Business Case Study Format Outline Examples

Business case studies can have a massive impact on your marketing, done right.

While they cost time and effort to create, they can be a stellar tactic to draw new customers to your business and help you earn new clients.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t sure how to start when it’s time to write copy for them.

If you’re one of the many individuals who wants to learn how to write a business case study, but just aren’t sure where to get started, my simple guide is here to help you step-by-step – another installment of our #howtowrite series!

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a piece of content, published by a company, that outlines their success or effectiveness in dealing with a client. It’s commonly used as a piece of marketing content and can be incredibly useful since it helps would-be clients understand how the agency or professional has excelled in the past.

Virtually every successful online company uses case studies, and Express Writers is no different! Earlier this year, in fact, we published a case study that showcases how we helped a client boost their revenue by 77% after creating some product descriptions for them.

Case studies are more than just a piece of self-congratulating marketing material (this is an incorrect assumption that many people hold about these unique content types), though. In fact, they’re meant less to stroke the company in question’s ego than they are to help would-be clients understand how a given company can assist them.

The Top 4 Benefits of Why You Should Learn How to Write a Business Case Study

So, why go to all the time to create your own case study? (It IS a ton of time and effort!)

If the “what is” didn’t argue in favor already, here are key reasons to spend your time finding out how to write a business case study, and putting one of your own together.

Business case studies have many advantages. The top four are as follows:

1. Case studies allow a company to use storytelling to bring their product to life

Whether it’s a service or a hard-and-fast consumer product, a case study is an excellent way to illustrate it and help bring it to life for new customers. Just like any great novel, a good case study has a beginning, a middle, and an end, with a conflict and a resolution. It’s a wildly effective way to make somewhat complex products real and can go a long way toward improving the way your clients perceive your offerings.

2. Case studies provide peer-to-peer influence

Peer-to-peer influence is a massively important thing, and case studies are wonderful at fulfilling it because they offer the view of a customer rather than a company. While it’s a company that publishes a case study, the entire thing is dedicated to recounting a customer’s experience. Direct quotes, statistics, and more are standard, and these things are fantastic for helping would-be clients to see the value in a company.

3. Case studies offer real-life examples

We’ve all heard about how critical customer reviews are for conversion rates, and case studies take this one step further. By providing real-life examples of your product at work, paired with glowing customer reviews, they can help new customers feel more confident in your company and take the leap to convert.

For an example, check out this case study excerpt (from our own clientele based case study):

4. Case studies are powerful word-of-mouth advertising

Because a company must ask permission from a client to use his or her data in a case study, the inclusion of a customer in a case study often leads to some brand evangelism that can help boost your company’s visibility and improve your conversion rates.

How to Write a Business Case Study: Your Complete Guide in 5 Steps

So, you want to write a case study, but you’re not sure where to begin! This guide will help you get started.

1. Identify your best possible avenue for data

When it comes time to write a case study, you might have multiple cases to choose from. The first part of being successful, though, is narrowing these things down. For your case study to succeed, it must contain just the right information, and it’s critical to ensure this from the get-go. To determine which of your various cases would be the best fit for a study, look at them and evaluate whether or not they contain the following elements:

  • A significant challenge. This could be a tight timeline, a complicated issue, low sales numbers, or even a need for entirely new software integration.
  • A satisfying solution. For your case study to fall into the realm of storytelling, it needs a solution that customers can relate to.
  • A series of substantial benefits. The final component in a case study is the benefit. An excellent case study should feature several benefits that your customers can relate to deeply. The benefits will be even more compelling if they’re solid statistics like we used when we say we boosted the client’s sales by 77% year-over-year. The more granular, the better in this case.

2. Write your case study (5 key tips)

Now comes the tough part – the writing! While it’s true that writing a case study requires a different set of skills and a different voice than everyday writing, it’s far from impossible.

To ace your DIY case study, follow these tips:

  • Choose your voice carefully

Depending on your brand and the content of the case study, you can write it in either the first or third person. Either approach will work, and most case studies use a mixture of both.

EXAMPLE: Our client-based case study at Express Writers does this, and it flows quite nicely. If you’re going to use a combination of both the first and the third person, though, be sure that you’re enhancing the third-person parts with direct quotes from the client, as straight third-person voice can sound overly narrated after a while.

  • Make your title specific and attention-grabbing

The title is a critical component of the case study. To make it as attention-grabbing as possible, include percentages and strong action verbs. Here are some good examples from real-life case studies:

Remember: titles perform better when they are as accurate as possible. That’s why phrases like “by 1,000%” and “doubles yearly revenue” appear in these wide-ranging case studies.

  • Keep your language simple

Many people think that learning how to write a business case study involves incorporating jargon and corporate-speak into the writing. Fortunately, this isn’t true. In fact, writing a business case study requires you to keep your language simple rather than making it more complicated. The more you can avoid corporate jargon in your case studies, the better.

In addition to making them more natural and approachable, this will also allow non-customers to approach your case study without being intimidated away by overly complicated case study language.

  • Add real numbers to your case study

When you look at the case study titles above, most people would agree that “increased webinar sign-up rates by 1,000%” is the most memorable phrase up there. In addition to the fact that this is a shocking number, it’s also so precise that it grabs reader attention.

With this in mind, follow KISSmetrics’s lead and include real numbers in your case studies. While phrases like “doubled this” or “tripled that” are powerful, they just don’t have the added oomph they need to take your case study to the top.

  • Write from the beginning to the end

A case study is not the place to leave out critical data. Instead, write from the beginning to the end and keep it as accurate and chronological as possible. This will help flesh out the entire circumstances surrounding your interaction with the client and allow your readers to understand your impact more effectively.

3. Finish the case study with all of your relevant contact information

Since a case study is designed, at least in part, for press distribution, it should be outfitted with your contact information and details. This will allow other companies, customers, and more to contact you regarding the case study, and will help to make the information within it more accessible to other people.

While there are different standards for which information you “should” include in a case study, most sources recommend including your phone number, website, email, and one or two social profiles, along with a short bio. This will provide enough information for interested parties to contact you and can help boost the ROI of your case study down the road.

4. Hire a designer to finish the product

Don’t forget that every good case study needs a great design, and it can be helpful to bring in a designer to add some visual interest to the piece. Simple things, like using text boxes to pull out key facts, statistics, and quotes, and inputting related graphics and charts can make all of the difference in your case study and should be used liberally to enhance its value and interest.

We can help – our lead designer is familiar with how to take copy and create custom, beautiful designs in Adobe to match! Check out our case study service here.

5. Publish the case study

Publishing your case study is the final step in creating it. To get the most success from your case study, you’ll want to post it in the places your real audience and prospective customers frequent. This may mean publishing the case study on your blog, reaching out to relevant publishing platforms, or gating the case study and using it to drive email sign-ups for your company.

Alternately, KISSmetrics recommends appealing to different types of learners by breaking your case study into unexpected formats, like a podcast, a YouTube video, or an infographic!

We published ours in a few different forms.

First, as a blog post:

Then, as a landing page.

What About Hiring a Specialist to Write the Case Study?

Writing a case study requires a very particular voice, and if you don’t have the time or confidence to do it yourself, it’s in your best interests to hire someone specifically who knows how to write case studies and has done it before. In addition to making your case studies more efficient, this will also help you create the best possible case study and not drive yourself into the ground as you do it.

No matter how good the writer you hire is, you’ll have to provide them with some specific information about your case study.

Ideally, you should give the author a very clear overview of what you’d like from the case study. This should include the following components:

  • Word count
  • The products, goods, or services you’d like the case study to promote
  • The benefits you provided for the client
  • The struggle the client faced
  • The specific way you went about resolving it
  • The result (percentages, direct quotes from the customer, and facts are helpful here)
  • The deadline for the case study

These things are critical for helping your writer create the best possible case study, and they’ll go a long way toward making the process more lucrative and enjoyable for you, as well.

The Case for Case Studies

Case studies are an incredibly useful tool and can have a massive positive impact on your content marketing.

While most companies don’t think they can create case studies, learning how to write a business case study is simple, as long as you’re willing to put in some time and work.

In addition to helping your customers understand the benefits of your services, case studies also provide an essential platform for new clients to see your products at work, which can be all they need to convert and become brand evangelists.

By following my tips above, you can learn how to write business case studies from scratch. Simple, effective, and critical for your company, this is one ROI-boosting move you simply will not regret.

Don’t want to D-I-Y? Trust our marketing team of experts: we’ve crafted successful case studies for businesses of all types. Talk to us today about your case study writing & creation needs!

A case study is one of the many research methods or strategies used by students that are studying a certain person, group, or situation. Case studies can usually be found in such areas of knowledge such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, education and much more.


Table Of Contents


Case Study Definition

It is a piece of scientific research that follows the development of a person, group or event over a period of time. They often exemplify a formal research method and are used to support a principle. This type of paper adds meaning to its field by contributing unique knowledge. To define “case study”, you might want to seek out examples of famous case studies.

What is The Purpose

The first thing you need to do is to determine what type of case study you are going to write about. After you have chosen the subject, you need to understand that the main purpose is to make a thorough analysis of a situation or case.

Types Of Case Studies

Case studies usually include abnormal phenomena that contributed to the field of study in which they were performed. The different types of case studies are in the fields of They also come in two types:

Psychology

A psychology case study is an analysis of a person, group, or phenomenon. Psychologists use clinical research to describe rare events. Psychology studies are usually done by using case-control and problem-oriented study. The studies must be valid and reliable. Here is a list of famous case studies:

  • Harlow - Phineas Gage
  • Breuer & Freud (1895) - Anna O.
  • Harvey Cleckley's study of Multiple Personality Disorder (The Three Faces of Eve)
  • John Money and the John/Joan case
  • Genie (feral child)

Case-Control Study

This type of study is an observational one. It analyzes a potential relationship between the attribute and the outcome. For example, in a study that proves that smoking causes lung cancer, the smoker is the case, smoking is the attribute, cancer is the outcome, and a person who doesn’t smoke would be a control.

Problem Oriented Study

Some case studies require you to solve a problem by developing a new design. These types of case studies are problem orientated.

Business

Almost every business is unique. However, case studies allow us to take away universal lessons and apply them. A business case study focuses on performance and retention, supply chain management, growth, and ad spending. Below are some famous case studies that you can read about as good case study examples.

  • Workplace Drug Abuse
  • Malden Mills
  • Starbucks on Every Corner
  • Small Customers, Big Profits
  • Succession Planning

History

Historical case studies analyze the causes and consequences of a situation and discuss the lessons learned. Otherwise, history can also refer to the background information. Make sure to gather as much participant or situational history as possible.

Research

A case study is an incredibly useful way of conducting research. Case studies have been used across a number of disciplines. Individual researchers used case studies to diversify the discipline. This resulted in case study research evolving into a flexible approach to research.

Analysis

Your instructor may assign a case study analysis instead of one that is stand-alone. This assignment is easier, as it only requires you to analyze and synthesize the research method used within an assigned case study. Begin with reading as many articles as possible about the proposed study and then proceed to review the actual first publication. By reading other pieces of writing on this subject, you will be able to comprehend the research method used in the assigned study easier.

Harvard Case Study

Harvard University has millions of case studies in their registry. Some students get access to them. However, they need to be purchased online most of the time. If you want to use a Harvard case study as an example, then you should either purchase one online or purchase a unique and ready-made example from one of EssayPro paper writers.

Types Of Methods

Case studies are investigations. Typically the method of gathering information for different cases involves observations, interviews, or gathering data information. The research continues for a long period of time. Most often, case study methodology is simply observing, reconstructing the history, and investigating a topic with extreme precision and detail. The data is collected and then analyzed. The conclusion either supports a pre-existing theory or acts as a base for a new theory. A good case study should always clarify which information is factual and which is altered by your bias toward a certain theory.

Template

Using a template may be more helpful to your writing process. Move from section to section in your drafting process and then go back to the abstract and summarize your paper. A comprehensive template like this can also work to create an outline for your paper. Below is a comprehensive template that matches the case study layout:

Title:
Running Header:
Authors:

  1. Name, academic degrees and affiliation

Name, address and telephone number of the corresponding author
Disclaimers
Keywords: (limit of five)
Abstract: (maximum of 150 words)

  • Introduction
  • Case Presentation
  • Management and Outcome
  • Discussion
    References:
    1
    2
    3
    Legends: (tables, figures, or images)

How To Write An Outline

The main goal of the outline of the paper is to help you organize your thoughts and data. After doing this, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture and write a complete paper. So let’s find out how to write an outline. Essentially your outline will contain three main parts: The Introduction, a Body, and a Conclusion. But to be sure that your paper is fully finished, consult your lecturer about what he or she wants to be included in your paper. So let’s find out how an outline supposed to be written if you are going to write about a problem-oriented study:

I. Introduction (should contain your thesis statement or the topic of your research)

  • Statement of the Issue
  • Presentation of problems or problem
  • Explanation of the terms
  • Hypothesis
  • Analysis of Related Literature
  • Importance of your study
  • Significance of the study

II. Body (must involve the presentation of your arguments to support your thesis statement or topic. Try to find at least three approving arguments for each position.)

  • Background of the Study
  • Presentation of analysis and data
  • Strong argument 1
  • Strong argument 2
  • Strong argument 3

III. Conclusion (make a summary of all your arguments and research that you’ve made and state your final position.)

  • Concluding Statement
  • Recommendations

How to Format your paper

The research format is similar to most scientific reports. Your citation format should be chosen based on the discipline or the command of your instructor.

Title page: The first page of your masterpiece

  • Title: Pick a title that will attract attention and adequately describe your study. You may want to have a title that contains the word “case study” in it. Your title should range between 5-9 words in length
  • Your name and contact information
  • Keywords: this will make it easier for people to find in a search engine
  • Your finished case study should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this kind of an assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.

Abstract: narrative and structured.

  • In a narrative abstract, you simply summarize the whole paper.
  • In a structured abstract, you may use subheadings to guide your reader.
  • It is recommended that you write your abstract after finishing the whole paper.
  • In the case of a structured abstract, the subheadings will be: introduction, case presentation, management and outcome, and discussion.

Body

  • Introduction: Include one or two sentences to describe the context of the case and summarize the entire case study.
  • Case presentation: Here, include several sentences describe the history and results of the case.
  • Management and Outcome: Here, reference the measures you used and link it to the conclusion of the study.
  • Discussion: Synthesize and explain the case and within one or two sentences describe the lessons discovered or any that are yet to be learned.
  • Acknowledgments: If you received assistance with the case study, you may thank them in this section.
  • References: References should be listed as described elsewhere in the discipline of yours or your instructor’s choosing.
  • Legends: If you used tables, figures or photographs, they should be accompanied by a brief explanation. Make sure everything is understandable and included at the end of the manuscript.

Now that you understand the format and structure of a case study, here are some important pointers:

  • Use the template and work section by section to produce the first draft of your case study.
  • Before embarking on the writing process, you should gather all relevant materials. Ask yourself: “What is interesting about this case?”
  • You may want to consider writing an outline at first to make the process easier.

How To Cite Your Paper

Citing your work is definitely easier than writing about it. You can cite it just like you cite a book, depending what style you need.
In MLA: Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
In APA: Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
In Chicago: Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.

Proofreading

After you have finished the writing process, avoid any paper editing for a few hours or days. Then, give it a second read and correct small grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Make sure that everything flows as smooth as possible. Every paragraph should include transitions to give the readers an explanation of what will be next in the next paragraph.

Cover Page

A title page depends on the prescribed citation format. Here is a template for the APA format title page:

Rubric

Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:

  • Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
  • Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular case study.
  • Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to decision-making.
  • Recognize and global importance and contribution.
  • Construct coherent summary and explanation of the study.
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills
  • Explain the interrelationships between environment and nature.
  • Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.

Ways Of Presenting Your Paper

Perhaps the most important reason people create case studies is to present them in a certain way. The presentation must be engaging and educate the audience on the significance of the work. Industries use presentations to showcase newly found information about the conducted research and impact. Firstly, consider various methods for your presentation. Find a way to capture the audience’s attention with graphics and illustrations. A Powerpoint, a Prezi, or a Google Slides presentation is easy to use and allows for the implementation of interesting transitions as well as charts and graphs. Leave your conclusion for the end of the presentation to keep the audience interested about the conclusion of the case study.

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Prof Trent, from EssayPro

When writing a case study, it is easy to get off topic. My piece of advice for your writing is to abstain from delving too much into technicalities while writing your case study. Whether your case study is a science piece or a business/economy piece, make your heading and subheadings attention-grabbing. This not only captures what the case study is about but also keeps the attention of your reader. Another piece of advice that I have for you is that you briefly summarize the broader topic beforehand, but don’t refer back to the summary during your actual case study. For example, if your case study is about psychological phenomena, then you would want to summarize the particular field of study (e.g. abnormal psychology) and then continue writing about your topic. My last tip for you is to use the cause-effect essay structure. What caused the case study? What was it's effect/result?

Don't Know Where to Start?

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