Marketing case study 101 (plus tips, examples, and templates)

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Summary/Overview

If you’re familiar with content lines like, “See how our fancy new app saved Sarah 10 hours a week doing payroll,” you’ve encountered a marketing case study. That’s because case studies are one of the most powerful marketing tools, showcasing real-world applications and customer success stories that help build trust with potential customers.

More than 42% of marketers use case studies in their marketing strategy. Let’s face it — we love testimonials and reviews. People love hearing customer stories and experiences firsthand. In fact, 88% of consumers view reviews before making a purchase decision. Case studies work similarly by providing prospective customers with real-life stories demonstrating the brand’s success.

Case studies provide a more in-depth view of how your product solves an existing problem — something potential buyers can relate to and learn from.

In this article, we take a closer look at what marketing case studies are, why they’re important, and how you can use them to improve your content marketing efforts. You’ll also learn the key elements of a successful case study and how to turn a good case study into a great case study.

What is a marketing case study?

A case study is a narrative that documents a real-world situation or example. A marketing case study is a detailed examination and analysis of a specific strategy, initiative, or marketing campaign that a business has implemented. It’s intended to serve as an all-inclusive narrative that documents a real-world business situation and its outcome.

Marketing case studies are tools businesses use to showcase the effectiveness of a particular tool, technique, or service by using a real-world example. Companies often use case studies as sales collateral on websites, email marketing, social media , and other marketing materials. They provide readers with a firsthand look into how your product or service has helped someone else and demonstrate the value of your offering while building trust with potential customers.

Some common key components of a marketing case study include:

  • Context: A case study begins by describing the business’s situation or problem. This often includes challenges, opportunities, or objectives.
  • Strategy: An outline of the tactics or strategy utilized to address the business’s situation. This includes details such as the target audience, messaging, channels used, and other unique aspects of the approach.
  • Implementation: Provide information about how the strategy was implemented, including timeline, resources, and budget.
  • Results: This is arguably the most crucial part of a marketing case study. Present the results through data, metrics, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to demonstrate the impact of the strategy. The results section should highlight both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Challenges and Solutions: A great case study not only focuses on the successes but addresses any obstacles faced during the campaign. Make sure to address any challenges and how they were overcome or mitigated.
  • Customer Feedback: Including testimonials or quotes from satisfied clients is a great way to add credibility and authenticity to a case study. Choose customer feedback that reinforces the positive outcomes of the strategy taken.
  • Visuals: Compelling case studies include visuals such as graphs, charts, images, videos, and infographics to make the information presented more engaging and easier to understand.
  • Analysis: An optional way to conclude a case study includes discussing key takeaways, insights, and lessons learned from a campaign.

Case studies can help you connect your product to the customer’s needs by providing a real world examples of success and encouraging conversions.

Benefits of marketing case studies

Some of the key benefits of using case studies in your marketing efforts include the following:

  • Building trust and credibility. You build trust and credibility with potential clients or customers by demonstrating real world success stories. In-depth looks at how your products or services have helped other businesses or people achieve success can increase customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
  • Learn best practices. Learn from strategies employed in successful case studies and apply similar approaches to future campaigns.
  • Enhancing sales and conversions. By highlighting the real world results your products or services have delivered, case studies can be a powerful tool for boosting sales. They can help demonstrate the value of your offering and persuade your target audience to make a purchase.
  • Explain how your business generates results. Case studies are a compelling way to share key takeaways with your target audience and showcase your brand.
  • Use them as content marketing material. Use case studies as content for marketing purposes on websites, social media, and beyond.

Case studies can help your business stand out and achieve success. By highlighting the real world results you’ve delivered, you can use case studies to boost sales, build customer loyalty, and compellingly showcase your business.

Tips on how to write an effective marketing case study

Are you ready to write a compelling case study? Get started with these tips.

Develop a clear and compelling headline

You have about 10 seconds to communicate your value proposition to keep customer attention. Whether you’re designing a new landing page or making a long-term plan for your brand’s content marketing strategy , the headline is the most crucial part.

A compelling title should capture readers’ attention and make them want to read more. To craft a compelling headline:

  • Understand your audience: Before crafting a headline, ensure you know your target audience — what are their pain points, interests, and needs?
  • Highlight the most significant result: Focus on the most impactful result achieved in the case study. What was the primary outcome of the strategy implemented?
  • Keep it brief: Keep your headline concise and to the point. Try to keep your headline under 12 words.
  • Use action words: Incorporate action verbs such as “achieved,” “transformed,” or “boosted” to convey a sense of accomplishment.
  • Include data: Numbers make your headline more credible. For example, if the case study achieved a 75% increase in sales, include that in the headline.
  • Emphasize benefits: Focus on the positive changes or advantages the implemented strategy brought to the client or business. Use these as selling points in your headline.
  • Make it unique and memorable: Avoid generic phrases to make your headline stand out from the competition.
  • Use keywords wisely: Incorporate relevant keywords that align with the case study and your target audience’s search interest to improve search engine visibility through search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Consider subheadings: If you cannot fit all the necessary information in a headline, consider adding a subheading to provide additional context or details.

Here are some examples of clear and convincing case study headlines:

  • “Achieving a 150% ROI: How [XYZ] Strategy Transformed a Startup”
  • “How Optimized SEO Tactics Skyrocketed Sales by 80%”
  • “Mastering Social Media: How [ABC] Brand Increased Engagement by 50%”
  • “The Power of Personalization: How Tailored Content Quadrupled Conversions”

Write relatable content

Almost 90% of Gen Z and millennial shoppers prefer influencers who they consider relatable. Relatability is part of building trust and connection with your target audience.

When writing your case study, make content that resonates with readers and speaks to their pain points. The best marketing doesn’t just increase conversion rates — it also serves your customers’ needs. To write content that really resonates with your target audience, make sure to:

  • Understand your audience: To successfully write relatable content, you first need to understand your target audience — their interests, pain points, and challenges. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your content to their needs.
  • Identify pain points: As mentioned above, identify challenges your target audience may face. Make sure to highlight how the product or service in the case study can effectively address these pain points.
  • Tell a story: Create a narrative that follows a standard story arc. Start with a relatable struggle that the customer or business faced and describe its associated emotions.
  • Use real customer feedback: Incorporate quotes or testimonials from actual customers or clients. Including authentic voices makes the content more relatable to readers because they can see real people expressing their experiences.
  • Use relatable language: Write in a tone to which your audience can relate. Only include overly technical terms if your target audience solely consists of experts who would understand them.
  • Use social proof: Mention any recognitions, awards, or industry acknowledgments that may have been received by the customer or business in the case study.
  • Encourage engagement: Urge readers to share their own challenges or experiences related to the subject matter of the case study. This is a great way to foster a sense of community.

Outline your strategies with corresponding statistics

Whether you’re showing off the results your marketing team achieved with a new strategy or explaining how your product has helped customers, data and research make it easier to back up claims.

Include relevant statistics in your case study to provide evidence of the effectiveness of your strategies, such as:

  • Quantitative data: Use numerical data to quantify results.
  • Qualitative data: Use qualitative data, such as customer testimonials, to back up numerical results.
  • Comparisons: Compare the post-campaign results with the pre-campaign benchmarks to provide context for the data.
  • Case study metrics: Include specific metrics relevant to your industry or campaign if applicable. For example, in e-commerce, common metrics could include customer acquisition cost, average order value, or cart abandonment rate.

By incorporating relatable outcomes — such as cost savings from new automation or customer responsiveness from your new social media marketing campaign — you can provide concrete evidence of how your product or service has helped others in similar situations.

Use multiple formats of representation

People love visuals . It doesn’t matter if it’s an infographic for digital marketing or a graph chart in print materials — we love to see our data and results represented in visuals that are easy to understand. Additionally, including multiple representation formats is a great way to increase accessibility and enhance clarity.

When making a case study, consider including various forms of representation, such as:

  • Infographics: Use infographics to condense critical information into a visually appealing, easy-to-understand graphic. Infographics are highly sharable and can be used across marketing channels.
  • Charts: Use charts (bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, etc.) to illustrate statistical information such as data trends or comparisons. Make sure to include clear labels and titles for each chart.
  • Images: Include relevant photos to enhance the storytelling aspect of your case study. Consider including “before and after” pictures if relevant to your case study.
  • Videos: Short videos summarizing a case study’s main points are great for sharing across social media or embedding into your case study.
  • Tables: Use tables to help organize data and make it easier for readers to digest.
  • Data visualizations: Include data visualizations such as flowcharts or heatmaps to illustrate user journeys or specific processes.
  • Screenshots: If your case study involves digital products, include screenshots to provide a visual walkthrough of how the product or service works.
  • Diagrams: Use diagrams, such as a flowchart, to explain complex processes, decision trees, or workflows to simplify complicated information.
  • Timelines: If your case study involves a timeline of specific events, present it using a timeline graphic.

Use a consistent design style and color scheme to maintain cohesion when incorporating multiple formats. Remember that each format you use should serve a specific purpose in engaging the reader and conveying information.

Get your case study in front of your intended audience

What good is a compelling case study and a killer call to action (CTA) if no one sees it? Once you’ve completed your case study, share it across the appropriate channels and networks your target audience frequents and incorporate it into your content strategy to increase visibility and reach. To get your case study noticed:

  • Take advantage of your website. Create a dedicated section or landing page on your website for your case study. If your website has a blog section, consider including it here. Optimize the page for search engines (SEO) by including relevant keywords and optimizing the meta description and headers. Make sure to feature your case study on your homepage and relevant product or service pages.
  • Launch email marketing campaigns. Send out the case study to your email subscriber list. Be specific and target groups that would most likely be interested in the case study.
  • Launch social media campaigns. Share your case study on your social media platforms. Use eye-catching graphics and engaging captions to draw in potential readers. Consider creating teaser videos or graphics to generate interest.
  • Utilize paid promotions. Use targeted social media and search engine ads to reach specific demographics or interests. Consider retargeting ads to re-engage visitors who have previously interacted with your website.
  • Issue a press release. If your case study results in a significant industry impact, consider issuing a press release to share the exciting news with relevant media outlets or publications.
  • Utilize influencer outreach. Collaborate with influencers who can share your case study with their followers to increase credibility and expand your reach.
  • Host webinars and presentations. Discuss the case study findings and insights through webinars or presentations. Promote these events through your various marketing channels and make sure to encourage participation.
  • Utilize networking events and conferences. Present your case study at industry-related conferences, trade shows, or networking events. Consider distributing printed or digital copies of the case study to attendees.
  • Utilize online communities. Share the case study in relevant online forums and discussion groups where your target audience congregates.
  • Practice search engine optimization (SEO). Optimize the SEO elements of your case study to improve organic search ranking and visibility.

Remember, the key to successfully promoting your case study is to tailor your approach to your specific target audience and their preferences. Consistently promoting your case study across multiple channels increases your chances of it reaching your intended audience.

Marketing case study examples

Let’s look at some successful marketing case studies for inspiration.

“How Handled Scaled from Zero to 121 Locations with HubSpot”

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Right away, they lead with compelling metrics — the numbers don’t lie. They use two different formats: a well-made video accompanied by well-written text.

The study also addresses customer pain points, like meeting a higher demand during the pandemic.

“How AppSumo grew organic traffic 843% and revenue from organic traffic 340%”

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This case study from Omniscient Digital leads with motivating stats, a glowing review sharing a real user experience, and a video review from the AppSumo Head of Content.

The case study information is broken down into clearly marked sections, explaining the benefits to their target audience (startups) and providing plenty of visuals, charts, and metrics to back it up.

“How One Ecommerce Business Solved the Omnichannel Challenge with Bitly Campaigns”

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Download this Bitly case study from their site to see the details of how this company made an impact.

Not only is it well designed, but it also tackles customer challenges right away. The most compelling types of case studies serve their audience by showing how the product or service solves their problems.

Bitly nails it by listing obstacles and jumping right into how the brand can help.

Marketing case study template

Use this basic template to better understand the typical structure of a business case study and use it as a starting place to create your own:

Case Study Title

Date: [Date]

Client or Company Profile:

  • Client/Company Name: [Client/Company Name]
  • Industry: [Industry]
  • Location: [Location]
  • Client/Company Background: [Brief client or company background information.]

Introduction:

  • Briefly introduce the client or company and any necessary context for the campaign or initiative.
  • Problem statement: Describe the specific challenge or problem faced by the client or company before implementing the campaign or initiative.
  • Strategy: Explain the strategy that was implemented to address the challenge. Include details such as target audience, objectives, goals, and tactics.
  • Implementation: Provide a timeline of the strategy’s implementation, including key milestones and other notable considerations taken during execution.
  • Outcomes: Present the qualitative and quantitative results achieved through the implemented strategy. Include relevant metrics, statistics, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Comparative data: Compare the post-campaign results to pre-campaign benchmarks or industry standards.

Analysis and Insights:

  • Key insights: Summarize insights and lessons learned from the campaign and discuss the campaign's impact on the client or company’s goals.
  • Challenges faced: Address any obstacles encountered during the campaign and how they were mitigated or overcome.

Conclusion:

  • Conclusion: Summarize the campaign’s overall impact on the client or company. Highlight the value that was delivered by the implemented strategy and the success it achieved.
  • Next Steps: Discuss potential follow-up actions, recommendations, or future strategies.

Testimonials:

  • Include quotes or testimonials from the clients or customers who benefitted from the campaign.
  • Incorporate relevant visuals to illustrate key points, findings, and results.

The above template is a great way to get started gathering your ideas and findings for a marketing case study. Feel free to add additional sections or customize the template to match your requirements.

Craft a compelling marketing case study for your business

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Choose from our library of designed templates, or make it yourself with powerful tools and a library of ready-to-use graphic elements.

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What Is a Case Study in Marketing and How to Build One (Examples)

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A marketing case study allows you to illustrate and explain how you achieved enormous success in a specific situation.

For instance, last year, Jacob McMillen wrote about how Pronto used Crazy Egg to increase leads by 24 percent .

That’s a big number.

It’s not a full case study , but it demonstrates the goal of a marketing case study. You want to shock your audience, then explain exactly how you achieved your results — preferably with proof.

You might have read lots of case studies over the years without realizing your business could benefit from them. Lots of entrepreneurs are put off by the hard work and long hours required to build a marketing case study.

However, think about how many leads you might convert by proving your track record, establishing trust, and attracting traffic through SEO .

Let’s look at how marketing case studies can impact your business, discuss how to write one, and check out a few examples.

What Is a Case Study in Marketing?

A case study in marketing is a document or web page that includes several basic parts:

  • Description of the subject : Explain your customer’s or client’s history and pain points.
  • Subject’s goal : Identify your customer’s or client’s goal for the project so readers understand what to expect.
  • Hypothesis for strategy : Tell your audience what you expected to happen after you implemented your strategy for the customer or client.
  • Implementation of strategy : Take the reader through the step-by-step process you used to help your customer or client.
  • Results of strategy : Deliver the results in as much detail as possible, preferably with a quote from the client or customer.
  • Concluding findings : Explain what this case study has taught your specifically and how it can help other people.

You don’t have to include every category, but the more detail you add, the more effective your marketing case study becomes.

Most of the time, you’re conducting a case study for your own business. You want to show the world how your product or service has helped a customer in a huge way.

For that reason, it helps to know you’ll perform a case study from the beginning. In other words, try not to reverse-engineer a case study from a great result. Instead, track your arrangement with your customer throughout the process.

The Importance of Creating Case Studies to Convert Leads into Customers

case-study-marketing-importance-of-creation

Think of a marketing case study as a lure. It’s a way to dangle amazing results in front of your leads so they’ll decide to convert .

Imagine that you’re a customer who’s trying to decide between two businesses, each of which offers time management software. One company has a marketing case study that illustrates how it helped a customer save four hours per week. The other company has no case study.

Which company would you trust most?

You can use that consumer logic to inform your business decisions. Thinking like a customer can help you achieve new insights into marketing.

Creating a marketing case study gives you an edge that your competitors might have. It can also help your leads make more informed decisions.

Too many businesses copy their competitors or other businesses. Instead, you should spend time being more creative and innovative. Below is a video by Neil Patel that illustrates why you need to quit copying digital marketing strategies.

If you’re bold enough to be different, you can convert more leads. A marketing case study gives you that opportunity because nobody else can duplicate it.

Why is it so important to build trust?

Anybody can throw testimonials on their site by Ron R. and Jennifer K. Anyone can also make them up.

Trust is tenuous in the digital marketing world. If you can’t create it, you likely won’t convert leads into customers.

Think about all the companies that have experienced data hacks. Their stocks plummeted, consumer sentiment turned ugly, and profits dwindled. That’s because consumers lost trust.

Similarly, any company can make bold claims about its products or services. Consumers have become numb to superlative-littered copy and hyped-up videos. They want to see evidence.

If you can prove that your product or service delivers powerful results, you’ll gain your leads’ trust.

Marketing case studies show how you tackled a problem and overcame it on behalf of your customer or client. It’s that simple. The more detail you give, the more authority you create for your company — and the more your leads will trust your expertise.

4 Case Study Examples

Before we tell you how to build a case study, let’s look at a few examples to get you warmed up. Each of these marketing case studies illustrates the power behind the medium.

They’ll also show you how different case studies can look depending on design, detail, results, and goals.

case-study-marketing-hubspot

The Shopify case study by HubSpot demonstrates how a narrative can be woven from a company’s journey. When Loren Padelford became head of sales, he immediately identified weak spots in Shopify’s sales cycle, so he decided to adopt HubSpot.

This case study highlights the ways in which Shopify used HubSpot’s email plugin to save time and improve communication flow. There’s a quote from Padelford in the case study, which can add even more impact in terms of building trust among leads.

Here, we have a fairly vague result. The company — specifically Padelford — claims to have achieved great success with HubSpot’s tools, but there aren’t any concrete numbers to back that up.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, though, as long as your customer or client can offer a raving quote.

case-study-marketing-bitly

Ecommerce marketing case studies can become extremely valuable. In this case, Bit.ly used a more traditional template for a marketing case study. The PDF document includes several sections that take you through the process of how Vissla improved its omnichannel marketing with Bit.ly.

The results were that Vissla was able to visualize and centralize data in one place. They gained greater control over their social media marketing, which resulted in faster and better improvements in the content they shared.

There’s also a quote from Vissla’s media marketing manager, Keegan Fong: “Bitly Campaigns offers us a whole new way to look at our marketing channels. By giving us an easy-to-use dashboard that instantly displays the results of our multichannel promotions, we can see what kinds of content work on what channel, which channels we should be investing in the most, and what we need to do to optimize our content.” [ For Social: @vissla ]

3. Viperchill

case-study-marketing-viperchill

There’s a great marketing case study from Viperchill that you’ll want to check out. It’s a quick, fun read that explains how the author created a squeeze page that generated more than 700 leads and results in a conversion rate of 64 percent.

Notice that he used hard numbers. Sometimes, it’s impossible to boil results down to a figure or percentage, but if you can, do so. People comprehend real numbers faster than lengthy text explanations.

4. MarketingSherpa

case-study-marketing-marketingsherpa

This MarketingSherpa case study is super detailed and describes the process by which MarketingSherpa helped a natural foods company boost revenue by 18 percent with a site redesign. You see the entire project from start to finish.

You’ll notice that there are lots of visuals. Since this marketing case study focused on design, visuals were imperative. Let your business and its niche guide the way in which you construct your case study.

How to Create a Case Study Marketing Strategy That Converts

case-study-marketing-how-to-create

Now that you’ve looked through a few case studies, how do you create a marketing case study of your own?

It starts with a case study marketing strategy that’s designed to convert leads. You don’t want to choose just any project. It should be geared toward other businesses or customers who might benefit from your business.

Let’s take it step by step.

1. Choose a success story that is closely related to your potential customer

You might notice that many companies publish numerous marketing case studies. There’s a reason for that.

Each case study targets a different segment of the company’s target audience. Let’s say that you sell shoes, purses, and hats. A case study about shoes won’t interest someone who’s shopping for hats.

You can either choose a project that has already concluded or one that is starting or underway. It’s always best to start at the beginning, but if you’re anxious, you can take the reverse-engineering route.

Decide which segment of your target audience you want to appeal to first. Next, select a case study subject closely related to that segment. You want your marketing case study to resonate with the leads you most want to convert.

2. Identify the key points of the case study and use storytelling

Decide what parts of the case study you want to highlight. These details will likely appear in the marketing case study’s headline as well as throughout the rest of the text.

For instance, if you helped a customer boost revenue by 200 percent, that’s a highly relevant detail. You’ll want to spotlight it in the headline and several times in the content so you keep it fresh in readers’ minds.

You might have several key points. Think about the struggles your customer was facing before you stepped in, how you approached the solution, and why alternatives weren’t working. When you can provide numbers, do so.

Once you’ve identified those key points, start weaving them into a narrative. Make it exciting! Add sensory details, frustration points, and colorful anecdotes.

A marketing case study shouldn’t sound dry. It needs to engage the reader so he or she keeps going until the end.

If possible, intersperse the copy with images. Make them relevant and easy to see on the screen. Let the images help supplement the story you’ve woven.

3. Highlight the great results

As mentioned above, results are paramount. If you can express them in numeric form, so much the better.

Consider creating a custom graphic to serve as the featured image on your post. That way, people can share the image on social. Add the amazing result to the text on the image to entice people to click.

The point here is to capture attention. If people are willing to pay attention to you, then you’ve won the first part of the battle. As long as you maintain that attention, you have a good chance of converting the lead.

4. Explore different types of design

Design can prove fundamental to a marketing case study’s success. If you’re publishing it as a blog post, break it up with H2s, H3s, and H4s to guide the reader through the story. Add images and leading lines to keep the visitor engaged.

Remember that color matters. Consider using colors for text and images that correlate with your customers’ color scheme or with your own site’s palette.

5. Ask for feedback! What does your potential customer want to learn?

Don’t let the conversation stop at the end of your marketing case study. Open up the forum for more insights.

Invite readers to ask you direct questions about your business, products, services, or methods. Not only that, but respond to those comments. Take each one as a gift.

These comments might tell you what type of case study you should create next or allow you to cement a conversion by answering objections or questions.

Marketing case studies can improve your conversion rate , but you have to put in the time and effort. Yes, a polished case study requires work, but if you can secure sales from its publication, why wouldn’t you give it your full attention?

Remember that trust matters when it comes to converting leads into customers . If you don’t have trust, you’ll lose your leads to your competitors.

A great marketing case study demonstrates your track record. It builds a case for leads to use your products or services over someone else’s.

What are you waiting for? Start creating your first marketing case study now.

Make your website better. Instantly.

Keep reading about content marketing.

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How to Write a Marketing Case Study (With Examples)

Learn exactly what a marketing case study is, how to write one that stands out, and review some examples of existing, successful studies.

Meghan Tocci

As any big brand like MailChimp, Spotify and IMB will tell you, case studies are a huge part of solidifying your brand as thought leaders.

A case study is a win: you share the success of a customer as a result of your company’s actions. At SimpleTexting we call them our Success Stories , but no matter the name, the structure is the same — how company A worked with B to achieve XYZ. 

In this article we’ll cover everything from the basics to real-life examples.What exactly is a marketing case study, what constitutes a good one, and most importantly, how do you build one?

Let’s get started.

What is a Marketing Case Study?

According to Curata , “a case study in the context of marketing is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that identifies a situation, recommended solutions, implementation actions, and identification of those factors that contributed to failure or success.”

Sure, it’s a bit wordy, but at its core marketing case studies share information with prospective customers or clients about how your product offered a solution.

It doesn’t need to be dry reading. It doesn’t even need to be a report (although it can be). The key with a case study is that it should read like a story—only the beginning, middle, and end are all replicable business takeaways.

Case studies are for businesses of all sizes. They can be just as effective for small and medium-sized businesses as they are for enterprise businesses. Here’s why you should be investing time in building case studies.

Why Write a Marketing Case Study?

Before we dive into the instructions, let’s take a second to explore why a business would invest the time and effort into writing a case study. After all, why share your big marketing secrets with the world, what do you get out of the deal?

Simply put, you get the chance to share your story. Case studies, after all, are just stories showcasing your products and methods. They make for pretty spectacular advertising because, to a reader, it doesn’t feel like they’re being marketed to.

92% of customers prefer that media messages sound like a story. By using case studies you’re appealing to the logical, casual consumer who wants to know the “who, what, where, when, and why” that drives them to buy without any of the extra fuss. Case studies are the perfect medium to package it all.

How to Write a Marketing Case Study

As mentioned, every good case study maintains one singular focus: how one company used another to achieve its goal(s). This means most marketing case studies tend to take on an easily understandable problem-solution structure.

Let’s take a look at what you need to create a successful case study.

Components of a Marketing Case Study

Using the ingredients above, assemble them in this order to create a basic marketing case study:

  • Write a title : Don’t worry about spoiling the ending. With case studies you want your title to let readers know right away how a campaign ended.  A case study title should include the name of the company or brand being examined, if their campaign went well or poorly for them and a solid metric that demonstrates exactly how well or how poorly they performed. For example: “ SimpleTexting Cut Down Product Onboarding Process by 30% Through Video Instruction. “
  • Introduce the subject: Every marketing case study should open with a brief historical overview of the company. What have they struggled with in the past that led to them developing this campaign? Who is their target audience, what do they sell?  Even if your subject is obscure, you want to build a sense of relatability to your readers: so be sure to structure from general to specific. After all, you want readers outside just your industry to take away value.
  • Identify your subject’s problems : Avoid leaving your readers feeling underwhelmed by presenting your subject’s problems early on in your case study. What are they trying to build, fix, or change? These problems are what will ultimately establish the subject’s goal, a one or two-sentence overview of the outcomes they’d like to see.
  • Spell out your strategies and tactics : The real meat to your case study occurs here. This portion of your study is where you describe what actions you specifically took to try and reach your goals: What did you expect to happen when you tried “X, Y, and Z”?  Your case study can write this all out in paragraph form if you want it to read with some fluidity, or you can simply bullet out your strategies below each goal. Examples of good strategies for a common marketing pain point, such as building a social media following, include: connecting with influencers, developing original creative content, and developing paid advertising parameters.
  • Share your results with visuals : At this point, you’ll want to follow up with the preview you set in your title and share with readers how things went. If you saw success, how much and where? If you didn’t were you able to pinpoint where things went wrong? Spare no detail as you write out what worked and what didn’t, and be sure to provide replicable detail (it may be what inspires your reader to become a customer!). Some common metrics commonly found in case studies include: web analytics and traffic, backlinks generated, keyword rankings, shares or other social interactions. Graphics like charts, bolded quotes, and graphs are good opportunities to visually demonstrate your data.
  • Wrap it up with a conclusion : Know the difference between reemphasizing and repeating. When writing a conclusion you shouldn’t sound like an echo, repeating exactly what you said in your introduction. Instead, you want to draw emphasis back to your key points and call your readers to action. Let them know what they can do right now to get connected and see this same success (or avoid its failure).  If you’re writing a case study for marketing purposes, this is where you sell yourself and your product.

Marketing Case Study Examples

You’ve certainly heard enough from us to this point. Now it’s time to see what all of these tips and tricks look like in action. `

A plethora of marketing case study examples are out there, each one with a different objective: educational, sales-driven, industry leadership, and more.

To give you a well-rounded picture, we’ll share some of our favorite marketing case studies with you so you can see it all in action for yourself.

1. Surf Live Saving Foundation

The Surf Life Saving Foundation rolled out an innovative new framework for their brand known as the surf lottery. Despite the size of the initiative they were able to break down their process on a share of voice campaign with a great deal of clarity. Why we like this case study : It provides actionable and replicable examples of how their objectives were received.

Marketing case study screenshot: Surf Life Saving Lotteries

2. StyleHaul & Asana

Organizational application Asana also finds itself in a competition-heavy environment. They are one of many SaaS productivity programs available. They needed to give their brand more of a voice to edge out against competitors offering near-identical products. The problem that needed solving in this success story is relatable to businesses all around the world, and ASANA’s use of it is a showcase of why they’re leaders in what they do.

Why we like this case study : It’s storytelling at its finest and perfectly demonstrates the subtle advertising concept.

Marketing case study screenshot: StyleHaul & Asana

3. Red Sox and CTP

This is a great example of a marketing agency showcasing its history of work with a high-profile client (the Boston Red Sox). It explores their entire body of work on a dynamic landing page. Why we like this case study : It demonstrates what a multi-media approach to a digital case study should strive to be.

Marketing case study screenshot: Red Sox & ATP

4. SimpleTexting & U.S. Hunger

We couldn’t talk the talk without walking the walk. We have a range of varied case studies on our Success Stories page, but one of our absolute favorites is the results from U.S. Hunger.

U.S. Hunger was looking for a way to reach those who need them most – including those without internet access.

Why we like this case study: Not only does it highlight the incredible work of U.S. Hunger, it also shows how much can be accomplished through SMS. It spins a new light on SMS marketing and shows the wider impact of accessible communication. 

define case study marketing

Marketing Case Studies are Key to Brand Trust

As a business looking to grow, you need to prove to prospective customers and clients why they should invest in you. Whether it’s a service or a product, case studies are viable ways of showing that what you do works and discussing how you achieved it.

The most impactful case studies aren’t always the ones with big names attached to them. They’re the best stories, the best solutions, and the ones that the most people can relate to.

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Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools

How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools marquee

It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.

That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.

A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is a case study?

How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.

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. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.

The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:

  • Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
  • Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
  • Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
  • Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
  • Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.

Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.

Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.

89% of consumers read reviews before buying, 79% view case studies, and 52% of B2B buyers prioritize case studies in the evaluation process.

Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.

Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.

1. Identify your goal

Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.

The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.

2. Choose your client or subject

Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.

The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.

Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:

  • Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
  • Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
  • Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
  • Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.

Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.

3. Conduct research and compile data

Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.

This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.

4. Choose the right format

There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:

  • An engaging headline
  • A subject and customer introduction
  • The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
  • The solution the customer used to solve the problem
  • The results achieved
  • Data and statistics to back up claims of success
  • A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor

It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.

5. Write your case study

We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.

  • Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
  • Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
  • Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
  • Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
  • Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
  • Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.

6. Promote your story

Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.

Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.

Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.

Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format

  • Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
  • Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
  • Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
  • Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
  • Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.

Template 2 — Data-driven format

  • Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
  • Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
  • Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.

While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.

Juniper Networks

One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.

A Lenovo case study showing statistics, a pull quote and featured headshot, the headline "The customer is king.," and Adobe product links.

The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.

Tata Consulting

When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.

Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.

When you’re ready to get started with a case study:

  • Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
  • Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
  • Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
  • Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.

Adobe can help

There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.

To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .

Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.

Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.

Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.

Request a demo to learn more about Adobe Analytics.

https://business.adobe.com/blog/perspectives/b2b-ecommerce-10-case-studies-inspire-you

https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/business-case

https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/what-is-real-time-analytics

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How to write case studies

“How to Write Case Studies: A Comprehensive Guide”

Case studies are essential for marketing and research, offering in-depth insights into successes and problem-solving methods. This blog explains how to write case studies, including steps for creating them, tips for analysis, and case study examples. You'll also find case study templates to simplify the process. Effective case studies establish credibility, enhance marketing efforts, and provide valuable insights for future projects.

Case studies are detailed examinations of subjects like businesses, organizations, or individuals. They are used to highlight successes and problem-solving methods. They are crucial in marketing, education, and research to provide concrete examples and insights.

This blog will explain how to write case studies and their importance. We will cover different applications of case studies and a step-by-step process to create them. You’ll find tips for conducting case study analysis, along with case study examples and case study templates.

Effective case studies are vital. They showcase success stories and problem-solving skills, establishing credibility. This guide will teach you how to create a case study that engages your audience and enhances your marketing and research efforts.

What are Case Studies?

What are Case Studies

1. Definition and Purpose of a Case Study

Case studies are in-depth explorations of specific subjects to understand dynamics and outcomes. They provide detailed insights that can be generalized to broader contexts.

2. Different Types of Case Studies

  • Exploratory: Investigates an area with limited information.
  • Explanatory: Explains reasons behind a phenomenon.
  • Descriptive: Provides a detailed account of the subject.
  • Intrinsic : Focuses on a unique subject.
  • Instrumental: Uses the case to understand a broader issue.

3. Benefits of Using Case Studies

Case studies offer many benefits. They provide real-world examples to illustrate theories or concepts. Businesses can demonstrate the effectiveness of their products or services. Researchers gain detailed insights into specific phenomena. Educators use them to teach through practical examples. Learning how to write case studies can enhance your marketing and research efforts.

Understanding how to create a case study involves recognizing these benefits. Case study examples show practical applications. Using case study templates can simplify the process.

5 Steps to Write a Case Study

5 Steps to Write a Case study

1. Identifying the Subject or Case

Choose a subject that aligns with your objectives and offers valuable insights. Ensure the subject has a clear narrative and relevance to your audience. The subject should illustrate key points and provide substantial learning opportunities. Common subjects include successful projects, client stories, or significant business challenges.

2. Conducting Thorough Research and Data Collection

Gather comprehensive data from multiple sources. Conduct interviews with key stakeholders, such as clients, team members, or industry experts. Use surveys to collect quantitative data. Review documents, reports, and any relevant records. Ensure the information is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date. This thorough research forms the foundation for how to write case studies that are credible and informative.

3. Structuring the Case Study

Organize your case study into these sections:

  • Introduction: Introduce the subject and its significance. Provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Background: Provide context and background information. Describe the subject’s history, environment, and any relevant details.
  • Case Presentation: Detail the case, including the problem or challenge faced. Discuss the actions taken to address the issue.
  • Analysis: Analyze the data and discuss the findings. Highlight key insights, patterns, and outcomes.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the outcomes and key takeaways. Reflect on the broader implications and lessons learned.

4. Writing a Compelling Introduction

The introduction should grab the reader’s attention. Start with a hook, such as an interesting fact, quote, or question. Provide a brief overview of the subject and its importance. Explain why this case is relevant and worth studying. An engaging introduction sets the stage for how to create a case study that keeps readers interested.

5. Providing Background Information and Context

Give readers the necessary background to understand the case. Include details about the subject’s history, environment, and any relevant circumstances. Explain the context in which the case exists, such as the industry, market conditions, or organizational culture. Providing a solid foundation helps readers grasp the significance of the case and enhances the credibility of your study.

Understanding how to write a case study involves meticulous research and a clear structure. Utilizing case study examples and templates can guide you through the process, ensuring you present your findings effectively. These steps are essential for writing informative, engaging, and impactful case studies. 

How to Write Case Study Analysis

How to Write Case Study Analysis

1. Analyzing the Data Collected

Examine the data to identify patterns, trends, and key findings. Use qualitative and quantitative methods to ensure a comprehensive analysis. Validate the data’s accuracy and relevance to the subject. Look for correlations and causations that can provide deeper insights.

2. Identifying Key Issues and Problems

Pinpoint the main issues or challenges faced by the subject. Determine the root causes of these problems. Use tools like SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to get a clear picture. Prioritize the issues based on their impact and urgency.

3. Discussing Possible Solutions and Their Implementation

Explore various solutions that address the identified issues. Compare the potential effectiveness of each solution. Discuss the steps taken to implement the chosen solutions. Highlight the decision-making process and the rationale behind it. Include any obstacles faced during implementation and how they were overcome.

4. Evaluating the Results and Outcomes

Assess the outcomes of the implemented solutions. Use metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure success. Compare the results with the initial objectives and expectations. Discuss any deviations and their reasons. Provide evidence to support your evaluation, such as before-and-after data or testimonials.

5. Providing Insights and Lessons Learned

Reflect on the insights gained from the case study. Discuss what worked well and what didn’t. Highlight lessons that can be applied to similar situations. Provide actionable recommendations for future projects. This section should offer valuable takeaways for the readers, helping them understand how to create a case study that is insightful and practical.

Mastering how to write case studies involves understanding each part of the analysis. Use case study examples to see how these elements are applied. Case study templates can help you structure your work. Knowing how to make a case study analysis will make your findings clear and actionable.

Case Study Examples and Templates

Case Study Examples and Templates

1. Showcasing Successful Case Studies

Georgia tech athletics increase season ticket sales by 80%.

Georgia Tech Athletics aimed to enhance their season ticket sales and engagement with fans. Their initial strategy involved multiple outbound phone calls without targeting. They partnered with Salesloft to improve their sales process with a more structured inbound approach. This allowed sales reps to target communications effectively. As a result, Georgia Tech saw an 80% increase in season ticket sales, with improved employee engagement and fan relationships​.

WeightWatchers Revamps Enterprise Sales Process with HubSpot

WeightWatchers sought to improve their sales efficiency. Their previous system lacked automation, requiring extensive manual effort. By adopting HubSpot’s CRM, WeightWatchers streamlined their sales process. The automation capabilities of HubSpot allowed them to manage customer interactions more effectively. This transition significantly enhanced their operational efficiency and sales performance​.

2. Breakdown of What Makes These Examples Effective

These case study examples are effective due to their clear structure and compelling storytelling. They:

  • Identify the problem: Each case study begins by outlining the challenges faced by the client.
  • Detail the solution: They explain the specific solutions implemented to address these challenges.
  • Showcase the results: Quantifiable results and improvements are highlighted, demonstrating the effectiveness of the solutions.
  • Use visuals and quotes: Incorporating images, charts, and client testimonials enhances engagement and credibility.

3. Providing Case Study Templates

To assist in creating your own case studies, here are some recommended case study templates:

1. General Case Study Template

  • Suitable for various industries and applications.
  • Includes sections for background, problem, solution, and results.
  • Helps provide a structured narrative for any case study.

2. Data-Driven Case Study Template

  • Focuses on presenting metrics and data.
  • Ideal for showcasing quantitative achievements.
  • Structured to highlight significant performance improvements and achievements.

3. Product-Specific Case Study Template

  • Emphasizes customer experiences and satisfaction with a specific product.
  • Highlights benefits and features of the product rather than the process.

4. Tips for Customizing Templates to Fit Your Needs

When using case study templates, tailor them to match the specific context of your study. Consider the following tips:

  • Adapt the language and tone: Ensure it aligns with your brand voice and audience.
  • Include relevant visuals: Add charts, graphs, and images to support your narrative.
  • Personalize the content: Use specific details about the subject to make the case study unique and relatable.

Utilizing these examples and templates will guide you in how to write case studies effectively. They provide a clear framework for how to create a case study that is engaging and informative. Learning how to make a case study becomes more manageable with these resources and examples​.

Tips for Creating Compelling Case Studies

Tips for Creating Compelling Case Studies

1. Using Storytelling Techniques to Engage Readers

Incorporate storytelling techniques to make your case study engaging. A compelling narrative holds the reader’s attention.

2. Including Quotes and Testimonials from Participants

Add quotes and testimonials to add credibility. Participant feedback enhances the authenticity of your study.

3. Visual Aids: Charts, Graphs, and Images to Support Your Case

Use charts, graphs, and images to illustrate key points. Visual aids help in better understanding and retention.

4. Ensuring Clarity and Conciseness in Writing

Write clearly and concisely to maintain reader interest. Avoid jargon and ensure your writing is easy to follow.

5. Highlighting the Impact and Benefits

Emphasize the positive outcomes and benefits. Show how the subject has improved or achieved success.

Understanding how to write case studies involves using effective storytelling and visuals. Case study examples show how to engage readers, and case study templates help organize your content. Learning how to make a case study ensures that it is clear and impactful.

Benefits of Using Case Studies

Benefits of Using Case Studies

1. Establishing Authority and Credibility

How to write case studies can effectively establish your authority. Showcasing success stories builds credibility in your field.

2. Demonstrating Practical Applications of Your Product or Service

Case study examples demonstrate how your product or service solves real-world problems. This practical evidence is convincing for potential clients.

3. Enhancing Marketing and Sales Efforts

Use case studies to support your marketing and sales strategies. They highlight your successes and attract new customers.

4. Providing Valuable Insights for Future Projects

Case studies offer insights that can guide future projects. Learning how to create a case study helps in applying these lessons effectively.

5. Engaging and Educating Your Audience

Case studies are engaging and educational. They provide detailed examples and valuable lessons. Using case study templates can make this process easier and more effective. Understanding how to make a case study ensures you can communicate these benefits clearly.

How to write case studies

Writing effective case studies involves thorough research, clear structure, and engaging content. By following these steps, you’ll learn how to write case studies that showcase your success stories and problem-solving skills. Use the case study examples and case study templates provided to get started. Well-crafted case studies are valuable tools for marketing, research, and education. Start learning how to make a case study today and share your success stories with the world.

define case study marketing

What is the purpose of a case study?

A case study provides detailed insights into a subject, illustrating successes and solutions. It helps in understanding complex issues.

How do I choose a subject for my case study?

Select a subject that aligns with your objectives and offers valuable insights. Ensure it has a clear narrative.

What are the key components of a case study analysis?

A case study analysis includes data collection, identifying key issues, discussing solutions, evaluating outcomes, and providing insights.

Where can I find case study templates?

You can find downloadable case study templates online. They simplify the process of creating a case study.

How can case studies benefit my business?

Case studies establish credibility, demonstrate practical applications, enhance marketing efforts, and provide insights for future projects. Learning how to create a case study can significantly benefit your business.

define case study marketing

I am currently pursuing my Masters in Communication and Journalism from University of Mumbai. I am the author of four self published books. I am interested inv writing for films and TV. I run a blog where I write about film reviews.

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How to Write a Case Study: Bookmarkable Guide & Template

Braden Becker

Published: November 30, 2023

Earning the trust of prospective customers can be a struggle. Before you can even begin to expect to earn their business, you need to demonstrate your ability to deliver on what your product or service promises.

company conducting case study with candidate after learning how to write a case study

Sure, you could say that you're great at X or that you're way ahead of the competition when it comes to Y. But at the end of the day, what you really need to win new business is cold, hard proof.

One of the best ways to prove your worth is through a compelling case study. In fact, HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing report found that case studies are so compelling that they are the fifth most commonly used type of content used by marketers.

Download Now: 3 Free Case Study Templates

Below, I'll walk you through what a case study is, how to prepare for writing one, what you need to include in it, and how it can be an effective tactic. To jump to different areas of this post, click on the links below to automatically scroll.

Case Study Definition

Case study templates, how to write a case study.

  • How to Format a Case Study

Business Case Study Examples

A case study is a specific challenge a business has faced, and the solution they've chosen to solve it. Case studies can vary greatly in length and focus on several details related to the initial challenge and applied solution, and can be presented in various forms like a video, white paper, blog post, etc.

In professional settings, it's common for a case study to tell the story of a successful business partnership between a vendor and a client. Perhaps the success you're highlighting is in the number of leads your client generated, customers closed, or revenue gained. Any one of these key performance indicators (KPIs) are examples of your company's services in action.

When done correctly, these examples of your work can chronicle the positive impact your business has on existing or previous customers and help you attract new clients.

define case study marketing

Free Case Study Templates

Showcase your company's success using these three free case study templates.

  • Data-Driven Case Study Template
  • Product-Specific Case Study Template
  • General Case Study Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Why write a case study? 

I know, you’re thinking “ Okay, but why do I need to write one of these? ” The truth is that while case studies are a huge undertaking, they are powerful marketing tools that allow you to demonstrate the value of your product to potential customers using real-world examples. Here are a few reasons why you should write case studies. 

1. Explain Complex Topics or Concepts

Case studies give you the space to break down complex concepts, ideas, and strategies and show how they can be applied in a practical way. You can use real-world examples, like an existing client, and use their story to create a compelling narrative that shows how your product solved their issue and how those strategies can be repeated to help other customers get similar successful results.  

2. Show Expertise

Case studies are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on a given topic or industry. This is where you get the opportunity to show off your problem-solving skills and how you’ve generated successful outcomes for clients you’ve worked with. 

3. Build Trust and Credibility

In addition to showing off the attributes above, case studies are an excellent way to build credibility. They’re often filled with data and thoroughly researched, which shows readers you’ve done your homework. They can have confidence in the solutions you’ve presented because they’ve read through as you’ve explained the problem and outlined step-by-step what it took to solve it. All of these elements working together enable you to build trust with potential customers.

4. Create Social Proof

Using existing clients that have seen success working with your brand builds social proof . People are more likely to choose your brand if they know that others have found success working with you. Case studies do just that — putting your success on display for potential customers to see. 

All of these attributes work together to help you gain more clients. Plus you can even use quotes from customers featured in these studies and repurpose them in other marketing content. Now that you know more about the benefits of producing a case study, let’s check out how long these documents should be. 

How long should a case study be?

The length of a case study will vary depending on the complexity of the project or topic discussed. However, as a general guideline, case studies typically range from 500 to 1,500 words. 

Whatever length you choose, it should provide a clear understanding of the challenge, the solution you implemented, and the results achieved. This may be easier said than done, but it's important to strike a balance between providing enough detail to make the case study informative and concise enough to keep the reader's interest.

The primary goal here is to effectively communicate the key points and takeaways of the case study. It’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be a wall of text. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, charts, and other graphics to break up the content and make it more scannable for readers. We’ve also seen brands incorporate video elements into case studies listed on their site for a more engaging experience. 

Ultimately, the length of your case study should be determined by the amount of information necessary to convey the story and its impact without becoming too long. Next, let’s look at some templates to take the guesswork out of creating one. 

To help you arm your prospects with information they can trust, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to create effective case studies for your business with free case study templates for creating your own.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today:

And to give you more options, we’ll highlight some useful templates that serve different needs. But remember, there are endless possibilities when it comes to demonstrating the work your business has done.

1. General Case Study Template

case study templates: general

Do you have a specific product or service that you’re trying to sell, but not enough reviews or success stories? This Product Specific case study template will help.

This template relies less on metrics, and more on highlighting the customer’s experience and satisfaction. As you follow the template instructions, you’ll be prompted to speak more about the benefits of the specific product, rather than your team’s process for working with the customer.

4. Bold Social Media Business Case Study Template

case study templates: bold social media business

You can find templates that represent different niches, industries, or strategies that your business has found success in — like a bold social media business case study template.

In this template, you can tell the story of how your social media marketing strategy has helped you or your client through collaboration or sale of your service. Customize it to reflect the different marketing channels used in your business and show off how well your business has been able to boost traffic, engagement, follows, and more.

5. Lead Generation Business Case Study Template

case study templates: lead generation business

It’s important to note that not every case study has to be the product of a sale or customer story, sometimes they can be informative lessons that your own business has experienced. A great example of this is the Lead Generation Business case study template.

If you’re looking to share operational successes regarding how your team has improved processes or content, you should include the stories of different team members involved, how the solution was found, and how it has made a difference in the work your business does.

Now that we’ve discussed different templates and ideas for how to use them, let’s break down how to create your own case study with one.

  • Get started with case study templates.
  • Determine the case study's objective.
  • Establish a case study medium.
  • Find the right case study candidate.
  • Contact your candidate for permission to write about them.
  • Ensure you have all the resources you need to proceed once you get a response.
  • Download a case study email template.
  • Define the process you want to follow with the client.
  • Ensure you're asking the right questions.
  • Layout your case study format.
  • Publish and promote your case study.

1. Get started with case study templates.

Telling your customer's story is a delicate process — you need to highlight their success while naturally incorporating your business into their story.

If you're just getting started with case studies, we recommend you download HubSpot's Case Study Templates we mentioned before to kickstart the process.

2. Determine the case study's objective.

All business case studies are designed to demonstrate the value of your services, but they can focus on several different client objectives.

Your first step when writing a case study is to determine the objective or goal of the subject you're featuring. In other words, what will the client have succeeded in doing by the end of the piece?

The client objective you focus on will depend on what you want to prove to your future customers as a result of publishing this case study.

Your case study can focus on one of the following client objectives:

  • Complying with government regulation
  • Lowering business costs
  • Becoming profitable
  • Generating more leads
  • Closing on more customers
  • Generating more revenue
  • Expanding into a new market
  • Becoming more sustainable or energy-efficient

3. Establish a case study medium.

Next, you'll determine the medium in which you'll create the case study. In other words, how will you tell this story?

Case studies don't have to be simple, written one-pagers. Using different media in your case study can allow you to promote your final piece on different channels. For example, while a written case study might just live on your website and get featured in a Facebook post, you can post an infographic case study on Pinterest and a video case study on your YouTube channel.

Here are some different case study mediums to consider:

Written Case Study

Consider writing this case study in the form of an ebook and converting it to a downloadable PDF. Then, gate the PDF behind a landing page and form for readers to fill out before downloading the piece, allowing this case study to generate leads for your business.

Video Case Study

Plan on meeting with the client and shooting an interview. Seeing the subject, in person, talk about the service you provided them can go a long way in the eyes of your potential customers.

Infographic Case Study

Use the long, vertical format of an infographic to tell your success story from top to bottom. As you progress down the infographic, emphasize major KPIs using bigger text and charts that show the successes your client has had since working with you.

Podcast Case Study

Podcasts are a platform for you to have a candid conversation with your client. This type of case study can sound more real and human to your audience — they'll know the partnership between you and your client was a genuine success.

4. Find the right case study candidate.

Writing about your previous projects requires more than picking a client and telling a story. You need permission, quotes, and a plan. To start, here are a few things to look for in potential candidates.

Product Knowledge

It helps to select a customer who's well-versed in the logistics of your product or service. That way, he or she can better speak to the value of what you offer in a way that makes sense for future customers.

Remarkable Results

Clients that have seen the best results are going to make the strongest case studies. If their own businesses have seen an exemplary ROI from your product or service, they're more likely to convey the enthusiasm that you want prospects to feel, too.

One part of this step is to choose clients who have experienced unexpected success from your product or service. When you've provided non-traditional customers — in industries that you don't usually work with, for example — with positive results, it can help to remove doubts from prospects.

Recognizable Names

While small companies can have powerful stories, bigger or more notable brands tend to lend credibility to your own. In fact, 89% of consumers say they'll buy from a brand they already recognize over a competitor, especially if they already follow them on social media.

Customers that came to you after working with a competitor help highlight your competitive advantage and might even sway decisions in your favor.

5. Contact your candidate for permission to write about them.

To get the case study candidate involved, you have to set the stage for clear and open communication. That means outlining expectations and a timeline right away — not having those is one of the biggest culprits in delayed case study creation.

Most importantly at this point, however, is getting your subject's approval. When first reaching out to your case study candidate, provide them with the case study's objective and format — both of which you will have come up with in the first two steps above.

To get this initial permission from your subject, put yourself in their shoes — what would they want out of this case study? Although you're writing this for your own company's benefit, your subject is far more interested in the benefit it has for them.

Benefits to Offer Your Case Study Candidate

Here are four potential benefits you can promise your case study candidate to gain their approval.

Brand Exposure

Explain to your subject to whom this case study will be exposed, and how this exposure can help increase their brand awareness both in and beyond their own industry. In the B2B sector, brand awareness can be hard to collect outside one's own market, making case studies particularly useful to a client looking to expand their name's reach.

Employee Exposure

Allow your subject to provide quotes with credits back to specific employees. When this is an option for them, their brand isn't the only thing expanding its reach — their employees can get their name out there, too. This presents your subject with networking and career development opportunities they might not have otherwise.

Product Discount

This is a more tangible incentive you can offer your case study candidate, especially if they're a current customer of yours. If they agree to be your subject, offer them a product discount — or a free trial of another product — as a thank-you for their help creating your case study.

Backlinks and Website Traffic

Here's a benefit that is sure to resonate with your subject's marketing team: If you publish your case study on your website, and your study links back to your subject's website — known as a "backlink" — this small gesture can give them website traffic from visitors who click through to your subject's website.

Additionally, a backlink from you increases your subject's page authority in the eyes of Google. This helps them rank more highly in search engine results and collect traffic from readers who are already looking for information about their industry.

6. Ensure you have all the resources you need to proceed once you get a response.

So you know what you’re going to offer your candidate, it’s time that you prepare the resources needed for if and when they agree to participate, like a case study release form and success story letter.

Let's break those two down.

Case Study Release Form

This document can vary, depending on factors like the size of your business, the nature of your work, and what you intend to do with the case studies once they are completed. That said, you should typically aim to include the following in the Case Study Release Form:

  • A clear explanation of why you are creating this case study and how it will be used.
  • A statement defining the information and potentially trademarked information you expect to include about the company — things like names, logos, job titles, and pictures.
  • An explanation of what you expect from the participant, beyond the completion of the case study. For example, is this customer willing to act as a reference or share feedback, and do you have permission to pass contact information along for these purposes?
  • A note about compensation.

Success Story Letter

As noted in the sample email, this document serves as an outline for the entire case study process. Other than a brief explanation of how the customer will benefit from case study participation, you'll want to be sure to define the following steps in the Success Story Letter.

7. Download a case study email template.

While you gathered your resources, your candidate has gotten time to read over the proposal. When your candidate approves of your case study, it's time to send them a release form.

A case study release form tells you what you'll need from your chosen subject, like permission to use any brand names and share the project information publicly. Kick-off this process with an email that runs through exactly what they can expect from you, as well as what you need from them. To give you an idea of what that might look like, check out this sample email:

sample case study email release form template

8. Define the process you want to follow with the client.

Before you can begin the case study, you have to have a clear outline of the case study process with your client. An example of an effective outline would include the following information.

The Acceptance

First, you'll need to receive internal approval from the company's marketing team. Once approved, the Release Form should be signed and returned to you. It's also a good time to determine a timeline that meets the needs and capabilities of both teams.

The Questionnaire

To ensure that you have a productive interview — which is one of the best ways to collect information for the case study — you'll want to ask the participant to complete a questionnaire before this conversation. That will provide your team with the necessary foundation to organize the interview, and get the most out of it.

The Interview

Once the questionnaire is completed, someone on your team should reach out to the participant to schedule a 30- to 60-minute interview, which should include a series of custom questions related to the customer's experience with your product or service.

The Draft Review

After the case study is composed, you'll want to send a draft to the customer, allowing an opportunity to give you feedback and edits.

The Final Approval

Once any necessary edits are completed, send a revised copy of the case study to the customer for final approval.

Once the case study goes live — on your website or elsewhere — it's best to contact the customer with a link to the page where the case study lives. Don't be afraid to ask your participants to share these links with their own networks, as it not only demonstrates your ability to deliver positive results and impressive growth, as well.

9. Ensure you're asking the right questions.

Before you execute the questionnaire and actual interview, make sure you're setting yourself up for success. A strong case study results from being prepared to ask the right questions. What do those look like? Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What are your goals?
  • What challenges were you experiencing before purchasing our product or service?
  • What made our product or service stand out against our competitors?
  • What did your decision-making process look like?
  • How have you benefited from using our product or service? (Where applicable, always ask for data.)

Keep in mind that the questionnaire is designed to help you gain insights into what sort of strong, success-focused questions to ask during the actual interview. And once you get to that stage, we recommend that you follow the "Golden Rule of Interviewing." Sounds fancy, right? It's actually quite simple — ask open-ended questions.

If you're looking to craft a compelling story, "yes" or "no" answers won't provide the details you need. Focus on questions that invite elaboration, such as, "Can you describe ...?" or, "Tell me about ..."

In terms of the interview structure, we recommend categorizing the questions and flowing them into six specific sections that will mirror a successful case study format. Combined, they'll allow you to gather enough information to put together a rich, comprehensive study.

Open with the customer's business.

The goal of this section is to generate a better understanding of the company's current challenges and goals, and how they fit into the landscape of their industry. Sample questions might include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What are some of the objectives of your department at this time?

Cite a problem or pain point.

To tell a compelling story, you need context. That helps match the customer's need with your solution. Sample questions might include:

  • What challenges and objectives led you to look for a solution?
  • What might have happened if you did not identify a solution?
  • Did you explore other solutions before this that did not work out? If so, what happened?

Discuss the decision process.

Exploring how the customer decided to work with you helps to guide potential customers through their own decision-making processes. Sample questions might include:

  • How did you hear about our product or service?
  • Who was involved in the selection process?
  • What was most important to you when evaluating your options?

Explain how a solution was implemented.

The focus here should be placed on the customer's experience during the onboarding process. Sample questions might include:

  • How long did it take to get up and running?
  • Did that meet your expectations?
  • Who was involved in the process?

Explain how the solution works.

The goal of this section is to better understand how the customer is using your product or service. Sample questions might include:

  • Is there a particular aspect of the product or service that you rely on most?
  • Who is using the product or service?

End with the results.

In this section, you want to uncover impressive measurable outcomes — the more numbers, the better. Sample questions might include:

  • How is the product or service helping you save time and increase productivity?
  • In what ways does that enhance your competitive advantage?
  • How much have you increased metrics X, Y, and Z?

10. Lay out your case study format.

When it comes time to take all of the information you've collected and actually turn it into something, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Where should you start? What should you include? What's the best way to structure it?

To help you get a handle on this step, it's important to first understand that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the ways you can present a case study. They can be very visual, which you'll see in some of the examples we've included below, and can sometimes be communicated mostly through video or photos, with a bit of accompanying text.

Here are the sections we suggest, which we'll cover in more detail down below:

  • Title: Keep it short. Develop a succinct but interesting project name you can give the work you did with your subject.
  • Subtitle: Use this copy to briefly elaborate on the accomplishment. What was done? The case study itself will explain how you got there.
  • Executive Summary : A 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story. You'll want to follow it with 2-3 bullet points that display metrics showcasing success.
  • About the Subject: An introduction to the person or company you served, which can be pulled from a LinkedIn Business profile or client website.
  • Challenges and Objectives: A 2-3 paragraph description of the customer's challenges, before using your product or service. This section should also include the goals or objectives the customer set out to achieve.
  • How Product/Service Helped: A 2-3 paragraph section that describes how your product or service provided a solution to their problem.
  • Results: A 2-3 paragraph testimonial that proves how your product or service specifically benefited the person or company and helped achieve its goals. Include numbers to quantify your contributions.
  • Supporting Visuals or Quotes: Pick one or two powerful quotes that you would feature at the bottom of the sections above, as well as a visual that supports the story you are telling.
  • Future Plans: Everyone likes an epilogue. Comment on what's ahead for your case study subject, whether or not those plans involve you.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Not every case study needs a CTA, but putting a passive one at the end of your case study can encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.

When laying out your case study, focus on conveying the information you've gathered in the most clear and concise way possible. Make it easy to scan and comprehend, and be sure to provide an attractive call-to-action at the bottom — that should provide readers an opportunity to learn more about your product or service.

11. Publish and promote your case study.

Once you've completed your case study, it's time to publish and promote it. Some case study formats have pretty obvious promotional outlets — a video case study can go on YouTube, just as an infographic case study can go on Pinterest.

But there are still other ways to publish and promote your case study. Here are a couple of ideas:

Lead Gen in a Blog Post

As stated earlier in this article, written case studies make terrific lead-generators if you convert them into a downloadable format, like a PDF. To generate leads from your case study, consider writing a blog post that tells an abbreviated story of your client's success and asking readers to fill out a form with their name and email address if they'd like to read the rest in your PDF.

Then, promote this blog post on social media, through a Facebook post or a tweet.

Published as a Page on Your Website

As a growing business, you might need to display your case study out in the open to gain the trust of your target audience.

Rather than gating it behind a landing page, publish your case study to its own page on your website, and direct people here from your homepage with a "Case Studies" or "Testimonials" button along your homepage's top navigation bar.

Format for a Case Study

The traditional case study format includes the following parts: a title and subtitle, a client profile, a summary of the customer’s challenges and objectives, an account of how your solution helped, and a description of the results. You might also want to include supporting visuals and quotes, future plans, and calls-to-action.

case study format: title

Image Source

The title is one of the most important parts of your case study. It should draw readers in while succinctly describing the potential benefits of working with your company. To that end, your title should:

  • State the name of your custome r. Right away, the reader must learn which company used your products and services. This is especially important if your customer has a recognizable brand. If you work with individuals and not companies, you may omit the name and go with professional titles: “A Marketer…”, “A CFO…”, and so forth.
  • State which product your customer used . Even if you only offer one product or service, or if your company name is the same as your product name, you should still include the name of your solution. That way, readers who are not familiar with your business can become aware of what you sell.
  • Allude to the results achieved . You don’t necessarily need to provide hard numbers, but the title needs to represent the benefits, quickly. That way, if a reader doesn’t stay to read, they can walk away with the most essential information: Your product works.

The example above, “Crunch Fitness Increases Leads and Signups With HubSpot,” achieves all three — without being wordy. Keeping your title short and sweet is also essential.

2. Subtitle

case study format: subtitle

Your subtitle is another essential part of your case study — don’t skip it, even if you think you’ve done the work with the title. In this section, include a brief summary of the challenges your customer was facing before they began to use your products and services. Then, drive the point home by reiterating the benefits your customer experienced by working with you.

The above example reads:

“Crunch Fitness was franchising rapidly when COVID-19 forced fitness clubs around the world to close their doors. But the company stayed agile by using HubSpot to increase leads and free trial signups.”

We like that the case study team expressed the urgency of the problem — opening more locations in the midst of a pandemic — and placed the focus on the customer’s ability to stay agile.

3. Executive Summary

case study format: executive summary

The executive summary should provide a snapshot of your customer, their challenges, and the benefits they enjoyed from working with you. Think it’s too much? Think again — the purpose of the case study is to emphasize, again and again, how well your product works.

The good news is that depending on your design, the executive summary can be mixed with the subtitle or with the “About the Company” section. Many times, this section doesn’t need an explicit “Executive Summary” subheading. You do need, however, to provide a convenient snapshot for readers to scan.

In the above example, ADP included information about its customer in a scannable bullet-point format, then provided two sections: “Business Challenge” and “How ADP Helped.” We love how simple and easy the format is to follow for those who are unfamiliar with ADP or its typical customer.

4. About the Company

case study format: about the company

Readers need to know and understand who your customer is. This is important for several reasons: It helps your reader potentially relate to your customer, it defines your ideal client profile (which is essential to deter poor-fit prospects who might have reached out without knowing they were a poor fit), and it gives your customer an indirect boon by subtly promoting their products and services.

Feel free to keep this section as simple as possible. You can simply copy and paste information from the company’s LinkedIn, use a quote directly from your customer, or take a more creative storytelling approach.

In the above example, HubSpot included one paragraph of description for Crunch Fitness and a few bullet points. Below, ADP tells the story of its customer using an engaging, personable technique that effectively draws readers in.

case study format: storytelling about the business

5. Challenges and Objectives

case study format: challenges and objectives

The challenges and objectives section of your case study is the place to lay out, in detail, the difficulties your customer faced prior to working with you — and what they hoped to achieve when they enlisted your help.

In this section, you can be as brief or as descriptive as you’d like, but remember: Stress the urgency of the situation. Don’t understate how much your customer needed your solution (but don’t exaggerate and lie, either). Provide contextual information as necessary. For instance, the pandemic and societal factors may have contributed to the urgency of the need.

Take the above example from design consultancy IDEO:

“Educational opportunities for adults have become difficult to access in the United States, just when they’re needed most. To counter this trend, IDEO helped the city of South Bend and the Drucker Institute launch Bendable, a community-powered platform that connects people with opportunities to learn with and from each other.”

We love how IDEO mentions the difficulties the United States faces at large, the efforts its customer is taking to address these issues, and the steps IDEO took to help.

6. How Product/Service Helped

case study format: how the service helped

This is where you get your product or service to shine. Cover the specific benefits that your customer enjoyed and the features they gleaned the most use out of. You can also go into detail about how you worked with and for your customer. Maybe you met several times before choosing the right solution, or you consulted with external agencies to create the best package for them.

Whatever the case may be, try to illustrate how easy and pain-free it is to work with the representatives at your company. After all, potential customers aren’t looking to just purchase a product. They’re looking for a dependable provider that will strive to exceed their expectations.

In the above example, IDEO describes how it partnered with research institutes and spoke with learners to create Bendable, a free educational platform. We love how it shows its proactivity and thoroughness. It makes potential customers feel that IDEO might do something similar for them.

case study format: results

The results are essential, and the best part is that you don’t need to write the entirety of the case study before sharing them. Like HubSpot, IDEO, and ADP, you can include the results right below the subtitle or executive summary. Use data and numbers to substantiate the success of your efforts, but if you don’t have numbers, you can provide quotes from your customers.

We can’t overstate the importance of the results. In fact, if you wanted to create a short case study, you could include your title, challenge, solution (how your product helped), and result.

8. Supporting Visuals or Quotes

case study format: quote

Let your customer speak for themselves by including quotes from the representatives who directly interfaced with your company.

Visuals can also help, even if they’re stock images. On one side, they can help you convey your customer’s industry, and on the other, they can indirectly convey your successes. For instance, a picture of a happy professional — even if they’re not your customer — will communicate that your product can lead to a happy client.

In this example from IDEO, we see a man standing in a boat. IDEO’s customer is neither the man pictured nor the manufacturer of the boat, but rather Conservation International, an environmental organization. This imagery provides a visually pleasing pattern interrupt to the page, while still conveying what the case study is about.

9. Future Plans

This is optional, but including future plans can help you close on a more positive, personable note than if you were to simply include a quote or the results. In this space, you can show that your product will remain in your customer’s tech stack for years to come, or that your services will continue to be instrumental to your customer’s success.

Alternatively, if you work only on time-bound projects, you can allude to the positive impact your customer will continue to see, even after years of the end of the contract.

10. Call to Action (CTA)

case study format: call to action

Not every case study needs a CTA, but we’d still encourage it. Putting one at the end of your case study will encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.

It will also make it easier for them to reach out, if they’re ready to start immediately. You don’t want to lose business just because they have to scroll all the way back up to reach out to your team.

To help you visualize this case study outline, check out the case study template below, which can also be downloaded here .

You drove the results, made the connection, set the expectations, used the questionnaire to conduct a successful interview, and boiled down your findings into a compelling story. And after all of that, you're left with a little piece of sales enabling gold — a case study.

To show you what a well-executed final product looks like, have a look at some of these marketing case study examples.

1. "Shopify Uses HubSpot CRM to Transform High Volume Sales Organization," by HubSpot

What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. This reflects a major HubSpot value, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why Shopify uses HubSpot and is accompanied by a short video and some basic statistics on the company.

Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the additional text on the page. So, while case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.

2. "New England Journal of Medicine," by Corey McPherson Nash

When branding and design studio Corey McPherson Nash showcases its work, it makes sense for it to be visual — after all, that's what they do. So in building the case study for the studio's work on the New England Journal of Medicine's integrated advertising campaign — a project that included the goal of promoting the client's digital presence — Corey McPherson Nash showed its audience what it did, rather than purely telling it.

Notice that the case study does include some light written copy — which includes the major points we've suggested — but lets the visuals do the talking, allowing users to really absorb the studio's services.

3. "Designing the Future of Urban Farming," by IDEO

Here's a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, he or she is greeted with a big, bold photo, and two very simple columns of text — "The Challenge" and "The Outcome."

Immediately, IDEO has communicated two of the case study's major pillars. And while that's great — the company created a solution for vertical farming startup INFARM's challenge — it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, those pillars are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and additional visuals.

4. "Secure Wi-Fi Wins Big for Tournament," by WatchGuard

Then, there are the cases when visuals can tell almost the entire story — when executed correctly. Network security provider WatchGuard can do that through this video, which tells the story of how its services enhanced the attendee and vendor experience at the Windmill Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Boosts Social Media Engagement and Brand Awareness with HubSpot

In the case study above , HubSpot uses photos, videos, screenshots, and helpful stats to tell the story of how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used the bot, CRM, and social media tools to gain brand awareness.

6. Small Desk Plant Business Ups Sales by 30% With Trello

This case study from Trello is straightforward and easy to understand. It begins by explaining the background of the company that decided to use it, what its goals were, and how it planned to use Trello to help them.

It then goes on to discuss how the software was implemented and what tasks and teams benefited from it. Towards the end, it explains the sales results that came from implementing the software and includes quotes from decision-makers at the company that implemented it.

7. Facebook's Mercedes Benz Success Story

Facebook's Success Stories page hosts a number of well-designed and easy-to-understand case studies that visually and editorially get to the bottom line quickly.

Each study begins with key stats that draw the reader in. Then it's organized by highlighting a problem or goal in the introduction, the process the company took to reach its goals, and the results. Then, in the end, Facebook notes the tools used in the case study.

Showcasing Your Work

You work hard at what you do. Now, it's time to show it to the world — and, perhaps more important, to potential customers. Before you show off the projects that make you the proudest, we hope you follow these important steps that will help you effectively communicate that work and leave all parties feeling good about it.

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2017 but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in July 2021.

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Blog Beginner Guides What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]

What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]

Written by: Ronita Mohan Sep 20, 2021

What is a Case Study Blog Header

Case studies have become powerful business tools. But what is a case study? What are the benefits of creating one? Are there limitations to the format?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, our helpful guide will clear things up. Learn how to use a case study for business. Find out how cases analysis works in psychology and research.

We’ve also got examples of case studies to inspire you.

Haven’t made a case study before? You can easily  create a case study  with Venngage’s customizable templates.

Click to jump ahead:

What is a case study, what is the case study method, benefits of case studies, limitations of case studies, types of case studies, faqs about case studies.

Case studies are research methodologies. They examine subjects, projects, or organizations to tell a story.

Case Study Definition LinkedIn Post

Numerous sectors use case analyses. The social sciences, social work, and psychology create studies regularly.

Healthcare industries write reports on patients and diagnoses. Marketing case study examples , like the one below, highlight the benefits of a business product.

Bold Social Media Business Case Study Template

Now that you know what a case study is, we explain how case reports are used in three different industries.

What is a business case study?

A business or marketing case study aims at showcasing a successful partnership. This can be between a brand and a client. Or the case study can examine a brand’s project.

There is a perception that case studies are used to advertise a brand. But effective reports, like the one below, can show clients how a brand can support them.

Light Simple Business Case Study Template

Hubspot created a case study on a customer that successfully scaled its business. The report outlines the various Hubspot tools used to achieve these results.

Hubspot case study

Hubspot also added a video with testimonials from the client company’s employees.

So, what is the purpose of a case study for businesses? There is a lot of competition in the corporate world. Companies are run by people. They can be on the fence about which brand to work with.

Business reports  stand out aesthetically, as well. They use  brand colors  and brand fonts . Usually, a combination of the client’s and the brand’s.

With the Venngage  My Brand Kit  feature, businesses can automatically apply their brand to designs.

A business case study, like the one below, acts as social proof. This helps customers decide between your brand and your competitors.

Modern lead Generation Business Case Study Template

Don’t know how to design a report? You can learn  how to write a case study  with Venngage’s guide. We also share design tips and examples that will help you convert.

Related: 55+ Annual Report Design Templates, Inspirational Examples & Tips [Updated]

What is a case study in psychology?

In the field of psychology, case studies focus on a particular subject. Psychology case histories also examine human behaviors.

Case reports search for commonalities between humans. They are also used to prescribe further research. Or these studies can elaborate on a solution for a behavioral ailment.

The American Psychology Association  has a number of case studies on real-life clients. Note how the reports are more text-heavy than a business case study.

What is a case study in psychology? Behavior therapy example

Famous psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Anna O popularised the use of case studies in the field. They did so by regularly interviewing subjects. Their detailed observations build the field of psychology.

It is important to note that psychological studies must be conducted by professionals. Psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists should be the researchers in these cases.

Related: What Netflix’s Top 50 Shows Can Teach Us About Font Psychology [Infographic]

What is a case study in research?

Research is a necessary part of every case study. But specific research fields are required to create studies. These fields include user research, healthcare, education, or social work.

For example, this UX Design  report examined the public perception of a client. The brand researched and implemented new visuals to improve it. The study breaks down this research through lessons learned.

What is a case study in research? UX Design case study example

Clinical reports are a necessity in the medical field. These documents are used to share knowledge with other professionals. They also help examine new or unusual diseases or symptoms.

The pandemic has led to a significant increase in research. For example,  Spectrum Health  studied the value of health systems in the pandemic. They created the study by examining community outreach.

What is a case study in research? Spectrum healthcare example

The pandemic has significantly impacted the field of education. This has led to numerous examinations on remote studying. There have also been studies on how students react to decreased peer communication.

Social work case reports often have a community focus. They can also examine public health responses. In certain regions, social workers study disaster responses.

You now know what case studies in various fields are. In the next step of our guide, we explain the case study method.

Return to Table of Contents

A case analysis is a deep dive into a subject. To facilitate this case studies are built on interviews and observations. The below example would have been created after numerous interviews.

Case studies are largely qualitative. They analyze and describe phenomena. While some data is included, a case analysis is not quantitative.

There are a few steps in the case method. You have to start by identifying the subject of your study. Then determine what kind of research is required.

In natural sciences, case studies can take years to complete. Business reports, like this one, don’t take that long. A few weeks of interviews should be enough.

Blue Simple Business Case Study Template

The case method will vary depending on the industry. Reports will also look different once produced.

As you will have seen, business reports are more colorful. The design is also more accessible . Healthcare and psychology reports are more text-heavy.

Designing case reports takes time and energy. So, is it worth taking the time to write them? Here are the benefits of creating case studies.

  • Collects large amounts of information
  • Helps formulate hypotheses
  • Builds the case for further research
  • Discovers new insights into a subject
  • Builds brand trust and loyalty
  • Engages customers through stories

For example, the business study below creates a story around a brand partnership. It makes for engaging reading. The study also shows evidence backing up the information.

Blue Content Marketing Case Study Template

We’ve shared the benefits of why studies are needed. We will also look at the limitations of creating them.

Related: How to Present a Case Study like a Pro (With Examples)

There are a few disadvantages to conducting a case analysis. The limitations will vary according to the industry.

  • Responses from interviews are subjective
  • Subjects may tailor responses to the researcher
  • Studies can’t always be replicated
  • In certain industries, analyses can take time and be expensive
  • Risk of generalizing the results among a larger population

These are some of the common weaknesses of creating case reports. If you’re on the fence, look at the competition in your industry.

Other brands or professionals are building reports, like this example. In that case, you may want to do the same.

Coral content marketing case study template

There are six common types of case reports. Depending on your industry, you might use one of these types.

Descriptive case studies

Explanatory case studies, exploratory case reports, intrinsic case studies, instrumental case studies, collective case reports.

6 Types Of Case Studies List

We go into more detail about each type of study in the guide below.

Related:  15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]

When you have an existing hypothesis, you can design a descriptive study. This type of report starts with a description. The aim is to find connections between the subject being studied and a theory.

Once these connections are found, the study can conclude. The results of this type of study will usually suggest how to develop a theory further.

A study like the one below has concrete results. A descriptive report would use the quantitative data as a suggestion for researching the subject deeply.

Lead generation business case study template

When an incident occurs in a field, an explanation is required. An explanatory report investigates the cause of the event. It will include explanations for that cause.

The study will also share details about the impact of the event. In most cases, this report will use evidence to predict future occurrences. The results of explanatory reports are definitive.

Note that there is no room for interpretation here. The results are absolute.

The study below is a good example. It explains how one brand used the services of another. It concludes by showing definitive proof that the collaboration was successful.

Bold Content Marketing Case Study Template

Another example of this study would be in the automotive industry. If a vehicle fails a test, an explanatory study will examine why. The results could show that the failure was because of a particular part.

Related: How to Write a Case Study [+ Design Tips]

An explanatory report is a self-contained document. An exploratory one is only the beginning of an investigation.

Exploratory cases act as the starting point of studies. This is usually conducted as a precursor to large-scale investigations. The research is used to suggest why further investigations are needed.

An exploratory study can also be used to suggest methods for further examination.

For example, the below analysis could have found inconclusive results. In that situation, it would be the basis for an in-depth study.

Teal Social Media Business Case Study Template

Intrinsic studies are more common in the field of psychology. These reports can also be conducted in healthcare or social work.

These types of studies focus on a unique subject, such as a patient. They can sometimes study groups close to the researcher.

The aim of such studies is to understand the subject better. This requires learning their history. The researcher will also examine how they interact with their environment.

For instance, if the case study below was about a unique brand, it could be an intrinsic study.

Vibrant Content Marketing Case Study Template

Once the study is complete, the researcher will have developed a better understanding of a phenomenon. This phenomenon will likely not have been studied or theorized about before.

Examples of intrinsic case analysis can be found across psychology. For example, Jean Piaget’s theories on cognitive development. He established the theory from intrinsic studies into his own children.

Related: What Disney Villains Can Tell Us About Color Psychology [Infographic]

This is another type of study seen in medical and psychology fields. Instrumental reports are created to examine more than just the primary subject.

When research is conducted for an instrumental study, it is to provide the basis for a larger phenomenon. The subject matter is usually the best example of the phenomenon. This is why it is being studied.

Purple SAAS Business Case Study Template

Take the example of the fictional brand below.

Assume it’s examining lead generation strategies. It may want to show that visual marketing is the definitive lead generation tool. The brand can conduct an instrumental case study to examine this phenomenon.

Collective studies are based on instrumental case reports. These types of studies examine multiple reports.

There are a number of reasons why collective reports are created:

  • To provide evidence for starting a new study
  • To find pattens between multiple instrumental reports
  • To find differences in similar types of cases
  • Gain a deeper understanding of a complex phenomenon
  • Understand a phenomenon from diverse contexts

A researcher could use multiple reports, like the one below, to build a collective case report.

Social Media Business Case Study template

Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert

What makes a case study a case study?

A case study has a very particular research methodology. They are an in-depth study of a person or a group of individuals. They can also study a community or an organization. Case reports examine real-world phenomena within a set context.

How long should a case study be?

The length of studies depends on the industry. It also depends on the story you’re telling. Most case studies should be at least 500-1500 words long. But you can increase the length if you have more details to share.

What should you ask in a case study?

The one thing you shouldn’t ask is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Case studies are qualitative. These questions won’t give you the information you need.

Ask your client about the problems they faced. Ask them about solutions they found. Or what they think is the ideal solution. Leave room to ask them follow-up questions. This will help build out the study.

How to present a case study?

When you’re ready to present a case study, begin by providing a summary of the problem or challenge you were addressing. Follow this with an outline of the solution you implemented, and support this with the results you achieved, backed by relevant data. Incorporate visual aids like slides, graphs, and images to make your case study presentation more engaging and impactful.

Now you know what a case study means, you can begin creating one. These reports are a great tool for analyzing brands. They are also useful in a variety of other fields.

Use a visual communication platform like Venngage to design case studies. With Venngage’s templates, you can design easily. Create branded, engaging reports, all without design experience.

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What Is a Case Study & Customer Success Story?

Learn the definition of a business case study, its meaning, benefits & use in marketing. Get best methods to research, write & design business case studies.

define case study marketing

Dominika Krukowska

10 minute read

What is a case study

Short answer

What is a business case study.

A case study, also called customer success story, is a product marketing document used to show how your clients solved a business problem with the aid of your product or service. Case studies include statistics, quotes, and concrete examples with the goal of credibly demonstrating your capability to deliver results.

Bad case studies are not just ineffective - they lead to lost sales

A poorly done business case study can be a real bottleneck in your marketing funnel.

Sure, you have to have them; they're a non-negotiable part of the buying process. But if they're not compelling, you might as well not waste your time on it.

It’s bad enough that it’s hard to make a case study that gets results. But making a weak case study can actually cause you to look less attractive than the competition and cost you leads and sales.

Sometimes more is less.

This post is your roadmap to transforming your case studies from forgettable fillers to customer magnets. And ultimately, turning more prospects into customers.

Let's jump in!

What are the benefits of case studies in business and marketing?

Case studies are an essential part of any well-oiled marketing engine. They demonstrate real-life applications, showcase your unique value, build trust, address concerns, and connect with your audience.

Let’s get a bit into detail.

Demonstrating real-life applications: Business case studies show your product or service in action, offering a peek into how it can be used in real-world situations. It's like offering a test drive before asking customers to commit.

Showing your unique value: Customer success stories let your product or service shine. They illustrate exactly what you bring to the table and why customers should choose you over anyone else.

Building trust: Think of business case studies as your brand's personal advocate. They show how you've helped others succeed, which makes potential customers more likely to trust you with their business.

Easing concerns and objections: Got customers sitting on the fence? Business case studies can gently nudge them towards you by addressing common doubts or worries. It's about showing potential customers that you can deliver what they need.

Connecting with your audience: A good business case study is like a mirror—your potential customers should be able to see themselves in it. It's all about tapping into their hopes, their worries, and their needs.

What to include in a case study?

A successful business case study is the product of a strategic blend of essential components. Each one carries its weight, shaping a narrative that is both engaging and impactful.

Introduction: Set the stage with a one-liner summarizing your unique value proposition. Tailor it to grab your readers' attention and pique their curiosity.

Company overview: Give your audience a snapshot of your customer's business, helping them understand who they are and what they do.

The problem/challenge: Dive into the nitty-gritty of the issue your customer was facing (from their perspective), making it relatable to your audience.

Your solution: Detail how your product or service swooped in as the game-changing solution, addressing the customer's problem.

Results: Showcase the impressive outcome of your solution, demonstrating tangible success that can't be ignored. Back it up with relevant data and metrics.

Customer quotes/testimonials: Add authenticity and credibility to your case study with direct quotes from the customer who experienced the transformation first-hand.

Next steps: Conclude with a call to action, guiding the reader on what to do next, whether it's contacting your company or booking a product demo.

Here's an example of a case study designed according to this structure:

UX case study example

UX Case study

This template for case studies in UX and UI comes with tons of space for text and many visual elements such as charts, timelines, or graphs. This one is perfect for those case studies in which you need to explain the process in greater detail.

What makes a good case study?

A good case study follows a story format of problem-solution-impact. It includes key details of the client’s problem, how they solved it with the help of your product, and the impact it brought them.

8 critical components of a successful case study:

  • Talking from the client’s perspective
  • Addressing well-defined business problem
  • Telling the WHY, not just the WHAT and the HOW
  • Giving concrete example
  • Backing the story with statistics and facts
  • Weaving quotes and testimonials into the story
  • Making the content interactive
  • Including a call to action

In principle, a top-tier business case study is more than a testimonial.

Think of it as a blockbuster movie, where your customer is the hero Luke Skywalker, the problem is the looming death star, and your solution is the trusted guide Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This gives readers an engaging narrative that not only captures interest but also propels action.

Now let's take a look behind-the-scenes. at the key elements that make a good business case study.

1. Story from the client’s perspective

The key to a captivating case study lies in whose story you're telling. Let your customer be the hero, not your product or service. By focusing on their journey, you'll create a narrative that resonates with your audience, making them more invested in the outcome.

A great example is Adobe’s case study with Under Armour :

In this case study, Adobe tells the story of how Under Armour used Adobe Experience Manager Assets to streamline and enhance their creative asset management. The case study is presented from Under Armour's point of view, providing a customer-centric perspective.

2. Common but well-defined business problem

The best case studies revolve around relatable, well-articulated problems. The issue should be common enough for your audience to identify with, yet specific enough to avoid being generic.

Shoot for the sweet spot that makes a specific segment of your prospective clients say, "That sounds like us!"

A great example is Slack’s case study with HubSpot :

HubSpot, a well-known inbound marketing , sales, and service software provider, grappled with the challenge of maintaining internal communication and collaboration across a rapidly expanding global team.

This case study by Slack outlines how they addressed HubSpot's problem - a common issue faced by many growing businesses.

3. Tell the WHY, not just the WHAT and the HOW

The magic of a compelling case study lies in the mystery of 'why' your solution works. It's crucial to share what happened and how, but digging into the reasons behind the decisions and outcomes adds mystery to your story and keeps your audience intrigued.

An example of this is Marketo’s case study with Panasonic :

In this business case study, Marketo digs into why Panasonic decided to implement a new marketing automation solution.

The case study doesn't just focus on the solutions Marketo provided, but also highlights the reasons behind Panasonic's decision, adding depth to the narrative.

4. Concrete examples

Details make your case study relatable and tangible. Incorporate specifics - who did what , when , where , and how . These concrete examples help your audience visualize the scenario, making your narrative more compelling and memorable.

Zendesk's case study with LendingClub presents concrete examples:

It follows how LendingClub used Zendesk's customer service software to improve their customer support operations.

The case study offers a clear narrative about the problems LendingClub faced, the solutions provided by Zendesk features , and the impact these solutions had on LendingClub's business.

Numbers lend authority and credibility that words often cannot. They provide concrete evidence of your solution's impact, creating a stronger case for your product or service.

But remember, these stats should be significant, reliable, and, most importantly, show real impact on your customer’s bottom line.

Here's an example of a great animated numbers slide:

Animated numbers slide example

6. Quotes and testimonials

There's nothing like a testimonial from a happy customer to boost your credibility. Direct quotes add a personal touch and authenticity to your case study, making it more believable and trustworthy.

Here’s a great testimonial example from Hotjar:

Hotjar testimonials example

7. Interactive design

Incorporating interactive design elements will make your case studies stand out, but more importantly, drive high-engagement.

Use eye-catching graphics, use clickable elements like tabs, videos, and menus, include live graphs, animated flipbooks , and so on. Use these elements tactically in order to break up your text into digestible chunks and make your content easier to read and to navigate.

Here’s an example of an interactive business case study:

Marketing case study example

Marketing case study

White glove delivery with a focus on process optimization explained by a compelling story.

8. Call to action

A good case study doesn't just end; it leads your reader to the next step. Be it trying your product, booking a demo, getting in touch with your team, or reading another case study - your call to action should be clear, compelling, and easy to follow.

Here’s what a clear, singular call to action should look like:

Interactive deck with an embedded calendar

If you want to learn more practical tips, check out our post on how to create a business case study that converts .

How to use a case study in business and marketing?

Often underestimated and underused , business case studies have the power to leverage real-life narratives to shape opinions, influence decision-making, and ultimately, drive conversions.

Let me show you how you can use that power to your advantage.

1. Used as sales collateral

In the world of sales, your case study can be the difference between a polite “we’ll consider it” and a bought-in “show me how it works!”

Picture this: you're reaching out to potential clients, and you slip in a case study showcasing how you've helped a similar business overcome a common hurdle. It's not just a pitch, it's proof you can do it.

But the magic doesn't stop there. Weave these real-life success stories into your sales presentations , and watch as they accelerate your pipeline.

They provide tangible evidence of your value proposition, helping you remove objections, demonstrate value, and differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

2. Used as marketing collateral

I) Use on your website:

On the marketing front, case studies can significantly boost your self-serve conversion rate . By featuring them on your website, you're offering visitors a peek into your track record of success - letting them feel like they're missing out.

II) Add to brochures and product catalogs:

Just sprinkle in a few case studies, and you've just added an extra layer of credibility.

III) Leverage social media:

Share your case studies on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, to promote your business; and start a conversation around your brand.

IV) Include in PPC campaigns on Google AdWords:

Add case studies as site links to give potential customers another reason to click. It's like saying, "Don't just take our word for it, see how we've helped businesses like yours."

Here’s an example of what it looks like:

Case study in site links

Obstacles for creating business case studies & how to overcome them

Creating captivating business case studies is essential, but let's be real: it's not a walk in the park.

So let's buckle up and navigate the most common roadblocks and learn how to steer around them.

Hurdle 1: Spotting the right stories feels like finding a needle in a haystack.

Hold on there! Locating customers ready to share their success tales might seem daunting, but it's not mission impossible. Here's the deal: people love to share success.

How to get clients to share their success stories

Collaborate with your customer success team to identify delighted or triumphant clients

Seek out customers who are scoring high with a good NPS score

Team up with sales to single out recent renewals or upsells

Engage with super active customers on social media

Ask your team during meetings about any standout customers

Reach out to customers who have spoken at your events

Connect with Customer Advisory Board members

Do this and you're bound to uncover some star storytellers.

Hurdle 2: Customers might not want to get involved.

Let's flip the script! Instead of begging for a favor, portray this as an opportunity for customers to amplify their industry status.

Make it a hassle-free and rewarding experience for them. Provide data, draft points for discussion, and be their cheerleader throughout the journey.

Remember, appreciation is infectious. A heartfelt thank you can turn a one-time participant into a long-term advocate.

Hurdle 3: It’s a mammoth task.

Creating business case studies can feel like a marathon, particularly when you're juggling multiple roles.

Delegating the task to an experienced industry writer can save your team a ton of time and energy. You might find the right person within your network, or you might need to explore industry-specific job boards.

Creating a structured timeline and using a shared tool can help keep everyone on track and in the loop.

Here's how to streamline the process of creating a case study:

Extend an invitation to the potential customer

Connect them with the lead writer

Conduct an internal review of the first draft before sending it to the customer

Incorporate their feedback into the second draft

Get final approval for the final draft

Publish and promote your case study!

How to design a business case study?

Your case study design supports the text like your body language supports what you’re saying when you talk. It adds that extra layer of emotional meaning you can't quite put into words.

Luckily, even if you're not a design expert, there are tools to help you add that extra emotional depth to your content. Let’s review a few tools that help you design your case study.

Design using a website builder

If you’d prefer to get hands-on with your design, website builders like Wix or Squarespace offer a versatile platform for creating a business case study from scratch.

They provide a blank canvas and a wealth of design elements, giving you the liberty to choose each piece and place it just where you want it.

It takes time and a keen eye for design to make all the elements come together seamlessly, but the end result can be rewarding.

Design using a case study maker

A case study maker gives you pre-set elements ready for use. All you need to do is drop in your content, and the tool takes care of the aesthetics and user experience.

It's a much more efficient way to create a case study with all its unique building blocks than using a website builder.

We know, since we see how fast our users create astounding case studies using our own case study creator. Try for yourself .

Don’t design - use a template

Templates provide an immediate and easy to work with structure for your design and content.

But beyond that, our gallery of interactive case study templates gives you time-tested designs we know have high-engagement and killer conversion (based on more than 100K reading sessions we’ve analyzed).

Grab a template - and you can skip the long design process, save time, money and frustration, and simply start creating.

open

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

define case study marketing

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Lessons from the Field: Analyzing Successful Marketing Case Studies

Discover valuable insights and strategies from real-life marketing case studies in this informative article.

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, success stories serve as valuable lessons. Case studies, in particular, provide real-world examples and insights that can shape marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics. They offer a window into the strategies employed by successful brands, allowing marketers to extract valuable insights and apply them to their own endeavors. In this article, we will delve into the importance of case studies in marketing, identify key elements of successful case studies, explore how to extract valuable insights from them, and discuss the application of those insights to improve marketing strategies.

Understanding the Importance of Case Studies in Marketing

Case studies play a vital role in the development of marketing strategy. They provide marketers with evidence of what works in real-world scenarios, allowing them to learn from others' successes and avoid their mistakes. Additionally, case studies offer an opportunity to understand the challenges faced by various organizations and how they overcame them.

The role of case studies in marketing strategy development

Case studies serve as a foundation for marketing strategy development. By analyzing successful marketing case studies, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of the tactics and approaches that have proven effective in the past. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions and craft strategies that are more likely to succeed.

For example, let's consider a case study on a popular clothing brand that successfully launched a new product line. By examining the marketing strategies employed, such as influencer collaborations and targeted social media campaigns, marketers can draw valuable insights. They can learn about the importance of creating a buzz around the launch, leveraging the power of social media influencers, and engaging with their target audience in a meaningful way.

Furthermore, case studies provide marketers with a comprehensive view of the marketing landscape. They showcase different industries, markets, and target audiences, allowing marketers to broaden their perspective. This exposure to diverse case studies helps marketers identify innovative strategies and adapt them to their specific business needs.

How case studies provide real-world examples and insights

Case studies bring marketing theories and concepts to life by showcasing their application in real-world scenarios. They provide concrete examples of marketing strategies, tactics, and campaigns that have achieved measurable success. Whether it's a social media campaign that went viral or a targeted content marketing strategy, case studies offer a wealth of insights into what works and how it can be replicated.

Let's delve into a case study on a startup that successfully disrupted the market with a unique marketing approach. This case study highlights the importance of thinking outside the box and taking calculated risks. By analyzing the strategies employed by the startup, marketers can gain valuable insights into unconventional marketing methods that can create a buzz and differentiate their brand from competitors.

Furthermore, case studies provide an opportunity to learn from failures as well. By examining unsuccessful marketing campaigns, marketers can identify pitfalls to avoid and gain a deeper understanding of what does not work in certain contexts. This knowledge is invaluable in refining marketing strategies and avoiding costly mistakes.

Moreover, case studies offer a glimpse into the ever-evolving digital landscape. With the rapid advancement of technology, marketers need to stay updated on the latest trends and tools. By studying case studies that showcase successful digital marketing campaigns, marketers can gain insights into emerging platforms, innovative techniques, and effective ways to engage with digitally-savvy consumers.

In conclusion, case studies are an essential tool for marketers to enhance their understanding of successful marketing strategies and gain insights into real-world examples. By analyzing case studies, marketers can make informed decisions, craft effective marketing strategies, and stay ahead in the dynamic and competitive marketing landscape.

Identifying Key Elements of Successful Marketing Case Studies

To truly benefit from analyzing case studies, it is essential to identify their key elements. By understanding what makes a case study successful, marketers can find valuable lessons and apply them to their own marketing initiatives.

Case studies are a powerful tool for marketers to gain insights and learn from the successes of others. They provide a real-life example of how a marketing strategy was implemented and the results that were achieved. However, not all case studies are created equal. Some are more effective than others in conveying the key lessons and inspiring marketers to take action.

Defining the objectives and target audience of the case study

Successful case studies clearly define their objectives and target audience. These two factors shape the entire narrative of the case study, ensuring that it aligns with the intended lessons and resonates with the readers who can benefit from it.

When defining the objectives of a case study, marketers should consider what specific insights they want to gain and what actions they hope to inspire. This clarity of purpose will guide the selection of case study subjects and the analysis of their strategies.

Similarly, identifying the target audience is crucial for crafting a case study that speaks directly to the right people. Marketers should consider who will benefit the most from the lessons shared in the case study and tailor the language, examples, and recommendations accordingly.

Selecting the right case study subjects for analysis

The choice of case study subjects is crucial. Marketers should select case studies that closely align with their industry, target market, or specific marketing challenges they face. By analyzing case studies that are relevant and relatable, marketers can extract insights that are directly applicable to their own marketing strategies.

When selecting case study subjects, marketers should consider not only the industry or market segment but also the specific challenges or goals they are facing. For example, if a marketer is struggling with social media engagement, analyzing a case study of a successful social media campaign can provide valuable insights and inspiration.

Furthermore, it is important to consider the credibility and reliability of the case study subjects. Marketers should look for case studies that have been well-documented and have credible sources of information. This ensures that the insights gained from the analysis are based on accurate and trustworthy data.

Analyzing the structure and format of successful case studies

Case studies have a distinct structure and format. Successful case studies often follow a storytelling approach, clearly outlining the problem, the strategy employed, the tactics used, and the results achieved. Analyzing the structure and format of successful case studies can help marketers present their own strategies in a compelling and engaging manner.

When analyzing the structure and format of successful case studies, marketers should pay attention to the flow of the narrative. Is the story easy to follow? Does it build tension and create anticipation? Is the resolution satisfying? These elements contribute to the overall impact of the case study and can make it more memorable and persuasive.

In addition, marketers should consider the use of visuals and supporting data in successful case studies. Visuals such as charts, graphs, and images can help illustrate key points and make the case study more visually appealing. Supporting data, such as statistics and metrics, can add credibility and provide evidence of the effectiveness of the strategies employed.

By analyzing the structure and format of successful case studies, marketers can gain insights into how to present their own strategies in a way that captures the attention of their audience and effectively communicates the key lessons.

Extracting Valuable Insights from Marketing Case Studies

Once marketers have identified successful case studies, the next step is to extract valuable insights that can inform their own marketing initiatives. This involves examining the strategies employed, understanding the impact of market research and data analysis, and learning from innovative and creative marketing campaigns.

Identifying successful marketing strategies and tactics

Case studies provide an opportunity to identify successful marketing strategies and tactics that have proven effective in specific scenarios. By analyzing these strategies, marketers can gain inspiration and adapt them to their own campaigns to achieve similar results.

Understanding the impact of market research and data analysis

Market research and data analysis play a crucial role in successful marketing case studies. These studies often highlight the importance of gathering and analyzing relevant data to inform marketing decisions. By understanding how market research and data analysis contribute to successful marketing, marketers can leverage these tools to enhance their own strategies.

Learning from innovative and creative marketing campaigns

Successful case studies often showcase innovative and creative marketing campaigns that have captured audience attention. By analyzing these campaigns, marketers can learn valuable lessons about creativity, resourcefulness, and out-of-the-box thinking. These insights can then be applied to their own marketing initiatives to create impact and differentiate their brands.

Applying Lessons Learned to Improve Marketing Strategies

Deriving insights from case studies is only valuable if they can be effectively applied to improve marketing strategies. This involves implementing successful case study findings into marketing plans, adapting strategies to fit different industries and target markets, and measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies based on case study insights.

Implementing successful case study findings into marketing plans

Successful case study findings should not remain mere insights but should be transformed into actionable plans. Marketers should incorporate these findings into their marketing strategies and campaigns, adapting them to suit their own unique circumstances. By implementing successful case study findings, marketers can increase the likelihood of achieving desirable outcomes.

Adapting strategies to fit different industries and target markets

While case studies provide valuable insights, it's crucial to adapt them to fit different industries and target markets. What works for one brand may not necessarily work for another. Marketers should carefully consider the nuances of their own industry and target market and tailor strategies accordingly. By intelligently integrating case study learnings with industry context, marketers can maximize effectiveness.

Measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies based on case study insights

An effective marketing strategy is one that can be measured and evaluated. Once marketers have applied case study insights to their own strategies, they should establish clear metrics to assess their effectiveness. By measuring the impact of their strategies, marketers can continuously refine and optimize their marketing efforts based on the lessons learned from the case studies they have analyzed.

Storing Templates in the HIVO Platform

In addition to analyzing case studies for insights, marketers can also streamline their marketing processes by utilizing digital asset management platforms like HIVO. One valuable feature of HIVO is the ability to store templates.

Templates provide marketers with a consistent and efficient way to execute marketing campaigns. With HIVO, marketing teams can easily access and use pre-designed templates for various marketing materials, such as landing pages, social media ads, email campaigns, and more.

By storing templates in the HIVO platform, marketers can ensure brand consistency, save time on design iterations, and maintain quality control over the marketing materials. The ability to store templates simplifies the marketing workflow, enhances collaboration among team members, and allows for better scalability in marketing campaigns.

In conclusion, analyzing successful marketing case studies is a valuable practice for marketers seeking to improve their strategies. By understanding the importance of case studies, identifying key elements of successful case studies, extracting valuable insights, and applying those lessons learned, marketers can enhance their marketing outcomes and drive success in their campaigns. Additionally, leveraging digital asset management platforms like HIVO, with features such as template storage, can further streamline marketing processes and improve efficiency.

What is a case study in marketing?

A case study is a testimonial outlining your customers’ success with using your product, explaining how your product’s key features led to benefits for your customer such as productivity and through increases and time and cost savings. Case studies often serve as your products’ calling card, highlighting how a customer successfully used your product.

What is the purpose of a case study?

Case studies in marketing are used as social proof. This gives buyers more context to understand if they are making a good choice. Showing case studies to customers who are on the fence about your product could convince them to make a purchase.

What is the difference between a case study and a customer story?

A case study is a more in depth look at the customer’s thoughts and results from your product than a customer story.

The customer story paints a picture of the problem, solution and results. A case study will include all of this information plus a more detailed explanation of how the solution was delivered and the key measurements that show the product's effects.

What makes a good case study?

A good case study can usually be broken down into the following elements:

  • Challenge: Your customers’ challenges before using your product
  • Solution: How your product solves these challenges
  • Benefits: Key performance indicators highlighting the benefits your customer received from using your products. KPIs include:
  • % increased productivity
  • X in cost-savings
  • Y amount of time saved doing Z task
  • B times increase in throughput
  • Products used: Which of your products did your customers use to experience this success? Which features benefited them the most?

define case study marketing

What should a case study include?

Case study formats.

Case studies usually come in a variety of formats such as written documents, third-party reviews either on your product page or a third-party site, videos, or even a customer presentation on your product at a live event.

Here’s the breakdown of each type of case study:

White papers

define case study marketing

Case study white papers are usually written documents that provide a full overview of how your customers succeeded with your products.

These documents usually detail everything from your customers’ decision to use your products versus the competition, their implementation, their day-to-day, and key performance indicators.

Usually, case study white papers are great for your sales team to use as leave-behind collateral.

define case study marketing

A video case study is a great way to highlight your customers using your product in addition to discussing their success with your product.

Typically, the best videos blend an organic customer interview with shots of your customers using your products in their environment. The best length to target for these is about 3 to 5 minutes at most.

Third-party websites

define case study marketing

Third-party sites such as G2 Crowd and TrustRadius are also great sources for customer testimonials. Customers tend to be candid on these sites and, in addition to getting great customer quotes which you can repurpose on your website, you can also get valuable product feature requests and ideas, or information on what’s not working so well with your product.

Presentations at live events

define case study marketing

Customer presentations highlighting your products and your customers’ success with your products also case studies.

If your customer is willing to go on stage at your event or a relevant industry event and discuss how they’ve used your products and how they’ve been helpful, that’s probably one of the best testimonials you can get, especially with other prospects in the room. Your customers become instant lead magnets and can attract new users to your company through their presentation.

To help your customers be successful with advocating for your products, arm them with tools that they can leverage if they need or offer to support them during their presentations!

Customer advocates

define case study marketing

The same customers who are willing to go on stage and present about your products on your behalf are also great customer advocates for your Sales team to use to help your company sell your products.

As part of the sales process, you can provide your salespeople with a list of customers who are willing to connect with curious prospects. Hearing an opinion for an existing customer can help convert a prospect to a customer.

Adam Thomas, PM expert, shares some case study formats:

Testimonials

"When talking to your customer doing the case study, they may say a bite-sized anecdote that sums up a feature or your product in a helpful way. These are great to use on a sales page or product page, as it gives your product more credibility."

"Your blog, if you have one, can highlight users. Writing an article or using the case study conversation as a post can help customers see, in a more relaxed context, how your product works for them."

How to build a library of customer case studies

Poornima Mohandas, Director of Product Marketing at Birdeye, shared her advice for building a library of case studies.

"First things first, before you start cranking out case studies, find out what your salespeople really want. Are they after desirable logos from select verticals? Start with a long list of happy customers and narrow it down with appropriate filters such as length of customer relationship."

Talk to sales, map the need

"Talk to your sales leaders and a handful of sales folks across enterprise and SMB teams to figure out their needs. Ask them:

  • Will customer case studies be valuable to you?
  • Ideally, which brands would you like case studies on?
  • What verticals, geographies, size of companies are you most interested in?

"These answers coupled with the strategic direction of the company will map out your targeting strategy."

Prepare a long list with customer success

"Consult with your customer success team to get a list of happy customers. Forward-looking customer success teams will have colour-coded and complete lists, just waiting for you to run with it!

"This is your long list. Now go ahead and trim it down to:

  • Recognisable logos
  • Target verticals, geographies, and company size
  • Customers who have been with you for > a year

"If your list still has over a 100 names, narrow it down to customers who have been with you for five years. That is a lifetime in the SaaS business and it will speak volumes to what a great partner you make. And just like that, you have your shortlist of case study candidates."

Reuse conference sessions

"On the other hand, if you don’t have the time to shortlist customers and interview them, a shortcut is to tap into your company’s user conference recordings. If you have recordings of customers sharing their stories in a breakout session, simply transcribe it and repurpose it as a customer case study."

Tips for startups to get case studies

"Startups often struggle to find willing customers, some of them even offer discounted product prices as an incentive. I don’t recommend that as it dilutes your value.

"If you find that you don’t have many happy customers, then your problems may be more fundamental like a product-market misfit. Now, that’s a totally different beast for another blog post.

"Here are some tips you can try to get more case studies, faster:

"Offer a sales incentive – Involve your sales folks to solicit case studies, after all, they own the relationship. If budget permits, announce a spot bonus for every sales person who brings in a case study, I have seen this work wonders. Share the shortlist of case study candidates and ask sales to check in on the customer’s willingness to do an external-facing case study.

"Use the circumstance to your advantage – Under the current economic climate, your customers are most likely delaying payments. Now is as good a time as any to ask for something you want — a case study.

"Look for the right moment – Always be on the lookout for the right moment. Perhaps, it’s after a Customer Advisory Board session or after the customer has significantly broadened product usage. When the customer is mighty pleased with you, pop the case study question.

"Look for ambitious champions who like publicity – Look for outspoken, ambitious customer champions who want to be seen as driving change. So you may ask, how will I find them? Typically, they will be seen speaking at industry events and will in all likelihood be active on LinkedIn. If such champions benefit immensely from your product, they will more likely than not want to share their story. Your case study should capture the transformation they have been able to bring about in their organization. Make the customer the hero in your case study rather than your product."

Do the leg work

"Reach out to five companies to get one to convert. So if you are aiming for a modest library of 10 case studies, reach out to at least 50 customers.

"At the outset, take permission for a public-facing, named case study. Recently, I wasted about 60 minutes doing research and interviewing the HR manager of a large retail brand only to receive a frantic phone call 30 minutes later saying, “Please don’t publish anything I said. I got a call from my boss saying that we cannot do case studies with vendors.”

"Simultaneously, work with your demand gen team to work out a promotion plan for each of your case studies. Here are some easy-to-implement ideas:

  • Write a customer-focused blog post
  • Post the case study both as an HTML page as well as a PDF
  • Create a banner on your customer webpage featuring the latest case study
  • Send an email to your prospects featuring the latest case study
  • And of course, broadcast on social media"

How to get the full customer story

"Say you have a customer interview scheduled, as a product marketer, be sure to attend the interview even if you have a content writer to write up the case study. You will be able to probe much deeper and uncover a story that syncs with your positioning. Plus, you will learn yet another valuable customer story that can come handy in your next customer demo or analyst presentation.

"In the interview:

  • Let the customer talk and don’t interrupt
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Ask for anecdotes, examples, and all relevant details
  • Probe deeper for quantitative benefits
  • Gather more information that you need

"Find out which departments use and benefit from your product. Interview people across departments and hierarchies so you get the full perspective. Get a benefit-oriented quote from the senior most buyer persona.

"For instance, if you sell to the operations team, interview the director of operations, an operations manager, and a warehouse manager, then get a quote from the COO."

Once the customer story is ready

"Share the final version of the case study with the customer for review. Be ready to accommodate some edits. Once approvals are in, design, execute on the promotion plan and press publish.

"Send your customer a thank you note, try the snail mail variety on your company letterhead, also be sure to thank them on social media.

"Rinse and repeat to build up your library of case studies."

Adam Thomas, PM expert, also shares some tips for building a a case study library:

Open-ended questions

"Your question set should be short - no more than five questions. Make sure that there is no way someone can give a one-word answer - these questions need to be open-ended. You want to have a conversation, one that is free-flowing and that means focusing on the customer and the environment."

Analyze carefully

"Make sure you sit with these conversations for a while. Take the time to get good quotes that are interesting and align with your values. Check to see if the language on your marketing materials match how your customers talk. All of your customers belong to some sort of “world” everything that comes from this.

"It may seem simple from what we’re discussing, however, as you start to put this plan into action, you’ll see how much data you’ll collect, and how closely you can match the mental model of your customers."

Product Marketing case study examples

Companies often use case studies on their website to demonstrate how their products have helped a previous customer. Here is a selection of some of the examples out there:

Boston-based company Drift specializes in helping their customers generate qualified leads, using chatbots and conversations within their website.

When software company Zenefits encountered huge marketing growth, the large amount of traffic being diverted to the company’s website resulted in problems such as inefficiencies in the SDR channel, lack of buyer centricity, and prospective customers slipping through the net.

Drift provided a solution for the Zenefits, by introducing buyer-centric conversations, as well as time-saving automation. The company not only optimized the SDR channel, but put contingencies in place to provide Zenefits’ customers with access to around the clock support.

As a result, the customer experience improved, the win-rate increased, while the overall efficiency of the SDR channel was improved, and Drift did a great example of bringing all this fore with their case study page by:

Pulling out key stats:

define case study marketing

Including clear quotes from satisfied customers:

define case study marketing

Japanese consumer electronics and commercial electronics manufacturing giants Casio needed to find a way to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of inbound marketing efforts at the organization, as well as the communication between sales and marketing, to protect coveted leads.

In search of a solution, Casio turned to the HubSpot growth stack, which combines Marketing, CRM, and Sales software to support its clientele.

The decision to invest their faith in HubSpot has paid dividends, as highlighted on the case study page on the HubSpot site.

Performance statistics:

Like Drift, HubSpot have structured their case study in a way which draws the focus to the impressive results Casio has achieved since they received their support.

define case study marketing

SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering computer program.

The company was tasked with taking the development of humanoid robotics to a new level, with the design and creation of engaging, fun, and non-intimidating robots.

As part of the solution, the company combined several features, including SOLIDWORKS Premium design, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium analysis, SOLIDWORKS Plastics injection molding analysis, and SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM product data management software.

This helped form robots with human-like traits and movements - a significant development in treatment for people living with autism, with the case study page highlighting successes by including the likes of:

Positive quotes from key stakeholders:

define case study marketing

Where to find your case studies

The best way to find a good case study is by asking your Sales, Customer Success, Support, and/or Product teams to source vocal, happy users. Case study customers are usually the ones that are happy with your products, constantly jumping at the opportunity to advocate for your products to their friends and colleagues, and ones who are willing to jump on the phone and be a sounding board for your team. Typically, these users provide a 4 or 5-star rating on third-party platforms like G2 Crowd, TrustRadius, Apple App Store, etc.

The best way to find these folks is to keep your ears to the ground by monitoring third-party review sites, listen closely to when your product managers or customer success folks rave about a particular customer, and look out for the users who are chomping at the bit to talk about you. You can also use Google alerts to source instances when your product name comes up online, you may find that a blogger online is a good testimonial customer.

Social media can also be a great resource for prospective case study candidates, especially if you’re finding that specific followers jump at the opportunity to share a screenshot of what they’re doing in your products or offer advice to other followers.

When you’ve found a great case study candidate for a video or a live presentation, you want to get a story from them as quickly as possible. However, some candidates and companies may be camera shy or may hesitate to go on record with their testimonial.

Use the circumstance to your advantage

One way to sway your prospects is by presenting a case study as an opportunity for your customers to showcase themselves as leading industry heroes for taking a fateful leap and using your products.

Look for ambitious champions who like publicity

Case studies are also a great way to highlight the interviewee and provide them with an opportunity to build their resume by saying they were featured in a case study.

Look for the right moment

Case studies can be a great source for product feature requests, customer feedback, and enhancement requests. When you interview your customers for a story, pay close attention to any side remarks they may make, some of these could potentially serve as good feedback for your product teams. You can also sprinkle in some customer research questions as well throughout the interview to surface some of that juicy feedback.

Offer a sales incentive

Additionally, you can offer to link back to their company site to provide them some SEO juice. Or, better yet, a coffee or a $25 gift card in return for a case study tends to go a long way!

Example questions

Which problems were you looking to solve when you went out searching for our product?

  • What made you choose our product over other solutions? What other solutions were you considering?
  • What is your favorite part about using our product?
  • What was your experience implementing our product?
  • Which benefits have you seen from implementing our product? Any time-savings, productivity gains, etc?
  • What are you able to do with our product that you weren’t able to do before?

PMA has a lot of great case study questions you could ask as well:

define case study marketing

Want to learn more?

Product marketing is and always will be a customer-centric role. A core part of your job is to value the voice of the customer and advocate for their wants, needs, and pain points. It’s your responsibility to make them feel heard. Therefore, customer marketing is an integral part of what you need to do to ensure that you’re staying true to this.

The Customer Marketing Certified: Masters course has been designed to give you invaluable, practical insights into streamlining your customer marketing approach so that you can ensure that:

  • Your customers are happy,
  • Your products are the best they truly can be,
  • Your brand reputation is consistently positive, and
  • That you bring in increased revenue for your organization.

So what are you waiting for?

What is a case study in marketing?

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define case study marketing

Marketing Results

22 Marketing Case Study Examples (With Template)

February 17, 2016 by Will Swayne

define case study marketing

Prospects who aren’t ready to buy – or who are “sitting on the fence” – tend to be resistant to even well-crafted marketing messages.  But a bunch of well aimed marketing case studies can often tip the scales in your favour.

“Sell benefits, not features” is good advice, but benefit-rich copy can actually deter prospects who haven’t reached the decision stage yet.

And too many benefits in the absence of marketing proof elements  can ring hollow in today’s increasingly sceptical marketplace.

We published our first marketing case study back in 2005 and I quickly realised the power of case studies as a versatile and effective marketing tactic.

Why are marketing case studies so effective?

Here are three reasons:

  • Case studies show, they don’t tell. Telling you I can get you more qualified leads is one thing. Showing you how a similar company to yours got 145% more leads with 24% lower marketing costs is another.
  • Prospects are typically curious to understand how others have achieved the results they desire. They will eagerly devour a well-constructed case study.
  • Case studies are also a great tool for closing fence-sitting prospects. For many years I’ve asked prospects why they chose to work with us, and the most common response seems to be, “I was impressed by your case studies” , or “I saw you helped someone in my industry so I figure you can help us too” .

Now let’s look at how to structure and effectively promote a case study, and then some marketing case study examples for you to replicate.

Our Recommended Case Study Template

Here’s the case study structure we’ve adopted which has proven effective:

  • Start with a major headline that summarises the key result achieved: e.g. “Investment Property Strategist Triples Leads In 6 Months” . This gets the prospect excited about reading on.
  • Then introduce the background . In other words, the “Before” scenario.Don’t bore the reader with too many details about the history of the client. But DO provide an insight into the “trigger” that led to them seeking your assistance. e.g. “The client noticed smaller competitors starting to appear ahead of them on Google”. And,   DO talk about the negative effects of the “Before” state. E.g. “New customer acquisition that had previously been growing by 10% every quarter had flatlined for the last 12 months.”
  • Now talk about the solution . Here’s where you explain what you did to achieve the outcomes. I like to list different services or solutions in the form of bullet points. Also, include significant details and facts and figures to add “richness” to the story. Where possible, demonstrate with images, screenshots or other proof elements. Emphasise anything you did differently to the standard approach, or anything that highlights your point-of-difference benefits.
  • Now talk about your results . Results are the crux of any good case study.I like to go with a number of punchy bullet points, populated with specific numbers. E.g . “Lead volume up 75%… New customer volume from online sources up 145%… 1,540 more organic search engine visitors per month.”
  • Include a testimonial from the client. What was their reaction to your work? The “Before-During-After” approach is a good structure for testimonials. A strong testimonial adds texture and credibility to the data in your core case study.
  • End with a call-to-action . This can be relatively low-key. For example, “Contact us to explore how you can enjoy similar breakthrough results.”

You can see more examples of different implementations of this concept on our online marketing case studies page.

How To Promote Your Case Study

A case study that never gets read won’t help you.

Here are some of our favourite promotional methods:

  • Optimise each case study for search engines . A good start is using a <title> tag on your case study pages in the format: “<INDUSTRY> <SERVICE> case study”. For example, “Accountant online marketing case study” or “Car sales lead generation case study” .   This will tend to rank you well for anyone searching for case studies about your industry.
  • Send case studies to your email subscribers . These emails achieve high engagement both as broadcasts, and as “drip emails” within an automation sequence .
  • Create a print booklet of case studies to send to prospects and clients via snail mail or distribute at trade shows.
  • Case studies make great social media updates and can be recycled every few months using different headlines.

22 Marketing Case Study Examples

1. fuji xerox australia business equipment, tripled leads for 60% less marketing spend.

In 90 days, we doubled web lead flow with lower marketing costs.

Read the full case study here.

Paul Strahl , National e-Business Manager

National e-Business Manager

2. Surf Live Saving Foundation

Surf lottery grows online revenue 47%.

Marketing Results delivered tangible business improvements, including 47% higher revenue from digital, year-on-year.

Yin Tang , Surf Live Saving Foundation

Surf Live Saving Foundation

3. ABC Reading Eggs

Integrated search and conversion management for abc reading eggs.

Marketing Results have been instrumental in profitably expanding our ad spend, while removing waste.

Matthew Sandblom , Managing Director ABC Reading Eggs

ABC Reading Eggs

4. MAP Home Loans

From 70 hour weeks to 40 hour weeks with 100% annual growth.

I now make twice as much money, have less stress and fewer hours.

Craig Vaunghan , Principal MAP Home Loans

MAP Home Loans

5. Inkjet Wholesale

Online advertising roi doubles – in just three months.

We couldn’t be happier – conversion rates are up, costs are down, ROI has doubled.

Glenn Taylor , National Marketing Manager Inkjet Wholesale

Inkjet Wholesale

6. Breaking Into Wall Street

Info-marketing business achieves 300% revenue growth with 7-figure profits.

Marketing Results provided the marketing support to grow my annual revenue 300%+. They don’t just advise – they implement.

Brian DeChesare , Founder Breaking Into Wall Street

Breaking Into Wall Street

7. LatestBuy

Brw fast 100 online retailer latestbuy.com.au boosts sales by 45.3%.

Revenue had flatlined… Now it is up by 45%, with over 80% of that due to conversion rate optimisation.

Shaun Campbell , Co-Owner LatestBuy.com.au

LatestBuy.com.au

8. directSMS

More traffic, less cost, lead volume doubles.

More than doubled the number of qualified enquiries via our website for the same ad spend.

Ramez Zaki , Co-Founder directSMS

directSMS

9. Business Coach and Author, Pure Bookkeeping

Successful marketing automation and 100.95% year on year growth.

50%+ of business comes directly through online channels and none of this would have happened without Marketing Results.

Peter Cook , Business Coach & Author Pure Bookkeeping

Pure Bookkeeping

10. Positive Training Solutions

Higher rankings plus more, higher-quality leads.

Marketing Results excels in strategic and online marketing.

James Grima , Managing Director Positive Training Solutions

Positive Training Solutions

11. Geelong’s Gym

From 5-6 leads a month to 60-70. 10x increase.

We’ve gone from 5 – 6 leads per month to 60 – 70!

Gerard Spriet , Owner Geelong’s Gym

Geelong's Gym

12. Super Finance – SMSF Property

A new pipeline delivering a steady flow of web leads.

Outstanding quality of web generated leads!

Yannick Ieko , Director Super Finance

Super Finance

13. College For Adult Learning – Training Organisation

300%+ more sales with 60% lower cost per sale.

I expect at least another 60% more leads and 80-90% more revenue by continuing to work with Marketing Results.

Rob Golding , Director College For Adult Learning

College For Adult Learning

14. The Gourmet Guardian – Food Safety Programs

4 times more leads and a 269% revenue increase.

Your AdWords strategies have quadrupled leads, almost tripled revenue and reduced my dependence on contract work to zero.

Gavin Buckett , Managing Director The Gourmet Guardian

The Gourmet Guardian

15. Quick Coach – Life Coaching Courses

More qualified sales plus a facebook roi of 1285%.

The results have been fantastic… I have had over 500 potential students opt in via Google wanting to change their lives and those of their clients.

Glen Murdoch , Founder & CEO Quick Coach

Quick Coach

16. Investment House – Property Development

Clients lined up for everything we can find.

We have clients lined up for everything we can find.

Colin Ferguson , Managing Director Investment House

Investment House

17. Cosmetic Surgery Lead Generation

257% increase in qualified lead volume.

In less than a year, our enquiry volume increased by over 257% while increasing the quality and conversion rate of those leads.

Dee Tozer , Managing Director Medici Clinics

Medici Clinics

18. All Suburbs Catering

61% roi gain in less than 5 months….

20% more enquiries for 34% less cost – a compounded gain of 61% in only 5 months.

Jeff Veale , Managing Director All Suburbs Catering

All Suburbs Catering

19. Trilogy Funding

549 qualified sales leads in 3 months.

549 qualified sales leads in 3 months.

Ed Nixon , Principal Trilogy Funding

Trilogy Funding

20. Customized Stickers

Online revenue rockets by 800%.

With Marketing Result on our side, our website revenue has increased by over 800% in only 18 months.

Anthony Khoury , Managing Director Customized Stickers

Customized Stickers

21. Technoledge

Engaging ceos of ideal target companies.

We’re routinely seeing CEOs of Australian hi techs with turnover of $5 million to $50 million (our target audience) opting in and proceeding to self-qualify before they contact us for a meeting. This is what digital marketing is supposed to do.

Tracey James , Director Technoledge

Technoledge

22. First Aid Training

Specialist first aid training company doubles revenue in 6 months.

We’ve streamlined customer acquisition, increased customer lifetime value, and doubled our revenue in 6 months!

Dave Hundt , Director Kids First Aid

Kids First Aid

I encourage you to put these tips into action and see how they work for you.

What other ways have you used case studies effectively in your business?

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Business growth

Marketing tips

16 case study examples (+ 3 templates to make your own)

Hero image with an icon representing a case study

I like to think of case studies as a business's version of a resume. It highlights what the business can do, lends credibility to its offer, and contains only the positive bullet points that paint it in the best light possible.

Imagine if the guy running your favorite taco truck followed you home so that he could "really dig into how that burrito changed your life." I see the value in the practice. People naturally prefer a tried-and-true burrito just as they prefer tried-and-true products or services.

To help you showcase your success and flesh out your burrito questionnaire, I've put together some case study examples and key takeaways.

What is a case study?

A case study is an in-depth analysis of how your business, product, or service has helped past clients. It can be a document, a webpage, or a slide deck that showcases measurable, real-life results.

For example, if you're a SaaS company, you can analyze your customers' results after a few months of using your product to measure its effectiveness. You can then turn this analysis into a case study that further proves to potential customers what your product can do and how it can help them overcome their challenges.

It changes the narrative from "I promise that we can do X and Y for you" to "Here's what we've done for businesses like yours, and we can do it for you, too."

16 case study examples 

While most case studies follow the same structure, quite a few try to break the mold and create something unique. Some businesses lean heavily on design and presentation, while others pursue a detailed, stat-oriented approach. Some businesses try to mix both.

There's no set formula to follow, but I've found that the best case studies utilize impactful design to engage readers and leverage statistics and case details to drive the point home. A case study typically highlights the companies, the challenges, the solution, and the results. The examples below will help inspire you to do it, too.

1. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Volcanica Coffee and AdRoll

On top of a background of coffee beans, a block of text with percentage growth statistics for how AdRoll nitro-fueled Volcanica coffee.

People love a good farm-to-table coffee story, and boy am I one of them. But I've shared this case study with you for more reasons than my love of coffee. I enjoyed this study because it was written as though it was a letter.

In this case study, the founder of Volcanica Coffee talks about the journey from founding the company to personally struggling with learning and applying digital marketing to finding and enlisting AdRoll's services.

It felt more authentic, less about AdRoll showcasing their worth and more like a testimonial from a grateful and appreciative client. After the story, the case study wraps up with successes, milestones, and achievements. Note that quite a few percentages are prominently displayed at the top, providing supporting evidence that backs up an inspiring story.

Takeaway: Highlight your goals and measurable results to draw the reader in and provide concise, easily digestible information.

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Screenshot of the Taylor Guitars and Airtable case study, with the title: Taylor Guitars brings more music into the world with Airtable

This Airtable case study on Taylor Guitars comes as close as one can to an optimal structure. It features a video that represents the artistic nature of the client, highlighting key achievements and dissecting each element of Airtable's influence.

It also supplements each section with a testimonial or quote from the client, using their insights as a catalyst for the case study's narrative. For example, the case study quotes the social media manager and project manager's insights regarding team-wide communication and access before explaining in greater detail.

Takeaway: Highlight pain points your business solves for its client, and explore that influence in greater detail.

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Screenshot of the Endeavour and Figma case study, showing a bulleted list about why EndeavourX chose Figma followed by an image of EndeavourX's workspace on Figma

My favorite part of Figma's case study is highlighting why EndeavourX chose its solution. You'll notice an entire section on what Figma does for teams and then specifically for EndeavourX.

It also places a heavy emphasis on numbers and stats. The study, as brief as it is, still manages to pack in a lot of compelling statistics about what's possible with Figma.

Takeaway: Showcase the "how" and "why" of your product's differentiators and how they benefit your customers.

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Screenshot of Zapier's case study with ActiveCampaign, showing three data visualizations on purple backgrounds

Zapier's case study leans heavily on design, using graphics to present statistics and goals in a manner that not only remains consistent with the branding but also actively pushes it forward, drawing users' eyes to the information most important to them. 

The graphics, emphasis on branding elements, and cause/effect style tell the story without requiring long, drawn-out copy that risks boring readers. Instead, the cause and effect are concisely portrayed alongside the client company's information for a brief and easily scannable case study.

Takeaway: Lean on design to call attention to the most important elements of your case study, and make sure it stays consistent with your branding.

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Screenshot of a video from the Ironclad and OpenAI case study showing the Ironclad AI Assist feature

In true OpenAI fashion, this case study is a block of text. There's a distinct lack of imagery, but the study features a narrated video walking readers through the product.

The lack of imagery and color may not be the most inviting, but utilizing video format is commendable. It helps thoroughly communicate how OpenAI supported Ironclad in a way that allows the user to sit back, relax, listen, and be impressed. 

Takeaway: Get creative with the media you implement in your case study. Videos can be a very powerful addition when a case study requires more detailed storytelling.

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Screenshot of the Shopify and GitHub case study, with the title "Shopify keeps pushing ecommerce forward with help from GitHub tools," followed by a photo of a plant and a Shopify bag on a table on a dark background

GitHub's case study on Shopify is a light read. It addresses client pain points and discusses the different aspects its product considers and improves for clients. It touches on workflow issues, internal systems, automation, and security. It does a great job of representing what one company can do with GitHub.

To drive the point home, the case study features colorful quote callouts from the Shopify team, sharing their insights and perspectives on the partnership, the key issues, and how they were addressed.

Takeaway: Leverage quotes to boost the authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your case study. 

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Screenshot of the Audible and Contentful case study showing images of titles on Audible

Contentful's case study on Audible features almost every element a case study should. It includes not one but two videos and clearly outlines the challenge, solution, and outcome before diving deeper into what Contentful did for Audible. The language is simple, and the writing is heavy with quotes and personal insights.

This case study is a uniquely original experience. The fact that the companies in question are perhaps two of the most creative brands out there may be the reason. I expected nothing short of a detailed analysis, a compelling story, and video content. 

Takeaway: Inject some brand voice into the case study, and create assets that tell the story for you.

8 . .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Zoom and Asana

Screenshot of Zoom and Asana's case study on a navy blue background and an image of someone sitting on a Zoom call at a desk with the title "Zoom saves 133 work weeks per year with Asana"

Asana's case study on Zoom is longer than the average piece and features detailed data on Zoom's growth since 2020. Instead of relying on imagery and graphics, it features several quotes and testimonials. 

It's designed to be direct, informative, and promotional. At some point, the case study reads more like a feature list. There were a few sections that felt a tad too promotional for my liking, but to each their own burrito.

Takeaway: Maintain a balance between promotional and informative. You want to showcase the high-level goals your product helped achieve without losing the reader.

9 . .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Hickies and Mailchimp

Screenshot of the Hickies and Mailchimp case study with the title in a fun orange font, followed by a paragraph of text and a photo of a couple sitting on a couch looking at each other and smiling

I've always been a fan of Mailchimp's comic-like branding, and this case study does an excellent job of sticking to their tradition of making information easy to understand, casual, and inviting.

It features a short video that briefly covers Hickies as a company and Mailchimp's efforts to serve its needs for customer relationships and education processes. Overall, this case study is a concise overview of the partnership that manages to convey success data and tell a story at the same time. What sets it apart is that it does so in a uniquely colorful and brand-consistent manner.

Takeaway: Be concise to provide as much value in as little text as possible.

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Screenshot of NVIDIA and Workday's case study with a photo of a group of people standing around a tall desk and smiling and the title "NVIDIA hires game changers"

The gaming industry is notoriously difficult to recruit for, as it requires a very specific set of skills and experience. This case study focuses on how Workday was able to help fill that recruitment gap for NVIDIA, one of the biggest names in the gaming world.

Though it doesn't feature videos or graphics, this case study stood out to me in how it structures information like "key products used" to give readers insight into which tools helped achieve these results.

Takeaway: If your company offers multiple products or services, outline exactly which ones were involved in your case study, so readers can assess each tool.

11. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} KFC and Contentful

Screenshot of KFC and Contentful's case study showing the outcome of the study, showing two stats: 43% increase in YoY digital sales and 50%+ increase in AU digital sales YoY

I'm personally not a big KFC fan, but that's only because I refuse to eat out of a bucket. My aversion to the bucket format aside, Contentful follows its consistent case study format in this one, outlining challenges, solutions, and outcomes before diving into the nitty-gritty details of the project.

Say what you will about KFC, but their primary product (chicken) does present a unique opportunity for wordplay like "Continuing to march to the beat of a digital-first drum(stick)" or "Delivering deep-fried goodness to every channel."

Takeaway: Inject humor into your case study if there's room for it and if it fits your brand. 

12. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Intuit and Twilio

Screenshot of the Intuit and Twilio case study on a dark background with three small, light green icons illustrating three important data points

Twilio does an excellent job of delivering achievements at the very beginning of the case study and going into detail in this two-minute read. While there aren't many graphics, the way quotes from the Intuit team are implemented adds a certain flair to the study and breaks up the sections nicely.

It's simple, concise, and manages to fit a lot of information in easily digestible sections.

Takeaway: Make sure each section is long enough to inform but brief enough to avoid boring readers. Break down information for each section, and don't go into so much detail that you lose the reader halfway through.

13. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Spotify and Salesforce

Screenshot of Spotify and Salesforce's case study showing a still of a video with the title "Automation keeps Spotify's ad business growing year over year"

Salesforce created a video that accurately summarizes the key points of the case study. Beyond that, the page itself is very light on content, and sections are as short as one paragraph.

I especially like how information is broken down into "What you need to know," "Why it matters," and "What the difference looks like." I'm not ashamed of being spoon-fed information. When it's structured so well and so simply, it makes for an entertaining read.

14. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Benchling and Airtable

Screenshot of the Benchling and Airtable case study with the title: How Benchling achieves scientific breakthroughs via efficiency

Benchling is an impressive entity in its own right. Biotech R&D and health care nuances go right over my head. But the research and digging I've been doing in the name of these burritos (case studies) revealed that these products are immensely complex. 

And that's precisely why this case study deserves a read—it succeeds at explaining a complex project that readers outside the industry wouldn't know much about.

Takeaway: Simplify complex information, and walk readers through the company's operations and how your business helped streamline them.

15. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Chipotle and Hubble

Screenshot of the Chipotle and Hubble case study with the title "Mexican food chain replaces Discoverer with Hubble and sees major efficiency improvements," followed by a photo of the outside of a Chipotle restaurant

The concision of this case study is refreshing. It features two sections—the challenge and the solution—all in 316 words. This goes to show that your case study doesn't necessarily need to be a four-figure investment with video shoots and studio time. 

Sometimes, the message is simple and short enough to convey in a handful of paragraphs.

Takeaway: Consider what you should include instead of what you can include. Assess the time, resources, and effort you're able and willing to invest in a case study, and choose which elements you want to include from there.

16. .css-yjptlz-Link{all:unset;box-sizing:border-box;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;cursor:pointer;-webkit-transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;transition:all 300ms ease-in-out;outline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-fill-color:currentColor;outline:1px solid transparent;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:#2b2358;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:#3d4592;outline-color:#3d4592;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:#a8a5a0;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:#fffdf9;outline-color:#fffdf9;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-yjptlz-Link[data-weight='bold']{font-weight:700;} Hudl and Zapier

Screenshot of Hudl and Zapier's case study, showing data visualizations at the bottom, two photos of people playing sports on the top right , and a quote from the Hudl team on the topleft

I may be biased, but I'm a big fan of seeing metrics and achievements represented in branded graphics. It can be a jarring experience to navigate a website, then visit a case study page and feel as though you've gone to a completely different website.

The case study is essentially the summary, and the blog article is the detailed analysis that provides context beyond X achievement or Y goal.

Takeaway: Keep your case study concise and informative. Create other resources to provide context under your blog, media or press, and product pages.

3 case study templates

Now that you've had your fill of case studies (if that's possible), I've got just what you need: an infinite number of case studies, which you can create yourself with these case study templates.

Case study template 1

Screenshot of Zapier's first case study template, with the title and three spots for data callouts at the top on a light peach-colored background, followed by a place to write the main success of the case study on a dark green background

If you've got a quick hit of stats you want to show off, try this template. The opening section gives space for a short summary and three visually appealing stats you can highlight, followed by a headline and body where you can break the case study down more thoroughly. This one's pretty simple, with only sections for solutions and results, but you can easily continue the formatting to add more sections as needed.

Case study template 2

Screenshot of Zapier's second case study template, with the title, objectives, and overview on a dark blue background with an orange strip in the middle with a place to write the main success of the case study

For a case study template with a little more detail, use this one. Opening with a striking cover page for a quick overview, this one goes on to include context, stakeholders, challenges, multiple quote callouts, and quick-hit stats. 

Case study template 3

Screenshot of Zapier's third case study template, with the places for title, objectives, and about the business on a dark green background followed by three spots for data callouts in orange boxes

Whether you want a little structural variation or just like a nice dark green, this template has similar components to the last template but is designed to help tell a story. Move from the client overview through a description of your company before getting to the details of how you fixed said company's problems.

Tips for writing a case study

Examples are all well and good, but you don't learn how to make a burrito just by watching tutorials on YouTube without knowing what any of the ingredients are. You could , but it probably wouldn't be all that good.

Have an objective: Define your objective by identifying the challenge, solution, and results. Assess your work with the client and focus on the most prominent wins. You're speaking to multiple businesses and industries through the case study, so make sure you know what you want to say to them.

Focus on persuasive data: Growth percentages and measurable results are your best friends. Extract your most compelling data and highlight it in your case study.

Use eye-grabbing graphics: Branded design goes a long way in accurately representing your brand and retaining readers as they review the study. Leverage unique and eye-catching graphics to keep readers engaged. 

Simplify data presentation: Some industries are more complex than others, and sometimes, data can be difficult to understand at a glance. Make sure you present your data in the simplest way possible. Make it concise, informative, and easy to understand.

Use automation to drive results for your case study

A case study example is a source of inspiration you can leverage to determine how to best position your brand's work. Find your unique angle, and refine it over time to help your business stand out. Ask anyone: the best burrito in town doesn't just appear at the number one spot. They find their angle (usually the house sauce) and leverage it to stand out.

Case study FAQ

Got your case study template? Great—it's time to gather the team for an awkward semi-vague data collection task. While you do that, here are some case study quick answers for you to skim through while you contemplate what to call your team meeting.

What is an example of a case study?

An example of a case study is when a software company analyzes its results from a client project and creates a webpage, presentation, or document that focuses on high-level results, challenges, and solutions in an attempt to showcase effectiveness and promote the software.

How do you write a case study?

To write a good case study, you should have an objective, identify persuasive and compelling data, leverage graphics, and simplify data. Case studies typically include an analysis of the challenge, solution, and results of the partnership.

What is the format of a case study?

While case studies don't have a set format, they're often portrayed as reports or essays that inform readers about the partnership and its results. 

Related reading:

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Hachem Ramki

Hachem is a writer and digital marketer from Montreal. After graduating with a degree in English, Hachem spent seven years traveling around the world before moving to Canada. When he's not writing, he enjoys Basketball, Dungeons and Dragons, and playing music for friends and family.

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02 Apr 35 TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

In the dynamic world of marketing, success often hinges on innovation, creativity, and strategic thinking. While theories and concepts provide a foundation, it’s the real-world applications and success stories that truly inspire and inform marketers around the globe. Marketing case studies offer invaluable insights into the strategies, tactics, and campaigns that have propelled brands to new heights, showcasing the power of creativity, data-driven decision-making, and consumer-centric approaches.

From iconic brand revitalizations to groundbreaking digital campaigns, marketing case studies provide a window into the minds of industry leaders and innovators. These stories not only celebrate achievements but also offer valuable lessons and inspiration for marketers seeking to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of consumer behavior, technology, and competition.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into 35 top marketing case studies from various industries and sectors. Each case study highlights the exceptional strategies, tactics, and executions that set them apart and contributed to their success. From timeless classics to modern-day triumphs, these case studies offer a roadmap for marketers looking to make their mark and drive results in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Join us as we explore the stories behind some of the most iconic and influential marketing case studies of all time. From Coca-Cola’s innovative storytelling to Airbnb’s disruptive brand building, these case studies exemplify the ingenuity, adaptability, and creativity that define exceptional marketing in the 21st century.

Get ready to be inspired, informed, and empowered as we uncover the secrets behind the success of these 35 top marketing case studies. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer seeking fresh ideas or a budding enthusiast eager to learn, this journey promises to be enlightening and enriching. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of marketing excellence and discover what makes these case studies truly exceptional.

35 Top Marketing Case Studies and What Makes Them Exceptional

1. BEN & JERRY’S “PINT SLICE SOCIAL” MARKETING CASE STUDY

2. BLENDECT’S “WILL IT BLEND?” MARKETING CASE STUDY

3. RED BULL’s STRATOS JUMP MARKETING CASE STUDY

4. BUDWEISER’S “WHASSUP?” MARKETING CASE STUDY

5. OLD SPICE’S “THE MAN YOUR MAN COULD SMELL LIKE” MARKETING CASE STUDY

6. PEPSI: “IS PEPSI OK?” MARKETING CASE STUDY

7. APPLE’S “THINK DIFFERENT” MARKETING CASE STUDY

8. COCA COLA’S “SHARE A COKE” MARKETING CASE STUDY

9. NIKE’S “JUST DO IT” MARKETING CASE STUDY

10. APPLE’S “1984” MARKETING CASE STUDY

11. AXE’S “FIND YOUR MAGIC” MARKETING CASE STUDY

12. BURGER KING’S “RECLAIM THE FLAME” MARKETING CASE STUDY

13. GUINNESS’S “SURFER” MARKETING CASE STUDY

14. MCDONALD’S “I’M LOVIN’ IT” MARKETING CASE STUDY

15. AIRBNB’S “LIVE THERE” MARKETING CASE STUDY

16. LAY’S “DO US A FLAVOR” MARKETING CASE STUDY

17. AMAZON’S “AMAZON PRIME” MARKETING CASE STUDY

18. GOPRO’S “BE A HERO” MARKETING CASE STUDY

19. VOLVO TRUCKS’ “THE EPIC SPLIT” MARKETING CASE STUDY

20. DOVE’S “REAL BEAUTY SKETCHES” MARKETING CASE STUDY

21. SPOTIFY’S “WRAPPED” MARKETING CASE STUDY

22. ICELAND’S GROCERIES MARKETING CASE STUDY

23. HEALTH-ADE’S MARKETING CASE STUDY

24. ALWAYS’ “LIKE A GIRL” MARKETING CASE STUDY

25. COCA-COLA’S “SMALL WORLD MACHINES” MARKETING CASE STUDY

26. BURGER KING’S “WHOPPER DETOUR” MARKETING CASE STUDY

27. AMAZON’S PRIME DAY MARKETING CASE STUDY

28. MCDONALD’S “OUR FOOD, YOUR QUESTIONS” MARKETING CASE STUDY

29. AIRBNB’S “EXPERIENCES” LAUNCH MARKETING CASE STUDY

30. PIZZA HUT’S “HUT REWARDS” LOYALTY PROGRAM MARKETING CASE STUDY

31. BMW’S “THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE” MARKETING CASE STUDY

32. THE MOST INTEREST MAN IN THE WORLD MARKETING CASE STUDY

33. APPLE’S “GET A MAC” MARKETING CASE STUDY

34. PROCTER AND GAMBLE’S “THANK YOU, MOM” MARKETING CASE STUDY

35. METRO TRAINS “DUMB WAYS TO DIE” MARKETING CASE STUDY

What is a Marketing Case Study?

A marketing case study is a detailed examination of a specific marketing strategy, campaign, or initiative that showcases its implementation, outcomes, and impact on business objectives. It typically includes a comprehensive analysis of the target audience, market conditions, competitive landscape, marketing tactics used, and the results achieved.

In a marketing case study, key components often include the background information to set the context, such as the company’s industry, size, and goals; the challenges or opportunities that led to the marketing initiative; the strategy or approach employed, including the marketing channels, messaging, and creative elements; the execution and implementation phase; and the measurable outcomes, such as increased sales, brand awareness, customer engagement, or other relevant metrics. Additionally, a well-crafted marketing case study may also highlight lessons learned, best practices, and recommendations for future marketing efforts based on the experience and results of the case study.

What Does a Marketing Case Study Consist of?

A marketing case study typically consists of several key elements that provide a comprehensive view of a marketing initiative’s success or failure.

Firstly, it includes a detailed description of the company or brand involved, including its industry, target market, and business objectives. This sets the context for the marketing campaign or strategy being studied.

Secondly, the case study outlines the specific marketing challenge or opportunity that prompted the initiative. This could be anything from entering a new market segment to revamping an existing product’s branding. Understanding the initial problem or goal helps readers grasp the significance of the marketing efforts undertaken.

Thirdly, the case study delves into the strategy and tactics employed to address the challenge or opportunity. This includes details such as the chosen marketing channels (e.g., digital, traditional, social media), messaging, creative assets, budget allocation, and timeline. The rationale behind these decisions and how they align with the company’s overall marketing strategy are typically discussed.

Additionally, a marketing case study often includes measurable outcomes and results. This can encompass various metrics such as increased sales, brand awareness, customer engagement, return on investment (ROI), and market share growth. Data-driven insights and analysis are crucial here, as they demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of the marketing efforts on achieving the stated objectives.

Lastly, a well-rounded marketing case study may also include lessons learned, challenges faced, and recommendations for future strategies based on the experiences and insights gained from the case study. This adds depth and practical value to the document, making it not just a retrospective analysis but also a learning tool for marketers and businesses looking to optimize their marketing efforts.

35 Top Marketing Case Studies

1. ben & jerry’s “pint slice social” campaign.

Ben & Jerry’s, a beloved ice cream brand known for its quirky flavors and social activism, aimed to engage its audience and drive sales of its new product, the Pint Slice, through a creative and interactive marketing campaign.

Ben & Jerry’s launched the “Pint Slice Social” campaign marketing case study, which combined social media engagement with real-world activations to generate excitement and buzz around its new product. The campaign aimed to leverage user-generated content and encourage consumers to share their experiences with the Pint Slice on social media platforms.

The “Pint Slice Social” campaign featured a series of experiential events held in various cities, where consumers could sample the new product and participate in fun activities like photo booths and ice cream-themed games. Ben & Jerry’s also encouraged consumers to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #PintSliceSocial for a chance to win prizes and be featured on the brand’s official channels.

The marketing case study interactive and experiential elements helped Ben & Jerry’s connect with its audience on a deeper level, fostering brand loyalty and driving repeat purchases. The numbers speak for themselves: 

  • 100% sample redemption
  • 220% increase in customer traction when compared to existing campaigns
  • 68% conversion rate

What Makes it Exceptional:

Ben & Jerry’s “Pint Slice Social” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its combination of real-world activations and social media engagement, which effectively bridged the gap between online and offline experiences. By creating opportunities for consumers to interact with the brand in person and share their experiences online, Ben & Jerry’s successfully amplified its message and generated excitement around its new product. 

The PR campaign’s focus on user-generated content and community participation reinforced Ben & Jerry’s brand values of fun, inclusivity, and social activism, making it a standout example of effective marketing in the ice cream industry.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

2. Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” Campaign

Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” campaign marketing case study emerged as a groundbreaking marketing phenomenon, showcasing the extraordinary power and durability of Blendtec blenders through a series of captivating videos. The campaign’s premise was simple yet ingenious: Blendtec founder Tom Dickson demonstrated the blender’s capabilities by blending unconventional items, ranging from iPhones to golf balls, in a series of entertaining videos.

The campaign’s impact was nothing short of extraordinary. Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” videos quickly captured the attention of online audiences, garnering millions of views on platforms like YouTube. In fact, the videos became a viral sensation, catapulting Blendtec to internet stardom and earning them the accolade of the 33rd most-viewed series ever on YouTube.

But the success of the campaign wasn’t just limited to online views. The “Will It Blend?” videos had a tangible impact on Blendtec’s bottom line. Sales of the company’s high-end consumer blenders skyrocketed, with figures soaring by an astonishing 500% in 2008 alone. The campaign’s blend of humor, creativity, and product demonstration resonated with consumers, driving both brand awareness and sales.

Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” marketing case study stands out as a shining example of effective content marketing and brand storytelling. By showcasing the blender’s capabilities in a fun and unconventional way, Blendtec created engaging content that captured the attention of consumers and earned widespread recognition.

Blendtec’s initial “Will It Blend?” videos soared to become the 33rd most-watched series in YouTube history, contributing to a remarkable surge in sales of the company’s $399 premium home blender, with figures skyrocketing by 500% in 2008.

Moreover, the campaign demonstrated the power of viral marketing and user-generated content. The “Will It Blend?” videos sparked conversations and sharing across social media platforms, amplifying Blendtec’s reach and attracting new customers to the brand.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

3. Red Bull’s Stratos Jump Campaign

Red Bull’s Stratos Jump campaign marked a pivotal moment in extreme sports history, as Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner embarked on a death-defying mission to jump from the edge of space. The audacious stunt not only captivated the world but also propelled Red Bull into the stratosphere of brand recognition and solidified its reputation as a trailblazer in the realm of daring and innovation.

The campaign’s concept was as ambitious as it was awe-inspiring: Felix Baumgartner ascended to the edge of space in a helium balloon before free-falling back to Earth, breaking the sound barrier in the process. The entire event was meticulously planned and executed, with Red Bull leveraging cutting-edge technology and expert precision to ensure Baumgartner’s safety and success.

But the Stratos Jump campaign was more than just a publicity stunt; it was a masterful demonstration of brand storytelling and experiential marketing. By pushing the boundaries of human achievement and showcasing the spirit of adventure, Red Bull tapped into universal themes of courage, determination, and human potential, resonating deeply with audiences worldwide.

With an estimated total cost exceeding $30 million, the investment was worth it. Felix’s jump led to $500+ million in sales.

Red Bull’s Stratos Jump campaign stands out as a shining example of experiential marketing and brand storytelling at its finest. By orchestrating a monumental feat of human achievement and capturing it live for the world to see, Red Bull created an unforgettable moment that resonated with audiences on a visceral level.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

4. B udweiser’s “Whassup?” Campaign

Budweiser’s iconic “Whassup?” campaign emerged as a cultural phenomenon in the late 1990s, capturing the essence of friendship, camaraderie, and everyday moments shared over a cold beer. The campaign, which featured a group of friends casually greeting each other with the now-famous phrase “Whassup?”, struck a chord with audiences worldwide and catapulted Budweiser to the forefront of pop culture.

At its core, the “Whassup?” campaign was a celebration of the simple joys of friendship and connection. The ads depicted relatable scenarios of friends catching up over the phone, at work, or while watching sports, punctuated by the exuberant and infectious “Whassup?” greeting. The campaign’s humor and authenticity resonated with viewers, making it an instant hit and spawning countless parodies and cultural references.

But what truly set the “Whassup?” campaign apart was its ability to transcend traditional advertising and become a cultural touchstone. The phrase “Whassup?” became a ubiquitous part of popular lexicon, with people of all ages and backgrounds adopting it as a playful greeting. From late-night talk shows to Hollywood movies, the campaign’s influence extended far beyond the realm of advertising, cementing Budweiser’s place in the zeitgeist.

The impact of the “Whassup?” campaign marketing case study on Budweiser’s brand cannot be overstated.

Budweiser unveiled the campaign in 1999, effectively ushering in what could be termed as the “Whassup Generation.” As a result, their sales surged by 2.4 million barrels, and it was approximated that “Whassup” garnered $20 million worth of complimentary publicity , gauged by the frequency of the phrase’s appearance in television news segments and print media articles.

Budweiser’s “Whassup?” campaign is exceptional for its ability to capture the spirit of a generation and become a cultural phenomenon. By embracing humor, authenticity, and the power of shared experiences, Budweiser created an advertising campaign that resonated with audiences on a deeply personal level.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

5. Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Campaign

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign revolutionized the world of men’s grooming products, captivating audiences with its humor, charm, and over-the-top masculinity. Launched in 2010, the campaign featured actor Isaiah Mustafa as the suave and confident “Old Spice Guy,” who effortlessly showcased the brand’s range of body washes and deodorants in a series of witty and memorable commercials.

At its core, the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign was a masterclass in comedic storytelling and brand positioning. The ads humorously depicted Mustafa as the epitome of masculinity, effortlessly transitioning from one absurd scenario to the next while delivering clever and memorable lines. The campaign’s irreverent humor and tongue-in-cheek approach to advertising resonated with audiences of all ages, making it a viral sensation and earning it a permanent place in pop culture.

But the success of the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign marketing case study extended beyond just laughs and entertainment. The campaign effectively repositioned Old Spice as a modern and relevant brand, shedding its outdated image and appealing to a new generation of consumers. By embracing humor and creativity, Old Spice differentiated itself from competitors and carved out a unique identity in the crowded men’s grooming market.

The objective was to boost body wash sales by 15%, but by May 2010, sales of Old Spice Red Zone Body Wash had surged by 60% compared to the previous year. By July 2010, sales had doubled.

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign stands out as a prime example of how humor and creativity can elevate a brand and resonate with consumers. By embracing absurdity and pushing the boundaries of traditional advertising, Old Spice created a campaign that captured the attention and imagination of audiences worldwide.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

6. Pepsi: The “Is Pepsi OK?” Campaign

Pepsi’s “Is Pepsi OK?” campaign aimed to address the common question posed by consumers when offered a Pepsi instead of its rival, Coca-Cola. The campaign sought to reframe this question as a playful affirmation of Pepsi’s unique flavor and appeal.

The campaign featured a series of commercials and digital content showcasing celebrities and ordinary people confidently affirming that Pepsi is more than just “OK” – it’s delicious, refreshing, and the perfect choice for any occasion. The ads humorously acknowledged the perception that Pepsi may not always be the first choice but emphasized its undeniable taste and quality.

The impact of the “Is Pepsi OK?” campaign marketing case study on Pepsi’s brand image and sales was significant. The campaign helped shift consumer perceptions and generate buzz around the brand, driving increased sales and market share for Pepsi. By embracing humor and authenticity, Pepsi effectively engaged with its audience and reinforced its position as a leading beverage choice in the market.

Pepsi recorded a 4% sales increase in the weeks following the campaign, showcasing the efficacy of their marketing endeavors in converting brand perception into tangible outcomes in the market.

Pepsi’s “Is Pepsi OK?” campaign stands out for its clever approach to addressing a common consumer concern. By acknowledging the question head-on and turning it into a positive affirmation of the brand, Pepsi effectively repositioned itself as a confident and desirable choice for consumers.

Moreover, the campaign’s use of humor and relatable situations resonated with audiences, making it memorable and shareable. By creating content that people wanted to engage with and share with others, Pepsi was able to extend the reach and impact of the campaign beyond traditional advertising channels.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

7. Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign

Apple, a pioneering technology company, aimed to differentiate itself in the competitive tech market and establish its brand identity as innovative and forward-thinking.

Apple’s strategy with the “Think Different” campaign was to celebrate creativity, individuality, and innovation. The campaign aimed to position Apple as a brand that valued unconventional thinking and challenged the status quo.

The “Think Different” campaign featured television commercials, print advertisements, and digital content that celebrated iconic figures who embodied the spirit of creativity and innovation, such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. 

The “Think Different” campaign marketing case study helped redefine Apple’s brand identity and establish its reputation as a leader in innovation and design. The campaign resonated with consumers who valued creativity and originality, driving increased brand loyalty and preference for Apple products. Apple saw significant growth in sales and market share, solidifying its position as a top choice for consumers seeking cutting-edge technology and design.

iPods made up 21.6 percent of the global digital music player market in 2003, and sales accounted for nearly half of Apple’s $7.1 billion in first-quarter revenue in 2007. By 2010, Apple had sold over 297 million iPods and had a 70% market share, reconstructing the digital music player industry in the process.

Apple’s “Think Different” campaign is exceptional for its bold celebration of creativity and innovation. By honoring iconic figures who dared to think differently and make a difference, the campaign inspired consumers to see Apple as more than just a technology company but as a symbol of creativity, empowerment, and progress. The campaign’s powerful message and iconic imagery helped Apple establish a strong emotional connection with consumers, driving loyalty and affinity for the brand.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

8. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign revolutionized the beverage industry by personalizing its iconic soda bottles with popular names and phrases. The campaign aimed to create a deeper emotional connection with consumers and encourage them to share Coca-Cola with friends and family.

By featuring names like “John,” “Sarah,” and “Emily” on Coke bottles, Coca-Cola transformed the act of drinking soda into a personalized experience. Consumers were excited to find their own names or the names of loved ones on Coke bottles, making the product feel uniquely theirs and fostering a sense of belonging.

The “Share a Coke” campaign was launched through various channels, including television commercials, print advertisements, and digital content. Coca-Cola also encouraged consumers to share photos of themselves with personalized Coke bottles on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke, sparking a wave of user-generated content and online conversations.

Coca-Cola saw increased sales as consumers sought out personalized Coke bottles, and the #ShareACoke hashtag trended on social media platforms, generating millions of impressions and interactions.

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its innovative approach to marketing and its ability to create a personal connection with consumers on a mass scale. By leveraging the power of personalization and social sharing, Coca-Cola transformed its product into a platform for self-expression and social connection.

The campaign also demonstrated Coca-Cola’s willingness to embrace new trends and technologies to engage with consumers. By integrating social media into its marketing strategy, Coca-Cola encouraged consumers to become active participants in the campaign, driving organic growth and word-of-mouth promotion.

This campaign drove dramatic increases in sales:

Volume (+11% versus previous year) Revenue (+11% versus previous year) Share (+1.6% versus previous year) Velocity (+10% versus previous year)

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

9. Nike’s “Just Do It” Campaign

Nike, a global leader in athletic footwear and apparel, aimed to reinvigorate its brand image and inspire a new generation of athletes to pursue their goals with passion and determination.

Nike’s strategy with the “Just Do It” campaign was to celebrate the spirit of determination, resilience, and perseverance embodied by athletes around the world. The campaign aimed to position Nike as a champion of athletic excellence and a catalyst for personal empowerment and achievement.

The “Just Do It” campaign was launched with a series of television commercials, print advertisements, and digital content featuring athletes from various sports and backgrounds overcoming obstacles and pushing their limits. The campaign emphasized the idea of taking action and embracing challenges with courage and determination, resonating with individuals seeking motivation and inspiration to pursue their dreams.

The “Just Do It” campaign became an iconic symbol of Nike’s brand ethos and a rallying cry for athletes and individuals striving for greatness. The campaign’s message of empowerment and perseverance resonated with consumers worldwide, driving increased brand awareness, loyalty, and sales for Nike. The “Just Do It” slogan became synonymous with Nike’s commitment to excellence and innovation, solidifying the brand’s position as a leader in the athletic industry.

Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its ability to tap into the universal human desire for achievement, empowerment, and self-expression. By celebrating the spirit of determination and resilience, the campaign inspired individuals to push their limits and pursue their goals fearlessly. The “Just Do It” slogan transcended marketing to become a cultural phenomenon, embodying Nike’s brand ethos and influencing popular culture for decades. Nike’s commitment to empowering athletes and individuals to reach their full potential has made the “Just Do It” campaign one of the most iconic and enduring advertising campaigns of all time.

This marketing initiative proved to be a pivotal moment for Nike, catapulting the company’s sales from $877 million to an impressive $9.2 billion. The campaign’s resounding success solidified Nike’s position as the premier brand in the global sportswear industry.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

10. Apple’s “1984” Commercial

In 1984, Apple aimed to launch its revolutionary Macintosh computer with a groundbreaking advertisement that would challenge the status quo of the tech industry and establish Apple as a visionary brand.

Apple’s strategy with the “1984” commercial was to create a cinematic and thought-provoking advertisement that would generate buzz and intrigue surrounding the launch of the Macintosh.

The commercial aimed to position Apple as a company that defied convention and empowered individuals to think differently.

Directed by Ridley Scott, the “1984” commercial aired during the Super Bowl XVIII and depicted a dystopian future where conformity and uniformity were enforced by a Big Brother-like figure. A rebellious heroine, representing the spirit of individuality, hurled a sledgehammer at a giant screen, symbolizing the liberation brought by the Macintosh computer. The commercial concluded with the tagline, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.”

The “1984” commercial generated significant buzz and became an instant cultural phenomenon. It captured the imagination of viewers and sparked conversations about the future of technology and the power of individual expression. The commercial effectively positioned Apple as an innovative and disruptive force in the tech industry, setting the stage for the successful launch of the Macintosh computer.

Fortunately, the advertisement proved to be a success, as it garnered attention from all the nearby cinemas and television stations. Within a span of 100 days, Apple managed to sell 72,000 computers.

Apple’s “1984” commercial marketing case study is exceptional for its boldness, creativity, and impact. By challenging the conventions of traditional advertising and delivering a powerful message of individual empowerment, the commercial captured the attention of audiences worldwide and solidified Apple’s reputation as a visionary brand.

The commercial’s cinematic quality, provocative imagery, and memorable tagline made it one of the most iconic and influential advertisements of all time, demonstrating Apple’s ability to harness the power of storytelling to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

11. Axe’s “Find Your Magic” Campaign

Axe, a leading men’s grooming brand, sought to evolve its brand image and messaging to resonate with modern consumers and challenge traditional notions of masculinity.

Axe’s strategy with the “Find Your Magic” campaign was to celebrate individuality, self-expression, and confidence, encouraging men to embrace their unique qualities and reject societal pressures to conform to traditional stereotypes of masculinity. The campaign ai

med to position Axe as a brand that empowers men to express themselves authentically and confidently.

The “Find Your Magic” campaign featured a series of advertisements and digital content showcasing a diverse range of men pursuing their passions, expressing their personalities, and defying stereotypes. The campaign celebrated moments of self-discovery, self-expression, and confidence, highlighting the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of masculinity.

The campaign helped reposition Axe as a brand that celebrates diversity and empowers men to be true to themselves, driving brand loyalty and attracting new customers.

The team pointed to the 12% organic reach of the campaign as being crucial to its success.

The campaign accumulated over 39.3 million digital views and garnered four billion media impressions within the initial quarter of its launch. However, its most noteworthy impact was the initiation of a global discourse on masculinity, evident through 225,411 direct engagements with the film and over 12,000 comments across various platforms.

Coupled with a significant increase in overall positive sentiment towards Axe from 14.74% to 41.35%. Since its inception, consumers have undergone substantial reevaluation of the brand, as reflected in YouGov studies indicating a rise in purchase consideration among men in the US from 16% to 20%.

Axe’s “Find Your Magic” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its bold reimagining of masculinity and its commitment to celebrating diversity and individuality. By challenging traditional stereotypes and promoting a message of inclusivity and self-confidence, Axe distinguished itself from competitors in the men’s grooming market. The campaign’s positive message resonated with consumers and helped strengthen Axe’s brand identity, positioning the brand as a champion of authenticity and self-expression.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

12. Burger King’s “Reclaim the Flame” Campaign

Burger King’s “Reclaim the Flame” campaign ignited a fiery spirit of rebellion against its fast-food rival, McDonald’s. Launched as a bold marketing maneuver during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the campaign sought to reclaim the iconic flame-grilled taste that set Burger King apart from its competitors.

The campaign centered around a series of provocative advertisements that directly challenged McDonald’s by emphasizing Burger King’s commitment to flame-grilling its burgers for superior taste and quality. Through witty slogans and visually striking imagery, Burger King positioned itself as the champion of authentic, flame-grilled flavor in the fast-food industry.

The impact of the “Reclaim the Flame” campaign was palpable, as it sparked a renewed interest in Burger King’s flame-grilled offerings and reignited consumer loyalty. The campaign’s bold messaging and innovative promotions resonated with audiences, driving increased foot traffic to Burger King restaurants and boosting sales of its signature flame-grilled burgers.

Consolidated comparable sales increased 10%, with system-wide sales up 15% year-over-year, and net restaurant growth was 4.2%.

The Burger King international business grew system-wide sales by 19%, adding more than $400 million of incremental sales year-over-year.

Burger King’s “Reclaim the Flame” campaign marketing case study stands out for its audacious approach to marketing and its unapologetic challenge to its biggest competitor. By leveraging bold messaging and provocative promotions, Burger King effectively positioned itself as the antithesis to McDonald’s, appealing to consumers who sought a more authentic and flavorful fast-food experience.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

13. Guinness’s “Surfer” Advertisement

Guinness, an iconic Irish stout beer brand, aimed to reinvigorate its image and appeal to a younger demographic while staying true to its heritage and values.

Guinness launched the “Surfer” advertisement, a visually stunning and emotionally resonant commercial that showcased the brand’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity. The advertisement aimed to evoke a sense of awe and admiration while also conveying the message that Guinness is more than just a beer—it’s a symbol of strength, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence.

The “Surfer” advertisement featured breathtaking footage of waves crashing against a rocky coastline, interspersed with scenes of a lone surfer navigating the tumultuous waters with skill and determination. As the surfer reaches the shore and takes a sip of Guinness, the tagline “Good things come to those who wait” appears on the screen, reinforcing the brand’s message of patience, perseverance, and reward.

The commercial helped rejuvenate Guinness’s brand image and appeal to a younger audience while also resonating with existing fans of the brand. The advertisement’s message of patience and perseverance struck a chord with viewers, reinforcing Guinness’s reputation as a beer worth waiting for.

The ad led to a 12% uplift in Guinness’s sales. It was a commercial success, beating all its internal targets, helped by the launch of a new product at the same time – Guinness Extra Cold.

Guinness’s “Surfer” advertisement is exceptional for its ability to capture the essence of the brand’s heritage and values while also appealing to contemporary sensibilities. By celebrating the beauty of nature, the power of human determination, and the rewards of patience, the advertisement transcended traditional beer commercials and created a powerful emotional connection with viewers. The “Surfer” advertisement exemplifies Guinness’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity, reaffirming its status as one of the world’s most iconic beer brands.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

14. McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” Campaign

McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign epitomizes the fast-food giant’s ability to connect with consumers on a global scale through catchy slogans and memorable advertising. Launched in 2003, this campaign marked a significant shift in McDonald’s marketing strategy, aiming to evoke positive emotions and create a sense of love and affinity for the brand among customers worldwide.

At the heart of the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign was a series of television commercials featuring upbeat music, vibrant visuals, and relatable scenarios showcasing people of all ages enjoying McDonald’s menu items. The catchy jingle, composed by music producer Pharrell Williams, became instantly recognizable and synonymous with the McDonald’s brand, further solidifying its place in popular culture.

The impact of the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign on McDonald’s brand perception and sales was profound. The campaign helped rejuvenate McDonald’s image, positioning it as a modern and relevant brand that resonated with consumers of all ages. By emphasizing the emotional connection between customers and the brand, McDonald’s fostered loyalty and affinity among its customer base, driving increased foot traffic and sales at its restaurants worldwide.

Thanks to the advertising initiative, McDonald’s achieved its most robust quarterly sales growth in nearly two decades, witnessing a remarkable 8.2% surge in global sales during the first quarter of 2004. The “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign played a pivotal role in driving this growth. Additionally, the company experienced a notable 9% increase in sales within the United States during the corresponding period.

McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign marketing case study stands out for its ability to create a universal and enduring brand message that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers. By tapping into the universal human desire for happiness and satisfaction, McDonald’s crafted a campaign that resonated with consumers around the world, regardless of age, background, or location.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

15. Airbnb’s “Live There” Campaign

In 2016, Airbnb aimed to differentiate itself in the travel industry and emphasize its unique offering of local experiences.

Airbnb launched the “Live There” campaign, focusing on the idea that staying in an Airbnb property allows travelers to experience destinations like a local.

The campaign featured ads showcasing authentic local experiences, such as dining with locals or exploring hidden gems. It aimed to evoke a sense of belonging and immersion in the destination. The campaign resonated with travelers seeking authentic and immersive travel experiences, contributing to Airbnb’s continued growth and market leadership.

The campaign’s effect on return on investment (ROI) was notable. The “Live There” initiative enabled Airbnb to attain a 51% surge in bookings and an impressive 127% rise in revenue. Through adept utilization of digital marketing channels and prioritizing genuine travel experiences, Airbnb effectively engaged their intended demographic, resulting in substantial business outcomes.

Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its focus on authentic and immersive travel experiences. By highlighting the unique aspects of staying in an Airbnb property, the campaign differentiated Airbnb from traditional accommodations and appealed to travelers seeking more meaningful connections with destinations and communities.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

16. Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” Campaign

Lay’s, a popular snack brand, aimed to engage consumers and drive sales by crowdsourcing new and innovative flavor ideas through its “Do Us a Flavor” campaign.

Lay’s strategy with the “Do Us a Flavor” campaign was to tap into consumer creativity and generate excitement around its brand by inviting consumers to submit their own flavor ideas. The campaign aimed to leverage user-generated content and community participation to create a sense of ownership and anticipation among consumers.

The “Do Us a Flavor” campaign encouraged consumers to submit their flavor ideas online, with the chance to win cash prizes and see their creations turned into actual Lay’s potato chip flavors. Lay’s promoted the campaign through social media, advertising, and in-store promotions, encouraging consumers to participate and vote for their favorite submissions.

The competition began in July 2012 with the unveiling of a temporary store situated in the heart of Times Square, offering visitors the opportunity to sample all 22 Lay’s flavors available in the U.S., explore flavors from around the globe, engage with celebrity spokespeople Eva Longoria and chef Michael Symon, and even catch a glimpse of what $1 million in cash looked like.

Initially aiming to amass 1.2 million flavor submissions, Lay’s surpassed expectations by receiving an astounding 3.8 million entries. Throughout the nearly 10-month campaign duration, its Facebook page witnessed an average of over 22.5 million visits each week. Moreover, sales experienced a remarkable surge of 12% year-on-year during the campaign, far surpassing the initially projected three percent increase.

Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its innovative approach to product development and its ability to engage consumers in a fun and interactive way. By crowdsourcing flavor ideas from consumers, Lay’s not only generated excitement and buzz around its brand but also created a sense of community and collaboration among its customers. 

The campaign’s success demonstrated Lay’s commitment to listening to its consumers and delivering products that resonate with their preferences and tastes.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

17. Amazon’s “Amazon Prime” Campaign

Amazon’s “Amazon Prime” campaign revolutionized the e-commerce industry by introducing a subscription service that offered unparalleled convenience, savings, and benefits to customers. The campaign aimed to promote Amazon Prime as more than just a shipping service, but as a comprehensive membership program that encompasses a wide range of perks and services.

At the core of the “Amazon Prime” campaign is the promise of fast, free shipping on millions of items, allowing members to enjoy expedited delivery on their purchases with no minimum order requirement. Additionally, Prime members gain access to a plethora of exclusive benefits, including streaming of movies, TV shows, and music through Prime Video and Prime Music, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, and early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon’s platform.

Amazon Prime has quite recently introduced ads into their campaign. The company’s analysts estimate that revenue generated from Prime Video advertisements will reach $1.3 billion in 2024, with projections indicating a rise to $2.3 billion the following year. However, that’s just the beginning: According to the analysts’ forecasts, the e-commerce giant could potentially accrue an additional $500 million annually in 2024 and 2025 from Prime members who opt to bypass ad viewing.

Amazon’s “Amazon Prime” campaign marketing case study stands out for its ability to redefine the e-commerce landscape and create a loyal and engaged customer base. By bundling a wide range of benefits into a single membership program, Amazon has transformed the way people shop online, making Prime membership synonymous with convenience, value, and innovation.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

18. GoPro’s “Be a Hero” Campaign

GoPro’s “Be a Hero” campaign embodies the adventurous spirit and passion for storytelling that defines the brand’s identity. The campaign encourages users to capture and share their most epic moments using GoPro cameras, empowering them to become heroes of their own stories.

At the core of the “Be a Hero” campaign is GoPro’s belief that everyone has the potential to live a life worth recording.

The campaign leverages social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, to showcase the incredible footage captured by GoPro users in various extreme sports, outdoor adventures, and everyday moments. By highlighting the versatility and durability of its cameras, GoPro positions itself as the ultimate tool for capturing life’s most exhilarating experiences.

The impact of the “Be a Hero” campaign on GoPro’s brand perception and sales has been significant. By encouraging users to become content creators and ambassadors for the brand, GoPro has cultivated a loyal fan base and differentiated itself from competitors in the action camera market. The campaign has also helped GoPro maintain its position as a leader in the industry and drive continued growth and innovation.

This campaign was a huge success nearly doubling its revenue throughout the following years; from $234.2 million in 2011 to $526 million in 2012 and $985.7 million in 2013.

GoPro’s “Be a Hero” campaign marketing case study stands out for its ability to tap into the aspirational desires of its target audience and inspire them to live life to the fullest. By empowering users to capture and share their most epic moments, GoPro has created a powerful brand narrative that resonates with adventurers, athletes, and storytellers around the world.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

 19. Volvo Trucks’ “The Epic Split” Campaign

Volvo Trucks’ “The Epic Split” campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most iconic and memorable marketing stunts in recent history. The campaign aimed to showcase the precision and stability of Volvo Trucks’ dynamic steering system through a jaw-dropping demonstration performed by the legendary action star, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

At the heart of the campaign is a mesmerizing video that captures Van Damme performing an incredible split between two moving Volvo Trucks. Set to the haunting melody of Enya’s “Only Time,” the video showcases Van Damme’s unparalleled agility and balance as he maintains a perfect split position while suspended between the two trucks as they reverse along a deserted runway.

The video quickly went viral, garnering millions of views within days of its release and sparking widespread admiration and discussion among viewers worldwide.

In addition to the viral video, the campaign was supported by a comprehensive digital and social media strategy that amplified its reach and impact. Through strategic partnerships with influencers and media outlets, Volvo Trucks ensured that “The Epic Split” reached a wide audience and generated maximum buzz and engagement.

This video was part of Volvo Trucks’ Live Test film, which between June 2012 and May 2014  generated 100m+ YouTube views and were shared nearly 8 million times.

According to the agency, the campaign generated 20,000 media reports worldwide which gives an estimated $172.6m.

Volvo Trucks’ “The Epic Split” campaign marketing case study stands out for its sheer audacity and creativity. By enlisting Jean-Claude Van Damme to perform an awe-inspiring stunt that perfectly showcased the capabilities of its trucks, Volvo Trucks created a marketing masterpiece that captured the imagination of millions.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

20. D ove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign

Dove aimed to challenge beauty stereotypes and promote self-esteem among women.

Dove launched the “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign, featuring an FBI-trained sketch artist creating composite sketches of women based on their own descriptions and those of strangers.

The campaign’s video highlighted the stark difference between how women perceive themselves and how others see them, emphasizing the negative impact of self-criticism on self-esteem. It went viral, sparking conversations about beauty standards and generating widespread media coverage.

As a result of the Real Beauty campaign, sales for Dove jumped from $2.5 to $4 billion in the campaign’s first ten years. The corporation boosted its revenues by 10% within a year. Nearly two decades later, the promotional endeavor continues to be active, with intentions to extend its reach into the digital realm.

Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign is exceptional for its emotional resonance and societal impact. By shedding light on the issue of self-esteem and body image, Dove struck a chord with audiences and sparked a global conversation about beauty, confidence, and self-acceptance.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

21. Spotify’s “Wrapped” Campaign

Spotify’s “Wrapped” campaign has become an annual phenomenon that celebrates the unique music tastes and listening habits of its users. The campaign offers personalized insights and highlights into each user’s year of listening on the platform, including their most-streamed songs, artists, and genres.

At the core of the “Wrapped” campaign is the idea of music as a deeply personal and emotive experience. By curating and presenting users with a personalized summary of their year in music, Spotify aims to foster a sense of connection and nostalgia while also showcasing the diversity and richness of its music library.

The campaign unfolds across various touchpoints, including the Spotify app, social media platforms, and digital advertisements. Users are encouraged to share their “Wrapped” summaries with friends and followers, sparking conversations and debates about music preferences and discoveries.

One of the key strengths of the “Wrapped” campaign is its ability to tap into the power of data and personalization.

The impact of the “Wrapped” campaign on Spotify’s brand perception and user engagement has been profound. The number of posts on X about  Spotify Wrapped in 2021 jumped 461% from the previous year. A popular marketing firm found that Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped campaign led to a 21% increase in app downloads that December.

Spotify’s “Wrapped” campaign marketing case study stands out for its ability to transform data into meaningful and emotional experiences for users. By curating personalized summaries that celebrate the diversity and individuality of each user’s music tastes, Spotify creates a sense of connection and belonging that resonates deeply with its audience.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

22. Iceland Groceries Campaign

Iceland, a UK-based supermarket chain, embarked on a groundbreaking marketing campaign to challenge misconceptions and revolutionize perceptions surrounding frozen food. The campaign aimed to redefine the narrative around frozen groceries by highlighting their quality, convenience, and sustainability.

At the heart of the Iceland Groceries campaign is a commitment to transparency and authenticity. By showcasing the sourcing and production processes behind its frozen food offerings, Iceland sought to reassure consumers about the freshness and nutritional value of its products.

One of the key strengths of the Iceland Groceries campaign is its focus on education and empowerment. By providing consumers with information about the benefits of frozen food and debunking common myths, Iceland empowers them to make informed choices and embrace frozen groceries as a convenient and sustainable option.

By showcasing a diverse range of everyday people using their products, Iceland saw a 55% retention rate on Facebook videos, a 59% on Youtube and their approval rating increased from 10% to 70%.

The Iceland Groceries campaign marketing case study stands out for its boldness and innovation in challenging industry norms and stereotypes. By tackling misconceptions head-on and championing the benefits of frozen food, Iceland has sparked meaningful conversations and changed perceptions among consumers.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

23. Health-Ade’s Marketing Campaign

Health-Ade, a leading kombucha brand in the United States, embarked on an innovative marketing campaign to promote its products and differentiate itself in the competitive beverage market. The campaign aimed to position Health-Ade as a premium and health-conscious choice for consumers seeking natural and nutritious beverages.

At the core of the Health-Ade marketing campaign is a commitment to authenticity and quality. Unlike many mass-produced beverages, Health-Ade kombucha is handcrafted in small batches using only the highest quality ingredients, including organic tea and natural flavors. The campaign highlights Health-Ade’s dedication to traditional brewing methods and its unwavering commitment to producing the best-tasting and most nourishing kombucha on the market.

Through vibrant imagery, engaging storytelling, and compelling messaging, Health-Ade showcases the unique flavor profiles and health benefits of its kombucha, inviting consumers to join the “Health-Ade family” and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Thanks to their campaign, Health-Ade generated 1.6 million impressions, all done with influencer marketing. They generated $11.200 worth of impressions using only a fraction of the cost.

The Health-Ade marketing campaign marketing case study stands out for its authenticity, quality, and commitment to promoting health and wellness. By prioritizing transparency and education, Health-Ade has earned the trust and loyalty of consumers, distinguishing itself from competitors and driving strong sales growth.

Moreover, the campaign’s focus on creating a sense of community and belonging has been instrumental in building brand affinity and advocacy. Through engaging storytelling and experiential activations, Health-Ade has fostered connections with consumers and established itself as not just a beverage brand, but a lifestyle choice.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

24. Always’ “Like a Girl” Campaign

Always sought to challenge societal perceptions of what it means to do something “like a girl” and empower girls and women.

Always launched the “Like a Girl” campaign, featuring a video highlighting the negative connotations associated with the phrase “like a girl” and showcasing the confidence and strength of young girls.

The video aimed to change the meaning of “like a girl” to represent strength, confidence, and capability. It sparked a global conversation about gender stereotypes and garnered widespread praise for its empowering message. Always continued the campaign with initiatives to support girls’ confidence and self-esteem.

The results of Always #LikeAGirl campaign led to 4.4bn+ media impressions and 177,000 #LikeAGirl tweets in the first three months. After the campaign, 50% of women chose to purchase Always brand over competitors.

Always ‘ “Like a Girl” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its impact on cultural perceptions and empowerment. By challenging ingrained stereotypes and celebrating the strength and potential of girls, Always inspired positive change and fostered a more inclusive and supportive environment for girls and women worldwide.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

25. Coca-Cola’s “Small World Machines”

Coca-Cola aimed to foster connections between people from India and Pakistan, two neighboring countries with a history of tension.

Coca-Cola created “Small World Machines,” special vending machines placed in public areas in India and Pakistan, allowing people from both countries to interact with each other via live video feeds.

Participants could see and interact with each other in real-time, completing tasks together and sharing moments of joy. The initiative aimed to break down barriers and promote peace and understanding between the two nations. 

It was a real success: over 10,000 Cokes were distributed during the campaign, Coca-Cola garnered more than 58 million media impressions, it received 4,000+ unique mentions on news websites, TV broadcasts, blogs, and forums and even became a big hit at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

During the campaign, posts about “Coke” or “Coca-Cola” increased by 25%,  earning their account over 34,000 new followers within 15 days.

Coca-Cola’s “Small World Machines” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its efforts to bridge divides and promote unity through technology and shared experiences. By facilitating interactions between individuals from countries with historical tensions, Coca-Cola demonstrated the power of human connection and the potential for brands to promote social good and understanding on a global scale.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

26. Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” Campaign

Burger King, a global fast-food chain, aimed to increase customer engagement and drive traffic to its restaurants through an innovative marketing campaign.

Burger King launched the “Whopper Detour” campaign, which leveraged geolocation technology to offer customers a steep discount on its signature burger, the Whopper, but with a catch: they could only claim the deal by ordering through the Burger King app while physically inside or near a McDonald’s restaurant.

Using geofencing technology, Burger King targeted customers who were within 600 feet of a McDonald’s restaurant. When these customers opened the Burger King app, they were prompted to “unlock” the Whopper deal by navigating to the nearest Burger King location. The campaign generated buzz and curiosity among consumers, driving them to download the Burger King app and visit Burger King restaurants to claim their discounted Whoppers.

The “Whopper Detour” campaign was a success, generating millions of app downloads and significantly increasing foot traffic to Burger King restaurants. 

Burger King experienced a notable surge, with a 53.7% rise in monthly active users (MAUs) for its mobile app. The percentage of users opting to share their location data with Burger King skyrocketed by 143%. Remarkably, the total return on investment (ROI) from the Whopper Detour campaign reached an impressive 37-1.

Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its creativity, innovation, and effectiveness in driving customer engagement and foot traffic to its restaurants. By leveraging geolocation technology and gamifying the customer experience, Burger King created a memorable and engaging campaign that resonated with consumers and generated excitement around its brand. 

The campaign’s success demonstrates Burger King’s willingness to push the boundaries of traditional marketing and its ability to connect with consumers in new and unexpected ways.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

27. Amazon’s Prime Day

Amazon sought to drive sales and boost Prime membership subscriptions during typically slower shopping periods. Amazon launched Prime Day, a one-day shopping event exclusive to Prime members, offering discounts on a wide range of products.

Prime Day featured limited-time deals, flash sales, and exclusive product launches, creating a sense of urgency and excitement among shoppers. The event generated record-breaking sales, surpassing even Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers. Additionally, Prime membership sign-ups increased significantly during Prime Day.

In the U.S., spending increased by 6.1% to $12.7 billion compared to the previous year. Prime members purchased over 375 million items worldwide and saved more than $2.5 billion with Prime Day discounts .

Amazon’s Prime Day marketing case study is exceptional for its ability to create a shopping frenzy and drive sales while also incentivizing Prime membership subscriptions. By offering exclusive deals and benefits to Prime members, Amazon not only boosted revenue but also strengthened customer loyalty and engagement, solidifying Prime as a must-have subscription service for millions of shoppers.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

28. McDonald’s “Our Food, Your Questions” Campaign

McDonald’s aimed to address misconceptions and concerns about the quality and sourcing of its food ingredients.

They launched the “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign, inviting customers to ask any questions they had about McDonald’s food via social media and other channels.

McDonald’s responded transparently to customer inquiries, providing detailed information about its food sourcing, preparation methods, and quality standards. The campaign helped demystify McDonald’s food and build trust with customers by demonstrating the company’s commitment to transparency and quality.

McDonald’s witnessed a notable uptick, with a 29% increase in its food quality perception score and a 35% boost in the company’s trust score. Throughout the campaign period, McDonald’s experienced a commendable 14% growth in sales. Undoubtedly, honesty emerged as the most effective strategy.

McDonald’s “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its transparency and engagement with customers. By openly addressing concerns and providing clear information about its food, McDonald’s strengthened its relationship with consumers and demonstrated a willingness to listen and respond to their feedback.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

29. Airbnb’s “Experiences” Launch

Airbnb aimed to expand its offerings beyond accommodations and provide travelers with unique, immersive experiences.

Airbnb launched “Experiences,” a platform where hosts could offer activities, tours, and workshops to travelers, allowing them to engage with local culture and communities.

They curated a diverse range of experiences, from cooking classes to outdoor adventures, and promoted them to travelers worldwide. The platform quickly gained popularity, attracting both hosts and guests seeking authentic and personalized travel experiences.

The UK-based brand tracker BrandIndex showed an increase in ad awareness for Airbnb, rising from 2.8 to 14.1 over six months after the campaign’s launch. Altogether, Airbnb’s strategy resulted in an increase of 172K followers.

Airbnb’s “Experiences” launch is exceptional for its innovation and ability to tap into the growing demand for experiential travel. By leveraging its existing platform and network of hosts, Airbnb expanded its offerings to include activities and experiences, further enhancing its value proposition and solidifying its position as a leader in the travel industry.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

30. Pizza Hut’s “Hut Rewards” Loyalty Program

Pizza Hut, a leading pizza restaurant chain, aimed to increase customer retention and drive repeat business in a competitive market.

Pizza Hut’s strategy with the “Hut Rewards” loyalty program was to incentivize customers to return to their restaurants by offering rewards and discounts for frequent purchases. The program aimed to build customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value by rewarding customers for their continued patronage.

The “Hut Rewards” loyalty program allowed customers to earn points for every dollar spent on Pizza Hut purchases, including online orders, delivery, and dine-in. Customers could redeem their points for free pizzas, sides, and other menu items, providing an incentive for repeat visits. 

The loyalty program proved to be successful in driving customer engagement and loyalty for Pizza Hut. It attracted new customers and encouraged existing customers to increase their frequency of visits and spending.

Pizza Hut saw an increase in customer retention and repeat business, leading to higher sales and revenue for the company.

The conversion rates were impressive, with a remarkable 75% of email subscribers transitioning to Hut Rewards within the initial nine months of the launch. Pizza Hut experienced a notable 5% surge in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), marking the most significant industry advancement of the year and securing the top position among national pizza chains.

Pizza Hut’s “Hut Rewards” loyalty program marketing case study is exceptional for its ability to effectively incentivize customer loyalty and drive repeat business. By offering tangible rewards for frequent purchases, Pizza Hut created a strong incentive for customers to choose Pizza Hut over competitors and return to their restaurants regularly. 

The program’s simplicity and accessibility made it easy for customers to participate, further enhancing its effectiveness in building brand loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

31. BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine” Campaign

BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” campaign, introduced in the early 1970s, remains one of the most iconic and enduring advertising campaigns in the automotive industry. The campaign aimed to redefine the perception of BMW automobiles by emphasizing the brand’s commitment to delivering unparalleled performance, precision engineering, and driving pleasure.

Through a series of television commercials, print advertisements, and digital content, BMW positioned itself as the premier choice for drivers who demanded more than just transportation – they sought an exhilarating driving experience unlike any other.

The campaign leveraged innovative storytelling techniques and striking visuals to showcase BMW’s vehicles in action, highlighting their agility, responsiveness, and dynamic performance on the road.

BMW has employed the tagline “Ultimate Driving Machine” for over three decades. Over this period, its sales in the U.S. have surged from 15,007 units in 1974, the year preceding the inception of the ad slogan, to an impressive 266,200 units in 2005.

BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its longevity, consistency, and effectiveness in communicating the brand’s core values and identity. By focusing on the driving experience and performance capabilities of its vehicles, BMW differentiated itself from competitors and established a unique position in the automotive market.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

32. “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Campaign

Dos Equis launched its iconic “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign to redefine the beer industry’s advertising landscape. The campaign aimed to position Dos Equis as the beer of choice for discerning and adventurous consumers seeking sophistication and worldly experiences.

The campaign was about the enigmatic and charismatic character of “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” Portrayed by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, this suave and debonair figure embodied the epitome of sophistication, charm, and adventure. Through a series of memorable television commercials, print advertisements, and digital content, Dos Equis brought the character to life, regaling viewers with tales of his extraordinary exploits and remarkable accomplishments.

The campaign’s success was built on the strength of its storytelling and the allure of its central character. With his distinctive catchphrase, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis,” “The Most Interesting Man in the World” captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, becoming a cultural phenomenon in the process.

In 2009 Dos Equis saw an increase of 22% in sales, even while other brands were seeing a deep fall (beer imported into the U.S. flagged significantly as craft beer took over, and sales fell about 4%).

Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign marketing case study stands out for its boldness, creativity, and enduring appeal. By creating a compelling character and narrative that transcended traditional beer advertising, Dos Equis captured the hearts and minds of consumers, elevating its brand to iconic status.

The campaign’s success was driven by its ability to tap into universal themes of adventure, intrigue, and sophistication. By positioning Dos Equis as the beer of choice for those who embrace life’s extraordinary moments, the campaign resonated with consumers across demographics.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

33. Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign

Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign was a series of television commercials that aimed to highlight the superiority of Mac computers over PCs in a humorous and relatable manner. The campaign featured two characters: a young, casually dressed man representing a Mac computer (played by actor Justin Long) and an older, more formal man representing a PC (played by actor John Hodgman).

Each commercial followed a similar format, with the two characters engaging in witty banter as they discussed various aspects of computer usage and functionality. The Mac character would typically showcase the ease of use, reliability, and innovative features of Mac computers, while the PC character would struggle with technical issues, viruses, and compatibility problems.

The brilliance of the “Get a Mac” campaign lay in its simplicity and effectiveness. By personifying the two types of computers and highlighting the differences between them in a lighthearted and entertaining manner, Apple effectively communicated the benefits of choosing a Mac over a PC to consumers.

The effects were immediate. Apple experienced a surge of 200,000 additional Mac sales within just one month following the campaign’s debut. By year-end, sales figures exhibited a remarkable 39% increase compared to the previous year.

Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its ability to effectively communicate complex technical concepts in a simple and engaging manner. By using humor and relatable characters, Apple made the benefits of Mac computers accessible to a wide audience, driving increased interest and adoption of its products.

Moreover, the campaign’s emphasis on user experience and innovation resonated with consumers who were increasingly seeking technology solutions that were intuitive, reliable, and stylish. By positioning Mac computers as the superior choice for creative professionals, students, and everyday users alike, Apple successfully differentiated itself from competitors and established a loyal customer base.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

34. Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” Campaign

Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign was a heartwarming and emotionally resonant tribute to the mothers of Olympic athletes. The campaign aimed to celebrate the unwavering support and sacrifices made by mothers in nurturing their children’s dreams and aspirations, particularly as they pursued excellence in sports on the global stage.

The centerpiece of the campaign was a series of television commercials and digital content that showcased the intimate and poignant moments between Olympic athletes and their mothers. These emotionally charged vignettes depicted the mothers’ role as pillars of strength, encouragement, and inspiration throughout their children’s athletic journeys, from their earliest beginnings to the pinnacle of their success on the Olympic stage.

By highlighting the profound bond between mothers and their children, the “Thank You, Mom” campaign struck a chord with audiences worldwide, eliciting a range of emotions from nostalgia and admiration to gratitude and reverence. It served as a powerful reminder of the pivotal role that mothers play in shaping their children’s lives and fostering their dreams, both on and off the field of competition.

Thank You, Mom was the biggest and most successful global campaign in P&G’s 175-year history with $500 million in global incremental P&G sales, 76 billion global media impressions, and over 74,000,000 global views.

Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its emotional resonance and universal appeal. By celebrating the selfless love and sacrifice of mothers, the campaign struck a chord with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, fostering a deep and lasting connection with the brand.

Moreover, the campaign’s alignment with the Olympic Games provided a powerful platform to amplify its message of gratitude and appreciation on a global scale. Through its partnership with the world’s premier sporting event, Procter & Gamble was able to reach audiences around the world and inspire millions with its heartfelt tribute to mothers.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

35. Metro Trains – Dumb Ways to Die

Metro Trains’ “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign was a groundbreaking and innovative public safety initiative aimed at promoting railway safety in Melbourne, Australia. The campaign sought to raise awareness about the dangers of reckless behavior around trains and railway tracks in a creative and engaging manner.

At the heart of the campaign was a catchy song and colorful animation featuring a cast of quirky characters engaging in various foolish and dangerous activities, such as standing too close to the edge of the platform or playing on railway tracks. The song’s upbeat melody and humorous lyrics served to captivate audiences of all ages, while delivering a serious message about the potential consequences of risky behavior near trains.

In addition to the animated video, the “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign was accompanied by a range of educational materials and interactive experiences, including posters, social media content, and mobile games. These elements helped to reinforce the campaign’s safety message and encourage audiences to take positive actions to prevent accidents and injuries on and around railway tracks.

Thanks to this campaign, , Metro Trains found around a 20% reduction in train station incidents.

Within 24 hours of launch, the  Dumb Ways to Die song was ranked in the iTunes top 10. In just 48 hours it became number 6 in the singer/songwriter category globally. Many covers were produced by different artists and the song was used in school as an effective method for teaching safety.

Metro Trains’ “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign marketing case study is exceptional for its ability to tackle a serious and important issue with creativity, humor, and humanity. By using animation, music, and storytelling to deliver its safety message, the campaign transcended traditional public service announcements and connected with audiences on a deeper level.

TOP MARKETING CASE STUDIES

The Future of Marketing Case Studies 

The exploration of these 35 top marketing case studies unveils a diverse array of strategies, executions, and exceptional results achieved by brands across various industries. From innovative product launches to impactful social campaigns, each case study exemplifies the power of creativity, strategic thinking, and consumer-centric approaches in driving success.

What stands out in these case studies is the emphasis on authenticity, engagement, and addressing consumer needs and aspirations. Brands that dared to be bold, transparent, and empathetic resonated deeply with their audiences, fostering lasting connections and loyalty.

Moreover, these case studies underscore the importance of adaptability and innovation in navigating rapidly evolving market landscapes. Brands that embraced change, leveraged emerging technologies, and responded effectively to shifting consumer behaviors emerged as leaders in their respective industries.

Ultimately, the success of these marketing case studies lies in their ability to capture hearts, minds, and market share through compelling storytelling, genuine human connections, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

As brands continue to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape, these case studies serve as valuable lessons and inspiration for creating impactful campaigns that stand the test of time and leave a lasting impression on consumers.

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LaunchJuice LLC

Case Study: How to define your target audience

Defining your target audience is one of the most important things you’ll do when creating a new product. The target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your innovation and marketing messages and without knowing who you’re trying to sell your product to, it’s impossible to find people that are actually interested in buying it. Getting a clear idea of whom you’re innovating for makes it easier to create relevant and engaging products that your consumers will find useful and marketing campaigns that will stand out. 

We spoke with Ayarpi Reganyan , the founder of BodyBar Protein about this topic. Ayarpi came to us with a common challenge – how do we get clear on our target audience? Body Bar, a Gluten Free and Paleo Certified Protein Bars supporting the IBD community, had already had great success before coming to us. Ayarpi used to believe that everyone can be their target market and to accelerate their growth she wanted to figure out how she could refine their target audience. 

‘As the founder and CEO of Body Bar, I enjoy talking about my company and the work we do creating high quality gluten free, Paleo certified protein bars. But I’m not sure the best way to talk about that and to who. I know it needs to be refined.’ Ayarpi, BodyBar Protein Founder

From the very beginning, BodyBar Protein was built with a mission in mind. Their vision is to help people with special dietary needs and provide them with the highest quality products possible. From Paleo friendly to gluten free, they wanted their products to serve a greater purpose. Therefore, when thinking about the target audience, or customers they wanted to reach, they didn’t want to exclude anyone. We helped her and her team see that they need to have a more refined focus on who the target market is. 

After sitting down with their team, we discovered that their real opportunity was about creating the right content for specific types of people to increase the potential of converting future customers. We reviewed the marketing campaigns of their competitors in detail and gave feedback on consumer profiles and about where they should focus. 

Let’s take a look at some practical tips that can help your brand do something similar when it comes to developing new products and promoting your existing ones.

Find out what consumers want

The first step is gathering information about your potential customers so you know what they want and need from your future product. The best way to do this is by talking to them directly—either in person or through surveys, focus groups, or other methods of customer interaction.

To get started ask yourself these questions. Who is my typical consumer? What are their needs? What motivates them? How can I give them what they want? In product development, we call this the problem definition stage which is a strategically critical stage to the new product’s success. 

The problem definition process helps define the profile of your ideal consumer and acknowledges what they value and what they don’t. If you know the values of your ideal customer, you can make sure that these are reflected in your product. For example, if someone cares passionately about making the right choice for the good of the environment then make sure your packaging is recyclable or reusable. Or if someone values the feeling of freedom and adventure then you can position your product to meet this need state. 

Knowing what they don’t value is just as important. What frustrates them, irritates them or leaves them unfulfilled? You can use social media listening, online surveys and focus groups to gather more information about negative sentiment around a topic. Analyze the data you collect so that it gives you a clear picture of who is in your target audience (where they live, what jobs they have etc.) and their needs. Talk to people who fit into the demographic you want to attract and find out what their problems are. Once you have this information, it will be much easier to create a product that appeals to them—and helps them achieve their goals!

Identify similar brands

Identify what competitor brands are doing well and how they are positioning themselves in the market. Look at their product line up, claims, target audience, content, marketing tactics and overall brand personality. Compare and contrast your brand to those of competitors by using these questions:

  • Who is my audience? What are their wants, needs and desires? How can I position myself as being different from all other options out there?
  • What are some untapped opportunity spaces related to nutrition, lifestyle or routine? Why should they care about me as opposed to one of my competitors’ products or services? What kind of content will resonate with them?

Create personas for each type of consumer

Once you’ve got an idea of who exactly you’re trying to create and sell your product to, it’s time to create personas for each type of consumer that falls into this category. Personas are fictional characters that represent real people who share certain traits and goals with others like them—and can help guide decisions about how best to market a product based on their needs rather than just guessing at what might appeal most broadly across all demographics. It helps you become more effective at reaching specific, high potential audiences.

The profile can include the following wrapped up in a clear and insightful portrayal:

  • Demographics: The characteristics of a group of people (e.g., age, race, gender)
  • Psychographics: The attitudes, interests and lifestyle choices that form the basis for consumer behaviour (e.g., political affiliation)
  • Behavioural characteristics such as buying habits or hobbies
  • Social characteristics such as family size or relationship status
  • Technology characteristics such as internet usage

Understand how they communicate.

You need to understand how your target audience communicates. This will help you decide the best way to reach them and engage with them around your new product. There are many ways to communicate, such as social media, in person and online

  • What do they like?
  • What topics are they interested in?
  • How do they communicate with others?
  • Where are they on social media?
  • What are their interests and preferences?

Each channel has its own unique characteristics and issues when it comes to reaching a diverse audience so be focused on the ones that will make an impact. Create content for each persona separately so they see themselves reflected in what you offer instead of feeling like a broad mass approach. The content you create should align with the interests, behaviors and needs of your target audience. It’s also important to consider how they want to consume information—for example, some people prefer written articles while others prefer videos. The more relevant the content is to their needs, the more likely they are to share it or engage in other ways (like commenting or sharing).

If you’re putting together a team to work on the development of an innovation idea, it’s almost impossible to do without knowing who your target audience is. You will have better luck finding people that are passionate about your idea with a clearly defined target audience, as well as being able to produce marketing strategies that work towards selling your product to that target audience. 

“LaunchJuice has helped our company reposition its marketing campaigns and become more successful.  I am so grateful for Emma’s insight. I highly recommend her services to anyone who would like to grow their brand.” Ayarpi, BodyBar Protein Founder

We hope we have given you some tips to start looking deeply at your audience but if you need a little help our tools at LaunchJuice’s can help you can better understand your target audience help drive sales and create high potential innovation!

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The state of AI in early 2024: Gen AI adoption spikes and starts to generate value

If 2023 was the year the world discovered generative AI (gen AI) , 2024 is the year organizations truly began using—and deriving business value from—this new technology. In the latest McKinsey Global Survey  on AI, 65 percent of respondents report that their organizations are regularly using gen AI, nearly double the percentage from our previous survey just ten months ago. Respondents’ expectations for gen AI’s impact remain as high as they were last year , with three-quarters predicting that gen AI will lead to significant or disruptive change in their industries in the years ahead.

About the authors

This article is a collaborative effort by Alex Singla , Alexander Sukharevsky , Lareina Yee , and Michael Chui , with Bryce Hall , representing views from QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and McKinsey Digital.

Organizations are already seeing material benefits from gen AI use, reporting both cost decreases and revenue jumps in the business units deploying the technology. The survey also provides insights into the kinds of risks presented by gen AI—most notably, inaccuracy—as well as the emerging practices of top performers to mitigate those challenges and capture value.

AI adoption surges

Interest in generative AI has also brightened the spotlight on a broader set of AI capabilities. For the past six years, AI adoption by respondents’ organizations has hovered at about 50 percent. This year, the survey finds that adoption has jumped to 72 percent (Exhibit 1). And the interest is truly global in scope. Our 2023 survey found that AI adoption did not reach 66 percent in any region; however, this year more than two-thirds of respondents in nearly every region say their organizations are using AI. 1 Organizations based in Central and South America are the exception, with 58 percent of respondents working for organizations based in Central and South America reporting AI adoption. Looking by industry, the biggest increase in adoption can be found in professional services. 2 Includes respondents working for organizations focused on human resources, legal services, management consulting, market research, R&D, tax preparation, and training.

Also, responses suggest that companies are now using AI in more parts of the business. Half of respondents say their organizations have adopted AI in two or more business functions, up from less than a third of respondents in 2023 (Exhibit 2).

Gen AI adoption is most common in the functions where it can create the most value

Most respondents now report that their organizations—and they as individuals—are using gen AI. Sixty-five percent of respondents say their organizations are regularly using gen AI in at least one business function, up from one-third last year. The average organization using gen AI is doing so in two functions, most often in marketing and sales and in product and service development—two functions in which previous research  determined that gen AI adoption could generate the most value 3 “ The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier ,” McKinsey, June 14, 2023. —as well as in IT (Exhibit 3). The biggest increase from 2023 is found in marketing and sales, where reported adoption has more than doubled. Yet across functions, only two use cases, both within marketing and sales, are reported by 15 percent or more of respondents.

Gen AI also is weaving its way into respondents’ personal lives. Compared with 2023, respondents are much more likely to be using gen AI at work and even more likely to be using gen AI both at work and in their personal lives (Exhibit 4). The survey finds upticks in gen AI use across all regions, with the largest increases in Asia–Pacific and Greater China. Respondents at the highest seniority levels, meanwhile, show larger jumps in the use of gen Al tools for work and outside of work compared with their midlevel-management peers. Looking at specific industries, respondents working in energy and materials and in professional services report the largest increase in gen AI use.

Investments in gen AI and analytical AI are beginning to create value

The latest survey also shows how different industries are budgeting for gen AI. Responses suggest that, in many industries, organizations are about equally as likely to be investing more than 5 percent of their digital budgets in gen AI as they are in nongenerative, analytical-AI solutions (Exhibit 5). Yet in most industries, larger shares of respondents report that their organizations spend more than 20 percent on analytical AI than on gen AI. Looking ahead, most respondents—67 percent—expect their organizations to invest more in AI over the next three years.

Where are those investments paying off? For the first time, our latest survey explored the value created by gen AI use by business function. The function in which the largest share of respondents report seeing cost decreases is human resources. Respondents most commonly report meaningful revenue increases (of more than 5 percent) in supply chain and inventory management (Exhibit 6). For analytical AI, respondents most often report seeing cost benefits in service operations—in line with what we found last year —as well as meaningful revenue increases from AI use in marketing and sales.

Inaccuracy: The most recognized and experienced risk of gen AI use

As businesses begin to see the benefits of gen AI, they’re also recognizing the diverse risks associated with the technology. These can range from data management risks such as data privacy, bias, or intellectual property (IP) infringement to model management risks, which tend to focus on inaccurate output or lack of explainability. A third big risk category is security and incorrect use.

Respondents to the latest survey are more likely than they were last year to say their organizations consider inaccuracy and IP infringement to be relevant to their use of gen AI, and about half continue to view cybersecurity as a risk (Exhibit 7).

Conversely, respondents are less likely than they were last year to say their organizations consider workforce and labor displacement to be relevant risks and are not increasing efforts to mitigate them.

In fact, inaccuracy— which can affect use cases across the gen AI value chain , ranging from customer journeys and summarization to coding and creative content—is the only risk that respondents are significantly more likely than last year to say their organizations are actively working to mitigate.

Some organizations have already experienced negative consequences from the use of gen AI, with 44 percent of respondents saying their organizations have experienced at least one consequence (Exhibit 8). Respondents most often report inaccuracy as a risk that has affected their organizations, followed by cybersecurity and explainability.

Our previous research has found that there are several elements of governance that can help in scaling gen AI use responsibly, yet few respondents report having these risk-related practices in place. 4 “ Implementing generative AI with speed and safety ,” McKinsey Quarterly , March 13, 2024. For example, just 18 percent say their organizations have an enterprise-wide council or board with the authority to make decisions involving responsible AI governance, and only one-third say gen AI risk awareness and risk mitigation controls are required skill sets for technical talent.

Bringing gen AI capabilities to bear

The latest survey also sought to understand how, and how quickly, organizations are deploying these new gen AI tools. We have found three archetypes for implementing gen AI solutions : takers use off-the-shelf, publicly available solutions; shapers customize those tools with proprietary data and systems; and makers develop their own foundation models from scratch. 5 “ Technology’s generational moment with generative AI: A CIO and CTO guide ,” McKinsey, July 11, 2023. Across most industries, the survey results suggest that organizations are finding off-the-shelf offerings applicable to their business needs—though many are pursuing opportunities to customize models or even develop their own (Exhibit 9). About half of reported gen AI uses within respondents’ business functions are utilizing off-the-shelf, publicly available models or tools, with little or no customization. Respondents in energy and materials, technology, and media and telecommunications are more likely to report significant customization or tuning of publicly available models or developing their own proprietary models to address specific business needs.

Respondents most often report that their organizations required one to four months from the start of a project to put gen AI into production, though the time it takes varies by business function (Exhibit 10). It also depends upon the approach for acquiring those capabilities. Not surprisingly, reported uses of highly customized or proprietary models are 1.5 times more likely than off-the-shelf, publicly available models to take five months or more to implement.

Gen AI high performers are excelling despite facing challenges

Gen AI is a new technology, and organizations are still early in the journey of pursuing its opportunities and scaling it across functions. So it’s little surprise that only a small subset of respondents (46 out of 876) report that a meaningful share of their organizations’ EBIT can be attributed to their deployment of gen AI. Still, these gen AI leaders are worth examining closely. These, after all, are the early movers, who already attribute more than 10 percent of their organizations’ EBIT to their use of gen AI. Forty-two percent of these high performers say more than 20 percent of their EBIT is attributable to their use of nongenerative, analytical AI, and they span industries and regions—though most are at organizations with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. The AI-related practices at these organizations can offer guidance to those looking to create value from gen AI adoption at their own organizations.

To start, gen AI high performers are using gen AI in more business functions—an average of three functions, while others average two. They, like other organizations, are most likely to use gen AI in marketing and sales and product or service development, but they’re much more likely than others to use gen AI solutions in risk, legal, and compliance; in strategy and corporate finance; and in supply chain and inventory management. They’re more than three times as likely as others to be using gen AI in activities ranging from processing of accounting documents and risk assessment to R&D testing and pricing and promotions. While, overall, about half of reported gen AI applications within business functions are utilizing publicly available models or tools, gen AI high performers are less likely to use those off-the-shelf options than to either implement significantly customized versions of those tools or to develop their own proprietary foundation models.

What else are these high performers doing differently? For one thing, they are paying more attention to gen-AI-related risks. Perhaps because they are further along on their journeys, they are more likely than others to say their organizations have experienced every negative consequence from gen AI we asked about, from cybersecurity and personal privacy to explainability and IP infringement. Given that, they are more likely than others to report that their organizations consider those risks, as well as regulatory compliance, environmental impacts, and political stability, to be relevant to their gen AI use, and they say they take steps to mitigate more risks than others do.

Gen AI high performers are also much more likely to say their organizations follow a set of risk-related best practices (Exhibit 11). For example, they are nearly twice as likely as others to involve the legal function and embed risk reviews early on in the development of gen AI solutions—that is, to “ shift left .” They’re also much more likely than others to employ a wide range of other best practices, from strategy-related practices to those related to scaling.

In addition to experiencing the risks of gen AI adoption, high performers have encountered other challenges that can serve as warnings to others (Exhibit 12). Seventy percent say they have experienced difficulties with data, including defining processes for data governance, developing the ability to quickly integrate data into AI models, and an insufficient amount of training data, highlighting the essential role that data play in capturing value. High performers are also more likely than others to report experiencing challenges with their operating models, such as implementing agile ways of working and effective sprint performance management.

About the research

The online survey was in the field from February 22 to March 5, 2024, and garnered responses from 1,363 participants representing the full range of regions, industries, company sizes, functional specialties, and tenures. Of those respondents, 981 said their organizations had adopted AI in at least one business function, and 878 said their organizations were regularly using gen AI in at least one function. To adjust for differences in response rates, the data are weighted by the contribution of each respondent’s nation to global GDP.

Alex Singla and Alexander Sukharevsky  are global coleaders of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and senior partners in McKinsey’s Chicago and London offices, respectively; Lareina Yee  is a senior partner in the Bay Area office, where Michael Chui , a McKinsey Global Institute partner, is a partner; and Bryce Hall  is an associate partner in the Washington, DC, office.

They wish to thank Kaitlin Noe, Larry Kanter, Mallika Jhamb, and Shinjini Srivastava for their contributions to this work.

This article was edited by Heather Hanselman, a senior editor in McKinsey’s Atlanta office.

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