how to write a business case study

How to write a business case study and use it to get more clients

April 9, 2015

Case studies are a perennial standby in social sciences like psychology and sociology, but they’re also incredibly useful for business applications like sales and marketing. The value of case studies goes beyond the insight they offer you into the successes or failure of your own business strategies: case studies can also be a valuable sales tool. If you’re a business specializing in B2B services or products, publicizing a great case study can give your potential clients insight into the value that you can offer to their company. Case studies provide an interesting, informative “real world” example of the value your company can provide, helping you persuade businesses into making an investment in your products and/or services.

Despite the incredible value of case studies, many professionals across a range of fields don’t actually know how to write a business case study. A case study for your business will be structured and presented somewhat differently than an academic case study, although the underlying concept is the same. Here are some useful guidelines for how to write a case study using your past successes to create an engaging narrative that will make a lasting impression on your clients.

  • Present your case study as a narrative story. Narrative is one of the most powerful tools available for communicating with other human beings. We’re all “hardwired” to respond to narratives, and at its heart, your case study is a story. The client you’re writing about had to face and overcome a challenge, which they were able to surmount with your help. Talk about their dilemma, and how your company helped the client overcome a challenge and reach a goal. Framing a case study using storytelling techniques helps other potential clients relate to those challenges, giving them insight into how your company could help them.
  • Provide details about how you solved a client’s problem. In a B2B case study, you’ll want to give all the details about exactly how you were able to help your client. You may want to contact the subject of your case study for an interview, so that you can verify that all of your information is correct.
  • Prove that your company was able to help your client. If you’re not sure how to write a case study as it is, you should know that hard data is your most valuable tool. Explain how you helped a client overcome a specific problem, providing tangible data that backs up your claims. Did you increase a company’s sales or click-through rate? If so, by how much? What steps did you take to achieve that objective, and what was the long-term payout for the client? Quantifiable data lends legitimacy to your claims, as well as giving prospective clients a more solid idea of the tangible benefits that your company can offer them. Anyone can say their company provides value to their clients, but any claims you make are essentially meaningless unless you back them up with real evidence.
  • Incorporate a testimonial from the subject of your case study. Your clients are your best assets, and a testimonial from a satisfied customer goes a long way toward convincing other people of the value your company can offer. Talk to the client you’re using for your case study, and ask for a testimonial that you can use to close out your case study. If they had a great experience with your company, they’ll be more than happy to offer their recommendation.

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