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All in on digital transformation: Creating a stronger, nimbler, more resilient PwC
Business and professional services
Changing how business gets done with BXT, automation and a focus on people
BXT <br/> Emerging Tech
Growth was strong, but costs and frustrations were rising
For more than 165 years, PwC was known for delivering high quality services and for being a place where employees could thrive. But we knew we needed to raise the bar even higher to meet the demands of the digital age. We had to keep growing, make work less manual and more data-driven for our people and deliver an ever-better and more tech-driven experience for clients. And we had to do it without costs getting out of control.
Our business was growing, but costs were rising even faster. So were tech-related frustrations among our employees. If we didn’t make changes we’d fall behind our competitors and our financial goals, and most importantly, be unable to deliver for our clients and our people.
We needed to go all in on a digital transformation to change the course of the firm and to bring our people with us into the future. That meant overhauling our business from the inside out to be more nimble, cut unnecessary costs, increase automation and allow people to do more meaningful work. If we could stop doing the things that weren’t productive or helping us get to those outcomes, we could invest those dollars into technology, experiences and strategies that would help drive the business forward. We had to reinvest to secure our future in a way that would bring our strategy to life and provide return on our investment. As critical: we had to stay focused on our shared values and purpose and keep our people and culture at the heart of these changes. This was going to be a community effort, even the hard parts, from the start. The transformation had to make all of us stronger, more resilient and much more agile.
Key drivers for our change
What drives change? It’s never just one thing. These triggers, combined, drove our transformation. They’re not so different from the motivations of many companies. The difference: We dove in and are seeing the results.
In 2016, leadership changes within PwC prompted a new strategic direction that more clearly aligned our organization with our values and purpose to support long-term sustainable growth. We focused on why we do what we do, what we want to achieve, and how we could innovate the way we do it.
Workforce of the Future
In 2016, PwC set a new strategic direction
For nearly a decade, our revenues continued to grow each year, but costs to run the firm were increasing faster. We applied PwC’s own Fit for Growth approach to streamline processes and technology, enabling our people to help drive efficiencies and reduce cost to run the business.
Fit for Growth
Costs to run the firm were increasing
We knew we had to disrupt how we work to meet our clients’ demand for more value, higher quality and a technology-enabled experience, at a lower cost. We leveraged cost savings to strategically reinvest in our people, processes and technology.
We knew we had to disrupt how we work
Our people wanted skills to remain relevant in a digital world and be leaders in their field. We invested in tools, technologies and our people to help future-proof our workforce and establish a continuous improvement culture.
New World. New Skills.
Our people wanted skills to grow in their careers
By listening to the “voice of the customer,” we identified pain points in functions and processes that were slowing our people down. We invested in cloud technology and used human-centered design to help improve the customer experience across business services functions.
Outdated processes and technologies were slowing us down
We needed a way to empower people to develop and share citizen-led innovations across the firm. We established a technology strategy arm to centralize intellectual property IP and help us efficiently address clients’ needs.
We needed to enable our people to create efficiencies and work smarter
A people-first approach to save time and money, and boost the client experience
We began our digital transformation in 2016 by examining PwC Business Services, our back office and shared services center and functions, located primarily in Tampa, Florida. We identified operational improvements that could reduce costs and reinvested some of those savings into a transformation, based on PwC’s Fit for Growth methodology. We committed to “leave no one behind” with a firm-wide program that would help both accelerate adoption and upskill employees.
Bringing together people with business strategy focus (B), human-centered design experience (X), along with the right technologies (T), we used our BXT approach to plan, develop and implement solutions together.
The only way we could transform our back office was to put the experience of our people first. We needed to know exactly where the pain points were in Business Services. First, we sent a survey to our 3,500 partners, asking what slowed down their work and the work of the people who worked for them.
By tapping into the entire community, we quickly identified 25 processes that had to change, including human resources, learning and development, finance, IT, real estate and administrative services. Everyone had something to address to help transform our process and our people, especially since our processes impact multiple activities.
We also asked leaders of our individual Business Services functions to help us figure out how to use that information to create more value from our transformation for the people who do the work day to day. And that also had to create a better user experience for their people. They identified approximately $100 million in cost savings, largely from eliminating manual and repetitive activities that took up employee time. As importantly, these leaders, with the help of their teams, identified areas that would benefit from investments in automation as well as other types of service delivery. Every leader and staffer also thought about what new skills were needed to help our people deliver greater value.
Ultimately, all of this would bring our back office talents to the “front office” to help our client service teams develop products and services that benefit our clients and society.
“Going all-in on digital transformation has made us resilient in a turbulent 2020, allowing us to be nimble and meet the evolving needs of our people and seamlessly guide our clients through some of the toughest decisions of their careers.”
Tim Ryan US Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Toss what isn’t working and strategically re-invest in what works for the future
We needed to focus on a strategy that could simplify our business and invest in new, technology-focused areas. We focused on automation to help eliminate transaction-related inefficiencies, and we launched a new intranet and cognitive assistant that gets stronger as it integrates with other applications. It helps our people do almost everything from resetting passwords to recording time, quickly and easily, to save them time for more important tasks and the firm money to reinvest in the transformation.
We aim to build innovative technology solutions that differentiate us from our competitors and digitize the business. From a business strategy perspective, putting flexible and adaptive processes in place helped us create an industry-leading back office that’s able to meet the needs of our business faster, while generating better insights, and at a lower cost of delivery.
Part of that included a strategic decision to invest in upskilling programs so our 55,000 people could learn how to use digital tools for data visualization as well as automation, data cleansing and more. If our people could use these tools to solve common problems, they’d help us become more efficient and growth-oriented now and more innovative later in Business Services and beyond. Now, employees are learning to build bots – over 2,400 have been created so far – to automate workflows. We continue to invest to make processes more intuitive using machine learning and eventually artificial intelligence (AI). These are key to working faster and solving problems differently for ourselves and our clients.
Making everything easier, faster and more intuitive
We know that the way people work will keep changing, which is why we have worked hard to create a culture of infinite learning where everyone can understand and feel connected to our organization’s purpose, values and goals. That required reassessment of how our people would adapt and learn, and importantly, apply what they learned immediately (which is a better way to incorporate training and new skills). We had to inspire people to challenge themselves and make it stick. We brought together people from individual functions—from finance to human resources—and had client services professionals from across the firm join in for a BXT-style session and used what we learned from our Partner survey as a guide.
We wanted better insights from the data we were gathering. That meant improving self-service options, for people to build automations themselves to help make their work easier. This was key to changing the experience for our people. Getting there hinged on a culture of citizen-led digital innovation , introduced through digital academies for our people so they could learn how to make data work harder, faster. Rather than just offer up a process and press go, we taught everyone how to make their own automations.
We also selected people across the firm to become digital ambassadors, training them with deeper experiences in digital, agile thinking and problem solving so they could go back to their teammates and bring them forward. Creating easy and usable interfaces, quick courses and incentives has made it simpler for employees to create and use our automation tools, which in turn helps them reduce their time spent on repetitive tasks. We created an interactive lab for our people to collaborate on and share new automations and ideas, incenting time spent exploring and creating. And digital badges let our people learn and earn credentials.
We began to see time and cost savings as people applied the new tools and learnings in their day-to-day work. More than this, we saw our culture shift to one of innovation and experimentation.
“We were trying to get to new ways of doing things faster and better, and at a lower cost for us and our clients. And if you can't replicate that across all employees, then it's not going to be a success. You're just going to have little pockets of change.”
Joe Killian US Finance and Shared Services Leader, PwC
Simplify, integrate, scale and innovate for the win
To succeed, we needed to streamline processes, from contracts to our firm-wide analytics platform. We invested in and adopted Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Business Process Integration (BPI), which helped automate a lot of the transactional work we do. We also replaced hundreds of pages of written business rules with an automated process and as a result, created a more intuitive experience for client service professionals. At the same time, we adopted user friendly, mobile cloud solutions to provide self-service access to data and insights that help meet the needs of our people no matter where they are working. This end-to-end automation transformed processes to help eliminate inefficiencies in our routine transactions.
By investing more in data analytics and artificial intelligence to pull data from disparate systems and platforms into one visual dashboard, we get a snapshot into team performance and business metrics. This will easily integrate and give more insights as a new intranet and cognitive digital assistant are added. The system can also nudge people to take important actions and meet critical deadlines.
Saving, improving and change at every level
Simplifying helped us save millions of dollars and created a workforce that is more satisfied, productive and skilled. We eliminated more than 50 processes in Business Services to save money and time. For example, simplifying with RPA has allowed us to reduce the time it takes to complete a contract by as much as 80%. Many manual processes are now automated. Data to drive insights is easy to pull, analyze and visualize so every team can make decisions more confidently.
In fiscal 2019, we saved almost 160,000 hours through automation across our Internal Firm Services functions including administrative support, controller operations, HR shared services and real estate operations.
A focused investment in our people and their skills changed the culture and abilities at the firm—jobs and functions that either did not exist or required external hires can now be filled by our own staff. Learning & Development (L&D) expanded virtual training programs to help reduce resource needs and travel costs—which made continuing and enhancing training when travel stopped due to the pandemic simple and seamless.
More than this, the firm is agile, more purpose-focused and people-driven. We’re better positioned to control costs and the quality of Business Services is higher than ever.
Results by function:
A focus on digital upskilling, tighter coordination through an end-to-end process that lasered in on collaboration among teams and technologies and automating once-manual processes, helped drive our transformation. Every back office function in Business Services improved some processes and eliminated certain costs, though headcount in the division declined by just 2% overall.
Administrative services, learning and development, security and real estate, human resources, acceleration centers.
We shifted from a traditional waterfall delivery approach toward agile delivery using the scrum framework where people work in short sprints and solve problems as they arise, to deliver value quickly and continuously. IT filled more than 100 positions within six months to equip the team with the skills needed to make change real. That meant hiring scrum masters to embed agile principles in delivery teams, developers and cloud engineers to help build strong technology and application development skill sets.
Our IT transformation has been instrumental in helping drive change companywide and delivering the firm’s tech-enabled priorities. Everyone in IT, regardless of their role, is trained in agile methodology and lean process training, the backbone of this new way of working. Business owners now have a closely linked IT team leader for end-to-end collaboration – in many cases, they no longer have to move between different groups. Leaders are also learning agile methodology to work alongside IT. The agile model is helping to vastly improve the employee experience across our teams, and that is helping lead to better outcomes.
We used to have a 1:1 ratio of executive assistants to senior leaders. Now our administrative services work with people throughout the firm via a centralized, virtual executive concierge structure. Our teams pool resources and while they still specialize, they’re also getting broader experience. As a result, people are better able to support client teams tackling specific problems that in the past 1:1 assistants might never have encountered. We adopted human-centered approaches to help keep the culture of trusted relationships alive. “We provided new hires with rigorous onboarding and training, which was a combination of existing soft skills, technical skills, and teaming activities so they can rely on one another to help deliver white-glove service,” said Jose Limardo, Support Operations Leader.
Four of the top nine issues identified in the initial 2016 assessment were finance-related processes. The insights gleaned from the finance function’s challenges helped validate and steer our entire transformation efforts. “It was painfully obvious we had a user experience problem that we needed to fix,” said Controller Tom Alexander. The group, which wanted to be an industry leading, modern finance team, allocated resources to innovation and shifted their culture to help drive continuous improvement. They reimagined the way they work by adopting a structure centered on the skills needed to succeed and scale.
The Controller Operations (CO) saved 30,000 hours each year for nearly four years by automating repetitive tasks, reimagining processes and applying more agile ways of working, which has led to efficiencies, improved job satisfaction and more time spent on activities that are adding value. Today, more than 40% of the Controller Operations team consists of data engineers, data scientists and data architects who are helping to pinpoint and address the business’s data needs.
As we continue to upskill people, we are making L&D a better experience. We shifted 70% in-person training to about 40% in-person, and created a virtual learning environment and infrastructure that made for seamless delivery when the pandemic of 2020 turned our workforce remote. As a result, the firm saved nearly $70 million, while also saving our people the burden of travel and hotel stays.
PwC’s security team uses a tool that enables our people to report back to us during a critical event, whether in office, during travel or at a client site, instead of piecing together information from different systems. This has proven to be invaluable for our employees throughout the pandemic and during natural disasters. But it doesn’t stop there. Our real estate business intelligence teams are using occupancy sensors to gather data about how workspaces are used. Through dashboards and data visualization tools, they are turning millions of reports into clear snapshots of how people use workspaces today and how they may be used over the next three to five years.
Our HR professionals have always been a repository of institutional knowledge of our business and operations. We developed an internal platform to help automate staffing needs. It is a go-to for teams to look at skills and availability of staff, and to help forecast engagement needs and assign our internal client service staff to those projects. The process of staffing and projecting now takes minutes, not days. Leveraging automation in the platform can help significantly reduce the resources and time required to process information that’s needed in order to staff an engagement. As a result, we are able to move our own people to higher-value work.
Over the last few years, PwC Business Services has automated about 400,000 hours of work that would have otherwise been done by our client service professionals, on- or offshore, or by third parties. Our Acceleration Centers (ACs) have been at the heart of this transformation, helping drive new, digital ways of working and creating savings for our firm and our clients. For our back offices alone, this translated into cost savings of around $50 million for work that was previously done by third parties.
Since 2018, PwC Labs has become integral to our technology strategy. We are empowering our people and our clients to reach their digital potential, at scale. We are leading the charge on creating innovative solutions designed for humans, driven by data, that utilize intelligent automation. Our people are reimagining how we build technology, collaborate and improve the quality of our deliverables. By embedding the latest AI and automation into our culture, our people can develop a growing digital inventory that can be tailored to meeting our clients’ unique needs.
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Competitor/Strategy, Investor/Finance, Social Enterprise, State & Society, Sustainability
Having pioneered a successful financing model for student loans, Prodigy also was considering other financial services that could make use of the company’s risk model. What new products could Prodigy offer to support its student borrowers? What strategy should guide the company’s new product development? Or should the company stick to the educational loans it pioneered and knew best?
tronc: Valuing the Future of Newspapers
Jean rosenthal, heather e. tookes, and jaan elias.
Business History, Competitor/Strategy, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork
Gannet offered Tribune Publishing an all-cash buyout offer. Tribune then made a strategic pivot: new stock listing, new name "tronc," and a goal of posting 1,000 videos/day. Should the Tribune board take the buyout opportunity? What was the right price?
Role of Hedge Funds in Institutional Portfolios: Florida Retirement System
Jaan elias, william goetzmann and lloyd baskin.
Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, State & Society
The Florida Retirement System, one of the country’s largest state pensions, had been slow to embrace hedge funds, but by 2015, they had 7% of their assets in the category. How should they manage their program?
Social Security 1935
Jean rosenthal, william n. goetzmann, and jaan elias.
Business History, Financial Regulation, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, State & Society
Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, shaped the Social Security Act of 1935, changing America’s pension landscape. What might she have done differently?
Ant Financial: Flourishing Farmer Loans at MYbank
Jingyue xu, jean rosenthal, k. sudhir, hua song, xia zhang, yuanfang song, xiaoxi liu, and jaan elias.
Competitor/Strategy, Customer/Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork, Operations, State & Society
In 2015 Ant Financial's MYbank (an offshoot of Jack Ma’s Alibaba company) created the Flourishing Farmer Loan program, an all-internet banking service for China's rural areas. Could MYbank use financial technology to create a program with competitive costs and risk management?
Low-Carbon Investing: Commonfund & GPSU
Jaan elias, william goetzmann, and k. geert rouwenhorst.
Asset Management, Ethics & Religion, Investor/Finance, Social Enterprise, State & Society, Sustainability
In August of 2014, the movement to divest fossil fuel investments from endowment portfolios was sweeping campuses across the United States, including Gifford Pinchot State University (GPSU). How should GPSU and its investment partner Commonfund react?
360 State Street: Real Options
Andrea nagy smith and mathew spiegel.
Asset Management, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data, Sourcing/Managing Funds
360 State Street proved successful, but what could Bruce Becker construct on the 6,000-square-foot vacant lot at the southwest corner of the project? Under what set of circumstances and at what time would it be most advantageous to proceed? Or should he build anything at all?
Jean rosenthal and olav sorensen.
When Jeffrey Aronson and Mark Gallogly founded Centerbridge, they hoped to grow the firm, but not to a point that it would lose its culture. Having added an office in London, could the firm add more locations and maintain its collegial character?
George Hudson and the 1840s Railway Mania
Andrea nagy smith, james chanos, and james spellman.
Business History, Financial Regulation, Investor/Finance, Metrics & Data
Railways were one of the original disruptive technologies: they transformed England from an island of slow, agricultural villages into a fast, urban, industrialized nation. George Hudson was the central figure in the mania for railroad shares in England. After the share value crashed, some analysts blamed Hudson, others pointed to irrational investors and still others maintained the crash was due to macroeconomic factors.
Demosthenes and Athenian Finance
Andrea nagy smith and william goetzmann.
Business History, Financial Regulation, Law & Contracts
Demosthenes' Oration 35, "Against Lacritus," contains the only surviving maritime loan contract from the fourth century B.C., proving that the ancient Greeks had devised a commercial code to link the economic lives of people from all over the Greek world. Athenians and non-Athenians alike came to the port of Piraeus to trade freely.
South Sea Bubble
Frank newman and william goetzmann.
Business History, Financial Regulation
The story of the South Sea Company and its seemingly absurd stock price levels always enters into conversations about modern valuation bubbles. Because of its modern application, discerning what was at the root of the world's first stock market crash merits considerable attention. What about the South Sea Company and the political, economic and social context in which it operated led to its stunning collapse?
Jean W. Rosenthal, Jaan Elias, William N. Goetzmann, Stanley Garstka, and Jacob Thomas
Asset Management, Healthcare, Investor/Finance, Sourcing/Managing Funds, State & Society
A centerpiece of the 2007 contract negotiations between the UAW and GM - and later with Chrysler and Ford - was establishing a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to provide for retiree healthcare costs. The implications were substantial.
Northern Pulp: A Private Equity Firm Resurrects a Troubled Paper Company
Heather tookes, peter schott, francesco bova, jaan elias and andrea nagy smith.
Investor/Finance, Macroeconomics, State & Society, Sustainability
In 2008, the lumber industry was in a severe recession, yet Blue Wolf Capital Management was considering investment in a paper mill in Nova Scotia. How should they proceed?
Lahey Clinic: North Shore Expansion
Jaan elias, andrea r. nagy, jessica p. strauss, and william n. goetzmann.
Asset Management, Financial Regulation, Healthcare, Investor/Finance
In early 2007 the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts believed that expansion of its North Shore facility was not only a smart strategy but also a business necessity. The two years of turmoil in the Massachusetts health care market prompted observers to question Lahey's 2007 decisions. Did the expansion strategy still make sense?
Carry Trade ETF
K. geert rouwenhorst, jean w. rosenthal, and jaan elias.
Innovation & Design, Investor/Finance, Macroeconomics, Sourcing/Managing Funds
In 2006 Deutsche Bank (DB) brought a new product to market – an exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the carry trade, a strategy of buying and selling currency futures. The offering received the William F. Sharpe Indexing Achievement Award for “Most Innovative Index Fund or ETF” at the 2006 Sharpe Awards. These awards are presented annually by IndexUniverse.com and Information Management Network for innovative advances in the indexing industry. The carry trade ETF shared the award with another DB/PowerShares offering, a Commodity Index Tracking Fund. Jim Wiandt, publisher of IndexUniverse.com, said, "These innovators are shaping the course of the index industry, creating new tools and providing new insights for the benefit of all investors." What was it that made this financial innovation successful?
William Goetzmann and Jaan Elias
Asset Management, Business History
Hawara is the site of the massive pyramid of Amenemhat III, a XII Dynasty [Middle Kingdom, 1204 – 1604 B.C.E.] pharaoh. The Hawara Labyrinth and Pyramid Complex present a wealth of information about the Middle Kingdom. Among its treasures are papyri covering property rights and transfers of ownership.
6 Brilliant Case Study Examples for Small Businesses
Every business starts small.
The success of a business lies in its strategy to overcome any challenge during its journey.
If you are trying to take your business to new heights, start identifying challenges and create solutions.
The best way is to learn from sundry success stories.
There are several case studies of different businesses that can teach you which strategy to take for selling your product and attracting the target audience.
In this article, we will discuss some of the top case study examples that can assist in upscaling small businesses.
Interesting read: 9 Small Budget Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business
Challenges Faced by Small Businesses
As far as businesses go, there are always hurdles that need to be defeated. Starting a business is itself a big achievement for entrepreneurs, but the main challenge is maintaining one.
There are three common challenges businesses need to overcome. These include managing the expenses, hiring people, and following new trends to develop a customer base.
1. Increased Expenses
Every business revolves around money. There are different areas where businesses have to spend their money. But the issue is handling the financial hurdles. With an unplanned budget and financial advice, businesses will be spending more than they need to.
Keeping an eye on expenses is important because the expenses determine the profit the business will make.
However, it is not easy to reduce the expense. It’s affected by demand and supply. If businesses need to keep up with the market’s demands, then the chance of increasing expenses is 100%.
2. More and Skilled Manpower Required
Businesses don’t run themselves. They need manpower with skills to handle different departments. Generally, the number of employees in a small business ranges from 1 to 500 people. Getting this manpower is easy but getting a skilled one is difficult and time-consuming.
Whenever looking for manpower, businesses need to decide what skills they want in their candidate. The problem is candidates can’t always fulfill all the requirements. Besides, hiring manpower also increases the expenses.
3. Keeping Up With the Latest Trends
The market is fluid. It changes and introduces new trends. Small businesses need to keep up with the changing trends to keep their business growing. But this is where many businesses start to fall apart.
The thing about new trends is that businesses need to sell their products at the right time. It means they have to keep on studying the market to speculate their next products. If a small business fails to deliver during the peak of the trend, then it will suffer a heavy loss.
Solutions to Grow a Small Business
The best thing about businesses is that there is an attempt to find a solution for every challenge. It brings out the competition in the market, which is huge for surfacing different kinds of solutions a business can adopt.
1. Reduce the Expenses
When it comes to expenses, businesses are focused on spending huge sums on communication because communication is the key element of increasing customers and revenue. It’s not a big problem for big companies, but it is expensive for small businesses.
Fortunately, the cloud telephony system has removed the dilemma while making business budgets because cloud phone services are cheaper than plain old telephone services.
It reduces the initial cost of new businesses up to 90%. Recent surveys suggest that over 74% of businesses prioritize cloud phone systems as their urgent investment.
The same goes for marketing which is necessary to attract potential customers. Small businesses don’t have enough budget to advertise their products.
The best solution for this is using social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to promote and sell their products .
Case Study: Coffman Engineers
Coffman Engineers clearly states that although the cost of using a virtual phone number adhered to cloud phone is 50% more per employee, it still provides overall 25% more savings than plain old telephone service (POTS).
Coffman Engineers have been relying on cloud phones ever since their one office location faced a disaster. Now they have a disaster recovery feature built into their cloud phone system. It helped them to be ready for any disasters without losing communication with employees.
Not just that, they found all the necessary features bundled into one subscription package in a VoIP phone system. Such a facility enabled them to handle all their business communication using only one platform.
- Small businesses must invest in cloud telephony for business communication.
- Extensive use of social media to promote and sell your products/service.
2. Improve Employee Productivity
As we have already discussed earlier, manpower is a big challenge for small businesses. Hiring more employees doesn’t mean higher productivity. Businesses need to hire the right candidates to keep their expenses in check and improve productivity.
There are different tools available that can monitor what the employees are doing. Time tracking tools and workforce management tools are key components every business needs.
Especially in remote working scenarios, these tools are crucial to getting the full effort for the employees. Companies have seen a 35%-40% rise in productivity in employees working remotely with the use of tracking tools.
Case study: On The Map Marketing
On The Map Marketing , a digital marketing agency, used time tracking tools that showed that remote working employees tend to work more hours since they can work at flexible hours.
On The Map Marketing first started using the time tracking tool when they were opening their office in Riga, Latvia. The CTO of the company wanted the time spent on different tasks on his computer as well as managing the remote working employees.
Using a time tracking tool , they were able to track their productivity with a detailed report of their daily activities during office hours. It helped them calculate salary bonuses. They also found the productivity level of each employee to determine their value for the company.
- Small businesses should use a time tracking tool to make sure employees focus on their office work.
- Small businesses can track the performance of each employee at office locations or remote working locations.
3. Reward Your Customers
A business becomes successful when it can keep its customers happy. In efforts to upscale a small business quickly, the marketplace has seen a decline in the quality of products and services. It is a primary reason for customer dissatisfaction.
About 45% of business professionals rate customer experience as their top priority for growing a business.
Survey says more than 85% of buyers are willing to spend more for a better customer experience. Therefore, small businesses need to focus on improving their quality of products and services, which is a powerful indicator of customer experience.
Case study: Starbucks
Starbucks introduced a Reward Loyalty Program in which customers collect stars to get exciting rewards. This program drives 40% of Starbucks total sales .
By adapting the gamification method, Starbucks added a reward loyalty program to their already established app. This move drastically increased sales and digital traffic. They brought mobile payment, customer loyalty, and content partnership in one powerful app.
Customers started registering for My Reward via their app. They are given stars(points) in exchange for their interaction in the app or purchase made. The higher the number of stars a customer gets, the better rewards they get.
- Small businesses can give different forms of rewards for more customer engagement.
- Improvement in customer service can drive more sales and attract more customers.
4. Build Your Brand
Small businesses should learn to build their brand image . While marketing any product or service, the brand image is a key factor for understanding how people view your business.
A brand image must first include mission, vision, and values. It also requires a brand positioning statement that can set your business apart from the competitors.
It’s important to create a unique brand personality. For this, businesses need to design a good logo because customers are most likely to recognize a business looking at a logo. They will have to identify their target audience to craft a good brand image.
According to a study, around 89% of users stay loyal to a business with a good brand image .
Case study: Apple
Apple logo is a well-recognized design that reflects the brand value. Over the years, the Apple logo has gone through several design changes.
The most important rebranding of the company came when Steve Jobs changed the logo which impacted the overall personality of the company. Now, this logo is the most recognized logo in the world.
Looking at the Apple logo, customers can feel a sense of trust, reliability, and innovation . It is the main reason for the huge sales of all the Apple products across the globe.
- Branding helps a business build strong relationships with prospects and attract them to be loyal customers.
- Small businesses need to create a strong brand image to sell their products efficiently.
5. Prioritize on Partnerships
Partnerships and collaboration can lift the businesses to maximize their cost savings. It allows businesses to strengthen their programs using available resources and tools.
This has a direct effect on improving the efficiency of their operations. It improves the credibility of the business in the marketplace.
Case study: RENAULT & NISSAN
Renault and Nissan have a strong partnership in automobiles. Their partnership made a remarkable achievement of making up 10% of new car sales worldwide .
Renault and Nissan chose to make an alliance rather than a merger because an alliance has many stronger benefits than a merger would give.
With an alliance, they can access more geographical areas where foreign investments are restricted. These companies got better chances to enter each other’s territory where they were already established companies because of the alliance.
Although they faced numerous challenges including fluctuation in price share, they managed to resolve issues and succeed.
- Small businesses can collaborate with other businesses to increase their chances of higher product sales and profit for everyone.
- Partnership with other businesses allows all parties to take benefits from each other’s strong areas.
6. The Right Marketing Strategy
Every business requires to sell its product and services to the market. Without marketing, a business cannot compete in the marketplace. The first thing about marketing is knowing your target audience and competitors.
When small businesses know who they are competing against, it will help them to see how the competitors are executing their business and attracting their customers.
One such way is to grow your website traffic which can bring you more leads and eventually customers. And how do you increase your website traffic? SEO. If done right, Search Engine Optimization can drive huge traffic to your website to reach your marketing goals.
Case study: Zapier
Zapier used an SEO strategy revolving around long-tail keywords for generating organic traffic to their website. They created 25,000 unique landing pages for unique keywords.
Zapier had a structure and layout for each page including well-optimized human written content. They outsourced SEO content and focused on a playbook for the onboarding process and launched new apps so that they can get partners to write content for them.
On top of that, they also outsourced link building to their partners. These partners wrote valuable guest post content of Zapier on their site and gave a backlink to Zapier. It helped Zapier to get new users as well as drive their website traffic.
- Small Businesses should improve their website traffic by adding more landing pages with relevant content.
- Backlinks through guest posts on other websites can drive more website traffic and attract more prospects.
Now that you have a fair idea of the business challenges and solutions, there is a good chance of delivering a good strategy for growing your small business.
On top of that, the case study examples above will help you view how other businesses overcome their situation to take their business to new heights.
The most important aspect of upscaling a small business is understanding the customer’s needs. Therefore, you should design a persuasive marketing strategy to attract customers and compete with other businesses in the market.
And a good marketing strategy for any business must include social media. And to make the most of your social media marketing efforts try SocialPilot for free today.
Frequently Asked Questions
🌟 how do you upscale a small business.
Upscaling a small business is a very challenging process. Whether it's making a budget or hiring employees, you have to focus on things that are best for your business. Planning, targeting prospects, marketing strategy, etc. are crucial steps for upscaling businesses and competing with big companies.
🌟 What is a small scale business?
Small scale businesses or Small scale industries (SSI) provide products and services on a small level. Normally in the US, a small business consists of less than 250 employees. Also, it has small capital investments and less office space.
🌟 Why do entrepreneurs find it difficult to scale up?
New entrepreneurs find difficulty in scaling up their businesses because they don’t know what to do. Even if they know, they have to face many challenges like market research, finding loans, allocating space, etc. Also, legal matters are always a major concern for making changes.
🌟 Why is scalability important in business?
Scalability is important because it directly impacts business competition, profitability, brand image, and product quality. Since small businesses have huge growth potential and high return on investment (ROI), they have to properly focus on scalability.
🌟 When should you scale a business?
A small business should look for upscaling its business if it has achieved a minimum annual growth of 20% over 2-3 years with only 10 or more active employees.
About the Author
Sujan Thapaliya is the CEO and Co-founder of KrispCall . He has a wealth of computer, communications, and security experience. Through KrispCall, he aspires to make business communication safer, reliable, and more affordable.
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28 Case Study Examples Every Marketer Should See
Published: March 08, 2023
Putting together a compelling case study is one of the most powerful strategies for showcasing your product and attracting future customers. But it's not easy to create case studies that your audience can’t wait to read.
In this post, we’ll go over the definition of a case study and the best examples to inspire you.
What is a case study?
A case study is a detailed story of something your company did. It includes a beginning — often discussing a conflict, an explanation of what happened next, and a resolution that explains how the company solved or improved on something.
A case study proves how your product has helped other companies by demonstrating real-life results. Not only that, but marketing case studies with solutions typically contain quotes from the customer. This means that they’re not just ads where you praise your own product. Rather, other companies are praising your company — and there’s no stronger marketing material than a verbal recommendation or testimonial. A great case study is also filled with research and stats to back up points made about a project's results.
There are myriad ways to use case studies in your marketing strategy . From featuring them on your website to including them in a sales presentation, a case study is a strong, persuasive tool that shows customers why they should work with you — straight from another customer. Writing one from scratch is hard, though, which is why we’ve created a collection of case study templates for you to get started.
Fill out the form below to access the free case study templates.
Case Study Kit + Templates
Fill out this form to access free case study templates..
There’s no better way to generate more leads than by writing case studies . But without case study examples to draw inspiration from, it can be difficult to write impactful studies that convince visitors to submit a form.
Marketing Case Study Examples
To help you create an attractive and high-converting case study, we've put together a list of some of our favorites. This list includes famous case studies in marketing, technology, and business.
These studies can show you how to frame your company offers in a way that is both meaningful and useful to your audience. So, take a look, and let these examples inspire your next brilliant case study design.
These marketing case studies with solutions show the value proposition of each product. They also show how each company benefited in both the short and long term using quantitative data. In other words, you don’t get just nice statements, like "This company helped us a lot." You see actual change within the firm through numbers and figures.
You can put your learnings into action with HubSpot's Free Case Study Templates . Available as custom designs and text-based documents, you can upload these templates to your CMS or send them to prospects as you see fit.
1. " How Handled Scaled from Zero to 121 Locations with the Help of HubSpot ," by HubSpot
What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. That reflects a major HubSpot cornerstone, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why the CEO of Handled founded the company and why he thought Handled could benefit from adopting a CRM. The case study also opens up with one key data point about Handled’s success using HubSpot, namely that it grew to 121 locations.
Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the other text on the page. So while your case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.
Key Learnings from the HubSpot Case Study Example
- Give the case study a personal touch by focusing on the CEO rather than the company itself.
- Use multimedia to engage website visitors as they read the case study.
2. " The Whole Package ," 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, they’re greeted with a big, bold photo and the title of the case study — which just so happens to summarize how IDEO helped its client. It summarizes the case study in three snippets: The challenge, the impact, and the outcome.
Immediately, IDEO communicates its impact — the company partnered with H&M to remove plastic from its packaging — but it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, the challenge, impact, and progress are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and intriguing visuals.
Key Learnings from the IDEO Case Study Example
- Split up the takeaways of your case studies into bite-sized sections.
- Always use visuals and images to enrich the case study experience, especially if it’s a comprehensive case study.
3. " Rozum Robotics intensifies its PR game with Awario ," by Awario
In this case study, Awario greets the user with a summary straight away — so if you’re feeling up to reading the entire case study, you can scan the snapshot and understand how the company serves its customers. The case study then includes jump links to several sections, such as "Company Profile," "Rozum Robotics' Pains," "Challenge," "Solution," and "Results and Improvements."
The sparse copy and prominent headings show that you don’t need a lot of elaborate information to show the value of your products and services. Like the other case study examples on this list, it includes visuals and quotes to demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s efforts. The case study ends with a bulleted list that shows the results.
Key Learnings from the Awario Robotics Case Study Example
- Create a table of contents to make your case study easier to navigate.
- Include a bulleted list of the results you achieved for your client.
4. " Chevrolet DTU ," by Carol H. Williams
If you’ve worked with a company that’s well-known, use only the name in the title — like Carol H. Williams, one of the nation’s top advertising agencies, does here. The "DTU," stands for "Discover the Unexpected." It generates interest because you want to find out what the initials mean.
They keep your interest in this case study by using a mixture of headings, images, and videos to describe the challenges, objectives, and solutions of the project. The case study closes with a summary of the key achievements that Chevrolet’s DTU Journalism Fellows reached during the project.
Key Learnings from the Carol H. Williams Case Study Example
- If you’ve worked with a big brand before, consider only using the name in the title — just enough to pique interest.
- Use a mixture of headings and subheadings to guide users through the case study.
5. " How Fractl Earned Links from 931 Unique Domains for Porch.com in a Single Year ," by Fractl
Fractl uses both text and graphic design in their Porch.com case study to immerse the viewer in a more interesting user experience. For instance, as you scroll, you'll see the results are illustrated in an infographic-design form as well as the text itself.
Further down the page, they use icons like a heart and a circle to illustrate their pitch angles, and graphs to showcase their results. Rather than writing which publications have mentioned Porch.com during Fractl’s campaign, they incorporated the media outlets’ icons for further visual diversity.
Key Learnings from the Fractl Case Study Example
- Let pictures speak for you by incorporating graphs, logos, and icons all throughout the case study.
- Start the case study by right away stating the key results, like Fractl does, instead of putting the results all the way at the bottom.
6. " The Met ," by Fantasy
What's the best way to showcase the responsiveness and user interface of a website? Probably by diving right into it with a series of simple showcases— which is exactly what Fantasy does on their case study page for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They keep the page simple and clean, inviting you to review their redesign of the Met’s website feature-by-feature.
Each section is simple, showing a single piece of the new website's interface so that users aren’t overwhelmed with information and can focus on what matters most.
If you're more interested in text, you can read the objective for each feature. Fantasy understands that, as a potential customer, this is all you need to know. Scrolling further, you're greeted with a simple "Contact Us" CTA.
Key Learnings from the Fantasy Case Study Example
- You don’t have to write a ton of text to create a great case study. Focus on the solution you delivered itself.
- Include a CTA at the bottom inviting visitors to contact you.
7. " Rovio: How Rovio Grew Into a Gaming Superpower ," by App Annie
If your client had a lot of positive things to say about you, take a note from App Annie’s Rovio case study and open up with a quote from your client. The case study also closes with a quote, so that the case study doesn’t seem like a promotion written by your marketing team but a story that’s taken straight from your client’s mouth. It includes a photo of a Rovio employee, too.
Another thing this example does well? It immediately includes a link to the product that Rovio used (namely, App Annie Intelligence) at the top of the case study. The case study closes with a call-to-action button prompting users to book a demo.
Key Learnings from the App Annie Case Study Example
- Feature quotes from your client at the beginning and end of the case study.
- Include a mention of the product right at the beginning and prompt users to learn more about the product.
8. " Embracing first-party data: 3 success stories from HubSpot ," by Think with Google
Google takes a different approach to text-focused case studies by choosing three different companies to highlight.
The case study is clean and easily scannable. It has sections for each company, with quotes and headers that clarify the way these three distinct stories connect. The simple format also uses colors and text that align with the Google brand.
Another differentiator is the focus on data. This case study is less than a thousand words, but it's packed with useful data points. Data-driven insights quickly and clearly show how the value of leveraging first-party data while prioritizing consumer privacy.
Key Learnings from the Think with Google Case Study Example
- A case study doesn’t need to be long or complex to be powerful.
- Clear data points are a quick and effective way to prove value.
9. " In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study ," by Switch
Switch is an international marketing agency based in Malta that knocks it out of the park with this case study. Its biggest challenge is effectively communicating what it did for its client without ever revealing the client’s name. It also effectively keeps non-marketers in the loop by including a glossary of terms on page 4.
The PDF case study reads like a compelling research article, including titles like "In-Depth Performance Marketing Case Study," "Scenario," and "Approach," so that readers get a high-level overview of what the client needed and why they approached Switch. It also includes a different page for each strategy. For instance, if you’d only be interested in hiring Switch for optimizing your Facebook ads, you can skip to page 10 to see how they did it.
The PDF is fourteen pages long but features big fonts and plenty of white space, so viewers can easily skim it in only a few minutes.
Key Learnings from the Switch Case Study Example
- If you want to go into specialized information, include a glossary of terms so that non-specialists can easily understand.
- Close with a CTA page in your case study PDF and include contact information for prospective clients.
10. " Gila River ," by OH Partners
Let pictures speak for you, like OH Partners did in this case study. While you’ll quickly come across a heading and some text when you land on this case study page, you’ll get the bulk of the case study through examples of actual work OH Partners did for its client. You will see OH Partners’ work in a billboard, magazine, and video. This communicates to website visitors that if they work with OH Partners, their business will be visible everywhere.
And like the other case studies here, it closes with a summary of what the firm achieved for its client in an eye-catching way.
Key Learnings from the OH Partners Case Study Example
- Let the visuals speak by including examples of the actual work you did for your client — which is especially useful for branding and marketing agencies.
- Always close out with your achievements and how they impacted your client.
11. " Facing a Hater ," by Digitas
Digitas' case study page for Sprite’s #ILOVEYOUHATER campaign keeps it brief while communicating the key facts of Digitas’ work for the popular soda brand. The page opens with an impactful image of a hundred people facing a single man. It turns out, that man is the biggest "bully" in Argentina, and the people facing him are those whom he’s bullied before.
Scrolling down, it's obvious that Digitas kept Sprite at the forefront of their strategy, but more than that, they used real people as their focal point. They leveraged the Twitter API to pull data from Tweets that people had actually tweeted to find the identity of the biggest "hater" in the country. That turned out to be @AguanteElCofler, a Twitter user who has since been suspended.
Key Learnings from the Digitas Case Study Example
- If a video was part of your work for your client, be sure to include the most impactful screenshot as the heading.
- Don’t be afraid to provide details on how you helped your client achieve their goals, including the tools you leveraged.
12. " Better Experiences for All ," by HermanMiller
HermanMiller sells sleek, utilitarian furniture with no frills and extreme functionality, and that ethos extends to its case study page for a hospital in Dubai.
What first attracted me to this case study was the beautiful video at the top and the clean user experience. User experience matters a lot in a case study. It determines whether users will keep reading or leave. Another notable aspect of this case study is that the video includes closed-captioning for greater accessibility, and users have the option of expanding the CC and searching through the text.
HermanMiller’s case study also offers an impressive amount of information packed in just a few short paragraphs for those wanting to understand the nuances of their strategy. It closes out with a quote from their client and, most importantly, the list of furniture products that the hospital purchased from the brand.
Key Learnings from the HermanMiller Case Study Example
- Close out with a list of products that users can buy after reading the case study.
- Include accessibility features such as closed captioning and night mode to make your case study more user-friendly.
13. " Capital One on AWS ," by Amazon
Do you work continuously with your clients? Consider structuring your case study page like Amazon did in this stellar case study example. Instead of just featuring one article about Capital One and how it benefited from using AWS, Amazon features a series of articles that you can then access if you’re interested in reading more. It goes all the way back to 2016, all with different stories that feature Capital One’s achievements using AWS.
This may look unattainable for a small firm, but you don’t have to go to extreme measures and do it for every single one of your clients. You could choose the one you most wish to focus on and establish a contact both on your side and your client’s for coming up with the content. Check in every year and write a new piece. These don’t have to be long, either — five hundred to eight hundred words will do.
Key Learnings from the Amazon AWS Case Study Example
- Write a new article each year featuring one of your clients, then include links to those articles in one big case study page.
- Consider including external articles as well that emphasize your client’s success in their industry.
14. " HackReactor teaches the world to code #withAsana ," by Asana
While Asana's case study design looks text-heavy, there's a good reason. It reads like a creative story, told entirely from the customer's perspective.
For instance, Asana knows you won't trust its word alone on why this product is useful. So, they let Tony Phillips, HackReactor CEO, tell you instead: "We take in a lot of information. Our brains are awful at storage but very good at thinking; you really start to want some third party to store your information so you can do something with it."
Asana features frequent quotes from Phillips to break up the wall of text and humanize the case study. It reads like an in-depth interview and captivates the reader through creative storytelling. Even more, Asana includes in-depth detail about how HackReactor uses Asana. This includes how they build templates and workflows:
"There's a huge differentiator between Asana and other tools, and that’s the very easy API access. Even if Asana isn’t the perfect fit for a workflow, someone like me— a relatively mediocre software engineer—can add functionality via the API to build a custom solution that helps a team get more done."
Key Learnings from the Asana Example
- Include quotes from your client throughout the case study.
- Provide extensive detail on how your client worked with you or used your product.
15. " Rips Sewed, Brand Love Reaped ," by Amp Agency
Amp Agency's Patagonia marketing strategy aimed to appeal to a new audience through guerrilla marketing efforts and a coast-to-coast road trip. Their case study page effectively conveys a voyager theme, complete with real photos of Patagonia customers from across the U.S., and a map of the expedition. I liked Amp Agency's storytelling approach best. It captures viewers' attention from start to finish simply because it's an intriguing and unique approach to marketing.
Key Learnings from the Amp Agency Example
- Open up with a summary that communicates who your client is and why they reached out to you.
- Like in the other case study examples, you’ll want to close out with a quantitative list of your achievements.
16. " NetApp ," by Evisort
Evisort opens up its NetApp case study with an at-a-glance overview of the client. It’s imperative to always focus on the client in your case study — not on your amazing product and equally amazing team. By opening up with a snapshot of the client’s company, Evisort places the focus on the client.
This case study example checks all the boxes for a great case study that’s informative, thorough, and compelling. It includes quotes from the client and details about the challenges NetApp faced during the COVID pandemic. It closes out with a quote from the client and with a link to download the case study in PDF format, which is incredibly important if you want your case study to be accessible in a wider variety of formats.
Key Learnings from the Evisort Example
- Place the focus immediately on your client by including a snapshot of their company.
- Mention challenging eras, such as a pandemic or recession, to show how your company can help your client succeed even during difficult times.
17. " Copernicus Land Monitoring – CLC+ Core ," by Cloudflight
Including highly specialized information in your case study is an effective way to show prospects that you’re not just trying to get their business. You’re deep within their industry, too, and willing to learn everything you need to learn to create a solution that works specifically for them.
Cloudflight does a splendid job at that in its Copernicus Land Monitoring case study. While the information may be difficult to read at first glance, it will capture the interest of prospects who are in the environmental industry. It thus shows Cloudflight’s value as a partner much more effectively than a general case study would.
The page is comprehensive and ends with a compelling call-to-action — "Looking for a solution that automates, and enhances your Big Data system? Are you struggling with large datasets and accessibility? We would be happy to advise and support you!" The clean, whitespace-heavy page is an effective example of using a case study to capture future leads.
Key Learnings from the Cloudflight Case Study Example
- Don’t be afraid to get technical in your explanation of what you did for your client.
- Include a snapshot of the sales representative prospects should contact, especially if you have different sales reps for different industries, like Cloudflight does.
18. " Valvoline Increases Coupon Send Rate by 76% with Textel’s MMS Picture Texting ," by Textel
If you’re targeting large enterprises with a long purchasing cycle, you’ll want to include a wealth of information in an easily transferable format. That’s what Textel does here in its PDF case study for Valvoline. It greets the user with an eye-catching headline that shows the value of using Textel. Valvoline saw a significant return on investment from using the platform.
Another smart decision in this case study is highlighting the client’s quote by putting it in green font and doing the same thing for the client’s results because it helps the reader quickly connect the two pieces of information. If you’re in a hurry, you can also take a look at the "At a Glance" column to get the key facts of the case study, starting with information about Valvoline.
Key Learnings from the Textel Case Study Example
- Include your client’s ROI right in the title of the case study.
- Add an "At a Glance" column to your case study PDF to make it easy to get insights without needing to read all the text.
19. " Hunt Club and Happeo — a tech-enabled love story ," by Happeo
In this blog-post-like case study, Happeo opens with a quote from the client, then dives into a compelling heading: "Technology at the forefront of Hunt Club's strategy." Say you’re investigating Happeo as a solution and consider your firm to be technology-driven. This approach would spark your curiosity about why the client chose to work with Happeo. It also effectively communicates the software’s value proposition without sounding like it’s coming from an in-house marketing team.
Every paragraph is a quote written from the customer’s perspective. Later down the page, the case study also dives into "the features that changed the game for Hunt Club," giving Happeo a chance to highlight some of the platform’s most salient features.
Key Learnings from the Happeo Case Study Example
- Consider writing the entirety of the case study from the perspective of the customer.
- Include a list of the features that convinced your client to go with you.
20. " Red Sox Season Campaign ," by CTP Boston
What's great about CTP's case study page for their Red Sox Season Campaign is their combination of video, images, and text. A video automatically begins playing when you visit the page, and as you scroll, you'll see more embedded videos of Red Sox players, a compilation of print ads, and social media images you can click to enlarge.
At the bottom, it says "Find out how we can do something similar for your brand." The page is clean, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing. It invites viewers to appreciate the well-roundedness of CTP's campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team.
Key Learnings from the CTP Case Study Example
- Include a video in the heading of the case study.
- Close with a call-to-action that makes leads want to turn into prospects.
21. " Acoustic ," by Genuine
Sometimes, simple is key. Genuine's case study for Acoustic is straightforward and minimal, with just a few short paragraphs, including "Reimagining the B2B website experience," "Speaking to marketers 1:1," and "Inventing Together." After the core of the case study, we then see a quote from Acoustic’s CMO and the results Genuine achieved for the company.
The simplicity of the page allows the reader to focus on both the visual aspects and the copy. The page displays Genuine's brand personality while offering the viewer all the necessary information they need.
- You don’t need to write a lot to create a great case study. Keep it simple.
- Always include quantifiable data to illustrate the results you achieved for your client.
22. " Using Apptio Targetprocess Automated Rules in Wargaming ," by Apptio
Apptio’s case study for Wargaming summarizes three key pieces of information right at the beginning: The goals, the obstacles, and the results.
Readers then have the opportunity to continue reading — or they can walk away right then with the information they need. This case study also excels in keeping the human interest factor by formatting the information like an interview.
The piece is well-organized and uses compelling headers to keep the reader engaged. Despite its length, Apptio's case study is appealing enough to keep the viewer's attention. Every Apptio case study ends with a "recommendation for other companies" section, where the client can give advice for other companies that are looking for a similar solution but aren’t sure how to get started.
Key Learnings from the Apptio Case Study Example
- Put your client in an advisory role by giving them the opportunity to give recommendations to other companies that are reading the case study.
- Include the takeaways from the case study right at the beginning so prospects quickly get what they need.
23. " Airbnb + Zendesk: building a powerful solution together ," by Zendesk
Zendesk's Airbnb case study reads like a blog post, and focuses equally on Zendesk and Airbnb, highlighting a true partnership between the companies. To captivate readers, it begins like this: "Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend."
The piece focuses on telling a good story and provides photographs of beautiful Airbnb locations. In a case study meant to highlight Zendesk's helpfulness, nothing could be more authentic than their decision to focus on Airbnb's service in such great detail.
Key Learnings from the Zendesk Case Study Example
- Include images of your client’s offerings — not necessarily of the service or product you provided. Notice how Zendesk doesn’t include screenshots of its product.
- Include a call-to-action right at the beginning of the case study. Zendesk gives you two options: to find a solution or start a trial.
24. " Biobot Customer Success Story: Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida ," by Biobot
Like some of the other top examples in this list, Biobot opens its case study with a quote from its client, which captures the value proposition of working with Biobot. It mentions the COVID pandemic and goes into detail about the challenges the client faced during this time.
This case study is structured more like a news article than a traditional case study. This format can work in more formal industries where decision-makers need to see in-depth information about the case. Be sure to test different methods and measure engagement .
Key Learnings from the Biobot Case Study Example
- Mention environmental, public health, or economic emergencies and how you helped your client get past such difficult times.
- Feel free to write the case study like a normal blog post, but be sure to test different methods to find the one that best works for you.
25. " Discovering Cost Savings With Efficient Decision Making ," by Gartner
You don't always need a ton of text or a video to convey your message — sometimes, you just need a few paragraphs and bullet points. Gartner does a fantastic job of quickly providing the fundamental statistics a potential customer would need to know, without boggling down their readers with dense paragraphs. The case study closes with a shaded box that summarizes the impact that Gartner had on its client. It includes a quote and a call-to-action to "Learn More."
Key Learnings from the Gartner Case Study Example
- Feel free to keep the case study short.
- Include a call-to-action at the bottom that takes the reader to a page that most relates to them.
26. " Bringing an Operator to the Game ," by Redapt
This case study example by Redapt is another great demonstration of the power of summarizing your case study’s takeaways right at the start of the study. Redapt includes three easy-to-scan columns: "The problem," "the solution," and "the outcome." But its most notable feature is a section titled "Moment of clarity," which shows why this particular project was difficult or challenging.
The section is shaded in green, making it impossible to miss. Redapt does the same thing for each case study. In the same way, you should highlight the "turning point" for both you and your client when you were working toward a solution.
Key Learnings from the Redapt Case Study Example
- Highlight the turning point for both you and your client during the solution-seeking process.
- Use the same structure (including the same headings) for your case studies to make them easy to scan and read.
27. " Virtual Call Center Sees 300% Boost In Contact Rate ," by Convoso
Convoso’s PDF case study for Digital Market Media immediately mentions the results that the client achieved and takes advantage of white space. On the second page, the case study presents more influential results. It’s colorful and engaging and closes with a spread that prompts readers to request a demo.
Key Learnings from the Convoso Case Study Example
- List the results of your work right at the beginning of the case study.
- Use color to differentiate your case study from others. Convoso’s example is one of the most colorful ones on this list.
28. " Ensuring quality of service during a pandemic ," by Ericsson
Ericsson’s case study page for Orange Spain is an excellent example of using diverse written and visual media — such as videos, graphs, and quotes — to showcase the success a client experienced. Throughout the case study, Ericsson provides links to product and service pages users might find relevant as they’re reading the study.
For instance, under the heading "Preloaded with the power of automation," Ericsson mentions its Ericsson Operations Engine product, then links to that product page. It closes the case study with a link to another product page.
Key Learnings from the Ericsson Case Study Example
- Link to product pages throughout the case study so that readers can learn more about the solution you offer.
- Use multimedia to engage users as they read the case study.
Start creating your case study.
Now that you've got a great list of examples of case studies, think about a topic you'd like to write about that highlights your company or work you did with a customer.
A customer’s success story is the most persuasive marketing material you could ever create. With a strong portfolio of case studies, you can ensure prospects know why they should give you their business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Don't forget to share this post!
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47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)
One of the best ways to prepare for case interviews at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples.
There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.
The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.
- McKinsey examples
- BCG examples
- Bain examples
- Deloitte examples
- Other firms' examples
- Case books from consulting clubs
- Case interview preparation
Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers
1. mckinsey case interview examples.
- Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
- Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
- Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
- GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
- National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
- Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
- Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
- Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
- McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
2. BCG case interview examples
- Foods Inc and GenCo case samples (BCG website)
- Chateau Boomerang written case interview (BCG website)
- BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- BCG live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
3. Bain case interview examples
- CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
- FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
- Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Written case interview tips (Bain website)
- Bain case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Bain live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See above
4. Deloitte case interview examples
- Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
- Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
- Retail Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Finance Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Footloose written case (by Deloitte)
- Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
5. Accenture case interview examples
- Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
- Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
6. OC&C case interview examples
- Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
- Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)
7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples
- Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples
- Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
- Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
- AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples
- Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
- Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
- Market sizing case example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
11. Roland Berger case interview examples
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- Roland Berger case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
12. Capital One case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (Capital One website)
- Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
13. Consulting clubs case interview examples
- Berkeley case book (2006)
- Columbia case book (2006)
- Darden case book (2012)
- Darden case book (2018)
- Duke case book (2010)
- Duke case book (2014)
- ESADE case book (2011)
- Goizueta case book (2006)
- Illinois case book (2015)
- LBS case book (2006)
- MIT case book (2001)
- Notre Dame case book (2017)
- Ross case book (2010)
- Wharton case book (2010)
Practice with experts
Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.
At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.
If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.
Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!
Any additional resources?
Have we missed any additional case interview resources available for free? Please post them in the comments section below so we can add them to our list.
The IGotAnOffer team
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The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade
- Scott D. Anthony,
- Alasdair Trotter,
- Evan I. Schwartz
Netflix, Adobe, and Amazon top the list.
The strategic impulse to identify a higher-purpose mission that galvanizes the organization—is a common thread among the Transformation 20 , a new study by Innosight of the world’s most transformative companies. The T-20 study identified the global companies that have achieved the highest-impact business transformations over the past decade as measured by new growth, respositioning the core business, and financial performance. Each of these companies developed new-growth businesses outside its traditional core which have become a significant share of the overall business. However, it’s the decision to infuse a higher purpose into the culture, one that guides strategic decisions and gives clarity to everyday tasks, that has propelled these companies to success.
In 2012, Denmark’s biggest energy company, Danish Oil and Natural Gas, slid into financial crisis as the price of natural gas was plunging by 90% and S&P downgraded its credit rating to negative. The board hired a former executive at LEGO, Henrik Poulsen, as the new CEO. Whereas some leaders might have gone into crisis-management mode, laying off workers until prices recovered, Poulsen recognized the moment as an opportunity for fundamental change.
“We saw the need to build an entirely new company,” says Poulsen. He renamed the firm Ørsted after the legendary Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered the principles of electromagnetism. “It had to be a radical transformation; we needed to build a new core business and find new areas of sustainable growth. We looked at the shift to combat climate change, and we became one of the few companies to wholeheartedly make this profound decision, to be one of the first to go from black to green energy.”
That strategic impulse—to identify a higher-purpose mission that galvanizes the organization—is a common thread among the Transformation 20 , a new study by Innosight of the world’s most transformative companies. Fortifying this new view, the Business Roundtable last month released a statement signed by 181 CEOs stating that serving shareholders can no longer be the main purpose of a corporation; rather, it needs to be about serving society, through innovation, commitment to a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all.
Our aim was to identify the global companies that have achieved the highest-impact business transformations over the past decade, using the same methodology as our 2017 study . Our research team screened all the firms in the S&P 500 and Global 2000 using three lenses:
- New growth: How successful has the company been at creating new products, services, new markets, and new business models? This includes our primary metric: the percentage of revenue outside the core that can be attributed to new growth areas.
- Repositioning the core: How effectively has the company adapted its traditional core business to changes or disruptions in its markets, giving its legacy business new life?
- Financials: Has the company posted strong financial and stock market performance, or has it turned around its business from losses or slow growth to get back on track? We looked at revenue CAGR (compound annual growth rate), profitability, and stock price CAGR during the transformation period, which was different for each firm.
Our initial phase of research identified 52 companies making substantial progress towards strategic transformation—merely 3% of the public companies in our data set. From this second-round list, an Innosight partner panel voted to narrow it down to 27 finalists. For the third round, the following companies were selected as the Transformation 20 and ranked by a panel of management experts (see judges).
Each of these companies developed new-growth businesses outside its traditional core which have become a significant share of the overall business. However, we believe it’s the decision to infuse a higher purpose into the culture, one that guides strategic decisions and gives clarity to everyday tasks, that has propelled these companies to success.
The #1 company, Netflix, is a case in point. In 2013, CEO Reed Hastings released an 11-page memo to employees and investors detailing a commitment to move from just distributing content digitally to become a leading producer of original content that could win Emmys and Oscars.
As the memo said, “We don’t and can’t compete on breadth with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google. For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish.”
Since unveiling that new purpose, Netflix revenue has roughly tripled, its profits have multiplied 32-fold, and its stock CAGR has increased 57% annually, versus 11% for the S&P 500.
Finding new purpose
In a comparable way, the purpose-driven mission of preventative healthcare has spurred major change at other large organizations that made the list. China’s AIA Group has moved beyond insurance to become a wellness company, whereas Dutch electronics giant Philips has largely divested its legacy lighting business to focus on healthcare technology.
The technology companies on our list also discovered ways to infuse purpose into their organizations as part of their fundamental change.
Siemens moved beyond a purpose of maximizing shareholder value to a mission of “serving society.” This transformation began in 2014 with a plan called Vision 2020 that called for harnessing technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things. However, changing the mission also called for changing the culture. “The biggest obstacle to any transformation is literally just the way we’ve always done things,” says Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton. Infusing a higher purpose into the company called for pushing decision making out from the center to every business unit, so that managers and rank-and-file employees feel they have a stake in future success. “Ownership culture is central to everything,” Humpton says. This shift in the culture at Siemens has propelled plans to divest its core oil and gas business and redeploy the capital to its Digital Industries unit and Smart Infrastructure business focused on energy efficiency, renewable power storage, distributed power, and electric vehicle mobility.
In the case of Tencent Holdings, the company was founded in 1998 to harness the Internet opportunity, launching online chat forums and video games for China’s new generation of digital natives. As of 2005, shortly after its IPO, Tencent defined its purpose in terms of “implementing our Online Lifestyle strategy, which strives to cater to the basic needs of our users.”
Only in subsequent years did founder and CEO Pony Ma Huateng broaden the firm’s outlook by embracing a mission of “improving the quality of human life through digital innovation.” Since 2011, Tencent has invested heavily in new growth ranging from education and entertainment to autonomous vehicles and ride sharing to fintech and the industrial internet—areas that together now represent 25% of its $46 revenue. Through its Tencent Education business unit, the firm is now developing educational content and services for individuals, schools, and education management. All of this growth helped Tencent become the first Asian company to surpass $500 billion in market valuation.
In 2019, Tencent refined its mission once again, in response to the growing global backlash against technology’s dominance in our lives, boiling it down to: tech for social good.
Several companies found that refocusing the organization to help save the planet can be especially powerful. Ecolab, #16 on our list, is a prime example.
In the early 2000s, when Douglas Baker Jr. became its CEO, Ecolab was an 80-year-old firm growing 10% annually by selling industrial cleansers and food safety services. “Our strategic plan was to sell more of what we had,” Baker says. To grow much beyond its $3.8 billion in revenue, the company could have kept moving into adjacent markets or new geographies, but Baker felt that wasn’t bold enough.
The transformation began by talking to customers, Baker says. The same customers who were buying its core products were also voicing concerns about access to clean water. And they weren’t alone. Projections for the year 2030 showed that 70% of the world’s GDP would be based in water-stressed regions, California and Southern India being prime examples.
In 2011, Ecolab had a $12 billion market cap when it acquired water technology company Nalco in an $8 billion deal. The combined company is now one of the world’s leading suppliers of hardware, software, and chemistry that helps manufacturers and service firms become more efficient users of water. A primary metric driving the organization is how much water is saved by its clients annually, which now stands at 188 billion gallons, against a 2030 target of 300 billion gallons.
“We broadened our vision and our purpose changed,” Baker says. “As our teams widened their awareness of global issues, our pride has been enhanced.” So has Ecolab’s market value, which has surpassed $55 billion, placing it among America’s top 100 most valuable firms.
Performing mission impossible
Such transformations are never easy. When the firm now known as Ørsted divested its oil and natural gas businesses and began phasing out coal, that created a giant earnings gap that urgently needed to be filled. The company had invested in offshore wind power, but the technology was too expensive, producing energy that was more than double the price of onshore wind.
Under Poulsen, Ørsted embarked on what critics called an impossible mission: a systematic “cost-out” program to reduce the price of offshore wind while achieving scale. The company managed to cut the cost by more than 60% while building three major new ocean-based wind farms in the U.K. and acquiring a leading company in the U.S.
The result: Previously about 80% owned by the Danish government, Ørsted’s IPO in 2016 was one the year’s largest. Net profits have increased by $3 billion since it began the transformation, and Ørsted is now the world’s largest offshore wind company, with about a third share of booming global growth market.
The takeaway lesson from these mission-changers is clear: In an era of relentless change, a company survives and thrives based not on its size or performance at any given time but on its ability to reposition itself to create a new future, and to leverage a purpose-driven mission to that end. That’s why strategic transformation may be the business leadership imperative of the 21st century
Click here to see the full T20 study results and methodology.
T20 Panel of Judges
- Rita McGrath, management professor at Columbia Business School
- BEH Swan Gin, Chair of the Singapore Economic Development Board
- Phil Coughlin, Chief Strategy Officer at Expeditors (Seattle)
- Amantha Imber, CEO of Inventium (Sydney, Australia)
- Nathan Furr, Professor of Strategy, INSEAD
Editor’s note: Every ranking or index is just one way to analyze and compare companies or places, based on a specific methodology and data set. At HBR, we believe that a well-designed index can provide useful insights, even though by definition it is a snapshot of a bigger picture. We always urge you to read the methodology carefully.
- Scott D. Anthony is a clinical professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, a senior partner at Innosight , and the lead author of Eat, Sleep, Innovate (2020) and Dual Transformation (2017). ScottDAnthony
- Alasdair Trotter is a partner at Innosight, the strategy and innovation practice of Huron Consulting Group.
- Evan I. Schwartz , a writer focused on innovation and leadership, is Innosight’ s former Director of Storytelling.
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External Factors Affecting Business Environment: A Case Study of Bakers Delight
Added on - 2023-06-04
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Business consulting case studies: PwC PwC case studies Examples of how a community of solvers brings together the strengths of people and technology to build trust and deliver sustainable outcomes — bringing The New Equation to life. Featured Reinventing Wyndham's loyalty program technology
A people-first approach to save time and money, and boost the client experience. We began our digital transformation in 2016 by examining PwC Business Services, our back office and shared services center and functions, located primarily in Tampa, Florida. We identified operational improvements that could reduce costs and reinvested some of ...
You have just discovered the world's largest collection of case study examples, made up of business case study examples from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture, and more! These case study examples are perfect for your case interview practice. What kind of case study examples are included in the Case Library?
Curated: May 03, 2022 Managing Your Organization Doing Business in China How to navigate building a business in one of the world's largest economies amidst tariffs, regulations, and dynamic...
Gardner Denver James Quinn, Adam Blumenthal, and Jaan Elias. Asset Management, Employee/HR, Investor/Finance, Leadership & Teamwork. As KKR, a private equity firm, prepared to take Gardner-Denver, one of its portfolio companies, public in mid-2017, a discussion arose on the Gardner-Denver board about the implications of granting approximately $110 million in equity to its global employee base ...
Usually, the case studies conducted in business and management disciplines assume the interpretive paradigm. The objective of authors' case studies was to understand the process of value cocreation. ... (ICT) services provider in Auckland and its client. Client is a service providing firm with business- and consumer-level customers. Vendor ...
1. Increased Expenses Every business revolves around money. There are different areas where businesses have to spend their money. But the issue is handling the financial hurdles. With an unplanned budget and financial advice, businesses will be spending more than they need to.
getty. Employer branding is a discipline that has grown in prominence in recent years. It combines the best of HR (talent acquisition and retention) with the best of marketing (strategic brand ...
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These case studies simulate the virtual case interview environment and represent cases from across different firm styles (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, and more), including both interviewer-led and interviewee-led (candidate-led) cases.
A case study is the detailed story of a customer's experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research.
Cases expose students to real business dilemmas and decisions. Cases teach students to size up business problems quickly while considering the broader organizational, industry, and societal ...
5 Great Case Studies in Business Management Knowing how the best businesses have succeeded can help you succeed, too. Success is a choice. Or rather, a good choice can lead to great success. If you want to understand how this is possible, just look at some of the great business management decisions of the last 20 years.
In either case, a business law case study should provide a clear and concise analysis of the legal issue at hand. To write a business law case study, begin by identifying the legal issue that you wish to examine. Once you have done this, research the relevant laws and court decisions that pertain to the issue. Next, identify a specific business ...
Caroline Forsey Published: March 08, 2023 Putting together a compelling case study is one of the most powerful strategies for showcasing your product and attracting future customers. But it's not easy to create case studies that your audience can't wait to read.
One of the best ways to prepare for case interviews at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples. There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.
September 24, 2019 cintascotch/Getty Images Summary. The strategic impulse to identify a higher-purpose mission that galvanizes the organization—is a common thread among the Transformation 20, a...
Diane Dooley, CHRO, World Insurance, a business and personal insurer in Tinton Falls, N.J. We onboarded about 800 employees in 2021 through acquisitions of small agencies and organic growth, but ...
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients.
The GBG - part of EY Strategy and Transactions - helps translate geopolitical insights into business operations and strategy. Its team is made up of people from across the globe, with a mixture of academic and professional backgrounds in strategy, political risk, government policy and the public sector. In this case, their role was to help ...
Added on - 2023-06-04 This report examines the external factors that affect a firm, the challenges they bring and suggestions on how to solve these challenges. A case study of Bakers Delight is used to illustrate the impact of economic, political, technological, competition and public opinion factors on a business environment. | 9 pages
This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB. Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre.. Stanford case studies with diverse protagonists, along with case studies that build "equity fluency" by focusing on DEI-related issues and opportunities ...
A business case study is an in-depth look at a specific company or organization that examines how a business solved a problem, achieved success, or faced failure. Case studies are often used by businesses to demonstrate the effectiveness of their strategies and solutions.
This study attempts to explain the effects of non-economic factors over voluntary business associations (BAs) and highlight the concept of "borrowed institutionalism" to illustrate the constructive and destructive power of BAs in their use of their relationships with the political establishment for their members.