What are Case Studies and What’s The Best Way to Solve Them
Case studies are stories about something unique, special, or interesting. Stories can be about individuals, organizations, programs, institutions and events.
The case study gives the story behind the result by capturing what happened, and can be a good opportunity to highlight a project’s success, or to bring attention to a particular challenge in a project.
Cases might be selected because they are highly effective, ineffective, representative, typical or of special interest.
Case Study Definitions
The following are definitions of a case study by press academia:
- A case study is a research methodology that has commonly used in social sciences.
- A case study is a research strategy and an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context.
- Case studies are based on an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group or event to explore the causes of underlying principles.
- A case study is a descriptive and exploratory analysis of a person, group or event.
- A case study research can be single or multiple case studies, includes quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources of evidence and benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions.
- Case studies are analysis of persons, groups, events, decisions, periods, policies, institutions or other systems that are studied holistically by one or more methods.
When Is a Case Study Appropriate?
Case studies are appropriate when there is a unique or interesting story to be told.
Case studies are often used to provide context to other data (such as outcome data), offering a more complete picture of what happened in the program and why.
Advantages and Limitations of a Case Study
The primary advantage of a case study is that it provides detailed information than what is available through other methods, such as surveys.
Case studies also allow one to present data collected from multiple methods (i.e. surveys, interviews, document review, and observation) to provide the complete story.
There are a few limitations and
pitfalls however, each of which is described below:
- Can be lengthy – Because they provide detailed information about the case in narrative form, it may be difficult to hold a reader’s interest if too lengthy. In writing the case study, care should be taken to provide the rich info in a digestible manner.
- Concern that case studies lack rigor – Case studies have been viewed in the evaluation and research fields as less rigorous than surveys or other methods.
Reasons for this include the
- Qualitative research in general is still considered unscientific by some and in many cases.
- Case study researchers have not been systematic in their data collection or have allowed bias in their findings.
- In conducting and writing case studies, all involved should use care in being systematic in their data collection and take steps to ensure validity and reliability in the study.
- Not generalizable – A common complaint about case studies is that it is difficult to generalize from one case to another. But case studies have also been prone to overgeneralization which comes from selecting a few examples and assuming without evidence that they are representative of the population.
“Yin, a prominent researcher, advises case study analysts to generalize findings to theories, as a ‘scientist’ generalizes from experimental results to theories.”
Analyzing & Solving Marketing Case Studies
Enough of all the buzzy noise, let’s go to the real deal. So how do we analyze and solve case studies in marketing?.
In my own experience, you can rarely go with a ‘one-solution-fits-all’ approach to solve a case.
But you may find a few pointers to be helpful for marketing case studies.
Marketing, at its core, focuses mainly on three things.
1. Creating Value — What problem does your product or service solve and for whom?
This can be divided into:
- Identifying the target market (whose problem)
- Identifying the need (which problem)
- Building the value proposition (solution to the problem)
2. Communicating Value — How do you communicate to your target?
3. Capturing Value — Where do you place your product or service?, How do you price it?.
In most of your cases, there will be a problem with one of three steps above. You need to figure that out and drill down further until you are able to pin-point the problem.
The final step would be your recommendation.
This approach is not much different from the traditional 5C, STP, 4P analysis; just that it is a lot more intuitive.
Before solving a case study you should pass through four stages:
The most difficult part of solving the case study is to understand the case where the majority of people fail. So as to overcome from this, above four stages can be beneficial.
Presently, the average person does not have specific procedure to solve a case study. This procedure has different logical steps.
A comprehensive list of steps to attain the best possible solution for the case is as follows.
I attached a case for insight.
CASE (Sample 1)
“John is a sales person in an insurance company, yesterday at 6:30 pm he gets an urgent appointment from his client for what he was waiting for 20 days, this deal may increase his sales volume, he has to meet him tomorrow by 10:30 to 11:00 am at his office in Mumbai, presently, John is in Delhi.”
With the help of case mention above we can better understand all the steps.
1. Problem Identification
This should describe what is required to be achieved through the proposed solution. As per the above case the problem with John is to go to Mumbai by tomorrow morning and he has a very short time.
2. Define Boundaries
In this stage specify the limits and boundaries under which case has to be solved. These may be given in the case clearly or you need to assume it. (Some information must be considered while solving the case). As per our case John has to arrive at Mumbai before 11:00am otherwise he may miss the opportunity.
This heading should contain the keywords given in the case. This is very important step but often people rewrite the whole case in this heading. But it gives bad impression to the reader.
The gaps in the data noticed while writing the keywords have to be filled in by making assumptions. These assumptions should be clearly stated and the reason for making assumption should be stated.
5. Possible Solution For Case
Under this heading as much as solution you can give that should write under subheading.
6. Select Best Possible Solution
This paragraph should give the answer why this solution is best solution for the case and how it can be helpful for case, what competency it has. It may be single solution or mixture of more than one solution.
7. Managerial Application
Under this heading student should write which managerial theory used to get the solution.
A summary by comparing what was the problem, how the action plan on the basis of optimal solution.
Here student should sum up the case witch describe the problem and how the implementations plan of the best solution tackles it optimally.
Why Are Case Studies Important
I know case studies are boring because a lot of effort is required by great minds of people to do this. It takes a lot of time, a lot of people and many other resources.
And as we know human minds are lazy, we don’t want things that requires out of our comfort zone.
But at the end for some people case studies are very important:
- Case studies tells a story
- Case studies focuses on the customers
- Case studies demonstrates success
- Case Studies Leverages your customer’s brand.
- Case Studies are cheap
- Case Studies are a marketing staple
- Businesses use them to show how their product or service has been implemented successfully by customers
- It really helps our clients to envision how videos can help to explain what they do and increase conversions in the process
- They provide very easy solutions and I find them useful because I used in one of my projects and it was a success
- Makes a learner efficient in research, reading and writing
- Case study assignment helps in achieving better scores
- Opens the mind of student or learner and provides different prospects of the event
- Provides multiple conclusion to the reader
Examples of case studies
Case studies are narratives that feature real-world situations or uses of products or services to demonstrate their value.
A well-written case study will follow a customer as they define a problem, determine a solution, implement it, and reap the benefits.
Case study examples by industry: Marketing, A/B testing, personalization, advertising technology, sales, customer success and support technology.
A simple Approach For Writing Case Studies
A case study is usually presented as a kind of report, where sections within the body of the report deal with specific aspects
of the case.
Follow The Format Below:
Introduction — Introduces the case, including the background and any previous studies of the issue.
Aims — Describes the purpose of the study and the specific questions you are trying to answer.
Method — Explains how the study was carried out, e.g. what research methods did you use to collect data: interviews, observations, questionnaires, etc. What were the circumstances of your data collection?
Results — Describes what you found through your investigations, e.g. the main themes that came out in interviews, responses to questionnaires, significant observations.
Discussion — Explains the significance of the study and what can be learnt from it. Note that a case study is a study of a particular situation so you can’t generalise the results to all other situations. That means your discussion should focus on what can be learnt about that particular situation and the
Recommendations — Provides proposals for future action to solve the problem or improve the situation, e.g. by applying a particular kind of treatment or intervention.
Case Study Template (Sample)
MedReps.com was founded in 2000 by job recruiters in the medical sales industry who were
looking to get connected with experienced medical sales professionals.
MedReps’ first users both job seekers and job posters found unprecedented success.
Now, sixteen years and thousands of referrals later, MedReps.com continues to be the go-to job site for experienced industry professionals including those seeking medical sales,
pharmaceutical sales, and more.
As a leader in connecting qualified candidates to the best
pharmaceutical and medical sales positions available, MedReps is a professional source for valuable medical industry information.
MedReps knows the importance of staying up to date with news and events surrounding job opportunities in this industry.
The company prides itself on its website experts and is constantly searching for new ways to make MedReps even more effective.
Its ability to embrace change and keep the needs of its customers their focal point is part of what’s kept the company relevant and
MedReps’ ability to keep up with the changes and needs of its customers is a key goal for the company. In order to gain a greater understanding of its customers’ unique needs, the company sought to deploy a member profile survey targeted to its B2C audience, a market responsible for generating more than 70 percent of its monthly revenue.
In 2016, the company set a goal to obtain more than 700 member profile survey completions. After 10 days of deploying a series of automated emails encouraging existing users to complete the surveys, the company was not seeing the click-through and
completion rates that they originally set out to capture.
“We were in mid-January and only at 500 survey completions,” said Michele Dambach digital marketing manager, MedReps. “At that time, we were using standard email marketing invitations and reminders, but we knew we could reach our goal more quickly by trying something different.”
While the company saw a spike in click-through and completion rates a day or two after the surveys were emailed, that number dropped significantly beginning just 2 or 3 days after the emails were sent.
In order to improve survey completions and, overall, gain greater insight into the needs of its members, the company sought a solution that would help them better reach their target audience at the right time, with the right message, ultimately compelling them to complete the survey.
MedReps looked to UserIQ’s in-app survey solution to reach customers while they were in the MedReps application.
With this offering, the marketing team could easily draft and send personalized messages asking users to take the member profile survey at the same time customers were logged into the MedReps application.
Best of all, no custom coding was required from the IT developers.
Within 24 hours of deploying the in-app messaging, the company saw a huge increase in member profile survey completion results.
By day 10, MedReps surpassed its goal of 700 responses by 70 percent and closed its survey out with more than 1,200 responses.
“After just 10 days of using UserIQ’s in-app survey messaging, we had an overwhelming response to the
member profile surveys,” said
Dambach. “Overall, the campaign had 2,944 impressions with a 20
percent click-through rate.”
Internet Marketing Case Study: Corp Shorts
Corp Shorts was unable to generate leads via the Internet due, in part, to its flash based website and lack of relevant content.
Less than ten inbound sites linked to the Corp Shorts Web site, and it did not rank in search engine results. The firm needed an Internet marketing strategy to drive large amounts of traffic to its website.
We implemented a comprehensive, multiphase Internet marketing solution that included:
- Adding keyword rich content to every page of the website
- Implementing social bookmarking and link building strategies
- Pay per click (PPC) advertising
- Building a social networking presence on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other networking sites
- Developing email marketing campaigns
- Creating and disseminating keyword rich press releases
A key partner in our complete internet marketing solution was
Novo Inc. A copywriting firm specializing in search engine
optimization (SEO) and writing articles on a monthly basis.
These keyword rich articles helped Corp Shorts significantly increase its online exposure by ranking on the first page of Google and other search engines for several targeted keywords.
The impact of our Internet marketing solution after the first year is extensive. Results include:
- Increasing visitors to corp shorts website by 500%
- Generating an average of five leads per week
- Being listed on the 1st three pages of search engine results for more than 20 targeted keywords
- Over 1,200 keyword phrases are converted to website visits
- More than 240 different sources deliver traffic to the website
- Videos are viewed by several thousand visitors on Youtube
“Corp Shorts wanted to increase traffic to its Web site,” said Gregg
Towsley, president of WSI Quality Solutions. “We developed a customized Internet marketing solution that helped the company
dramatically improve its position in search engine rankings. Now
Corp Shorts regularly receives more qualified leads, and their
business has grown as a direct result of our services.”
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