Case studies help prospective clients, help to solve real-world business problems and the analyses of the case studies helps to showcase the outcomes and desired results.
A case study hypothesizes a real-world case where the details may or may not be concealed, provides background information about the client, describes the business problems that they are facing, presents the solutions that we have arrived at and explains how the various solutions have positively impacted the client’s business.
A case study uses evidence to support the development of an idea or a product.
Characteristics of a good case study:
- A carefully constructed case study uses metrics like Key performance indicators, to showcase the growth or the success that the customer is trying to showcase. A case study strategically uses data and performance metrics to measure values which try to analyze the success or failure of a business idea in marketing or other functional areas of the business.
2. Case studies are not only limited to business but also extrapolated to other non-business areas such as medicine or psychology which helps doctors and other mental health professionals to diagnose better solutions for their patients
3. An example of a case study in marketing would use the entire journey of a product through the product life cycle. It would discuss the entire customer journey, and his interactions with our client until reaching the final analysis about how the product or service fulfilled a particular customer’s needs.
4. The case study has as its goal, the evaluation of a business problem, whether it is related to customer or client care, or the financial and production operations of a business. The case study’s ultimate goal is to culminate in the finding of the solutions to various business problems in different functional areas.
5. Case studies can be used to increase the efficiency in the operations of different areas of the business but they can also highlight how a product or a service can help solve the client’s problems.
How to write a case study?
Analyze a situation and prepare the base data for a case: The entire background material, both data and metrics has to be prepared to build a case. While reading through the various notes and other materials, highlight all the relevant details including the information, facts and values, and build them into a coherent narrative to build it into a realistic case study.
2. Creating an outline
Outline the purpose of the case study, the goals set should be realistic, the final outcomes that the case study is purported to achieve should be clearly outlined, and the path that our narrative should take clearly illuminated.
3. Defining the skeleton of the case study:
The narrative crafted should be compelling to make the readers more receptive. An important part of the case study is to zero in on all the important details. All the key problem areas should be clearly identified. The case study which we create should not be crowded with multiple issues and problems areas. Through the case study, we should also be able to determine the main causes of the issues. After this, we should also be able to examine whether there are interlinkages through the organization due to ripple effects caused by the key problem areas. The reader should be able to trace linkages between the causes and end results by reading the case study.
4. Crafting the narrative
While we are drafting the narrative, we can get creative. For instance, a customer’s journey from seeing the product to the ultimate decision to buying the product and acting on it should make an interesting read and the case study should bring the situation to life for the reader. Our source data is the company data and the brainstorming sessions with our team. We may, for instance, describe through our case study, a problem that our customer encounters and how the final solution to his problem is delivered should be effectively portrayed through the case study and its analysis.
5. Finding solutions
We should be able to uncover solutions from the key company performance data and performance indicators. We should be able to establish the conclusion that the company’s product or service or arrangement is the best possible solution delivery for the customer’s problem. A scenario analysis should be done to derive multiple solutions to ultimately select the best possible solution to the situation.
6. Choosing the best possible solution:
The final solution ultimately selected should be the best possible solution. The solution selected should be able to solve all the client’s problems and meet all his requirements. It should be relatable, accessible and important. It should be a realistic and achievable solution with clear advantages and disadvantages.
Introduction, an executive summary, background, evaluation of the case, solution and the conclusion are the sections that are to be included in the case study.
Pointers to keep in mind while writing an effective case study
- While we compile the data and all the base materials, we should make points and jot down all important details. All this helps to craft the narrative in a compelling way.
2. Understanding our audience: This is very important as we should be aware of the perceptions of the audience for whom we are writing the case study. We must know for whom we are selecting the case study. This is critical in formatting the case study correctly.
3. Make relatable content: The hypothetical situation that we are writing about should closely relate to the prospective clients, their needs and problems. This will enable us to craft a winning case study that our clients will be able to understand and identify with.
4. Include testimonials and quotes from our client. The text of the case study should make a visual presentation of the text. We should make sure that we proofread and tighten the text.
We should use best practices and minimize the technical jargon. The case study should straightforwardly tell the story without advertising or selling. We should write clearly and consistently and not ramble. All paragraphs should tie in with each other and there should be no disconnect in the material. All sentences should be interdependent on each other. A recommended case study length is 2-4 pages and including a call-to-action is a must. Send the final draft to the client for any edits and final approval.