is designed to help you gain insights into what sort of strong, success-focused questions to ask during the actual interview. And once you get to that stage, we recommend that you follow the "Golden Rule of Interviewing." Sounds fancy, right? It's actually quite simple — ask open-ended questions.
If you're looking to craft a compelling story, "yes" or "no" answers won't provide the details you need. Focus on questions that invite elaboration, such as, "Can you describe ...?" or, "Tell me about ..."
In terms of the interview structure, we recommend categorizing the questions and flowing them into six specific sections that will mirror a successful case study format. Combined, they'll allow you to gather enough information to put together a rich, comprehensive study.
Open with the customer's business.
The goal of this section is to generate a better understanding of the company's current challenges and goals, and how they fit into the landscape of their industry. Sample questions might include:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many employees do you have?
- What are some of the objectives of your department at this time?
Cite a problem or pain point.
To tell a compelling story, you need context. That helps match the customer's need with your solution. Sample questions might include:
- What challenges and objectives led you to look for a solution?
- What might have happened if you did not identify a solution?
- Did you explore other solutions before this that did not work out? If so, what happened?
Discuss the decision process.
Exploring how the customer decided to work with you helps to guide potential customers through their own decision-making processes. Sample questions might include:
- How did you hear about our product or service?
- Who was involved in the selection process?
- What was most important to you when evaluating your options?
Explain how a solution was implemented.
The focus here should be placed on the customer's experience during the onboarding process. Sample questions might include:
- How long did it take to get up and running?
- Did that meet your expectations?
- Who was involved in the process?
Explain how the solution works.
The goal of this section is to better understand how the customer is using your product or service. Sample questions might include:
- Is there a particular aspect of the product or service that you rely on most?
- Who is using the product or service?
End with the results.
In this section, you want to uncover impressive measurable outcomes — the more numbers, the better. Sample questions might include:
- How is the product or service helping you save time and increase productivity?
- In what ways does that enhance your competitive advantage?
- How much have you increased metrics X, Y, and Z?
10. Lay out your case study format.
When it comes time to take all of the information you've collected and actually turn it into something, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Where should you start? What should you include? What's the best way to structure it?
To help you get a handle on this step, it's important to first understand that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the ways you can present a case study. They can be very visual, which you'll see in some of the examples we've included below, and can sometimes be communicated mostly through video or photos, with a bit of accompanying text.
Here are the sections we suggest, which we'll cover in more detail down below:
- Title: Keep it short. Develop a succinct but interesting project name you can give the work you did with your subject.
- Subtitle: Use this copy to briefly elaborate on the accomplishment. What was done? The case study itself will explain how you got there.
- Executive Summary : A 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story. You'll want to follow it with 2-3 bullet points that display metrics showcasing success.
- About the Subject: An introduction to the person or company you served, which can be pulled from a LinkedIn Business profile or client website.
- Challenges and Objectives: A 2-3 paragraph description of the customer's challenges, before using your product or service. This section should also include the goals or objectives the customer set out to achieve.
- How Product/Service Helped: A 2-3 paragraph section that describes how your product or service provided a solution to their problem.
- Results: A 2-3 paragraph testimonial that proves how your product or service specifically benefited the person or company and helped achieve its goals. Include numbers to quantify your contributions.
- Supporting Visuals or Quotes: Pick one or two powerful quotes that you would feature at the bottom of the sections above, as well as a visual that supports the story you are telling.
- Future Plans: Everyone likes an epilogue. Comment on what's ahead for your case study subject, whether or not those plans involve you.
- Call to Action (CTA): Not every case study needs a CTA, but putting a passive one at the end of your case study can encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.
When laying out your case study, focus on conveying the information you've gathered in the most clear and concise way possible. Make it easy to scan and comprehend, and be sure to provide an attractive call-to-action at the bottom — that should provide readers an opportunity to learn more about your product or service.
11. Publish and promote your case study.
Once you've completed your case study, it's time to publish and promote it. Some case study formats have pretty obvious promotional outlets — a video case study can go on YouTube, just as an infographic case study can go on Pinterest.
But there are still other ways to publish and promote your case study. Here are a couple of ideas:
Lead Gen in a Blog Post
As stated earlier in this article, written case studies make terrific lead-generators if you convert them into a downloadable format, like a PDF. To generate leads from your case study, consider writing a blog post that tells an abbreviated story of your client's success and asking readers to fill out a form with their name and email address if they'd like to read the rest in your PDF.
Then, promote this blog post on social media, through a Facebook post or a tweet.
Published as a Page on Your Website
As a growing business, you might need to display your case study out in the open to gain the trust of your target audience.
Rather than gating it behind a landing page, publish your case study to its own page on your website, and direct people here from your homepage with a "Case Studies" or "Testimonials" button along your homepage's top navigation bar.
Format for a Case Study
The traditional case study format includes the following parts: a title and subtitle, a client profile, a summary of the customer’s challenges and objectives, an account of how your solution helped, and a description of the results. You might also want to include supporting visuals and quotes, future plans, and calls-to-action.
The title is one of the most important parts of your case study. It should draw readers in while succinctly describing the potential benefits of working with your company. To that end, your title should:
- State the name of your custome r. Right away, the reader must learn which company used your products and services. This is especially important if your customer has a recognizable brand. If you work with individuals and not companies, you may omit the name and go with professional titles: “A Marketer…”, “A CFO…”, and so forth.
- State which product your customer used . Even if you only offer one product or service, or if your company name is the same as your product name, you should still include the name of your solution. That way, readers who are not familiar with your business can become aware of what you sell.
- Allude to the results achieved . You don’t necessarily need to provide hard numbers, but the title needs to represent the benefits, quickly. That way, if a reader doesn’t stay to read, they can walk away with the most essential information: Your product works.
The example above, “Crunch Fitness Increases Leads and Signups With HubSpot,” achieves all three — without being wordy. Keeping your title short and sweet is also essential.
Your subtitle is another essential part of your case study — don’t skip it, even if you think you’ve done the work with the title. In this section, include a brief summary of the challenges your customer was facing before they began to use your products and services. Then, drive the point home by reiterating the benefits your customer experienced by working with you.
The above example reads:
“Crunch Fitness was franchising rapidly when COVID-19 forced fitness clubs around the world to close their doors. But the company stayed agile by using HubSpot to increase leads and free trial signups.”
We like that the case study team expressed the urgency of the problem — opening more locations in the midst of a pandemic — and placed the focus on the customer’s ability to stay agile.
3. Executive Summary
The executive summary should provide a snapshot of your customer, their challenges, and the benefits they enjoyed from working with you. Think it’s too much? Think again — the purpose of the case study is to emphasize, again and again, how well your product works.
The good news is that depending on your design, the executive summary can be mixed with the subtitle or with the “About the Company” section. Many times, this section doesn’t need an explicit “Executive Summary” subheading. You do need, however, to provide a convenient snapshot for readers to scan.
In the above example, ADP included information about its customer in a scannable bullet-point format, then provided two sections: “Business Challenge” and “How ADP Helped.” We love how simple and easy the format is to follow for those who are unfamiliar with ADP or its typical customer.
4. About the Company
Readers need to know and understand who your customer is. This is important for several reasons: It helps your reader potentially relate to your customer, it defines your ideal client profile (which is essential to deter poor-fit prospects who might have reached out without knowing they were a poor fit), and it gives your customer an indirect boon by subtly promoting their products and services.
Feel free to keep this section as simple as possible. You can simply copy and paste information from the company’s LinkedIn, use a quote directly from your customer, or take a more creative storytelling approach.
In the above example, HubSpot included one paragraph of description for Crunch Fitness and a few bullet points. Below, ADP tells the story of its customer using an engaging, personable technique that effectively draws readers in.
5. Challenges and Objectives
The challenges and objectives section of your case study is the place to lay out, in detail, the difficulties your customer faced prior to working with you — and what they hoped to achieve when they enlisted your help.
In this section, you can be as brief or as descriptive as you’d like, but remember: Stress the urgency of the situation. Don’t understate how much your customer needed your solution (but don’t exaggerate and lie, either). Provide contextual information as necessary. For instance, the pandemic and societal factors may have contributed to the urgency of the need.
Take the above example from design consultancy IDEO:
“Educational opportunities for adults have become difficult to access in the United States, just when they’re needed most. To counter this trend, IDEO helped the city of South Bend and the Drucker Institute launch Bendable, a community-powered platform that connects people with opportunities to learn with and from each other.”
We love how IDEO mentions the difficulties the United States faces at large, the efforts its customer is taking to address these issues, and the steps IDEO took to help.
6. How Product/Service Helped
This is where you get your product or service to shine. Cover the specific benefits that your customer enjoyed and the features they gleaned the most use out of. You can also go into detail about how you worked with and for your customer. Maybe you met several times before choosing the right solution, or you consulted with external agencies to create the best package for them.
Whatever the case may be, try to illustrate how easy and pain-free it is to work with the representatives at your company. After all, potential customers aren’t looking to just purchase a product. They’re looking for a dependable provider that will strive to exceed their expectations.
In the above example, IDEO describes how it partnered with research institutes and spoke with learners to create Bendable, a free educational platform. We love how it shows its proactivity and thoroughness. It makes potential customers feel that IDEO might do something similar for them.
The results are essential, and the best part is that you don’t need to write the entirety of the case study before sharing them. Like HubSpot, IDEO, and ADP, you can include the results right below the subtitle or executive summary. Use data and numbers to substantiate the success of your efforts, but if you don’t have numbers, you can provide quotes from your customers.
We can’t overstate the importance of the results. In fact, if you wanted to create a short case study, you could include your title, challenge, solution (how your product helped), and result.
8. Supporting Visuals or Quotes
Let your customer speak for themselves by including quotes from the representatives who directly interfaced with your company.
Visuals can also help, even if they’re stock images. On one side, they can help you convey your customer’s industry, and on the other, they can indirectly convey your successes. For instance, a picture of a happy professional — even if they’re not your customer — will communicate that your product can lead to a happy client.
In this example from IDEO, we see a man standing in a boat. IDEO’s customer is neither the man pictured nor the manufacturer of the boat, but rather Conservation International, an environmental organization. This imagery provides a visually pleasing pattern interrupt to the page, while still conveying what the case study is about.
9. Future Plans
This is optional, but including future plans can help you close on a more positive, personable note than if you were to simply include a quote or the results. In this space, you can show that your product will remain in your customer’s tech stack for years to come, or that your services will continue to be instrumental to your customer’s success.
Alternatively, if you work only on time-bound projects, you can allude to the positive impact your customer will continue to see, even after years of the end of the contract.
10. Call to Action (CTA)
Not every case study needs a CTA, but we’d still encourage it. Putting one at the end of your case study will encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.
It will also make it easier for them to reach out, if they’re ready to start immediately. You don’t want to lose business just because they have to scroll all the way back up to reach out to your team.
To help you visualize this case study outline, check out the case study template below, which can also be downloaded here .
You drove the results, made the connection, set the expectations, used the questionnaire to conduct a successful interview, and boiled down your findings into a compelling story. And after all of that, you're left with a little piece of sales enabling gold — a case study.
To show you what a well-executed final product looks like, have a look at some of these marketing case study examples.
1. "Shopify Uses HubSpot CRM to Transform High Volume Sales Organization," by HubSpot
What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. This reflects a major HubSpot value, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why Shopify uses HubSpot and is accompanied by a short video and some basic statistics on the company.
Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the additional text on the page. So, while case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.
2. "New England Journal of Medicine," by Corey McPherson Nash
When branding and design studio Corey McPherson Nash showcases its work, it makes sense for it to be visual — after all, that's what they do. So in building the case study for the studio's work on the New England Journal of Medicine's integrated advertising campaign — a project that included the goal of promoting the client's digital presence — Corey McPherson Nash showed its audience what it did, rather than purely telling it.
Notice that the case study does include some light written copy — which includes the major points we've suggested — but lets the visuals do the talking, allowing users to really absorb the studio's services.
3. "Designing the Future of Urban Farming," by IDEO
Here's a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, he or she is greeted with a big, bold photo, and two very simple columns of text — "The Challenge" and "The Outcome."
Immediately, IDEO has communicated two of the case study's major pillars. And while that's great — the company created a solution for vertical farming startup INFARM's challenge — it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, those pillars are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and additional visuals.
4. "Secure Wi-Fi Wins Big for Tournament," by WatchGuard
Then, there are the cases when visuals can tell almost the entire story — when executed correctly. Network security provider WatchGuard can do that through this video, which tells the story of how its services enhanced the attendee and vendor experience at the Windmill Ultimate Frisbee tournament.
5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Boosts Social Media Engagement and Brand Awareness with HubSpot
In the case study above , HubSpot uses photos, videos, screenshots, and helpful stats to tell the story of how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used the bot, CRM, and social media tools to gain brand awareness.
6. Small Desk Plant Business Ups Sales by 30% With Trello
This case study from Trello is straightforward and easy to understand. It begins by explaining the background of the company that decided to use it, what its goals were, and how it planned to use Trello to help them.
It then goes on to discuss how the software was implemented and what tasks and teams benefited from it. Towards the end, it explains the sales results that came from implementing the software and includes quotes from decision-makers at the company that implemented it.
7. Facebook's Mercedes Benz Success Story
Facebook's Success Stories page hosts a number of well-designed and easy-to-understand case studies that visually and editorially get to the bottom line quickly.
Each study begins with key stats that draw the reader in. Then it's organized by highlighting a problem or goal in the introduction, the process the company took to reach its goals, and the results. Then, in the end, Facebook notes the tools used in the case study.
Showcasing Your Work
You work hard at what you do. Now, it's time to show it to the world — and, perhaps more important, to potential customers. Before you show off the projects that make you the proudest, we hope you follow these important steps that will help you effectively communicate that work and leave all parties feeling good about it.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2017 but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in July 2021.
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Showcase your company's success using these free case study templates.
Writing A Case Study
A Complete Case Study Writing Guide With Examples
10 min read
Published on: Jun 14, 2019
Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022
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Knowing how to write a case study is one of the core skills you will need in college. You may feel overwhelmed when you have to write a case study analysis because it requires good analytical and writing skills. But, with practice, you can master this art easily.
If you have to submit a case study soon and you have absolutely no idea where to start from, then this is the right place for you.
Relax and read this blog post to learn how to write a case study assignment in an efficient manner.
Case Study Definition
“What exactly is a case study?”
A case study critically assesses an event, a place, personality, or situation to draw a conclusion. It uses all background information to identify the key problems and recommend further action.
However, you must polish your analytical skills to master case study analysis.
A good case study demonstrates the excellent academic skills of students. But, planning is an important step, especially if you do not want to get into any complicated situation.
To help you write the case study easily, we have explained everything in detail in this blog. Here, you can learn all about the types of case studies and how to write one properly and successfully.
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Types of Case Study
Here are different types of case study that you are most likely to deal with in your academic years.
- Illustrative case study
- Exploratory case study
- Cumulative case study
- Critical instance case study
No matter what type you are writing, you will need to present detailed answers and explanations about the case study questions.
How to Start a Case Study?
“How is the case study done?”
Here are the steps that you need to follow for a smooth start to a case study writing process.
1. Identifying the Problem
The very first step in starting a case-control study is to identify the problem. For example, examining the incompetence of KFC to bring a substantial rise in the revenue.
2. Ponder the Root Source
Problems may originate from an incorrect marketing strategy or the flawed structure of the supply chain.
3. Create an Outline
Ask yourself, what should be the main points of the case study. You shouldn’t keep mixing methods and solutions in the essay. Gather at least 3 to 4 main points to explain in your case study and form an organized outline.
4. Potential Solutions
If you are a student, brainstorm and propose a solution to a social issue or any relevant topic. Keep in mind that different case study subjects have different requirements.
For example, in the business world, the marketing and sales teams write case studies to analyze how their products and services could solve the problems of potential customers. Or how their product would affect their social media audience.
How to Write a Case Study?
After making a basic case study analysis, there are some specific steps that you need to follow for writing a perfect case study. These are given below:
Identify the key issue and write a solid thesis statement in 1-2 sentences. As with any other paper, your case study introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers.
Your introduction should not only identify the research problem and its significance. But also discuss why this specific case is being written and how it relates to addressing the problem.
A good introduction must answer the following questions:
- What is being studied?
- Why is the issue important to investigate?
- How will this research advance new knowledge or ways of understanding?
2. Background Information
Incorporate relevant issues and facts and conduct extensive research on the problem. This is the point where you need to demonstrate how well you have researched your problem.
3. Alternative Solutions
Highlight alternative solutions for the problem to come up with the best solutions. Don’t forget to briefly outline the most viable solutions and evaluate their advantages and disadvantages.
4. Main Answer
Always provide a realistic answer to the question asked in the case. Explain the rationale for choosing the solution and justify it. Explain why this solution is proved to be the best and support it with solid evidence.
You can also utilize concepts from class discussions, lectures, and text readings to help your view. Make sure you have incorporated outside research and personal experiences if necessary.
Locate specific strategies to accomplish the solution. Suggest further actions and then outline the implementation plan.
Here are the points that you need to focus on when writing recommendations
- Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted.
- Briefly write about your choice and explain how it will solve the problem.
- Integrate the theory and coursework here.
These are the basic steps that you need to follow for writing any type of case study. However, you can add or remove the sections depending upon the requirements of the case study you are working on.
Case Study Research
A case study is a detailed study of a person, group, event, place, phenomenon, or organization. Case study methods are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
A case study research design usually involves qualitative research methods, but in some cases, qualitative research is also used.
Case studies are great for describing, comparing, evaluating, and understanding different aspects of a research problem.
Case study research revolves around single and multiple case studies. It also includes quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources, and benefits from the prior development of previous research.
Before starting writing your case study, research and think about what you want to learn or prove. You might be aiming to learn how a company develops a new product. You need to base your research questions around the purpose that you want to achieve.
Case Study Format
The only thing that matters, in the end, is the score. Figure out the required case study format and strictly adhere to it.
APA and MLA are the leading case study formats used in various institutions.
Writing a Case Study
Abstract adds to the spice of the paper. Try to craft a solid, brief, and sound abstract as it has immense power to impress or annoy your professors. A common reader also usually reads abstracts to decide if he wants to study the paper.
Have a look at the following components involved in proofreading. It can remove the mistakes and typos of your paper.
- Check for inconsistencies in the flow, structure, or content
- Check if the thesis statement is sound and clear
- Investigate the evidence to be relevant, productive, and credible
- Revisit formatting
How to Cite a Case Study?
Citing sources is an integral part. Four kinds of formatting techniques are used to cite case studies:
- Chicago style format
- Harvard style format
Case Study Outline
Let’s explore the way an outline is constructed in problem-oriented papers. Make sure that you outline your case study tactfully. You may find thousands of case study templates on the internet for your help.
Here are the main parts of mainstream educational case studies that you can follow.
Case Study Analysis
A successful case study analyzes a real-life situation and provides a great opportunity to gather evidence. It challenges existing assumptions about a problem and provides a new set of recommendations.
Critical thinking and analytical skills matter the most in case studies. They differentiate ordinary paper from outstanding one.
Ensure that your analysis goes through the following techniques.
Thoroughly read the case and brainstorm ideas for the different solutions. Do not rely on one solution.
Locate ideas that sound the most interesting, as they will form the solution. Be extra careful, as picking the wrong solution is the most common mistake.
Don’t rush to write the case study neatly in the first step. Take some time to build a neat one.
Case Study Examples
Examples are a great way to learn how to do a case study. That’s why we have also compiled a bunch of interesting case study examples that you can go through before starting writing.
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Case Study Introduction Example
The introduction is the first thing that your readers are going to interact with. So, it is important to formulate a captivating introduction to draw the reader’s attention. Make sure to include a thesis statement and summarize the outcome into 1-2 sentences.
You can also refer to the following example of a case study and learn how to write an interesting introduction.
UX Case Study Example
UX case studies are a great example of design work that designers include in their portfolios. To give you more insights, here is a UX case study design example that you can refer to.
Amazon Case Study Example
Are you looking for an Amazon case study example? Look at this detailed example and learn how to write a case study analysis.
Business Case Study Example
In particular, a business case study focuses on telling a story of how your product or service helped people in achieving their short or long-term goals. You can also read this example and understand the essential elements of writing a great case study.
APA Format Case Study Example
Wondering how to write a case study in APA format? Keep in mind that there are certain APA format guidelines that you need to follow throughout.
Refer to this APA format case study example for more help.
Psychology Case Study Example
A case study in psychology refers to the use of a descriptive research approach for an in-depth analysis of a subject such as a person, group, or organization.
Below we have provided a great example for you to learn how to write a case study in psychology.
Medical Case Study Example
A medical case study is a detailed report of the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. If you need to submit a medical case study soon, the following example will help you start the writing process.
Get Expert Case Study Writing Help
We hope now the idea of making a case study would not haunt you. By now, you must be confident enough to take your pen and start working on your case study. However, it may take some time to develop and polish your craft.
Follow the rules defined in this guide and practice writing case studies.
Case study writing can be tricky as it is designed to help students demonstrate an understanding of a particular topic and how it affects the surrounding. Since it is such a difficult paper to write - an increasing number of students turn to case study writing services for help.
If you are also facing difficulty writing a great case study, then the best option is to hire an online writing service . Expert case study writers at MyPerfectWords.com can help you write your study according to your requirements and ahead of your deadline.
Hire our essay writer now to get a perfect case study on time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a case study.
The objective of a case study is to do intensive research on a specific matter, such as individuals or communities. It's often used for academic purposes where you want the reader to know all factors involved in your subject while also understanding the processes at play.
What are the sources of a case study?
Some common sources of a case study include:
- Archival records
- Direct observations and encounters
- Participant observation
- Facts and statistics
- Physical artifacts
What is the sample size of a case study?
A normally acceptable size of a case study is 30-50. However, the final number depends on the scope of your study and the on-ground demographic realities.
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Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis
29 Apr 2022
❔What is a Case Study Analysis?
☝️Types of Case Studies
📃Case Study Examples
✏️Writing a Case Study Draft
📝How to Format a Case Study
✍️How to Write an Outline
📌How to Write a Case Study
📑Creating Title Page and Citing
Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.
It usually focuses on phenomena you can't study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In our article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.
What is a Case Study Analysis?
A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.
Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.
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Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study
Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.
A case study introduction can present the topic, but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer's opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic but need to include citing as your work will be based on other people's works.
In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.
Types of Case Studies
When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.
Here are the types which you will encounter most often:
- Problem-oriented - this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, "World Hunger."
The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, and in particular, its effects and what causes them - "Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped."
Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. In this type, the text should contain information about a specific historical period. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is "Racism During Ancient Times - Roman Empire."
The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event's outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is "The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents."
Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case that you will use as a comparison. E.g., "The Management Leadership at Work."
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Case Study Title Examples
When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain "case study" in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:
- Santander's Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
- Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
- The National Health Service's Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
- Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
- Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
- Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin
Writing a Case Study Draft
The foremost step to take while writing such a paper is creating a rough draft. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.
So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.
How to Format a Case Study
Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must have an idea of how the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:
- Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader's attention, so the introduction of case study is the most important part of the writing. Then present them with a brief overview of what your case study analyses will be about and its findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement, as this is the pivotal point of your work.
- Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
- Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
- Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It's possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
- Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
- References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution's requirements.
- Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
- Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.
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How to Write a Case Study Outline
To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.
Note that the outline is crucial for you and the person who assigned you the case study paper. Simultaneously, you will use it to write the whole piece easier. While the professor will check it to see whether you know how to write a case study analysis, format it correctly, and judge the outline. Finally, it will allow the instructor to foresee any problems with your paper or to navigate it more leisurely.
A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information:
- Case study title;
- Student’s name;
- Educational instructor's name;
- Course name.
- It covers a brief overview of your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.
Main Body Paragraphs - usually three to five
- Literature Review/Background Information;
- Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
- Summarize your case study key points;
- Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.
Reference List or Bibliography
- List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization's required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).
How to Write a Case Study
The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study's main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.
- The introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. Here, you must include some of the topic's relevant history and details. Note that you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.
- Background Information/Literature Review: Structure and present the data from your academic sources. This section will show the reader how vital your work is and what it's based on.
- Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
- Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:
Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?
How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?
Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?
Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?
Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper's limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work.
- Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research.
Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so don't be afraid to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
A case study format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, it is crucial to know your college or school requirements before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:
- Title - A header no longer than nine words has "Case Study" and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
- Write your full name;
- The name of your course/class;
- Next is your professor or instructor name;
- The university/school name;
- The date of submission.
When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google "how to do case study analysis in Harvard," for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section.
Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744
Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.
Finally, remember that the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. Hopefully, you now know how to write a case study!
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- J Can Chiropr Assoc
- v.52(4); 2008 Dec
Guidelines to the writing of case studies
Dr. brian budgell.
* Département chiropratique, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351, boul des Forges, Trois-Rivières, Qc, Canada G9A 5H7
Dr. Brian Budgell, DC, PhD, JCCA Editorial Board
Case studies are an invaluable record of the clinical practices of a profession. While case studies cannot provide specific guidance for the management of successive patients, they are a record of clinical interactions which help us to frame questions for more rigorously designed clinical studies. Case studies also provide valuable teaching material, demonstrating both classical and unusual presentations which may confront the practitioner. Quite obviously, since the overwhelming majority of clinical interactions occur in the field, not in teaching or research facilities, it falls to the field practitioner to record and pass on their experiences. However, field practitioners generally are not well-practised in writing for publication, and so may hesitate to embark on the task of carrying a case study to publication. These guidelines are intended to assist the relatively novice writer – practitioner or student – in efficiently navigating the relatively easy course to publication of a quality case study. Guidelines are not intended to be proscriptive, and so throughout this document we advise what authors “may” or “should” do, rather than what they “must” do. Authors may decide that the particular circumstances of their case study justify digression from our recommendations.
Additional and useful resources for chiropractic case studies include:
- Waalen JK. Single subject research designs. J Can Chirop Assoc 1991; 35(2):95–97.
- Gleberzon BJ. A peer-reviewer’s plea. J Can Chirop Assoc 2006; 50(2):107.
- Merritt L. Case reports: an important contribution to chiropractic literature. J Can Chiropr Assoc 2007; 51(2):72–74.
Portions of these guidelines were derived from Budgell B. Writing a biomedical research paper. Tokyo: Springer Japan KK, 2008.
This set of guidelines provides both instructions and a template for the writing of case reports for publication. You might want to skip forward and take a quick look at the template now, as we will be using it as the basis for your own case study later on. While the guidelines and template contain much detail, your finished case study should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. Therefore, you will need to write efficiently and avoid unnecessarily flowery language.
These guidelines for the writing of case studies are designed to be consistent with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” referenced elsewhere in the JCCA instructions to authors.
After this brief introduction, the guidelines below will follow the headings of our template. Hence, it is possible to work section by section through the template to quickly produce a first draft of your study. To begin with, however, you must have a clear sense of the value of the study which you wish to describe. Therefore, before beginning to write the study itself, you should gather all of the materials relevant to the case – clinical notes, lab reports, x-rays etc. – and form a clear picture of the story that you wish to share with your profession. At the most superficial level, you may want to ask yourself “What is interesting about this case?” Keep your answer in mind as your write, because sometimes we become lost in our writing and forget the message that we want to convey.
Another important general rule for writing case studies is to stick to the facts. A case study should be a fairly modest description of what actually happened. Speculation about underlying mechanisms of the disease process or treatment should be restrained. Field practitioners and students are seldom well-prepared to discuss physiology or pathology. This is best left to experts in those fields. The thing of greatest value that you can provide to your colleagues is an honest record of clinical events.
Finally, remember that a case study is primarily a chronicle of a patient’s progress, not a story about chiropractic. Editorial or promotional remarks do not belong in a case study, no matter how great our enthusiasm. It is best to simply tell the story and let the outcome speak for itself. With these points in mind, let’s begin the process of writing the case study:
- Title: The title page will contain the full title of the article. Remember that many people may find our article by searching on the internet. They may have to decide, just by looking at the title, whether or not they want to access the full article. A title which is vague or non-specific may not attract their attention. Thus, our title should contain the phrase “case study,” “case report” or “case series” as is appropriate to the contents. The two most common formats of titles are nominal and compound. A nominal title is a single phrase, for example “A case study of hypertension which responded to spinal manipulation.” A compound title consists of two phrases in succession, for example “Response of hypertension to spinal manipulation: a case study.” Keep in mind that titles of articles in leading journals average between 8 and 9 words in length.
- Other contents for the title page should be as in the general JCCA instructions to authors. Remember that for a case study, we would not expect to have more than one or two authors. In order to be listed as an author, a person must have an intellectual stake in the writing – at the very least they must be able to explain and even defend the article. Someone who has only provided technical assistance, as valuable as that may be, may be acknowledged at the end of the article, but would not be listed as an author. Contact information – either home or institutional – should be provided for each author along with the authors’ academic qualifications. If there is more than one author, one author must be identified as the corresponding author – the person whom people should contact if they have questions or comments about the study.
- Key words: Provide key words under which the article will be listed. These are the words which would be used when searching for the article using a search engine such as Medline. When practical, we should choose key words from a standard list of keywords, such as MeSH (Medical subject headings). A copy of MeSH is available in most libraries. If we can’t access a copy and we want to make sure that our keywords are included in the MeSH library, we can visit this address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/meshbrowser.cgi
A narrative abstract consists of a short version of the whole paper. There are no headings within the narrative abstract. The author simply tries to summarize the paper into a story which flows logically.
A structured abstract uses subheadings. Structured abstracts are becoming more popular for basic scientific and clinical studies, since they standardize the abstract and ensure that certain information is included. This is very useful for readers who search for articles on the internet. Often the abstract is displayed by a search engine, and on the basis of the abstract the reader will decide whether or not to download the full article (which may require payment of a fee). With a structured abstract, the reader is more likely to be given the information which they need to decide whether to go on to the full article, and so this style is encouraged. The JCCA recommends the use of structured abstracts for case studies.
Since they are summaries, both narrative and structured abstracts are easier to write once we have finished the rest of the article. We include a template for a structured abstract and encourage authors to make use of it. Our sub-headings will be:
- Introduction: This consists of one or two sentences to describe the context of the case and summarize the entire article.
- Case presentation: Several sentences describe the history and results of any examinations performed. The working diagnosis and management of the case are described.
- Management and Outcome: Simply describe the course of the patient’s complaint. Where possible, make reference to any outcome measures which you used to objectively demonstrate how the patient’s condition evolved through the course of management.
- Discussion: Synthesize the foregoing subsections and explain both correlations and apparent inconsistencies. If appropriate to the case, within one or two sentences describe the lessons to be learned.
- Introduction: At the beginning of these guidelines we suggested that we need to have a clear idea of what is particularly interesting about the case we want to describe. The introduction is where we convey this to the reader. It is useful to begin by placing the study in a historical or social context. If similar cases have been reported previously, we describe them briefly. If there is something especially challenging about the diagnosis or management of the condition that we are describing, now is our chance to bring that out. Each time we refer to a previous study, we cite the reference (usually at the end of the sentence). Our introduction doesn’t need to be more than a few paragraphs long, and our objective is to have the reader understand clearly, but in a general sense, why it is useful for them to be reading about this case.
The next step is to describe the results of our clinical examination. Again, we should write in an efficient narrative style, restricting ourselves to the relevant information. It is not necessary to include every detail in our clinical notes.
If we are using a named orthopedic or neurological test, it is best to both name and describe the test (since some people may know the test by a different name). Also, we should describe the actual results, since not all readers will have the same understanding of what constitutes a “positive” or “negative” result.
X-rays or other images are only helpful if they are clear enough to be easily reproduced and if they are accompanied by a legend. Be sure that any information that might identify a patient is removed before the image is submitted.
At this point, or at the beginning of the next section, we will want to present our working diagnosis or clinical impression of the patient.
It is useful for the reader to know how long the patient was under care and how many times they were treated. Additionally, we should be as specific as possible in describing the treatment that we used. It does not help the reader to simply say that the patient received “chiropractic care.” Exactly what treatment did we use? If we used spinal manipulation, it is best to name the technique, if a common name exists, and also to describe the manipulation. Remember that our case study may be read by people who are not familiar with spinal manipulation, and, even within chiropractic circles, nomenclature for technique is not well standardized.
We may want to include the patient’s own reports of improvement or worsening. However, whenever possible we should try to use a well-validated method of measuring their improvement. For case studies, it may be possible to use data from visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain, or a journal of medication usage.
It is useful to include in this section an indication of how and why treatment finished. Did we decide to terminate care, and if so, why? Did the patient withdraw from care or did we refer them to another practitioner?
- Discussion: In this section we may want to identify any questions that the case raises. It is not our duty to provide a complete physiological explanation for everything that we observed. This is usually impossible. Nor should we feel obligated to list or generate all of the possible hypotheses that might explain the course of the patient’s condition. If there is a well established item of physiology or pathology which illuminates the case, we certainly include it, but remember that we are writing what is primarily a clinical chronicle, not a basic scientific paper. Finally, we summarize the lessons learned from this case.
- Acknowledgments: If someone provided assistance with the preparation of the case study, we thank them briefly. It is neither necessary nor conventional to thank the patient (although we appreciate what they have taught us). It would generally be regarded as excessive and inappropriate to thank others, such as teachers or colleagues who did not directly participate in preparation of the paper.
A popular search engine for English-language references is Medline: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi
- Legends: If we used any tables, figures or photographs, they should be accompanied by a succinct explanation. A good rule for graphs is that they should contain sufficient information to be generally decipherable without reference to a legend.
- Tables, figures and photographs should be included at the end of the manuscript.
- Permissions: If any tables, figures or photographs, or substantial quotations, have been borrowed from other publications, we must include a letter of permission from the publisher. Also, if we use any photographs which might identify a patient, we will need their written permission.
In addition, patient consent to publish the case report is also required.
- Name, academic degrees and affiliation
Name, address and telephone number of corresponding author
Statement that patient consent was obtained
Sources of financial support, if any
Key words: (limit of five)
Abstract: (maximum of 150 words)
- Case Presentation
- Management and Outcome
Provide a context for the case and describe any similar cases previously reported.
- Introductory sentence: e.g. This 25 year old female office worker presented for the treatment of recurrent headaches.
- Describe the essential nature of the complaint, including location, intensity and associated symptoms: e.g. Her headaches are primarily in the suboccipital region, bilaterally but worse on the right. Sometimes there is radiation towards the right temple. She describes the pain as having an intensity of up to 5 out of ten, accompanied by a feeling of tension in the back of the head. When the pain is particularly bad, she feels that her vision is blurred.
- Further development of history including details of time and circumstances of onset, and the evolution of the complaint: e.g. This problem began to develop three years ago when she commenced work as a data entry clerk. Her headaches have increased in frequency in the past year, now occurring three to four days per week.
- Describe relieving and aggravating factors, including responses to other treatment: e.g. The pain seems to be worse towards the end of the work day and is aggravated by stress. Aspirin provides some relieve. She has not sought any other treatment.
- Include other health history, if relevant: e.g. Otherwise the patient reports that she is in good health.
- Include family history, if relevant: e.g. There is no family history of headaches.
- Summarize the results of examination, which might include general observation and postural analysis, orthopedic exam, neurological exam and chiropractic examination (static and motion palpation): e.g. Examination revealed an otherwise fit-looking young woman with slight anterior carriage of the head. Cervical active ranges of motion were full and painless except for some slight restriction of left lateral bending and rotation of the head to the left. These motions were accompanied by discomfort in the right side of the neck. Cervical compression of the neck in the neutral position did not create discomfort. However, compression of the neck in right rotation and extension produced some right suboccipital pain. Cranial nerve examination was normal. Upper limb motor, sensory and reflex functions were normal. With the patient in the supine position, static palpation revealed tender trigger points bilaterally in the cervical musculature and right trapezius. Motion palpation revealed restrictions of right and left rotation in the upper cervical spine, and restriction of left lateral bending in the mid to lower cervical spine. Blood pressure was 110/70. Houle’s test (holding the neck in extension and rotation for 30 seconds) did not produce nystagmus or dizziness. There were no carotid bruits.
- The patient was diagnosed with cervicogenic headache due to chronic postural strain.
Management and Outcome:
- Describe as specifically as possible the treatment provided, including the nature of the treatment, and the frequency and duration of care: e.g. The patient undertook a course of treatment consisting of cervical and upper thoracic spinal manipulation three times per week for two weeks. Manipulation was accompanied by trigger point therapy to the paraspinal muscles and stretching of the upper trapezius. Additionally, advice was provided concerning maintenance of proper posture at work. The patient was also instructed in the use of a cervical pillow.
- If possible, refer to objective measures of the patient’s progress: e.g. The patient maintained a headache diary indicating that she had two headaches during the first week of care, and one headache the following week. Furthermore the intensity of her headaches declined throughout the course of treatment.
- Describe the resolution of care: e.g. Based on the patient’s reported progress during the first two weeks of care, she received an additional two treatments in each of the subsequent two weeks. During the last week of care she experienced no headaches and reported feeling generally more energetic than before commencing care. Following a total of four weeks of care (10 treatments) she was discharged.
Synthesize foregoing sections: e.g. The distinction between migraine and cervicogenic headache is not always clear. However, this case demonstrates several features …
Summarize the case and any lessons learned: e.g. This case demonstrates a classical presentation of cervicogenic headache which resolved quickly with a course of spinal manipulation, supportive soft-tissue therapy and postural advice.
References: (using Vancouver style) e.g.
1 Terret AGJ. Vertebrogenic hearing deficit, the spine and spinal manipulation therapy: a search to validate the DD Palmer/Harvey Lillard experience. Chiropr J Aust 2002; 32:14–26.
Legends: (tables, figures or images are numbered according to the order in which they appear in the text.) e.g.
Figure 1: Intensity of headaches as recorded on a visual analogue scale (vertical axis) versus time (horizontal axis) during the four weeks that the patient was under care. Treatment was given on days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 22 and 25. Headache frequency and intensity is seen to fall over time.
How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples)
by Todd Brehe
on Aug 23, 2022
If you want to learn how to write a case study that engages prospective clients, demonstrates that you can solve real business problems, and showcases the results you deliver, this guide will help.
We’ll give you a proven template to follow, show you how to conduct an engaging interview, and give you several examples and tips for best practices.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Case Study?
A business case study is simply a story about how you successfully delivered a solution to your client.
Case studies start with background information about the customer, describe problems they were facing, present the solutions you developed, and explain how those solutions positively impacted the customer’s business.
Do Marketing Case Studies Really Work?
Absolutely. A well-written case study puts prospective clients into the shoes of your paying clients, encouraging them to engage with you. Plus, they:
- Get shared “behind the lines” with decision makers you may not know;
- Leverage the power of “social proof” to encourage a prospective client to take a chance with your company;
- Build trust and foster likeability;
- Lessen the perceived risk of doing business with you and offer proof that your business can deliver results;
- Help prospects become aware of unrecognized problems;
- Show prospects experiencing similar problems that possible solutions are available (and you can provide said solutions);
- Make it easier for your target audience to find you when using Google and other search engines.
Case studies serve your clients too. For example, they can generate positive publicity and highlight the accomplishments of line staff to the management team. Your company might even throw in a new product/service discount, or a gift as an added bonus.
But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at a few statistics and success stories:
5 Winning Case Study Examples to Model
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how to write a case study, let’s go over a few examples of what an excellent one looks like.
The five case studies listed below are well-written, well-designed, and incorporate a time-tested structure.
1. Lane Terralever and Pinnacle at Promontory
This case study example from Lane Terralever incorporates images to support the content and effectively uses subheadings to make the piece scannable.
2. WalkMe Mobile and Hulyo
This case study from WalkMe Mobile leads with an engaging headline and the three most important results the client was able to generate.
In the first paragraph, the writer expands the list of accomplishments encouraging readers to learn more.
3. CurationSuite Listening Engine
This is an example of a well-designed printable case study . The client, specific problem, and solution are called out in the left column and summarized succinctly.
4. Brain Traffic and ASAE
This long format case study (6 pages) from Brain Traffic summarizes the challenges, solutions, and results prominently in the left column. It uses testimonials and headshots of the case study participants very effectively.
5. Adobe and Home Depot
This case study from Adobe and Home Depot is a great example of combining video, attention-getting graphics, and long form writing. It also uses testimonials and headshots well.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics and showed a few great case study examples you can use as inspiration, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
A Case Study Structure That Pros Use
Let’s break down the structure of a compelling case study:
Choose Your Case Study Format
In this guide, we focus on written case studies. They’re affordable to create, and they have a proven track record. However, written case studies are just one of four case study formats to consider:
If you have the resources, video (like the Adobe and Home Depot example above) and podcast case studies can be very compelling. Hearing a client discuss in his or her own words how your company helped is an effective content marketing strategy
Infographic case studies are usually one-page images that summarize the challenge, proposed solution, and results. They tend to work well on social media.
Follow a Tried-and-True Case Study Template
The success story structure we’re using incorporates a “narrative” or “story arc” designed to suck readers in and captivate their interest.
Note: I recommend creating a blog post or landing page on your website that includes the text from your case study, along with a downloadable PDF. Doing so helps people find your content when they perform Google and other web searches.
There are a few simple SEO strategies that you can apply to your blog post that will optimize your chances of being found. I’ll include those tips below.
Craft a Compelling Headline
The headline should capture your audience’s attention quickly. Include the most important result you achieved, the client’s name, and your company’s name. Create several examples, mull them over a bit, then pick the best one. And, yes, this means writing the headline is done at the very end.
SEO Tip: Let’s say your firm provided “video editing services” and you want to target this primary keyword. Include it, your company name, and your client’s name in the case study title.
Write the Executive Summary
This is a mini-narrative using an abbreviated version of the Challenge + Solution + Results model (3-4 short paragraphs). Write this after you complete the case study.
SEO Tip: Include your primary keyword in the first paragraph of the Executive Summary.
Provide the Client’s Background
Introduce your client to the reader and create context for the story.
List the Customer’s Challenges and Problems
Vividly describe the situation and problems the customer was dealing with, before working with you.
SEO Tip: To rank on page one of Google for our target keyword, review the questions listed in the “People also ask” section at the top of Google’s search results. If you can include some of these questions and their answers into your case study, do so. Just make sure they fit with the flow of your narrative.
Detail Your Solutions
Explain the product or service your company provided, and spell out how it alleviated the client’s problems. Recap how the solution was delivered and implemented. Describe any training needed and the customer’s work effort.
Show Your Results
Detail what you accomplished for the customer and the impact your product/service made. Objective, measurable results that resonate with your target audience are best.
List Future Plans
Share how your client might work with your company in the future.
Give a Call-to-Action
Clearly detail what you want the reader to do at the end of your case study.
Talk About You
Include a “press release-like” description of your client’s organization, with a link to their website. For your printable document, add an “About” section with your contact information.
And that’s it. That’s the basic structure of any good case study.
Now, let’s go over how to get the information you’ll use in your case study.
How to Conduct an Engaging Case Study Interview
One of the best parts of creating a case study is talking with your client about the experience. This is a fun and productive way to learn what your company did well, and what it can improve on, directly from your customer’s perspective.
Here are some suggestions for conducting great case study interviews:
When Choosing a Case Study Subject, Pick a Raving Fan
Your sales and marketing team should know which clients are vocal advocates willing to talk about their experiences. Your customer service and technical support teams should be able to contribute suggestions.
Clients who are experts with your product/service make solid case study candidates. If you sponsor an online community, look for product champions who post consistently and help others.
When selecting a candidate, think about customer stories that would appeal to your target audience. For example, let’s say your sales team is consistently bumping into prospects who are excited about your solution, but are slow to pull the trigger and do business with you.
In this instance, finding a client who felt the same way, but overcame their reluctance and contracted with you anyway, would be a compelling story to capture and share.
Prepping for the Interview
If you’ve ever seen an Oprah interview, you’ve seen a master who can get almost anyone to open up and talk. Part of the reason is that she and her team are disciplined about planning.
Before conducting a case study interview, talk to your own team about the following:
- What’s unique about the client (location, size, industry, etc.) that will resonate with our prospects?
- Why did the customer select us?
- How did we help the client?
- What’s unique about this customer’s experience?
- What problems did we solve?
- Were any measurable, objective results generated?
- What do we want readers to do after reading this case study analysis?
Pro Tip: Tee up your client. Send them the questions in advance.
Providing questions to clients before the interview helps them prepare, gather input from other colleagues if needed, and feel more comfortable because they know what to expect.
In a moment, I’ll give you an exhaustive list of interview questions. But don’t send them all. Instead, pare the list down to one or two questions in each section and personalize them for your customer.
Nailing the Client Interview
Decide how you’ll conduct the interview. Will you call the client, use Skype or Facetime, or meet in person? Whatever mode you choose, plan the process in advance.
Make sure you record the conversation. It’s tough to lead an interview, listen to your contact’s responses, keep the conversation flowing, write notes, and capture all that the person is saying.
A recording will make it easier to write the client’s story later. It’s also useful for other departments in your company (management, sales, development, etc.) to hear real customer feedback.
Use open-ended questions that spur your contact to talk and share. Here are some real-life examples:
- Recap the purpose of the call. Confirm how much time your contact has to talk (30-45 minutes is preferable).
- Confirm the company’s location, number of employees, years in business, industry, etc.
- What’s the contact’s background, title, time with the company, primary responsibilities, and so on?
- Describe the situation at your company before engaging with us?
- What were the initial problems you wanted to solve?
- What was the impact of those problems?
- When did you realize you had to take some action?
- What solutions did you try?
- What solutions did you implement?
- What process did you go through to make a purchase?
- How did the implementation go?
- How would you describe the work effort required of your team?
- If training was involved, how did that go?
Results, Improvements, Progress
- When did you start seeing improvements?
- What were the most valuable results?
- What did your team like best about working with us?
- Would you recommend our solution/company? Why?
- How do you see our companies working together in the future?
- Our company is very focused on continual improvement. What could we have done differently to make this an even better experience?
- What would you like us to add or change in our product/service?
During the interview, use your contact’s responses to guide the conversation.
Once the interview is complete, it’s time to write your case study.
How to Write a Case Study… Effortlessly
Case study writing is not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be. And you don’t have to be Stephen King to do professional work. Here are a few tips:
- Use the case study structure that we outlined earlier, but write these sections first: company background, challenges, solutions, and results.
- Write the headline, executive summary, future plans, and call-to-action (CTA) last.
- In each section, include as much content from your interview as you can. Don’t worry about editing at this point
- Tell the story by discussing their trials and tribulations.
- Stay focused on the client and the results they achieved.
- Make their organization and employees shine.
- When including information about your company, frame your efforts in a supporting role.
Also, make sure to do the following:
Add Testimonials, Quotes, and Visuals
The more you can use your contact’s words to describe the engagement, the better. Weave direct quotes throughout your narrative.
Strive to be conversational when you’re writing case studies, as if you’re talking to a peer.
Include images in your case study that visually represent the content and break up the text. Photos of the company, your contact, and other employees are ideal.
If you need to incorporate stock photos, here are three resources:
- Deposit p hotos
And if you need more, check out Smart Blogger’s excellent resource: 17 Sites with High-Quality, Royalty-Free Stock Photos .
Proofread and Tighten Your Writing
Make sure there are no grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. If you need help, consider using a grammar checker tool like Grammarly .
My high school English teacher’s mantra was “tighten your writing.” She taught that impactful writing is concise and free of weak, unnecessary words . This takes effort and discipline, but will make your writing stronger.
Also, keep in mind that we live in an attention-diverted society. Before your audience will dive in and read each paragraph, they’ll first scan your work. Use subheadings to summarize information, convey meaning quickly, and pull the reader in.
Be Sure to Use Best Practices
Consider applying the following best practices to your case study:
- Stay laser-focused on your client and the results they were able to achieve.
- Even if your audience is technical, minimize the use of industry jargon. If you use acronyms, explain them.
- Leave out the selling and advertising.
- Don’t write like a Shakespearean wannabe. Write how people speak. Write to be understood.
- Clear and concise writing is not only more understandable, it inspires trust. Don’t ramble.
- Weave your paragraphs together so that each sentence is dependent on the one before and after it.
- Include a specific case study call-to-action (CTA).
- A recommended case study length is 2-4 pages.
- Commit to building a library of case studies.
Get Client Approval
After you have a final draft, send it to the client for review and approval. Incorporate any edits they suggest.
Use or modify the following “Consent to Publish” form to get the client’s written sign-off:
Consent to Publish
Case Study Title:
I hereby confirm that I have reviewed the case study listed above and on behalf of the [Company Name], I provide full permission for the work to be published, in whole or in part, for the life of the work, in all languages and all formats by [Company publishing the case study].
By signing this form, I affirm that I am authorized to grant full permission.
Common Case Study Questions (& Answers)
We’ll wrap things up with a quick Q&A. If you have a question I didn’t answer, be sure to leave it in a blog comment below.
Should I worry about print versions of my case studies?
As we saw in the CurationSuite and Brain Traffic examples earlier, case studies get downloaded, printed, and shared. Prospects can and will judge your book by its cover.
So, make sure your printed case study is eye-catching and professionally designed. Hire a designer if necessary.
Why are good case studies so effective?
Case studies work because people trust them.
They’re not ads, they’re not press releases, and they’re not about how stellar your company is.
Plus, everyone likes spellbinding stories with a hero [your client], a conflict [challenges], and a riveting resolution [best solution and results].
How do I promote my case study?
After you’ve written your case study and received the client’s approval to use it, you’ll want to get it in front of as many eyes as possible.
Try the following:
- Make sure your case studies can be easily found on your company’s homepage.
- Tweet and share the case study on your various social media accounts.
- Have your sales team use the case study as a reason to call on potential customers. For example: “Hi [prospect], we just published a case study on Company A. They were facing some of the same challenges I believe your firm is dealing with. I’m going to e-mail you a copy. Let me know what you think.”
- Distribute printed copies at trade shows, seminars, or during sales presentations.
- If you’re bidding on a job and have to submit a quote or a Request for Proposal (RFP), include relevant case studies as supporting documents.
Ready to Write a Case Study That Converts?
If you want to stand out and you want to win business, case studies should be an integral part of your sales and marketing efforts.
Hopefully, this guide answered some of your questions and laid out a path that will make it faster and easier for your team to create professional, sales-generating content.
Now it’s time to take action and get started. Gather your staff, select a client, and ask a contact to participate. Plan your interview and lead an engaging conversation. Write up your client’s story, make them shine, and then share it.
Get better at the case study process by doing it more frequently. Challenge yourself to write at least one case study every two months.
As you do, you’ll be building a valuable repository of meaningful, powerful content. These success stories will serve your business in countless ways, and for years to come.
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Written by Todd Brehe
6 thoughts on “how to write a case study: a step-by-step guide (+ examples)”.
Just the guide I needed for case studies! Great job with this one!
Hey Todd, great post here. I liked that you listed some prompting questions. Really demonstrates you know what you’re talking about. There are a bunch of Ultimate Guides out there who list the theories such as interview your customer, talk about results, etc. but really don’t help you much.
Thanks, Todd. I’ve planned a case study and this will really come in handy. Bookmarked.
Very good read. Thanks, Todd. Are there any differences between a case study and a use case, by the way?
Hi Todd, Very well-written article. This is the ultimate guide I have read till date. It has actionable points rather than some high-level gyan. Creating a new case study always works better when (1) you know the structure to follow and (2) you work in a group of 3-4 members rather than individually. Thanks for sharing this guide.
Hi Todd. Very useful guide. I learn step by step. Looking forward to continually learning from you and your team. Thanks
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15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]
By Alice Corner , Jan 12, 2023
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever bought something — within the last 10 years or so — without reading its reviews or without a recommendation or prior experience of using it?
If the answer is no — or at least, rarely — you get my point.
For businesses selling consumer goods, having raving reviews is a good way to get more customers. The same thing applies to B2B and/or SaaS businesses — but for this type of business, besides regular, short reviews, having a detailed case study can help tremendously.
Case studies are an incredibly effective form of marketing that you can use to help promote your product and plan your marketing strategy effectively. You can also use it as a form of customer analysis or as a sales tool to inspire potential customers.
So what does a case study look like and how can you create one? In this article, I’m going to list over 15 marketing case study examples, case study tips, and case study templates to help you create a case study that converts.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a Case Study?
- Marketing Case Study Examples
Sales Case Study Examples
Simple case study examples, business case study examples.
- Case Study FAQs
What is a case study?
A case study is a research method to gain a better understanding of a subject or process. Case studies involve in-depth research into a given subject, in order to understand its functionality and successes.
In the context of a business, however, case studies take customer success stories and explore how they use your product to help them achieve their business goals.
As well as being valuable marketing tools, case studies are a good way to evaluate your product as it allows you to objectively examine how others are using it.
It’s also a good way to interview your customers about why they work with you.
Related: What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]
What is a marketing case study?
A marketing case study is a type of marketing where you use your existing customers as an example of what your product or services can achieve. You can also create case studies of internal, successful marketing projects.
Here’s an example of a marketing case study template:
Return to Table of Contents
Marketing case study examples
Marketing case studies are incredibly useful for showing your marketing successes. Every successful marketing campaign relies on influencing a consumer’s behavior, and a great case study can be a great way to spotlight your biggest wins.
In the marketing case study examples below, a variety of designs and techniques to create impactful and effective case studies.
Show off impressive results with a bold marketing case study
Case studies are meant to show off your successes, so make sure you feature your positive results prominently. Using bold and bright colors as well as contrasting shapes, large bold fonts, and simple icons is a great way to highlight your wins.
In well-written case study examples like the one below, the big wins are highlighted on the second page with a bright orange color and are highlighted in circles.
Making the important data stand out is especially important when attracting a prospective customer with marketing case studies.
Use a simple but clear layout in your case study
Using a simple layout in your case study can be incredibly effective, like in the example of a case study below.
Keeping a clean white background, and using slim lines to help separate the sections is an easy way to format your case study.
Making the information clear helps draw attention to the important results, and it helps improve the accessibility of the design .
Business case study examples like this would sit nicely within a larger report, with a consistent layout throughout.
Use visuals and icons to create an engaging and branded business case study
Nobody wants to read pages and pages of text — and that’s why Venngage wants to help you communicate your ideas visually.
Using icons, graphics, photos, or patterns helps create a much more engaging design.
With this Blue Cap case study icons, colors, and impactful pattern designs have been used to create an engaging design that catches your eye.
Use a monochromatic color palette to create a professional and clean case study
Let your research shine by using a monochromatic and minimalistic color palette.
By sticking to one color, and leaving lots of blank space you can ensure your design doesn’t distract a potential customer from your case study content.
In this case study on Polygon Media, the design is simple and professional, and the layout allows the prospective customer to follow the flow of information.
The gradient effect on the left-hand column helps break up the white background and adds an interesting visual effect.
Did you know you can generate an accessible color palette with Venngage? Try our free accessible color palette generator today and create a case study that delivers and looks pleasant to the eye:
Add long term goals in your case study
When creating a case study it’s a great idea to look at both the short term and the long term goals of the company to gain the best understanding possible of the insights they provide.
Short-term goals will be what the company or person hopes to achieve in the next few months, and long-term goals are what the company hopes to achieve in the next few years.
Check out this modern pattern design example of a case study below:
In this case study example, the short and long-term goals are clearly distinguished by light blue boxes and placed side by side so that they are easy to compare.
Use a strong introductory paragraph to outline the overall strategy and goals before outlining the specific short-term and long-term goals to help with clarity.
This strategy can also be handy when creating a consulting case study.
Use data to make concrete points about your sales and successes
When conducting any sort of research stats, facts, and figures are like gold dust (aka, really valuable).
Being able to quantify your findings is important to help understand the information fully. Saying sales increased 10% is much more effective than saying sales increased.
In sales case study examples, like this one, the key data and findings can be presented with icons. This contributes to the potential customer’s better understanding of the report.
They can clearly comprehend the information and it shows that the case study has been well researched.
Use emotive, persuasive, or action based language in your marketing case study
Create a compelling case study by using emotive, persuasive and action-based language when customizing your case study template.
In this well-written case study example, we can see that phrases such as “Results that Speak Volumes” and “Drive Sales” have been used.
Using persuasive language like you would in a blog post. It helps inspire potential customers to take action now.
Keep your potential customers in mind when creating a customer case study for marketing
82% of marketers use case studies in their marketing because it’s such an effective tool to help quickly gain customers’ trust and to showcase the potential of your product.
Why are case studies such an important tool in content marketing?
By writing a case study you’re telling potential customers that they can trust you because you’re showing them that other people do.
Not only that, but if you have a SaaS product, business case studies are a great way to show how other people are effectively using your product in their company.
In this case study, Network is demonstrating how their product has been used by Vortex Co. with great success; instantly showing other potential customers that their tool works and is worth using.
Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert
Case studies are particularly effective as a sales technique.
A sales case study is like an extended customer testimonial, not only sharing opinions of your product – but showcasing the results you helped your customer achieve.
Make impactful statistics pop in your sales case study
Writing a case study doesn’t mean using text as the only medium for sharing results.
You should use icons to highlight areas of your research that are particularly interesting or relevant, like in this example of a case study:
Icons are a great way to help summarize information quickly and can act as visual cues to help draw the customer’s attention to certain areas of the page.
In some of the business case study examples above, icons are used to represent the impressive areas of growth and are presented in a way that grabs your attention.
Use high contrast shapes and colors to draw attention to key information in your sales case study
Help the key information stand out within your case study by using high contrast shapes and colors.
Use a complementary or contrasting color, or use a shape such as a rectangle or a circle for maximum impact.
This design has used dark blue rectangles to help separate the information and make it easier to read.
Coupled with icons and strong statistics, this information stands out on the page and is easily digestible and retainable for a potential customer.
Less is often more, and this is especially true when it comes to creating designs. Whilst you want to create a professional-looking, well-written and design case study – there’s no need to overcomplicate things.
These simple case study examples show that smart clean designs and informative content can be an effective way to showcase your successes.
Use colors and fonts to create a professional-looking case study
Business case studies shouldn’t be boring. In fact, they should be beautifully and professionally designed.
This means the normal rules of design apply. Use fonts, colors, and icons to create an interesting and visually appealing case study.
In this case study example, we can see how multiple fonts have been used to help differentiate between the headers and content, as well as complementary colors and eye-catching icons.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, business case studies can be a powerful resource to help with your sales, marketing, and even internal departmental awareness.
Business and business management case studies should encompass strategic insights alongside anecdotal and qualitative findings, like in the business case study examples below.
Conduct a B2B case study by researching the company holistically
When it comes to writing a case study, make sure you approach the company holistically and analyze everything from their social media to their sales.
Think about every avenue your product or service has been of use to your case study company, and ask them about the impact this has had on their wider company goals.
In business case study examples like the one above, we can see that the company has been thought about holistically simply by the use of icons.
By combining social media icons with icons that show in-person communication we know that this is a well-researched and thorough case study.
This case study report example could also be used within an annual or end-of-year report.
Highlight the key takeaway from your marketing case study
To create a compelling case study, identify the key takeaways from your research. Use catchy language to sum up this information in a sentence, and present this sentence at the top of your page.
This is “at a glance” information and it allows people to gain a top-level understanding of the content immediately.
You can use a large, bold, contrasting font to help this information stand out from the page and provide interest.
Learn how to choose fonts effectively with our Venngage guide and once you’ve done that.
Upload your fonts and brand colors to Venngage using the My Brand Kit tool and see them automatically applied to your designs.
The heading is the ideal place to put the most impactful information, as this is the first thing that people will read.
In this example, the stat of “Increase[d] lead quality by 90%” is used as the header. It makes customers want to read more to find out how exactly lead quality was increased by such a massive amount.
If you’re conducting an in-person interview, you could highlight a direct quote or insight provided by your interview subject.
Pick out a catchy sentence or phrase, or the key piece of information your interview subject provided and use that as a way to draw a potential customer in.
Use charts to visualize data in your business case studies
Charts are an excellent way to visualize data and to bring statistics and information to life. Charts make information easier to understand and to illustrate trends or patterns.
Making charts is even easier with Venngage.
In this consulting case study example, we can see that a chart has been used to demonstrate the difference in lead value within the Lead Elves case study.
Adding a chart here helps break up the information and add visual value to the case study.
Using charts in your case study can also be useful if you’re creating a project management case study.
You could use a Gantt chart or a project timeline to show how you have managed the project successfully.
Use direct quotes to build trust in your marketing case study
To add an extra layer of authenticity you can include a direct quote from your customer within your case study.
According to research from Nielsen , 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer and 70% trust recommendations even if they’re from somebody they don’t know.
So if you have a customer or client who can’t stop singing your praises, make sure you get a direct quote from them and include it in your case study.
You can either lift part of the conversation or interview, or you can specifically request a quote. Make sure to ask for permission before using the quote.
This design uses a bright contrasting speech bubble to show that it includes a direct quote, and helps the quote stand out from the rest of the text.
This will help draw the customer’s attention directly to the quote, in turn influencing them to use your product or service.
Case Study Examples Summary
Once you have created your case study, it’s best practice to update your examples on a regular basis to include up-to-date statistics, data, and information.
You should update your business case study examples often if you are sharing them on your website.
It’s also important that your case study sits within your brand guidelines – find out how Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool can help you create consistently branded case study templates.
Case studies are important marketing tools – but they shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. Content marketing is also a valuable way to earn consumer trust.
Case Study FAQ
Why should you write a case study.
Case studies are an effective marketing technique to engage potential customers and help build trust.
By producing case studies featuring your current clients or customers, you are showcasing how your tool or product can be used. You’re also showing that other people endorse your product.
In addition to being a good way to gather positive testimonials from existing customers, business case studies are good educational resources and can be shared amongst your company or team, and used as a reference for future projects.
How should you write a case study?
To create a great case study, you should think strategically. The first step, before starting your case study research, is to think about what you aim to learn or what you aim to prove.
You might be aiming to learn how a company makes sales or develops a new product. If this is the case, base your questions around this.
You can learn more about writing a case study from our extensive guide.
Some good questions you could ask would be:
- Why do you use our tool or service?
- How often do you use our tool or service?
- What does the process of using our product look like to you?
- If our product didn’t exist, what would you be doing instead?
- What is the number one benefit you’ve found from using our tool?
Case Study Format · Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. · Background. Provide background information and the most
Preparing the Case · Read and Examine the Case Thoroughly · Focus Your Analysis · Uncover Possible Solutions/Changes Needed · Select the Best Solution.
A case study is a self-contained story about how a real customer overcame their problems using your products or services. Notice how I used the
Generally, a case study is either formatted as an essay or a report. If it is the latter, your assignment is often divided into sections with headings and
All business case studies are designed to demonstrate the value of your services, but they can focus on several different client objectives.
How to Write a Case Study? · 1. Introduction. Identify the key issue and write a solid thesis statement in 1-2 sentences. · 2. Background
How to Write a Case Study Outline ; Case study title;; Student's name;; Educational instructor's name; ; Literature Review/Background Information;
General Instructions · Introduction: This consists of one or two sentences to describe the context of the case and summarize the entire article. · Case
Use the case study structure that we outlined earlier, but write these sections first: company background, challenges, solutions, and results.
How should you write a case study? · Why do you use our tool or service? · How often do you use our tool or service? · What does the process of