The marketing case study is one of the oldest and most venerable examples of content marketing. From Oprah touting howWeight Watchers has worked for her, to American Express endorsing SalesForce, case studies are prevalent across industries and marketing forms.
According to a B2B marketing trends report, customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics by nine out of ten B2B marketers. According to Social Fresh, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89 percent.Seventy-three percent of people have used marketing case studies in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions.
Use this guide to understand how to use case studies for your organization. It offers instructions on how to secure a first-rate case study, and a template for getting started on a case study today.
What is a case study and why are they so important?
According to Top Rank Marketing Blog:
A “case study” in the context of marketing is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that identifies a situation, recommended solutions, implementation actions, and identification of those factors that contributed to failure or success.
As the aforementioned stats illustrate, marketing case studies are important because they help you sell your company’s product. They validate the statements your company makes about your product, and allow potential buyers to see your product in action. This blog post will help you secure and create a case study that sets your company apart from its competitors.
Here’s what you need to do to secure a case study.
Steps for Getting a Marketing Case Study
The first (and often hardest) part of creating a marketing case study is getting a customer to agree to one. No doubt many customers are pleased with your product. But it’s no small thing for them to take time out of their busy schedule to talk about how awesome the product or service they’re paying for is.
Many larger companies also have formalized rules around providing testimonials. This can extend the process of getting a case study, as they have to go through legal, senior management, and more, just to get approval.
Increase your case study prospects. Create a formalized process that ensures you get the case studies you need on a regular basis.
Meet with customer success, sales, and marketing to get them on board with creating regular case studies. From this meeting, create a formal document that outlines how to submit marketing case study opportunities, the frequency that customer success are expected to do so, and the process/time commitment involved after a client has agreed to participate.
Include a case study request email template to save customer success time. Consider these sample templates:
Including It in the Contract
Some companies choose to include a customer testimonial or case study commitment in part of their purchase agreement. This is a great way to guarantee you’ll have case studies in the pipeline. It’s also a conflict of interest, and some would argue flirts the line of ethical behavior. By including case studies in a contract, you’re essentially paying for testimonials.
You want to publish only truly impressive, stand-out marketing case studies. Customers who are doing so well with your product that you’d want to make a case study from their experience are likely to be happy to help. Customers who need a contract to be forced into a case study aren’t often the ones you want as a face for your brand.
Gather Information for Your Marketing Case Study
After a customer agrees to do a case study, take the following steps to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Send an Email
It should introduce you if you haven’t already. Confirm the date and time for your first phone call or in-person meeting. Address the time commitment of the case study, and include the questions you plan on asking.
With customer testimonials the person you’re interviewing needs to have well-spoken and thought out responses about your product. Here are some sample questions you could ask:
- How did you find out about our company?
- What made you start looking for our solution?
- Which other products did you look at before deciding on ours?
- Why did you choose our solution above others?
- How has using our solution been so far? Tell us about your experiences and what you’ve done with it?
- How has our product benefitted you and your team?
- What results have you seen with our solution so far?
- What do you hope to do with our product moving forward?
Next, conduct the interview. Whether it’s in person or over the phone, make sure to record the interview for transcription later. Make sure to inform them that you’re recording them. Aside from being common courtesy, it’s also illegal in some states to record someone without their consent. As you’re interviewing, make note of any especially interesting points, as well as numerical results.
Take Pictures and Record Video
If you’re conducting an interview onsite, take pictures and video. If not, ask your customer to send some over. The more visual your marketing case study is, the better. According to Animoto, four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.
Transcribe and fact check the interview. Try using a service website like Fiverr for quick transcription that won’t break the bank.
Find out information about the company and their results with your product outside of the interview. Ask if you can see their results or look into their reporting for numerical information to back up the information in the interview. If they don’t have this information, look internally for more general stats on your product’s impact on the people that use it.
Find a Story, Start Writing
Once you have all the data you need, start pulling together your copy, video, and images into a shareable document. Use the marketing case study template below to create a first-class case study.
Marketing Case Study Template
Too many companies title their case studies things like “[insert company name here] Case Study.” This is both boring and uninformative. Use the case study title to help potential readers decide if it’s something that applies to them. Include a description of the company and some of their results. E.g. “Case Study: How CS2 Compliance Is Succeeding With Curata Content Curation Software”
The subtitle should round out the reader’s expectations of what’s in the study. Include more numerical improvements, or an overview of what happened. E.g. “Creating and Growing an Excited Community in a Highly-Regulated, Niche Market”
Their Company Overview
We recommend pulling the company overview directly from the company’s website. It should be two or three sentences and highlight parts of the company most important to your audience. If you’re looking to highlight the company size, mention it here.
Your Company Overview
It’s okay to use a boilerplate description here. However, if there is something else that might be beneficial to include in this particular use-case—add it. If you have more than one product description in your boilerplate description, focus on the product the marketing case study focuses on.
The introduction should present the company you’re talking about and their problem. Here’s an example:
CS2 Compliance, a regulatory consulting firm for financial services clients, wanted to build a community for its clients and save time answering regulation-specific questions in individual emails. They wanted a solution that made content creation easier, found topical subjects in their industry, and enabled them to quickly publish to their website and newsletter.
The next section should introduce your product and why your customer went with you. Example:
They chose Curata Content Curation Software (CCS). Curata CCS uses machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence to help marketers discover and publish industry-specific content across marketing channels.
This should describe how your product or service was implemented and how it made the overall process smoother, easier, cheaper, etc. Example:
CS2 uses Curata CCS to curate articles that answer a variety of FAQs, building a robust content program including discussion boards, webinars, and frequent newsletters. This has led to strategic and streamlined website content and newsletter publication for CS2.
Finally, show the results. They support the statement that this company was successful with your product. If you have further information about how customers perform with your product, include it here. Include how your client is planning on using your product in the future to grow and expand their goals. Example:
Newsletters now have an open rate of 42.52 percent, and a click-through rate of 23.11 percent, both significantly above industry averages. With Curata, CS2 exceeded community registration goals by over 60 percent. CS2 is now using Curata to expand their reach and create custom experiences for each sub-audience within their online community.
Once the meat of your marketing case study is written, choose some pull quotes to highlight. Example:
CS2 co-founder and president Mary Harris King had this to say about Curata: “Curata keeps our current clients up-to-date with interesting articles while integrating with our public facing website so potential clients can see our newsfeeds, and sign up for the daily news digest, etc. It’s a great way to reach both audiences.”
Case studies are a compelling way to convince prospects to buy your product. They’re even more compelling when your claims are supported by data and hard information. Use company information and stats, outside numbers, and numbers from your customer to round out your marketing case study. Writing on how curation improves content marketing ROI? Include a stat from a trusted source. Example:
Over 50 percent of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic, and buyer engagement.
Many case studies include a conclusion at the end wrapping up all the details. Instead, try a big, colorful CTA. While a conclusion is nice, making sure the reader doesn’t have to consume more than they need is even better. If your marketing case study is very long, include the most important points at the beginning in bullets.
Distribute and Promote Your Marketing Case Study
Case studies are effective on your website and as a sales enablement tool. They should also be sent to your sales team. Include a description of what it’s about and the situations it should be most effective for.
Other ways to maximize the impact of a case study include:
- Place it on your home page
- Send an email sharing it with the case study’s target audience, or as part of your newsletter
- Write a supplemental blog post to drive traffic to the case study. Focus on the problem solved in the case study and write an informational post on that topic
- Add the case study to relevant landing pages
- Add it to you or your coworkers’ signatures
- Insert it into a slideshow or longer presentation on product use cases
- Share the case study on social media
Examples of Awesome Marketing Case Studies
For more information, check out some standout case studies by other companies.
Bitly’s case study is notable for a couple of reasons. First, their decision to use a slide deck over a single page document. It’s easy to digest and different enough that it piques the reader’s interest. The layout is sleek and skimmable with easy takeaways. Bitly includes images and a colorful layout that’s more interesting than a traditional, text-heavy marketing case study.
Kantar Media Division Cymphony
Kantar media created a case study video of their work for Samsung. For a service-based product, this form of marketing case study proved extremely effective. Kantar describe their process, their findings, and their results in a quick, story-heavy video.
Zendesk include customer testimonials in a visually appealing multimedia library on their website. This allows visitors to search by use case, industry, and company size to find the most relevant story to them.
For an example of one of Curata’s case studies, check out “How CS2 Compliance is SucceedingWith Curata Content Curation Software” [pdf].
Marketing case studies can be hugely effective. They provide proof of concept to potential buyers, and drive your audience further down the funnel. They can also serve as a powerful sales enablement tool. For more on how to drive your audience further down the funnel and measure your content’s efficacy, read Curata’s eBook: Content Marketing Metrics: Account Based Marketing Edition.
Tags: case study, content marketing, marketing case study
This article will help you to solve a case study in Management. You can use these ways to solve any Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Finance management or any other Management related Case study. Students of MBA, MMM, MPM, BBA and other management courses can use the same method to solve case studies.
The current corporate scenario urges the students to know about practical applicability of management concepts in day-to-day operations. To get such practical knowledge case study is one of the vital tool. It enables the students to
Understand the situation ,
Locate the problem
Analysis the case
Find out various available suggestions
Finally conclude appropriate solution.
Case studies are included in the Syllabus of management degrees in almost all Universities. But the pattern for solving these case studies varies from university to university. Students are not sure about which method they have to follow. This article makes you familiar with some methods to solve a case study in Management.
Case studies can be two types:
a) case study with questions
b) case study without questions
a) Case study with questions
Case will be given and some questions will be given at the end for which you have to answer after analyzing the case completely. In this method there won’t be much problem as the complete case details are given, problem will be in front of you. Here you just have to answer the questions given below.
The method to solve this type of cases is:-
• Start with an introduction wherein you will cover the complete case.
• Answer the questions one by one in a clear manner (*)
• The length of your answer must depend on the marks assigned for that question.
• Try to associate your answer with any of the concept or theory in the given subject
(for eg. If case is related to general management you can relate it with Principles of
management MBO etc).
And highlight that ( do this only when you are sure about the concept)
• Write a conclusion for the case for the main problem in the case.
(*) In case there is a question like “if you are the manager what would be your reaction in the given situation” .
you can answer in the following way:-
• list all the possible options in the given situation
• select the best option from your view-point
• conclude it like why that is the best option by mentioning the advantages of such option.
b) case study without questions:-
In this type of cases there won’t be any questions only complete case will be given. And the students get confused about what to do with such type of case type. The following are the ways in which a case can be solved and among those things whichever is applicable or possible in that you can include it in the solution and solve the case.
Give a detailed description about the case in two or three paragraphs and cover all the major issues in the case in your introduction.
Strength Weakness Opportunities and Thread. You have to list the strength weakness opportunity and thread of the company. Strength and weakness stands internal in which the company can have a control over that and Opportunity and Thread stands for External in which the company does not have any control.
Identify the Problems:
Find out major issues in the case and highlight those problems consider those problems as questions. Frame the problem in a proper way.
Find out the solutions:-
This is the part wherein you are going to give the solution for the case exactly. In the previous step you have framed the problems here you need to give solutions for each problem. Consider the problems as questions and start answering for each question.
You can answer the question straight away about what you feel. Like how you reply to your other theory questions the same way you have to answer for these questions. You can highlight the subheadings and quote some definition in the answer if any concept is involved in that
You can explain your answer by aligning the answer with any theory related to that. This method is not possible in all the cases. But if it related to employee motivation, International Trade Blocks, marketing strategy etc then you can align your answer with Maslow’s Hierarchy theory, Trade Blocks theory and BCG model etc.. This will fetch you more marks but one thing you need to be clear that you must know the theory completely.
This method will take you in a proper direction. As said earlier consider the problem as question. Take the question one by one. Find the possible solution for each question. And also write the advantages and disadvantages for that solution. If you have more than one options for the same problem list the option one by one along with the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Finally conclude the question by comparing the option and write the best option among the listed option and support your conclusion.
Eg. Refer this case MAKAR Gained profit by missed opportunity & lost wealth
In this case if the question is like
“what would have Makar done to save the company without removing the employees”
Give an Introduction
List down the options one by like
A. Expanding the business
B. Expanding the market
C. Lease a part of production plant to another company
D. Close the plant partially
Now take each option and write its advantage and disadvantage (Like)
And Continue for other options.
Finally conclude the best option and support your answer.
This method if written properly neatly and cleanly will fetch you more marks.
Hence you can follow any of the above said method to solve a case study in Management if no specific method is mentioned in the question paper. In each method give an introduction and complete with conclusion. And underline where ever required. And fetch more marks in Cases.