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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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-12hxxzz-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-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:var(--zds-text-link, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #2b2358);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-5, #a8a5a0);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);outline-color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:var(--zds-text-link, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:var(--zds-text-link, #2b2358);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-5, #a8a5a0);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);outline-color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-12hxxzz-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-12hxxzz-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-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']{color:var(--zds-text-link, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']:hover{outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #2b2358);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='ocean']:focus{color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']:hover{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-5, #a8a5a0);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='white']:focus{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);outline-color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']{color:var(--zds-text-link, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']:hover{color:var(--zds-text-link, #2b2358);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='primary']:focus{color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);outline-color:var(--zds-text-link-hover, #3d4592);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']:hover{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-5, #a8a5a0);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-color='secondary']:focus{color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);outline-color:var(--zds-gray-warm-1, #fffdf9);}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-weight='inherit']{font-weight:inherit;}.css-12hxxzz-Link[data-weight='normal']{font-weight:400;}.css-12hxxzz-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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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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case study goals examples

The Ultimate Guide to Qualitative Research - Part 1: The Basics

case study goals examples

  • Introduction and overview
  • What is qualitative research?
  • What is qualitative data?
  • Examples of qualitative data
  • Qualitative vs. quantitative research
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative research preparation
  • Theoretical perspective
  • Theoretical framework
  • Literature reviews

Research question

  • Conceptual framework
  • Conceptual vs. theoretical framework

Data collection

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Focus groups
  • Observational research

What is a case study?

Applications for case study research, what is a good case study, process of case study design, benefits and limitations of case studies.

  • Ethnographical research
  • Ethical considerations
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Power dynamics
  • Reflexivity

Case studies

Case studies are essential to qualitative research , offering a lens through which researchers can investigate complex phenomena within their real-life contexts. This chapter explores the concept, purpose, applications, examples, and types of case studies and provides guidance on how to conduct case study research effectively.

case study goals examples

Whereas quantitative methods look at phenomena at scale, case study research looks at a concept or phenomenon in considerable detail. While analyzing a single case can help understand one perspective regarding the object of research inquiry, analyzing multiple cases can help obtain a more holistic sense of the topic or issue. Let's provide a basic definition of a case study, then explore its characteristics and role in the qualitative research process.

Definition of a case study

A case study in qualitative research is a strategy of inquiry that involves an in-depth investigation of a phenomenon within its real-world context. It provides researchers with the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of intricate details that might not be as apparent or accessible through other methods of research. The specific case or cases being studied can be a single person, group, or organization – demarcating what constitutes a relevant case worth studying depends on the researcher and their research question .

Among qualitative research methods , a case study relies on multiple sources of evidence, such as documents, artifacts, interviews , or observations , to present a complete and nuanced understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. The objective is to illuminate the readers' understanding of the phenomenon beyond its abstract statistical or theoretical explanations.

Characteristics of case studies

Case studies typically possess a number of distinct characteristics that set them apart from other research methods. These characteristics include a focus on holistic description and explanation, flexibility in the design and data collection methods, reliance on multiple sources of evidence, and emphasis on the context in which the phenomenon occurs.

Furthermore, case studies can often involve a longitudinal examination of the case, meaning they study the case over a period of time. These characteristics allow case studies to yield comprehensive, in-depth, and richly contextualized insights about the phenomenon of interest.

The role of case studies in research

Case studies hold a unique position in the broader landscape of research methods aimed at theory development. They are instrumental when the primary research interest is to gain an intensive, detailed understanding of a phenomenon in its real-life context.

In addition, case studies can serve different purposes within research - they can be used for exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory purposes, depending on the research question and objectives. This flexibility and depth make case studies a valuable tool in the toolkit of qualitative researchers.

Remember, a well-conducted case study can offer a rich, insightful contribution to both academic and practical knowledge through theory development or theory verification, thus enhancing our understanding of complex phenomena in their real-world contexts.

What is the purpose of a case study?

Case study research aims for a more comprehensive understanding of phenomena, requiring various research methods to gather information for qualitative analysis . Ultimately, a case study can allow the researcher to gain insight into a particular object of inquiry and develop a theoretical framework relevant to the research inquiry.

Why use case studies in qualitative research?

Using case studies as a research strategy depends mainly on the nature of the research question and the researcher's access to the data.

Conducting case study research provides a level of detail and contextual richness that other research methods might not offer. They are beneficial when there's a need to understand complex social phenomena within their natural contexts.

The explanatory, exploratory, and descriptive roles of case studies

Case studies can take on various roles depending on the research objectives. They can be exploratory when the research aims to discover new phenomena or define new research questions; they are descriptive when the objective is to depict a phenomenon within its context in a detailed manner; and they can be explanatory if the goal is to understand specific relationships within the studied context. Thus, the versatility of case studies allows researchers to approach their topic from different angles, offering multiple ways to uncover and interpret the data .

The impact of case studies on knowledge development

Case studies play a significant role in knowledge development across various disciplines. Analysis of cases provides an avenue for researchers to explore phenomena within their context based on the collected data.

case study goals examples

This can result in the production of rich, practical insights that can be instrumental in both theory-building and practice. Case studies allow researchers to delve into the intricacies and complexities of real-life situations, uncovering insights that might otherwise remain hidden.

Types of case studies

In qualitative research , a case study is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the nature of the research question and the specific objectives of the study, researchers might choose to use different types of case studies. These types differ in their focus, methodology, and the level of detail they provide about the phenomenon under investigation.

Understanding these types is crucial for selecting the most appropriate approach for your research project and effectively achieving your research goals. Let's briefly look at the main types of case studies.

Exploratory case studies

Exploratory case studies are typically conducted to develop a theory or framework around an understudied phenomenon. They can also serve as a precursor to a larger-scale research project. Exploratory case studies are useful when a researcher wants to identify the key issues or questions which can spur more extensive study or be used to develop propositions for further research. These case studies are characterized by flexibility, allowing researchers to explore various aspects of a phenomenon as they emerge, which can also form the foundation for subsequent studies.

Descriptive case studies

Descriptive case studies aim to provide a complete and accurate representation of a phenomenon or event within its context. These case studies are often based on an established theoretical framework, which guides how data is collected and analyzed. The researcher is concerned with describing the phenomenon in detail, as it occurs naturally, without trying to influence or manipulate it.

Explanatory case studies

Explanatory case studies are focused on explanation - they seek to clarify how or why certain phenomena occur. Often used in complex, real-life situations, they can be particularly valuable in clarifying causal relationships among concepts and understanding the interplay between different factors within a specific context.

case study goals examples

Intrinsic, instrumental, and collective case studies

These three categories of case studies focus on the nature and purpose of the study. An intrinsic case study is conducted when a researcher has an inherent interest in the case itself. Instrumental case studies are employed when the case is used to provide insight into a particular issue or phenomenon. A collective case study, on the other hand, involves studying multiple cases simultaneously to investigate some general phenomena.

Each type of case study serves a different purpose and has its own strengths and challenges. The selection of the type should be guided by the research question and objectives, as well as the context and constraints of the research.

The flexibility, depth, and contextual richness offered by case studies make this approach an excellent research method for various fields of study. They enable researchers to investigate real-world phenomena within their specific contexts, capturing nuances that other research methods might miss. Across numerous fields, case studies provide valuable insights into complex issues.

Critical information systems research

Case studies provide a detailed understanding of the role and impact of information systems in different contexts. They offer a platform to explore how information systems are designed, implemented, and used and how they interact with various social, economic, and political factors. Case studies in this field often focus on examining the intricate relationship between technology, organizational processes, and user behavior, helping to uncover insights that can inform better system design and implementation.

Health research

Health research is another field where case studies are highly valuable. They offer a way to explore patient experiences, healthcare delivery processes, and the impact of various interventions in a real-world context.

case study goals examples

Case studies can provide a deep understanding of a patient's journey, giving insights into the intricacies of disease progression, treatment effects, and the psychosocial aspects of health and illness.

Asthma research studies

Specifically within medical research, studies on asthma often employ case studies to explore the individual and environmental factors that influence asthma development, management, and outcomes. A case study can provide rich, detailed data about individual patients' experiences, from the triggers and symptoms they experience to the effectiveness of various management strategies. This can be crucial for developing patient-centered asthma care approaches.

Other fields

Apart from the fields mentioned, case studies are also extensively used in business and management research, education research, and political sciences, among many others. They provide an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of real-world situations, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of various phenomena.

Case studies, with their depth and contextual focus, offer unique insights across these varied fields. They allow researchers to illuminate the complexities of real-life situations, contributing to both theory and practice.

case study goals examples

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Understanding the key elements of case study design is crucial for conducting rigorous and impactful case study research. A well-structured design guides the researcher through the process, ensuring that the study is methodologically sound and its findings are reliable and valid. The main elements of case study design include the research question , propositions, units of analysis, and the logic linking the data to the propositions.

The research question is the foundation of any research study. A good research question guides the direction of the study and informs the selection of the case, the methods of collecting data, and the analysis techniques. A well-formulated research question in case study research is typically clear, focused, and complex enough to merit further detailed examination of the relevant case(s).

Propositions

Propositions, though not necessary in every case study, provide a direction by stating what we might expect to find in the data collected. They guide how data is collected and analyzed by helping researchers focus on specific aspects of the case. They are particularly important in explanatory case studies, which seek to understand the relationships among concepts within the studied phenomenon.

Units of analysis

The unit of analysis refers to the case, or the main entity or entities that are being analyzed in the study. In case study research, the unit of analysis can be an individual, a group, an organization, a decision, an event, or even a time period. It's crucial to clearly define the unit of analysis, as it shapes the qualitative data analysis process by allowing the researcher to analyze a particular case and synthesize analysis across multiple case studies to draw conclusions.

Argumentation

This refers to the inferential model that allows researchers to draw conclusions from the data. The researcher needs to ensure that there is a clear link between the data, the propositions (if any), and the conclusions drawn. This argumentation is what enables the researcher to make valid and credible inferences about the phenomenon under study.

Understanding and carefully considering these elements in the design phase of a case study can significantly enhance the quality of the research. It can help ensure that the study is methodologically sound and its findings contribute meaningful insights about the case.

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Conducting a case study involves several steps, from defining the research question and selecting the case to collecting and analyzing data . This section outlines these key stages, providing a practical guide on how to conduct case study research.

Defining the research question

The first step in case study research is defining a clear, focused research question. This question should guide the entire research process, from case selection to analysis. It's crucial to ensure that the research question is suitable for a case study approach. Typically, such questions are exploratory or descriptive in nature and focus on understanding a phenomenon within its real-life context.

Selecting and defining the case

The selection of the case should be based on the research question and the objectives of the study. It involves choosing a unique example or a set of examples that provide rich, in-depth data about the phenomenon under investigation. After selecting the case, it's crucial to define it clearly, setting the boundaries of the case, including the time period and the specific context.

Previous research can help guide the case study design. When considering a case study, an example of a case could be taken from previous case study research and used to define cases in a new research inquiry. Considering recently published examples can help understand how to select and define cases effectively.

Developing a detailed case study protocol

A case study protocol outlines the procedures and general rules to be followed during the case study. This includes the data collection methods to be used, the sources of data, and the procedures for analysis. Having a detailed case study protocol ensures consistency and reliability in the study.

The protocol should also consider how to work with the people involved in the research context to grant the research team access to collecting data. As mentioned in previous sections of this guide, establishing rapport is an essential component of qualitative research as it shapes the overall potential for collecting and analyzing data.

Collecting data

Gathering data in case study research often involves multiple sources of evidence, including documents, archival records, interviews, observations, and physical artifacts. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the case. The process for gathering data should be systematic and carefully documented to ensure the reliability and validity of the study.

Analyzing and interpreting data

The next step is analyzing the data. This involves organizing the data , categorizing it into themes or patterns , and interpreting these patterns to answer the research question. The analysis might also involve comparing the findings with prior research or theoretical propositions.

Writing the case study report

The final step is writing the case study report . This should provide a detailed description of the case, the data, the analysis process, and the findings. The report should be clear, organized, and carefully written to ensure that the reader can understand the case and the conclusions drawn from it.

Each of these steps is crucial in ensuring that the case study research is rigorous, reliable, and provides valuable insights about the case.

The type, depth, and quality of data in your study can significantly influence the validity and utility of the study. In case study research, data is usually collected from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case. This section will outline the various methods of collecting data used in case study research and discuss considerations for ensuring the quality of the data.

Interviews are a common method of gathering data in case study research. They can provide rich, in-depth data about the perspectives, experiences, and interpretations of the individuals involved in the case. Interviews can be structured , semi-structured , or unstructured , depending on the research question and the degree of flexibility needed.

Observations

Observations involve the researcher observing the case in its natural setting, providing first-hand information about the case and its context. Observations can provide data that might not be revealed in interviews or documents, such as non-verbal cues or contextual information.

Documents and artifacts

Documents and archival records provide a valuable source of data in case study research. They can include reports, letters, memos, meeting minutes, email correspondence, and various public and private documents related to the case.

case study goals examples

These records can provide historical context, corroborate evidence from other sources, and offer insights into the case that might not be apparent from interviews or observations.

Physical artifacts refer to any physical evidence related to the case, such as tools, products, or physical environments. These artifacts can provide tangible insights into the case, complementing the data gathered from other sources.

Ensuring the quality of data collection

Determining the quality of data in case study research requires careful planning and execution. It's crucial to ensure that the data is reliable, accurate, and relevant to the research question. This involves selecting appropriate methods of collecting data, properly training interviewers or observers, and systematically recording and storing the data. It also includes considering ethical issues related to collecting and handling data, such as obtaining informed consent and ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the participants.

Data analysis

Analyzing case study research involves making sense of the rich, detailed data to answer the research question. This process can be challenging due to the volume and complexity of case study data. However, a systematic and rigorous approach to analysis can ensure that the findings are credible and meaningful. This section outlines the main steps and considerations in analyzing data in case study research.

Organizing the data

The first step in the analysis is organizing the data. This involves sorting the data into manageable sections, often according to the data source or the theme. This step can also involve transcribing interviews, digitizing physical artifacts, or organizing observational data.

Categorizing and coding the data

Once the data is organized, the next step is to categorize or code the data. This involves identifying common themes, patterns, or concepts in the data and assigning codes to relevant data segments. Coding can be done manually or with the help of software tools, and in either case, qualitative analysis software can greatly facilitate the entire coding process. Coding helps to reduce the data to a set of themes or categories that can be more easily analyzed.

Identifying patterns and themes

After coding the data, the researcher looks for patterns or themes in the coded data. This involves comparing and contrasting the codes and looking for relationships or patterns among them. The identified patterns and themes should help answer the research question.

Interpreting the data

Once patterns and themes have been identified, the next step is to interpret these findings. This involves explaining what the patterns or themes mean in the context of the research question and the case. This interpretation should be grounded in the data, but it can also involve drawing on theoretical concepts or prior research.

Verification of the data

The last step in the analysis is verification. This involves checking the accuracy and consistency of the analysis process and confirming that the findings are supported by the data. This can involve re-checking the original data, checking the consistency of codes, or seeking feedback from research participants or peers.

Like any research method , case study research has its strengths and limitations. Researchers must be aware of these, as they can influence the design, conduct, and interpretation of the study.

Understanding the strengths and limitations of case study research can also guide researchers in deciding whether this approach is suitable for their research question . This section outlines some of the key strengths and limitations of case study research.

Benefits include the following:

  • Rich, detailed data: One of the main strengths of case study research is that it can generate rich, detailed data about the case. This can provide a deep understanding of the case and its context, which can be valuable in exploring complex phenomena.
  • Flexibility: Case study research is flexible in terms of design , data collection , and analysis . A sufficient degree of flexibility allows the researcher to adapt the study according to the case and the emerging findings.
  • Real-world context: Case study research involves studying the case in its real-world context, which can provide valuable insights into the interplay between the case and its context.
  • Multiple sources of evidence: Case study research often involves collecting data from multiple sources , which can enhance the robustness and validity of the findings.

On the other hand, researchers should consider the following limitations:

  • Generalizability: A common criticism of case study research is that its findings might not be generalizable to other cases due to the specificity and uniqueness of each case.
  • Time and resource intensive: Case study research can be time and resource intensive due to the depth of the investigation and the amount of collected data.
  • Complexity of analysis: The rich, detailed data generated in case study research can make analyzing the data challenging.
  • Subjectivity: Given the nature of case study research, there may be a higher degree of subjectivity in interpreting the data , so researchers need to reflect on this and transparently convey to audiences how the research was conducted.

Being aware of these strengths and limitations can help researchers design and conduct case study research effectively and interpret and report the findings appropriately.

case study goals examples

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  • Knowledge Base

Methodology

  • What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 20, 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case, other interesting articles.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

Case study examples
Research question Case study
What are the ecological effects of wolf reintroduction? Case study of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park
How do populist politicians use narratives about history to gain support? Case studies of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and US president Donald Trump
How can teachers implement active learning strategies in mixed-level classrooms? Case study of a local school that promotes active learning
What are the main advantages and disadvantages of wind farms for rural communities? Case studies of three rural wind farm development projects in different parts of the country
How are viral marketing strategies changing the relationship between companies and consumers? Case study of the iPhone X marketing campaign
How do experiences of work in the gig economy differ by gender, race and age? Case studies of Deliveroo and Uber drivers in London

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Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

  • Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
  • Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
  • Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
  • Open up new directions for future research

TipIf your research is more practical in nature and aims to simultaneously investigate an issue as you solve it, consider conducting action research instead.

Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

Example of an outlying case studyIn the 1960s the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania was discovered to have extremely low rates of heart disease compared to the US average. It became an important case study for understanding previously neglected causes of heart disease.

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.

Example of a representative case studyIn the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.

While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

  • Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
  • Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
  • Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.

Example of a mixed methods case studyFor a case study of a wind farm development in a rural area, you could collect quantitative data on employment rates and business revenue, collect qualitative data on local people’s perceptions and experiences, and analyze local and national media coverage of the development.

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

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case study goals examples

In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Normal distribution
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Null hypothesis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Control groups
  • Mixed methods research
  • Non-probability sampling
  • Quantitative research
  • Ecological validity

Research bias

  • Rosenthal effect
  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Selection bias
  • Negativity bias
  • Status quo bias

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case study

How to Write a Case Study: Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

  • October 7, 2022

Picture of Written by Alexandra

Content Manager at SocialBee

Why is learning how to write a case study so important?

Well, because it provides your customers with social proof and supporting evidence of how effective your products and services are. Moreover, it eliminates the doubt that usually makes clients give up on their next purchase.

That is why today we are going to talk about the step-by-step process of writing a case study . We prepared five business case study examples guaranteed to inspire you throughout the process.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a piece of content that focuses on a case from your business history. It describes the problems your client faced and the solutions you used to help them succeed.

The goal of a writing case study is to promote your business , so your aim should be to put together a compelling story with evidence that backs up all your claims.

Case studies use real-life examples to show your clients the quality and effectiveness of your products and services. It’s a marketing tool that provides credibility and it helps your potential clients gain confidence in your brand.

Case studies can be structured in different formats:

  • A written document
  • An infographic
  • A blog post
  • A landing page

Case Study Benefits

A great case study makes your potential customers want to benefit from the products and services that helped your client overcome their challenges. 

Here are the benefits of writing a case study:

  • It is an affordable marketing practice
  • It decreases the perceived risk of your potential clients
  • It provides transparency
  • It builds trust and credibility among prospective customers
  • It makes your potential clients relate to the problem
  • It provides your potential clients with a solution for their problems

How to Write a Case Study

Now that you know what a case study is, let’s get into the real reason why you are here — learning how to write an in-depth study.

Here is the step-by-step process of writing a case study:

  • Identify the topic of your case study
  • Start collaborating with a client
  • Prepare questions for the interview
  • Conduct the case study interview
  • Structure your case study 
  • Make it visual

Step 1: Identify the Topic of Your Case Study

A case study starts with a strategy. Choosing what you want to write about should be closely related to your business needs. More specifically, what service or product do you want to promote through your case study?

Because case studies focus on client challenges, business solutions, and results, you have to carefully pick the case that your potential clients will relate to the most. 

To communicate the benefits of your business, you should focus on a customer story that appeals to a specific segment of your audience . Consequently, you will target clients that relate to your customer example while providing a solution for their needs and pain points — your products and services.

Start by focusing all your research methods on identifying your customers’ main pain points. Then find examples of how your products or services have helped them overcome their challenges and achieve their goals .

Furthermore, to make sure you choose the best case study topic for your buyer persona , you should have a meeting with your sales/customer service team. Because they are in close contact with your customers, they will be able to tell you:

  • The main challenges your clients face 
  • The services/products that bring them the best results 

These are the main two pieces of information you want your case study to focus on.

Step 2: Start Collaborating with a Client

With a clear topic in mind, you have to find the best fit for your case study. 

However, that is not all. First, you must obtain the client’s permission. After all, your business story is theirs too.

So, craft an email to provide your client with an overview of the case study. This will help them make a decision. 

Your message should include:

  • The case study format (video, written, etc.) and where it will be published (blog, landing page , etc.)
  • The topic of the document
  • The timeline of the process
  • The information that will be included
  • The benefits they get as a result of this collaboration (brand exposure, backlinks)

Additionally, you can offer to schedule a call or a meeting to answer all their questions and curiosities and provide a means for clear and open communication.

Once you receive a positive response from your client, you can continue with the next step of the process: the actual interview.

PRO TIP: A great way to ensure a smooth and safe collaboration between you and your client is to sign a legal release form before writing the case study. This will allow you to use their information and protect you from issues that may occur in the future. Moreover, if the client is not comfortable with revealing their identity, you can always offer them anonymity.

Step 3: Prepare Questions for the Interview

Now that you have the subject for your case study, it’s time to write and organize your interview in several sets of questions.

Don’t forget that the whole structure of your case study is based on the information you get from your customer interview.

So pay attention to the way you phrase the questions. After all, your goal is to gather all the data you need to avoid creating a back-and-forth process that will consume your client’s time and energy.

To help you create the best questionnaire, we created a set of case study questions and organized them into different categories. 

Here are the five main sections your case study interview should contain:

  • The client’s background information
  • The problem
  • The start of the collaboration
  • The solution
  • The results

A. The Client’s Background Information

This part of the case study interview must give a comprehensive look into your customer’s business and allow your readers to get to know them better.

Here are some question ideas:

B. The Problem

Now it’s time to get into the reason your client came to you for assistance, the initial challenge that triggered your collaboration.

In this part of the interview process, you want to find out what made them ask for help and what was their situation before working with you.

You can ask your client the following case study questions:

C. The Start of the Collaboration

This part of the case study interview will focus on the process that made your collaboration possible. More specifically, how did your client research possible collaboration opportunities, and why they chose your business? 

This information will not only be informative for your future customers but will also give you a behind-the-scenes look into their decision-making process.

D. The Solution

It’s time to get into one of the most significant parts of the case study interview — the solution. Here you should discuss how your services have helped their business recover from the problems mentioned before.

Make sure you ask the right questions so you can really paint the picture of a satisfied customer.

Have a look at these question examples:

E. The Results

The best proof you can give to your customers is through your results. And this is the perfect opportunity to let your actions speak for themselves.

Unlike the other marketing strategies you use to promote your business, the content is provided by your customer, not by your team. As a result, you end up with a project that is on another level of reliability.

Here is how you can ask your client about their results:

Step 4: Conduct the Case Study Interview

Now that you have a great set of case study questions, it’s time to put them to good use.

Decide on the type of interview you want to conduct: face-to-face, video call , or phone call. Then, consult with your client and set up a date and a time when you are both available. 

It should be noted that during the interview it’s best to use a recording device for accuracy. Maybe you don’t have time to write down all the information, and you forget important details. Or maybe you want to be focused more on the conversational aspect of the interview, and you don’t want to write anything down while it’s happening.

Step 5: Structure Your Case Study 

The hard part is over. Now it’s time to organize all the information you gathered in an appealing format. Let’s have a look at what your case study should contain.

Here are the components of a case study:

  • Engaging title
  • Executive summary
  • Client description 
  • Introduction to the problem
  • The problem-solving process
  • Progress and results

A. Engaging Title

Putting that much work into a project, it would be a shame not to do your best to attract more readers. So, take into consideration that you only have a few seconds to catch your audience’s attention. 

You can also use a headline analyzer to evaluate the performance of your title.

The best case study titles contain:

  • Relevant keywords
  • Customer pain points
  • Clear result

Case study example :

case study goals examples

B. Executive Summary

Your executive summary should include a thesis statement that sums up the main points of your case study. Therefore, it must be clear and concise. Moreover, to make your audience curious, you can add a statistic or a relevant piece of data that they might be interested in.

Here is what you should include in your executive summary:

  • The business you are writing about (only if the clients wants to make themselves known)
  • Relevant statistics

case study goals examples

C. Client Description 

Here is where you start to include the information you gained from your interview. Provide your readers with a clear picture of your client and create a context for your case study.

Take your client’s answers from the “Client Background” section of the interview and present them in a more appealing format.

case study goals examples

D. Introduction to the Problem

In this section, use your client’s interview answers to write about the problem they were experiencing before working with you.

Remember to be specific because you want your audience to fully understand the situation and relate to it. At the end of the day, the goal of the case study is to show your potential customers why they should buy your services/products.

case study goals examples

E. The Problem-Solving Process

Next, explain how your service/product helped your client overcome their problems. Moreover, let your readers know how and why your service/product worked in their case.

In this part of the case study, you should summarize: 

  • The strategy used to solve the problem of your customer 
  • The process of implementing the solution 

case study goals examples

F. Progress and Results

Tell your readers about what you and your client have achieved during your collaboration. Here you can include:

  • Graphics about your progress
  • Business objectives they have achieved
  • Relevant metrics 

case study goals examples

Step 6: Make It Visual

To elevate the information you have written for your audience, you must make sure it’s appealing and easy to read. And a great way to achieve that is to use visuals that add value to your case study.

Here are some design elements that will make emphasize your text:

  • Graphic symbols that guide the eye (arrows, bullet points, checkmarks, etc.)
  • Charts, graphics, tables 
  • Relevant screenshots from business reports
  • The colors and fonts of your brand
  • Your client’s logo

Platforms like Canva can really come in handy while designing your case study. It’s easy to use and it has multiple free slide templates and graphics that save you time and money.

PRO TIP: Share Your Case Study Across All Marketing Channels

A case study is a perfect example of evergreen content that can be reshared endlessly on your social media channels .

Aside from helping you maintain a consistent posting schedule with ease, case study-related posts will increase your credibility and push leads toward the bottom of your marketing funnel . Other examples of social proof evergreen content are reviews, testimonials, and positive social media mentions.

To keep track of all your evergreen posts and have them scheduled on a continuous loop, use a social media tool like SocialBee.

SocialBee post resharing and expiration features

Create evergreen content categories where all your posts get reposted regularly on your social media channels. 

Start your 14-day trial today and start using SocialBee for free!

Aside from promoting your case study on social media, you can also feature it in your newsletter that you can create using email newsletter software , include it as a pop-up on your website, and even create a separate landing page dedicated to your customer study.

SocialBee blog CTA box visual with the supported platforms

Share Your Case Study on Social Media with SocialBee!

Get to writing your own case study.

What do you think? Is writing a case study easier than you thought? We sure hope so.

Learning how to write a case study is a simple process once you understand the logical steps that go into it. So make sure you go over the guide a couple of times before you start documenting your customer success stories.

And remember that the goal of your case study is to attract more leads . Therefore you need to include tangible results and valuable details that will compel your audience to invest in your products and services.

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What Is a Case Study?

Weighing the pros and cons of this method of research

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

case study goals examples

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

case study goals examples

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

  • Pros and Cons

What Types of Case Studies Are Out There?

Where do you find data for a case study, how do i write a psychology case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in many different fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The point of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, we got you—here are some rules of APA format to reference.  

At a Glance

A case study, or an in-depth study of a person, group, or event, can be a useful research tool when used wisely. In many cases, case studies are best used in situations where it would be difficult or impossible for you to conduct an experiment. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a lot of˜ information about a specific individual or group of people. However, it's important to be cautious of any bias we draw from them as they are highly subjective.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Case Studies?

A case study can have its strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult or impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

  • Allows researchers to capture information on the 'how,' 'what,' and 'why,' of something that's implemented
  • Gives researchers the chance to collect information on why one strategy might be chosen over another
  • Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research

On the other hand, a case study can have some drawbacks:

  • It cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
  • Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
  • It may not be scientifically rigorous
  • It can lead to bias

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they want to explore a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. Through their insights, researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

It's important to remember that the insights from case studies cannot be used to determine cause-and-effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

  • Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
  • Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
  • Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language learning was possible, even after missing critical periods for language development. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse denied her the opportunity to learn a language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might use:

  • Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those who live there.
  • Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
  • Explanatory case studies : These   are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
  • Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
  • Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
  • Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic case study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers use depends on the unique characteristics of the situation and the case itself.

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

  • Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
  • Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
  • Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
  • Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
  • Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
  • Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines you need to follow. If you are writing your case study for a professional publication, check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Here is a general outline of what should be included in a case study.

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
  • Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
  • Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
  • Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Need More Tips?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

  • Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, use their name or a pseudonym.
  • Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
  • Remember to use APA format when citing references .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach .  BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011;11:100.

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Blog Graphic Design 15+ Case Study Examples for Business, Marketing & Sales

15+ Case Study Examples for Business, Marketing & Sales

Written by: Alice Corner Jan 12, 2023

Venngage case study examples

Have you ever bought something — within the last 10 years or so — without reading its reviews or without a recommendation or prior experience of using it?

If the answer is no — or at least, rarely — you get my point.

Positive reviews matter for selling to regular customers, and for B2B or SaaS businesses, detailed case studies are important too.

Wondering how to craft a compelling case study ? No worries—I’ve got you covered with 15 marketing case study templates , helpful tips, and examples to ensure your case study converts effectively.

Click to jump ahead:

What is a case study?

What to include in a professional case study, business case study examples, simple case study examples, marketing case study examples, sales case study examples.

  • Case study FAQs

A case study is an in-depth, detailed analysis of a specific real-world situation. For example, a case study can be about an individual, group, event, organization, or phenomenon. The purpose of a case study is to understand its complexities and gain insights into a particular instance or situation.

In the context of a business, however, case studies take customer success stories and explore how they use your product to help them achieve their business goals.

Case Study Definition LinkedIn Post

As well as being valuable marketing tools , case studies are a good way to evaluate your product as it allows you to objectively examine how others are using it.

It’s also a good way to interview your customers about why they work with you.

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

A professional case study showcases how your product or services helped potential clients achieve their business goals. You can also create case studies of internal, successful marketing projects. A professional case study typically includes:

  • Company background and history
  • The challenge
  • How you helped
  • Specific actions taken
  • Visuals or Data
  • Client testimonials

Here’s an example of a case study template:

marketing case study example

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, business case studies can be a powerful resource to help with your sales, marketing, and even internal departmental awareness.

Business and business management case studies should encompass strategic insights alongside anecdotal and qualitative findings, like in the business case study examples below.

Conduct a B2B case study by researching the company holistically

When it comes to writing a case study, make sure you approach the company holistically and analyze everything from their social media to their sales.

Think about every avenue your product or service has been of use to your case study company, and ask them about the impact this has had on their wider company goals.

Venngage orange marketing case study example

In business case study examples like the one above, we can see that the company has been thought about holistically simply by the use of icons.

By combining social media icons with icons that show in-person communication we know that this is a well-researched and thorough case study.

This case study report example could also be used within an annual or end-of-year report.

Highlight the key takeaway from your marketing case study

To create a compelling case study, identify the key takeaways from your research. Use catchy language to sum up this information in a sentence, and present this sentence at the top of your page.

This is “at a glance” information and it allows people to gain a top-level understanding of the content immediately. 

Purple SAAS Business Case Study Template

You can use a large, bold, contrasting font to help this information stand out from the page and provide interest.

Learn  how to choose fonts  effectively with our Venngage guide and once you’ve done that.

Upload your fonts and  brand colors  to Venngage using the  My Brand Kit  tool and see them automatically applied to your designs.

The heading is the ideal place to put the most impactful information, as this is the first thing that people will read.

In this example, the stat of “Increase[d] lead quality by 90%” is used as the header. It makes customers want to read more to find out how exactly lead quality was increased by such a massive amount.

Purple SAAS Business Case Study Template Header

If you’re conducting an in-person interview, you could highlight a direct quote or insight provided by your interview subject.

Pick out a catchy sentence or phrase, or the key piece of information your interview subject provided and use that as a way to draw a potential customer in.

Use charts to visualize data in your business case studies

Charts are an excellent way to visualize data and to bring statistics and information to life. Charts make information easier to understand and to illustrate trends or patterns.

Making charts is even easier with Venngage.

In this consulting case study example, we can see that a chart has been used to demonstrate the difference in lead value within the Lead Elves case study.

Adding a chart here helps break up the information and add visual value to the case study. 

Red SAAS Business Case Study Template

Using charts in your case study can also be useful if you’re creating a project management case study.

You could use a Gantt chart or a project timeline to show how you have managed the project successfully.

event marketing project management gantt chart example

Use direct quotes to build trust in your marketing case study

To add an extra layer of authenticity you can include a direct quote from your customer within your case study.

According to research from Nielsen , 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer and 70% trust recommendations even if they’re from somebody they don’t know.

Case study peer recommendation quote

So if you have a customer or client who can’t stop singing your praises, make sure you get a direct quote from them and include it in your case study.

You can either lift part of the conversation or interview, or you can specifically request a quote. Make sure to ask for permission before using the quote.

Contrast Lead Generation Business Case Study Template

This design uses a bright contrasting speech bubble to show that it includes a direct quote, and helps the quote stand out from the rest of the text.

This will help draw the customer’s attention directly to the quote, in turn influencing them to use your product or service.

Less is often more, and this is especially true when it comes to creating designs. Whilst you want to create a professional-looking, well-written and design case study – there’s no need to overcomplicate things.

These simple case study examples show that smart clean designs and informative content can be an effective way to showcase your successes.

Use colors and fonts to create a professional-looking case study

Business case studies shouldn’t be boring. In fact, they should be beautifully and professionally designed.

This means the normal rules of design apply. Use fonts, colors, and icons to create an interesting and visually appealing case study.

In this case study example, we can see how multiple fonts have been used to help differentiate between the headers and content, as well as complementary colors and eye-catching icons.

Blue Simple Business Case Study Template

Marketing case studies are incredibly useful for showing your marketing successes. Every successful marketing campaign relies on influencing a consumer’s behavior, and a great case study can be a great way to spotlight your biggest wins.

In the marketing case study examples below, a variety of designs and techniques to create impactful and effective case studies.

Show off impressive results with a bold marketing case study

Case studies are meant to show off your successes, so make sure you feature your positive results prominently. Using bold and bright colors as well as contrasting shapes, large bold fonts, and simple icons is a great way to highlight your wins.

In well-written case study examples like the one below, the big wins are highlighted on the second page with a bright orange color and are highlighted in circles.

Making the important data stand out is especially important when attracting a prospective customer with marketing case studies.

Light simplebusiness case study template

Use a simple but clear layout in your case study

Using a simple layout in your case study can be incredibly effective, like in the example of a case study below.

Keeping a clean white background, and using slim lines to help separate the sections is an easy way to format your case study.

Making the information clear helps draw attention to the important results, and it helps improve the  accessibility of the design .

Business case study examples like this would sit nicely within a larger report, with a consistent layout throughout.

Modern lead Generaton Business Case Study Template

Use visuals and icons to create an engaging and branded business case study

Nobody wants to read pages and pages of text — and that’s why Venngage wants to help you communicate your ideas visually.

Using icons, graphics, photos, or patterns helps create a much more engaging design. 

With this Blue Cap case study icons, colors, and impactful pattern designs have been used to create an engaging design that catches your eye.

Social Media Business Case Study template

Use a monochromatic color palette to create a professional and clean case study

Let your research shine by using a monochromatic and minimalistic color palette.

By sticking to one color, and leaving lots of blank space you can ensure your design doesn’t distract a potential customer from your case study content.

Color combination examples

In this case study on Polygon Media, the design is simple and professional, and the layout allows the prospective customer to follow the flow of information.

The gradient effect on the left-hand column helps break up the white background and adds an interesting visual effect.

Gray Lead Generation Business Case Study Template

Did you know you can generate an accessible color palette with Venngage? Try our free accessible color palette generator today and create a case study that delivers and looks pleasant to the eye:

Venngage's accessible color palette generator

Add long term goals in your case study

When creating a case study it’s a great idea to look at both the short term and the long term goals of the company to gain the best understanding possible of the insights they provide.

Short-term goals will be what the company or person hopes to achieve in the next few months, and long-term goals are what the company hopes to achieve in the next few years.

Check out this modern pattern design example of a case study below:

Lead generation business case study template

In this case study example, the short and long-term goals are clearly distinguished by light blue boxes and placed side by side so that they are easy to compare.

Lead generation case study example short term goals

Use a strong introductory paragraph to outline the overall strategy and goals before outlining the specific short-term and long-term goals to help with clarity.

This strategy can also be handy when creating a consulting case study.

Use data to make concrete points about your sales and successes

When conducting any sort of research stats, facts, and figures are like gold dust (aka, really valuable).

Being able to quantify your findings is important to help understand the information fully. Saying sales increased 10% is much more effective than saying sales increased.

While sales dashboards generally tend it make it all about the numbers and charts, in sales case study examples, like this one, the key data and findings can be presented with icons. This contributes to the potential customer’s better understanding of the report.

They can clearly comprehend the information and it shows that the case study has been well researched.

Vibrant Content Marketing Case Study Template

Use emotive, persuasive, or action based language in your marketing case study

Create a compelling case study by using emotive, persuasive and action-based language when customizing your case study template.

Case study example pursuasive language

In this well-written case study example, we can see that phrases such as “Results that Speak Volumes” and “Drive Sales” have been used.

Using persuasive language like you would in a blog post. It helps inspire potential customers to take action now.

Bold Content Marketing Case Study Template

Keep your potential customers in mind when creating a customer case study for marketing

82% of marketers use case studies in their marketing  because it’s such an effective tool to help quickly gain customers’ trust and to showcase the potential of your product.

Why are case studies such an important tool in content marketing?

By writing a case study you’re telling potential customers that they can trust you because you’re showing them that other people do.

Not only that, but if you have a SaaS product, business case studies are a great way to show how other people are effectively using your product in their company.

In this case study, Network is demonstrating how their product has been used by Vortex Co. with great success; instantly showing other potential customers that their tool works and is worth using.

Teal Social Media Business Case Study Template

Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert

Case studies are particularly effective as a sales technique.

A sales case study is like an extended customer testimonial, not only sharing opinions of your product – but showcasing the results you helped your customer achieve.

Make impactful statistics pop in your sales case study

Writing a case study doesn’t mean using text as the only medium for sharing results.

You should use icons to highlight areas of your research that are particularly interesting or relevant, like in this example of a case study:

Coral content marketing case study template.jpg

Icons are a great way to help summarize information quickly and can act as visual cues to help draw the customer’s attention to certain areas of the page.

In some of the business case study examples above, icons are used to represent the impressive areas of growth and are presented in a way that grabs your attention.

Use high contrast shapes and colors to draw attention to key information in your sales case study

Help the key information stand out within your case study by using high contrast shapes and colors.

Use a complementary or contrasting color, or use a shape such as a rectangle or a circle for maximum impact.

Blue case study example case growth

This design has used dark blue rectangles to help separate the information and make it easier to read.

Coupled with icons and strong statistics, this information stands out on the page and is easily digestible and retainable for a potential customer.

Blue Content Marketing Case Study Tempalte

Case study examples summary

Once you have created your case study, it’s best practice to update your examples on a regular basis to include up-to-date statistics, data, and information.

You should update your business case study examples often if you are sharing them on your website .

It’s also important that your case study sits within your brand guidelines – find out how Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool can help you create consistently branded case study templates.

Case studies are important marketing tools – but they shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. Content marketing is also a valuable way to earn consumer trust.

Case study FAQ s

Why should you write a case study.

Case studies are an effective marketing technique to engage potential customers and help build trust.

By producing case studies featuring your current clients or customers, you are showcasing how your tool or product can be used. You’re also showing that other people endorse your product.

In addition to being a good way to gather positive testimonials from existing customers , business case studies are good educational resources and can be shared amongst your company or team, and used as a reference for future projects.

How should you write a case study?

To create a great case study, you should think strategically. The first step, before starting your case study research, is to think about what you aim to learn or what you aim to prove.

You might be aiming to learn how a company makes sales or develops a new product. If this is the case, base your questions around this.

You can learn more about writing a case study  from our extensive guide.

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

Some good questions you could ask would be:

  • Why do you use our tool or service?
  • How often do you use our tool or service?
  • What does the process of using our product look like to you?
  • If our product didn’t exist, what would you be doing instead?
  • What is the number one benefit you’ve found from using our tool?

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  • 12 Essential Consulting Templates For Marketing, Planning and Branding
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Research Method

Home » Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

Table of Contents

Case Study Research

A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation.

It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied. Case studies typically involve multiple sources of data, including interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, which are analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, and grounded theory. The findings of a case study are often used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Types of Case Study

Types and Methods of Case Study are as follows:

Single-Case Study

A single-case study is an in-depth analysis of a single case. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand a specific phenomenon in detail.

For Example , A researcher might conduct a single-case study on a particular individual to understand their experiences with a particular health condition or a specific organization to explore their management practices. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a single-case study are often used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Multiple-Case Study

A multiple-case study involves the analysis of several cases that are similar in nature. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to identify similarities and differences between the cases.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a multiple-case study on several companies to explore the factors that contribute to their success or failure. The researcher collects data from each case, compares and contrasts the findings, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as comparative analysis or pattern-matching. The findings of a multiple-case study can be used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Exploratory Case Study

An exploratory case study is used to explore a new or understudied phenomenon. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to generate hypotheses or theories about the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an exploratory case study on a new technology to understand its potential impact on society. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as grounded theory or content analysis. The findings of an exploratory case study can be used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Descriptive Case Study

A descriptive case study is used to describe a particular phenomenon in detail. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to provide a comprehensive account of the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a descriptive case study on a particular community to understand its social and economic characteristics. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a descriptive case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Instrumental Case Study

An instrumental case study is used to understand a particular phenomenon that is instrumental in achieving a particular goal. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand the role of the phenomenon in achieving the goal.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an instrumental case study on a particular policy to understand its impact on achieving a particular goal, such as reducing poverty. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of an instrumental case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Case Study Data Collection Methods

Here are some common data collection methods for case studies:

Interviews involve asking questions to individuals who have knowledge or experience relevant to the case study. Interviews can be structured (where the same questions are asked to all participants) or unstructured (where the interviewer follows up on the responses with further questions). Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing.

Observations

Observations involve watching and recording the behavior and activities of individuals or groups relevant to the case study. Observations can be participant (where the researcher actively participates in the activities) or non-participant (where the researcher observes from a distance). Observations can be recorded using notes, audio or video recordings, or photographs.

Documents can be used as a source of information for case studies. Documents can include reports, memos, emails, letters, and other written materials related to the case study. Documents can be collected from the case study participants or from public sources.

Surveys involve asking a set of questions to a sample of individuals relevant to the case study. Surveys can be administered in person, over the phone, through mail or email, or online. Surveys can be used to gather information on attitudes, opinions, or behaviors related to the case study.

Artifacts are physical objects relevant to the case study. Artifacts can include tools, equipment, products, or other objects that provide insights into the case study phenomenon.

How to conduct Case Study Research

Conducting a case study research involves several steps that need to be followed to ensure the quality and rigor of the study. Here are the steps to conduct case study research:

  • Define the research questions: The first step in conducting a case study research is to define the research questions. The research questions should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the case study phenomenon under investigation.
  • Select the case: The next step is to select the case or cases to be studied. The case should be relevant to the research questions and should provide rich and diverse data that can be used to answer the research questions.
  • Collect data: Data can be collected using various methods, such as interviews, observations, documents, surveys, and artifacts. The data collection method should be selected based on the research questions and the nature of the case study phenomenon.
  • Analyze the data: The data collected from the case study should be analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, or grounded theory. The analysis should be guided by the research questions and should aim to provide insights and conclusions relevant to the research questions.
  • Draw conclusions: The conclusions drawn from the case study should be based on the data analysis and should be relevant to the research questions. The conclusions should be supported by evidence and should be clearly stated.
  • Validate the findings: The findings of the case study should be validated by reviewing the data and the analysis with participants or other experts in the field. This helps to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.
  • Write the report: The final step is to write the report of the case study research. The report should provide a clear description of the case study phenomenon, the research questions, the data collection methods, the data analysis, the findings, and the conclusions. The report should be written in a clear and concise manner and should follow the guidelines for academic writing.

Examples of Case Study

Here are some examples of case study research:

  • The Hawthorne Studies : Conducted between 1924 and 1932, the Hawthorne Studies were a series of case studies conducted by Elton Mayo and his colleagues to examine the impact of work environment on employee productivity. The studies were conducted at the Hawthorne Works plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago and included interviews, observations, and experiments.
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment was a case study conducted by Philip Zimbardo to examine the psychological effects of power and authority. The study involved simulating a prison environment and assigning participants to the role of guards or prisoners. The study was controversial due to the ethical issues it raised.
  • The Challenger Disaster: The Challenger Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The study included interviews, observations, and analysis of data to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.
  • The Enron Scandal: The Enron Scandal was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Enron Corporation’s bankruptcy in 2001. The study included interviews, analysis of financial data, and review of documents to identify the accounting practices, corporate culture, and ethical issues that led to the company’s downfall.
  • The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster : The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011. The study included interviews, analysis of data, and review of documents to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.

Application of Case Study

Case studies have a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. Here are some examples:

Business and Management

Case studies are widely used in business and management to examine real-life situations and develop problem-solving skills. Case studies can help students and professionals to develop a deep understanding of business concepts, theories, and best practices.

Case studies are used in healthcare to examine patient care, treatment options, and outcomes. Case studies can help healthcare professionals to develop critical thinking skills, diagnose complex medical conditions, and develop effective treatment plans.

Case studies are used in education to examine teaching and learning practices. Case studies can help educators to develop effective teaching strategies, evaluate student progress, and identify areas for improvement.

Social Sciences

Case studies are widely used in social sciences to examine human behavior, social phenomena, and cultural practices. Case studies can help researchers to develop theories, test hypotheses, and gain insights into complex social issues.

Law and Ethics

Case studies are used in law and ethics to examine legal and ethical dilemmas. Case studies can help lawyers, policymakers, and ethical professionals to develop critical thinking skills, analyze complex cases, and make informed decisions.

Purpose of Case Study

The purpose of a case study is to provide a detailed analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. A case study is a qualitative research method that involves the in-depth exploration and analysis of a particular case, which can be an individual, group, organization, event, or community.

The primary purpose of a case study is to generate a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case, including its history, context, and dynamics. Case studies can help researchers to identify and examine the underlying factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and detailed understanding of the case, which can inform future research, practice, or policy.

Case studies can also serve other purposes, including:

  • Illustrating a theory or concept: Case studies can be used to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and frameworks, providing concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Developing hypotheses: Case studies can help to generate hypotheses about the causal relationships between different factors and outcomes, which can be tested through further research.
  • Providing insight into complex issues: Case studies can provide insights into complex and multifaceted issues, which may be difficult to understand through other research methods.
  • Informing practice or policy: Case studies can be used to inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.

Advantages of Case Study Research

There are several advantages of case study research, including:

  • In-depth exploration: Case study research allows for a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. This can provide a comprehensive understanding of the case and its dynamics, which may not be possible through other research methods.
  • Rich data: Case study research can generate rich and detailed data, including qualitative data such as interviews, observations, and documents. This can provide a nuanced understanding of the case and its complexity.
  • Holistic perspective: Case study research allows for a holistic perspective of the case, taking into account the various factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the case.
  • Theory development: Case study research can help to develop and refine theories and concepts by providing empirical evidence and concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Practical application: Case study research can inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.
  • Contextualization: Case study research takes into account the specific context in which the case is situated, which can help to understand how the case is influenced by the social, cultural, and historical factors of its environment.

Limitations of Case Study Research

There are several limitations of case study research, including:

  • Limited generalizability : Case studies are typically focused on a single case or a small number of cases, which limits the generalizability of the findings. The unique characteristics of the case may not be applicable to other contexts or populations, which may limit the external validity of the research.
  • Biased sampling: Case studies may rely on purposive or convenience sampling, which can introduce bias into the sample selection process. This may limit the representativeness of the sample and the generalizability of the findings.
  • Subjectivity: Case studies rely on the interpretation of the researcher, which can introduce subjectivity into the analysis. The researcher’s own biases, assumptions, and perspectives may influence the findings, which may limit the objectivity of the research.
  • Limited control: Case studies are typically conducted in naturalistic settings, which limits the control that the researcher has over the environment and the variables being studied. This may limit the ability to establish causal relationships between variables.
  • Time-consuming: Case studies can be time-consuming to conduct, as they typically involve a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific case. This may limit the feasibility of conducting multiple case studies or conducting case studies in a timely manner.
  • Resource-intensive: Case studies may require significant resources, including time, funding, and expertise. This may limit the ability of researchers to conduct case studies in resource-constrained settings.

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10 Case Study Examples to Inspire Your Marketing Efforts

Sudarshan Somanathan

Head of Content

June 20, 2024

When your prospects are nearing a decision in their buyer’s journey, a strong case study can sway them your way. After all, everyone, even corporate decision-makers, loves a good story.

That’s why having satisfied customers showcase your strengths is more impactful than any self-promotion. It boosts credibility and earns you valuable recognition when potential customers come across these case studies.

No matter what you offer, case studies work because they build trust. They showcase real-life success stories , their detailed analysis proving your expertise and the quality of your products or services. 

That’s why they’re crucial for organizational growth.

Intrigued? Read on to explore the different types of case studies, their practical applications, and some marketing case study examples. 

By the end of this blog post, you will also have learned how to write a case study using a case study template. ✍️

Understanding Case Studies 

1. illustrative case studies, 2. exploratory case studies, 3. descriptive case studies, 4. cumulative case studies, 5. critical instance case studies, 6. instrumental case studies, 1. lucanet and hubspot, 2. cartoon network and clickup , 3. callingly and zapier , 4. philips and github , 5. google ads and samsung, 6. movingwaldo and mailchimp, 7. shutterstock and workday, 8. pidilite and salesforce , 9. sentinelone and storylane , 10. benchling and airtable , stage 1: research and preparation, stage 2: producing the case study, use the clickup case study template.

Avatar of person using AI

A case study is a detailed study of how your product or service has helped past customers. 

It acts as a track record of your company’s association with past customers and an insight into how they benefitted from your product offerings.

You can think of case studies as story-telling based on real-world data and results. 

Potential customers trust them because of their attention to detail in describing exactly how you delivered results for past customers. And if the past customer is someone they know or identify with, acquiring their trust is far easier.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of marketers use case studies , as they are proven tactics to drive sales. 

These studies are tailored to various industries, from business and marketing to psychology, technology, and healthcare. 

Creating compelling business case studies requires precision and clarity, like drafting a professional document. That’s where creative brief templates come in handy. They provide a structured framework to outline key details and create case study examples that resonate with your target audience.

Types of Case Studies 

Knowing the distinct kinds of case studies will help you use the best combination to influence your potential customers. We’ll also cover a few case study examples later on so you can see the different ways in which you or your marketing team can create your own case studies.

While one type of case study may help customers solve a business problem through a product/solution, others may be more suited for studying a specific event or business phenomenon. 

Let’s explore the commonly used types and case study examples.

Illustrative case studies describe a particular situation, phenomenon, or event. They use two or more instances to show just what a situation is like . The aim is to provide context, make the unfamiliar more accessible, and provide a real-world context for abstract concepts or theories.

For instance, SaaS case study examples highlight how a software solution significantly improved a client’s sales and efficiency.

Lids, a leading sports apparel retailer, has experienced rapid growth in recent years. To manage this growth effectively, Lids implemented ClickUp , a project management platform, to expedite workflows, save time, streamline administration, and improve results.

With ClickUp, our teams are more collaborative, efficient and we’re all more on-top of our work. It has made the way we work so much better.

The case study demonstrates how integrating a robust project management platform like ClickUp can streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and support substantial organizational growth.

Exploratory case studies are conducted before a large-scale investigation to help pinpoint research questions and methods for a more extensive study. 

These are often used when there is limited prior knowledge or existing theories about the subject. They are more frequently employed in social science disciplines.

For example, a research case study investigates the link between mental health disorders and social media usage in younger populations.

Researchers conducted a systematic review focusing on the impact of social media use on mental health . The study aimed to provide insights for future mental health strategies by analyzing the relationship between social media use and mental health outcomes. 

Utilizing research plan templates can help structure such investigations, ensuring an in-depth analysis and data collection and analysis efficiency.

A descriptive case study starts with a descriptive theory as a foundation. It then attempts to find connections between the subject of discussion and the theory. These case studies rely on detailed qualitative data analysis to develop an argument.

Let’s consider a descriptive case study example on the usage of technology in classrooms focused on an elementary school in a suburban district during the 2011-2012 academic year.

This compelling case study highlights the importance of detailed, qualitative data in developing its argument.

A cumulative case study collects information from various sources to summarize past studies without increasing costs or time. It aims to aggregate data from multiple sources to draw broader conclusions.

For example, a case study on the impact of climate change on the Indian coastline aggregates data from various sources to provide a comprehensive summary of past research. 

It highlights that climate change and climate variability pose significant challenges to this ecosystem.

Critical instance case studies focus on a unique or critical event to learn more about its causes and consequences. They are often used to investigate rare or significant events.

For instance, Blackboard utilized Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to scale its virtual classroom solution amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This case study demonstrates how Blackboard effectively managed a staggering 4,800% surge in video conferencing usage while optimizing costs and enhancing performance.

Instrumental case studies use a specific case to generate insights into a broader issue or to refine a theoretical explanation. They are more frequently used to explore complex concepts or theories.

The story of Accenture’s Global SAP System serves as an instrumental case study example. 

It uses Accenture’s journey to create a unified SAP system to generate strategic insights into broader issues related to aligning business and IT strategies, standardizing business processes, and establishing global governance structures.

10 Case Study Examples for Different Use Cases 

Exploring a variety of case study examples can help you understand the nuances of their formatting, data presentation, and brand positioning. Here are ten case study examples to inspire you.

LucaNet and HubSpot case study

LucaNet is an international finance company that provides performance management solutions. With a global customer base, it wanted to opt for automated, personalized marketing in addition to handling complex lead management. 

HubSpot helped LucaNet automate its global marketing operations and bring all customer data into a centralized hub.

What do we like best about this case study presentation? HubSpot immediately showcases its key achievements at the top and provides compelling data on time savings, lead generation, and increase in MQLs.

✔️Takeaway : Highlight your measurable impact to showcase your ability to deliver tangible outcomes.

Cartoon Network and ClickUp case study

Cartoon Network’s social media team struggled with managing complicated workflows across different project management tools. 

ClickUp provided them with a unified platform to execute their social media management needs and ensure all team members are on the same page.

ClickUp’s case study of Cartoon Network is a good example of the appropriate use of supporting visuals. Rather than simply stating that ClickUp’s flexible views improved Cartoon Network’s project management, it demonstrates them in practical use.

✔️Takeaway : Create separate sections highlighting your client’s problem and the benefits offered by your solution in bullet points. The usage of supporting visuals is a major plus.

Callingly and Zapier 

Callingly noticed that Zapier customers tend to get more value from their platform. To capitalize on this, they wanted to educate their customers on how to use Zapier effectively. 

Callingly embedded Zapier into its app, allowing customers to discover, create, and edit Zaps directly within the platform. This integration aims to give customers more control over their workflows and automate tasks seamlessly.

The integration makes it easier for customers to discover and use Zapier, reducing the need for customers to switch between platforms or manually set up Zaps.

This makes for one of the brilliant business case study examples, thoughtfully capturing how the company helped Callingly through compelling video demonstrations.

Their ‘why’ and ‘how’ sections are particularly impressive.

✔️Takeaway : Use impactful videos to engage users and educate customers on how your product works and help clients achieve impressive results.

Philips and GitHub story

GitHub’s case study of Philips concisely lists the customer’s problems, solutions, and products right on top for readers prone to TL; DR. It introduces the customer before presenting figures on how collaborating with GitHub helps Philips centralize their codebase. 

You’ll also find excerpts from conversations with several Philips employees, including the principal engineer and the program director, who elaborate on their need for software and how GitHub assisted. 

This case study example isn’t limited to products and solutions—it’s about listening to customers and providing real-world value.

✔️Takeaway : Having a well-written case study summary helps. Real conversations with customers and end-users can add interesting detail and value to otherwise serious (and sometimes boring) textual documents.

Google Ads and Samsung

Google’s case study of Samsung is well-documented. It elaborately covers how Samsung utilized Performance Max, a goal-based campaign that lets advertisers access their advertising campaign across all of Google’s products from a single interface. 

What we like about the case study example is how it is a potential guide for newer businesses to experiment with Performance Max for their own ad campaigns.  

As with all of Google’s UI, the case study is minimalistic and straightforward. Yet, it leaves you wanting to experiment and try things out yourself.

✔️Takeaway : A good case study and a how-to guide don’t always need to be different. Great case studies don’t just make a point; they compel readers to take action and see the results for themselves.

MovingWaldo and Mailchimp case study

Mailchimp’s case study is a detailed report on how MovingWaldo leveraged features like email and marketing automation, segmentation, A/B testing, and email marketing. It addresses the ‘how’, ‘why’, and ‘when.’ 

The case study page provides specific dates detailing when MovingWaldo implemented solutions and began observing their impact. They have also posted a short video describing the process, which breaks the monotony of reading long documents. 

Another highlight is a brief section detailing the future course of action, conveying that the journey of success is ongoing with additional feature enhancements. The case study transcends from being an account of the past to offering insights for the future.

✔️Takeaway : Specificity, such as adding exact dates, helps strengthen your case studies. Video and other multimedia content can take it up a notch.

case study goals examples

Workday offers glimpses of its case studies, letting you choose between reading the story or watching the video. 

The case study begins with a powerful quote from the customer that demonstrates the impact of the solution. It then provides a brief description of the success metrics and highlights the core impact of the integration. 

It addresses Shutterstock’s pain points, such as diverse data sources, team members, and workflows, and showcases Workday’s effectiveness in countering those. 

While Workday keeps the case study short, it includes all the key details to educate the customer about the implementation. This is a great example of crafting a brief yet powerful case study.

✔️Takeaway : Short case studies are effective when well written because they pack a punch and tell a compelling story. Utilizing relevant quotes is also helpful.

Pidilite and Salesforce case study

 In this case study example, Salesforce brings out its value with the opening lines. It then lists each point of impact created by the software integration and explains its process. 

One of the best things about this case study is its organization (value summarized upfront) and thorough explanation of Pidilite’s challenges and how they were solved. 

They also feature a ‘what next’ section detailing the next steps Pidilite plans to take in its collaboration with Salesforce, implying that they continue providing value to the customer. 

✔️Takeaway : End your case study with a brief overview of your future collaboration plans with your customer. This tells your readers that the collaboration is ongoing and that you aim to keep improving your services to add value.

One of the Storylane case study examples

This case study example is an excellent showcase of customer success. What stands out is the use of a tabular format to list different use cases of Storylane’s software and provide a before-and-after for each use case. 

The table works well to summarize key achievements in a way that’s easy on the eye. The ‘Before’ column details the company’s pain points, and the ‘After’ column highlights the results that were brought about once Storylane entered the picture.

✔️Takeaway : Using ‘before’ and ‘after’ succinctly in your case studies helps drive impact and make your case studies stand out.

Benchling and Airtable case study

We liked this case study example because it simply explains how Airtable assists Benchling in prioritizing collaboration and addressing customer needs. 

It explains the functioning of the biology-first platform in a way that helps even non-technical readers understand the context. 

The case study ends with an insight into Airtable and Benchling’s future collaboration plans, indicating that more is to come in the years ahead. 

✔️Takeaway : Write a case study using simple language so customers can easily understand the product and software integration.

How to Create Your Own Case Study

We hope these case study examples have inspired you to portray your success over the years with some fantastic case studies.

While you may have ideas, feeling stuck with the marketing planning process is natural. 

Here’s how you can create your own case study in six easy steps. We’ll divide the process into two stages, research and prep, and production.

  • Choose the customer: First, choose a customer willing to share their story and provide a testimonial and results. It’s important to choose a customer who has experienced significant benefits from your product or service since this will make your case study more compelling

Pro Tip: Not sure how to write an effective outreach email to enlist customer support for your case study program? Take help from ClickUp Brain’ s AI Writer to write persuasive copy. Moreover, you can email your customers directly from ClickUp!

  • Outline the customer’s journey: Detail the customer’s journey from start to finish, including their actions before, during, and after using your services

Pro Tip: Storyboard your case study with your team using collaborative ClickUp Whiteboards . Once you’re happy with the outcome, create a ClickUp Task directly from the whiteboard. Assign it to the relevant owners, add tags for easy filtering, and use ClickUp Brain to generate sub-tasks and a brief task description automatically.

ClickUp Whiteboard to build out your case study examples

  • Collect data: Gather quantitative and qualitative data on the company’s performance after using your services. This could include metrics like increased sales, improved efficiency, or higher customer satisfaction
  • Draft the case study: Begin writing the case study by introducing the company and providing background information. Next, discuss the challenges they faced before using your product or service. Then, detail the solution you provided and how it was implemented. Finally, showcase the results and benefits the customer experienced after using your product or service, using the data you collected to support these points

Pro Tip: Brainstorm possible case study formats and outlines with ClickUp Brain, your creative partner in this endeavor.

  • Get approval from the customer: Once you’ve drafted the case study, share it with the customer for their feedback and approval. This ensures that all the information is accurate and that the customer is comfortable with how their story is presented. It also provides an opportunity to make any necessary revisions

Pro Tip: Create a shareable case study in ClickUp Docs and share it with your customer in a single click for approval

ClickUp Docs

  • Publish and promote: After obtaining the customer’s approval, publish the case study on your website, blog, or other relevant platforms. Promote it through various channels such as social media, email newsletters, and sales presentations

Pro Tip: When your case study is ready to be distributed, add the relevant owners for social media and email distribution by simply mentioning them in a task comment

Instead of the process we just outlined, you can also use ClickUp’s free case study templates to plan, structure, and execute your case studies to maximize the efficiency of your content marketing efforts.

ClickUp's Case Study Template is designed to help you capture ideas and insights from customer feedback.

With ClickUp’s Case Study Template , you can: 

  • Gather data from distinct sources to analyze it and identify key takeaways
  • Craft compelling stories using an organized template to drive real impact 
  • Collect ideas and note testimonials from clients to showcase real-life results
  • Create a visual journey of the customer’s software integration steps
  • Monitor and analyze the case study’s engagement
  • Collaborate with marketing team members to create the case study together

ClickUp helps marketing teams optimize the entire process of writing a case study, from collecting data to finally sending customers an email for approval.

Craft Effective Case Studies with ClickUp 

Case studies are an excellent way to build trust with prospective clients and provide evidence for your claims. They exemplify how your products and services have aided others in reaching their business and marketing goals . Studying popular case study examples can help you ideate and find the perfect format for your own customer stories.

Collaborative work management platforms like ClickUp can help you plan and execute your case study project with ease. Draft customer success case studies showcasing results effectively using ClickUp’s Case Study Template. It not only provides you with a rough layout but also improves team collaboration, helps maintain consistency with the format, collects data, and much more.

Use the integrated AI assistant, ClickUp Brain, to generate outlines, write catchy copy, and brainstorm ideas. Put your case story together, along with the relevant links, images, and rich formatting, in ClickUp Docs and share it with stakeholders for input and approval.

Sign up for ClickUp today to create the most impactful marketing case studies to attain your marketing goals.

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What is case study research?

Last updated

8 February 2023

Reviewed by

Cathy Heath

Short on time? Get an AI generated summary of this article instead

Suppose a company receives a spike in the number of customer complaints, or medical experts discover an outbreak of illness affecting children but are not quite sure of the reason. In both cases, carrying out a case study could be the best way to get answers.

Organization

Case studies can be carried out across different disciplines, including education, medicine, sociology, and business.

Most case studies employ qualitative methods, but quantitative methods can also be used. Researchers can then describe, compare, evaluate, and identify patterns or cause-and-effect relationships between the various variables under study. They can then use this knowledge to decide what action to take. 

Another thing to note is that case studies are generally singular in their focus. This means they narrow focus to a particular area, making them highly subjective. You cannot always generalize the results of a case study and apply them to a larger population. However, they are valuable tools to illustrate a principle or develop a thesis.

Analyze case study research

Dovetail streamlines case study research to help you uncover and share actionable insights

  • What are the different types of case study designs?

Researchers can choose from a variety of case study designs. The design they choose is dependent on what questions they need to answer, the context of the research environment, how much data they already have, and what resources are available.

Here are the common types of case study design:

Explanatory

An explanatory case study is an initial explanation of the how or why that is behind something. This design is commonly used when studying a real-life phenomenon or event. Once the organization understands the reasons behind a phenomenon, it can then make changes to enhance or eliminate the variables causing it. 

Here is an example: How is co-teaching implemented in elementary schools? The title for a case study of this subject could be “Case Study of the Implementation of Co-Teaching in Elementary Schools.”

Descriptive

An illustrative or descriptive case study helps researchers shed light on an unfamiliar object or subject after a period of time. The case study provides an in-depth review of the issue at hand and adds real-world examples in the area the researcher wants the audience to understand. 

The researcher makes no inferences or causal statements about the object or subject under review. This type of design is often used to understand cultural shifts.

Here is an example: How did people cope with the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami? This case study could be titled "A Case Study of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and its Effect on the Indonesian Population."

Exploratory

Exploratory research is also called a pilot case study. It is usually the first step within a larger research project, often relying on questionnaires and surveys . Researchers use exploratory research to help narrow down their focus, define parameters, draft a specific research question , and/or identify variables in a larger study. This research design usually covers a wider area than others, and focuses on the ‘what’ and ‘who’ of a topic.

Here is an example: How do nutrition and socialization in early childhood affect learning in children? The title of the exploratory study may be “Case Study of the Effects of Nutrition and Socialization on Learning in Early Childhood.”

An intrinsic case study is specifically designed to look at a unique and special phenomenon. At the start of the study, the researcher defines the phenomenon and the uniqueness that differentiates it from others. 

In this case, researchers do not attempt to generalize, compare, or challenge the existing assumptions. Instead, they explore the unique variables to enhance understanding. Here is an example: “Case Study of Volcanic Lightning.”

This design can also be identified as a cumulative case study. It uses information from past studies or observations of groups of people in certain settings as the foundation of the new study. Given that it takes multiple areas into account, it allows for greater generalization than a single case study. 

The researchers also get an in-depth look at a particular subject from different viewpoints.  Here is an example: “Case Study of how PTSD affected Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Differently Due to Advances in Military Technology.”

Critical instance

A critical case study incorporates both explanatory and intrinsic study designs. It does not have predetermined purposes beyond an investigation of the said subject. It can be used for a deeper explanation of the cause-and-effect relationship. It can also be used to question a common assumption or myth. 

The findings can then be used further to generalize whether they would also apply in a different environment.  Here is an example: “What Effect Does Prolonged Use of Social Media Have on the Mind of American Youth?”

Instrumental

Instrumental research attempts to achieve goals beyond understanding the object at hand. Researchers explore a larger subject through different, separate studies and use the findings to understand its relationship to another subject. This type of design also provides insight into an issue or helps refine a theory. 

For example, you may want to determine if violent behavior in children predisposes them to crime later in life. The focus is on the relationship between children and violent behavior, and why certain children do become violent. Here is an example: “Violence Breeds Violence: Childhood Exposure and Participation in Adult Crime.”

Evaluation case study design is employed to research the effects of a program, policy, or intervention, and assess its effectiveness and impact on future decision-making. 

For example, you might want to see whether children learn times tables quicker through an educational game on their iPad versus a more teacher-led intervention. Here is an example: “An Investigation of the Impact of an iPad Multiplication Game for Primary School Children.” 

  • When do you use case studies?

Case studies are ideal when you want to gain a contextual, concrete, or in-depth understanding of a particular subject. It helps you understand the characteristics, implications, and meanings of the subject.

They are also an excellent choice for those writing a thesis or dissertation, as they help keep the project focused on a particular area when resources or time may be too limited to cover a wider one. You may have to conduct several case studies to explore different aspects of the subject in question and understand the problem.

  • What are the steps to follow when conducting a case study?

1. Select a case

Once you identify the problem at hand and come up with questions, identify the case you will focus on. The study can provide insights into the subject at hand, challenge existing assumptions, propose a course of action, and/or open up new areas for further research.

2. Create a theoretical framework

While you will be focusing on a specific detail, the case study design you choose should be linked to existing knowledge on the topic. This prevents it from becoming an isolated description and allows for enhancing the existing information. 

It may expand the current theory by bringing up new ideas or concepts, challenge established assumptions, or exemplify a theory by exploring how it answers the problem at hand. A theoretical framework starts with a literature review of the sources relevant to the topic in focus. This helps in identifying key concepts to guide analysis and interpretation.

3. Collect the data

Case studies are frequently supplemented with qualitative data such as observations, interviews, and a review of both primary and secondary sources such as official records, news articles, and photographs. There may also be quantitative data —this data assists in understanding the case thoroughly.

4. Analyze your case

The results of the research depend on the research design. Most case studies are structured with chapters or topic headings for easy explanation and presentation. Others may be written as narratives to allow researchers to explore various angles of the topic and analyze its meanings and implications.

In all areas, always give a detailed contextual understanding of the case and connect it to the existing theory and literature before discussing how it fits into your problem area.

  • What are some case study examples?

What are the best approaches for introducing our product into the Kenyan market?

How does the change in marketing strategy aid in increasing the sales volumes of product Y?

How can teachers enhance student participation in classrooms?

How does poverty affect literacy levels in children?

Case study topics

Case study of product marketing strategies in the Kenyan market

Case study of the effects of a marketing strategy change on product Y sales volumes

Case study of X school teachers that encourage active student participation in the classroom

Case study of the effects of poverty on literacy levels in children

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How To Outline a Case Study: 15 Examples & Templates

How To Outline a Case Study: 15 Examples & Templates

Written by: Christopher Jan Benitez

How To Outline a Case Study: 15 Examples & Templates

They allow you to make your business more appealing to your target audience, resulting in more leads and customers moving forward.

By definition, you should create more of these studies to show your business’s effectiveness to people, right?

But before you do, you must learn how to outline them first.

This post discusses how you can develop a case study outline, which templates to use, and best practices to follow.

Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit case study templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

case study goals examples

Table of Contents

What is a case study, what is a case study outline, how do you write a case study outline, 15 case study outline examples, design tips for your case study outline, create your case study with visme.

A case study is a real-life success story of a customer who faced challenges and managed to overcome them by using your products or services. It's like a narrative that tells the tale of how someone benefited from what you have to offer. It's a way to showcase the practical application of your solutions in a specific situation and demonstrate the value they bring. So, it's not just a theoretical explanation but an engaging story that highlights the positive outcomes achieved by your customer.

Beyond business, case studies are commonly used in other settings, like academics, social sciences, medicine, psychology, and education. A case study is an in-depth examination and analysis of a specific individual, group, organization, event, or situation. It involves gathering detailed information and data to gain an extensive understanding of the subject being studied.

A case study outline is a roadmap for creating a solid case study report. It helps you organize and present all the important elements in a structured way. Think of it as a blueprint that guides you through the process. Of course, the specific outline can vary depending on why you're doing the case study and the specific situation you're studying. So, it's adaptable to fit your needs and make sure you cover everything necessary.

Made with Visme Infographic Maker

Below are the main parts of a typical case study outline:

  • Introduction: Describe the customer or client who is the focus of the case study.
  • Problem: Identify the client's issue, which is why they sought your help in the first place.
  • Goals/Solutions: Enumerate the goals you wish to achieve with the strategy you developed for this client. Then, discuss the tactics you used in the hopes of achieving these objectives.
  • Results/Achievements: Talk about the positive results of your campaign using data and figures. This section should emphasize the effectiveness of your business in solving the problem through your products and services.

If you want a head start with your case studies, use any of Visme's templates below.

Most of these templates contain the main parts mentioned above. Once you’ve chosen a case study template , simply edit it to best explain your case to prospects.

Choose from built-in graphics ranging from video backgrounds to fonts and place them in the presentation using Visme's drag-and-drop builder.

You can also collaborate with team members when editing the case study online template to finish the presentation ahead of time.

1. Medical Case Study

This blue-themed outline template is for you if you're in the medical field and doing a case study on a patient. It contains a table of laboratory findings and clinical manifestations, which lead to your diagnosis and conclusions.

case study goals examples

2. Intel Case Study

This simple light-red template is perfect for tech companies looking to quickly present their case study with an overview of its background, goals, and strategy. It ends the presentation by going through the study’s figures and data.

case study goals examples

3. UX Case Study

This zesty template tackles how a change in a site or app's user interface generated massive results in conversions. It lays down the site's problem and approach to solving it before dealing with the results.

case study goals examples

4. Bit.ly Case Study

For marketers looking to track campaign results launched across various marketing channels, this template is for them. It briefly explains the background and goal of the case in the first place and the obstacles and results in the next.

case study goals examples

5. Adobe Case Study

This orange and blue magenta template is heavy on text as it explains how your brand achieved positive results for a client campaign. Show this to similar prospects whom you're looking to turn into clients.

case study goals examples

6. Fuji Xerox Australia Business Equipment Case Study

Marketing agencies looking for print businesses or similar to turn into clients won't go wrong with this blue three-page template. It details the case study background, goals, and achievements before concluding with its key results.

case study goals examples

7. College For Adult Learning Training Organization Case Study

Marketers with a great track record of helping educational institutions will have great use for this red and blue-magenta template. From here, they can convert similar prospects into clients by showing your case study’s achievements and goals.

case study goals examples

8. NVISIONCenters Case Study

A marketing strategy that works is what turns business owners into your clients. With this pink and medium blue template, your agency can showcase your expertise by featuring the results of your strategy with a previous client.

case study goals examples

9. Neutrogena Case Study

This blue-themed template shows how a marketing agency could integrate mobile technology to generate sales in a client’s retail stores. It uses a fair share of images and text to communicate its solution and results.

case study goals examples

10. Social Media Case Study

This red-on-blue template features the transformative power of social media when used correctly in a marketing campaign. Companies that offer social media marketing can use this to showcase their own successful campaigns.

case study goals examples

11. Weebly Case Study

This template uses waves in the layout to add texture to your case study presentation . It's also short enough to help you share your marketing achievements with prospects looking to grow their ROI.

case study goals examples

12. Small Business Accounting Case Study

Accounting firms looking to leverage case studies to bolster their leads will find this cyan-themed template useful. This text-heavy template shows prospects how they helped clients manage their receipts and expenditures.

case study goals examples

13. Real Estate Development During COVID 19 Case Study

Lots of businesses were hit hard during COVID-19, but not all. If you find yourself in the latter and wish to share with potential clients the progress your clients during this period have made with your help, this theme template is for you.

case study goals examples

14. Digital Marketing in Consumer Goods Case Study

This dynamic case study template benefits from its healthy balance of text and image and orange and cyan-blue theme. It allows marketing companies to make their case to prospects looking to promote their new line of products.

case study goals examples

15. Automobile Company Case Study

B2B companies benefit the most from case studies due to their complex pricing structure. Therefore, this template is the best for such companies, as it breaks down the entire process to help justify their costs and enable prospects to make informed decisions.

case study goals examples

RELATED: 15 Real-Life Case Study Examples & Best Practices

Below are design tips you must keep in mind when outlining your case study:

Use White Space

Great attention to detail in a case study allows you to show off your initiative or campaign to your audience.

However, information becomes detrimental if you overload your audience with too much exposition page after page.

The best way to design your case study or any presentation is to utilize white space as much as possible.

It may sound counterintuitive to leave certain sections of your case study blank as if you’re wasting valuable real estate.

On the contrary, white space is simply a good design principle that enables information on your case study to breathe, giving your audience ample time to digest the information before hopping onto the next section properly.

To help create white space in your case study, limit your paragraphs to two s hort sentences each. Using graphics also enables you to create more white space due to their size.

Maximize Visuals

Case studies require lots of words so you can adequately present your exposition and explain how you achieved the positive results with your process.

But when designing your case study online, you should consider using visuals to explain things much easier for your audience.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, using images correctly allows you to use fewer words in your case study.

And because people process images much faster than words, they can comprehend the details in your presentation much easier.

The most common example of visuals in case studies is graphs and charts when presenting figures.

From Visme’s editor, click on the Data button from the side menu on the left to see templates of charts, tables, and radials you can drag and drop onto your presentation.

But using icons and graphics helps you communicate your message more effectively than just plain text.

From the editor again, click on Graphics to choose from over 500,000 stock photos and icons.

You can also upload your images to make your case study even more unique.

Incorporate Branding

Throughout the case study, you want people to know the role your company played for the positive results your clients experienced with their business.

And it’s just not slapping your logo on the cover of the case study. You must also use the color , font , and other elements that are part of your brand guidelines in your case study outline.

Doing so enables you to remain consistent with your visual identity , which makes associating your company with the case study much easier for people.

If you’re constantly designing visual content for presentations and reports, Visme’s Brand Wizard lets you build your brand kit on the platform by importing your website URL.

To do this, log in to your dashboard and click the “My Brand” button on the left.

Once the page loads, you’ll find the Brand Wizard link. Click on it so you can enter the URL of your domain.

From here, Visme will take the logo, colors, and fonts you used on your site and include them in your brand kit.

Aside from your visual brand, you should maintain your brand’s tone and voice in the case study’s copy. For example, how you write the background, solutions, and achievements should reflect how your website’s copy reads like.

Make It Interactive

Most case studies are factual presentations of work done for a specific client. Unfortunately, this lends to a certain dullness in which the audience has nothing to do but sit down and listen to them.

But there’s a way to make your case study engaging so that your audience can be part of it instead of just bystanders.

For example, you can have your highlighted customer share a screen recording or audio file about how your company helped this person improve their business. From here, you can embed the files into your case study, which your audience can play anytime they want.

With Visme, you can make these interactive content show as popups in your presentation.

Select the element that people will click on to trigger the popup. Then, choose Actions > Hotspot from the floating bar before linking the video uploaded onto the cloud to the case study.

Here’s a video on how to create popups with your interactive content:

You can also add a voiceover in your presentation to help people with reading disabilities understand the contents of your case study.

If you want to close your audience to clients or customers of your brand, you must present your case study in the best way possible.

Following the design tips above is a great place to start. But you probably won’t be able to implement them properly unless you possess the necessary design skills.

With Visme, however, you don’t have to be a professional designer to produce professional-looking case studies that will wow your audience.

Just choose from our case study outline templates and edit each using the platform’s built-in features.

Easily put together professional case studies in Visme

case study goals examples

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About the Author

Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer who specializes in digital marketing. His work has been published on SEO and affiliate marketing-specific niches like Monitor Backlinks, Niche Pursuits, Nichehacks, Web Hosting Secret Revealed, and others.

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Writing A Case Study

Case Study Examples

Barbara P

Brilliant Case Study Examples and Templates For Your Help

15 min read

Case Study Examples

People also read

A Complete Case Study Writing Guide With Examples

Simple Case Study Format for Students to Follow

Understand the Types of Case Study Here

It’s no surprise that writing a case study is one of the most challenging academic tasks for students. You’re definitely not alone here!

Most people don't realize that there are specific guidelines to follow when writing a case study. If you don't know where to start, it's easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you even begin.

Don't worry! Let us help you out!

We've collected over 25 free case study examples with solutions just for you. These samples with solutions will help you win over your panel and score high marks on your case studies.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive in and learn the secrets to writing a successful case study.

Arrow Down

  • 1. An Overview of Case Studies
  • 2. Case Study Examples for Students
  • 3. Business Case Study Examples
  • 4. Medical Case Study Examples
  • 5. Psychology Case Study Examples 
  • 6. Sales Case Study Examples
  • 7. Interview Case Study Examples
  • 8. Marketing Case Study Examples
  • 9. Tips to Write a Good Case Study

An Overview of Case Studies

A case study is a research method used to study a particular individual, group, or situation in depth. It involves analyzing and interpreting data from a variety of sources to gain insight into the subject being studied. 

Case studies are often used in psychology, business, and education to explore complicated problems and find solutions. They usually have detailed descriptions of the subject, background info, and an analysis of the main issues.

The goal of a case study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Typically, case studies can be divided into three parts, challenges, solutions, and results. 

Here is a case study sample PDF so you can have a clearer understanding of what a case study actually is:

Case Study Sample PDF

How to Write a Case Study Examples

Learn how to write a case study with the help of our comprehensive case study guide.

Case Study Examples for Students

Quite often, students are asked to present case studies in their academic journeys. The reason instructors assign case studies is for students to sharpen their critical analysis skills, understand how companies make profits, etc.

Below are some case study examples in research, suitable for students:







Case Study Example in Software Engineering

Qualitative Research Case Study Sample

Software Quality Assurance Case Study

Social Work Case Study Example

Ethical Case Study

Case Study Example PDF

These examples can guide you on how to structure and format your own case studies.

Struggling with formatting your case study? Check this case study format guide and perfect your document’s structure today.

Business Case Study Examples

A business case study examines a business’s specific challenge or goal and how it should be solved. Business case studies usually focus on several details related to the initial challenge and proposed solution. 

To help you out, here are some samples so you can create case studies that are related to businesses: 





Here are some more business case study examples:

Business Case Studies PDF

Business Case Studies Example

Typically, a business case study discovers one of your customer's stories and how you solved a problem for them. It allows your prospects to see how your solutions address their needs. 

Medical Case Study Examples

Medical case studies are an essential part of medical education. They help students to understand how to diagnose and treat patients. 

Here are some medical case study examples to help you.

Medical Case Study Example

Nursing Case Study Example

Want to understand the various types of case studies? Check out our types of case study blog to select the perfect type.

Psychology Case Study Examples 

Case studies are a great way of investigating individuals with psychological abnormalities. This is why it is a very common assignment in psychology courses. 

By examining all the aspects of your subject’s life, you discover the possible causes of exhibiting such behavior. 

For your help, here are some interesting psychology case study examples:

Psychology Case Study Example

Mental Health Case Study Example

Sales Case Study Examples

Case studies are important tools for sales teams’ performance improvement. By examining sales successes, teams can gain insights into effective strategies and create action plans to employ similar tactics.

By researching case studies of successful sales campaigns, sales teams can more accurately identify challenges and develop solutions.

Sales Case Study Example

Interview Case Study Examples

Interview case studies provide businesses with invaluable information. This data allows them to make informed decisions related to certain markets or subjects.

Interview Case Study Example

Marketing Case Study Examples

Marketing case studies are real-life stories that showcase how a business solves a problem. They typically discuss how a business achieves a goal using a specific marketing strategy or tactic.

They typically describe a challenge faced by a business, the solution implemented, and the results achieved.

This is a short sample marketing case study for you to get an idea of what an actual marketing case study looks like.

: ABC Solutions, a leading provider of tech products and services.


Engaging and informative content highlighting products and services.
Incorporating real-world examples to showcase the impact of ABC Solutions.

Utilizing analytics to refine content strategies.
Aligning content with customer needs and pain points.

Content marketing efforts led to a significant boost in brand visibility.
Compelling narratives highlighting how products and services transformed businesses.

 Here are some more popular marketing studies that show how companies use case studies as a means of marketing and promotion:

“Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected” by Carol H. Williams

This case study explores Chevrolet's “ DTU Journalism Fellows ” program. The case study uses the initials “DTU” to generate interest and encourage readers to learn more. 

Multiple types of media, such as images and videos, are used to explain the challenges faced. The case study concludes with an overview of the achievements that were met.

Key points from the case study include:

  • Using a well-known brand name in the title can create interest.
  • Combining different media types, such as headings, images, and videos, can help engage readers and make the content more memorable.
  • Providing a summary of the key achievements at the end of the case study can help readers better understand the project's impact.

“The Met” by Fantasy

“ The Met ” by Fantasy is a fictional redesign of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, created by the design studio Fantasy. The case study clearly and simply showcases the museum's website redesign.

The Met emphasizes the website’s features and interface by showcasing each section of the interface individually, allowing the readers to concentrate on the significant elements.

For those who prefer text, each feature includes an objective description. The case study also includes a “Contact Us” call-to-action at the bottom of the page, inviting visitors to contact the company.

Key points from this “The Met” include:

  • Keeping the case study simple and clean can help readers focus on the most important aspects.
  • Presenting the features and solutions with a visual showcase can be more effective than writing a lot of text.
  • Including a clear call-to-action at the end of the case study can encourage visitors to contact the company for more information.

“Better Experiences for All” by Herman Miller

Herman Miller's minimalist approach to furniture design translates to their case study, “ Better Experiences for All ”, for a Dubai hospital. The page features a captivating video with closed-captioning and expandable text for accessibility.

The case study presents a wealth of information in a concise format, enabling users to grasp the complexities of the strategy with ease. It concludes with a client testimonial and a list of furniture items purchased from the brand.

Key points from the “Better Experiences” include:

  • Make sure your case study is user-friendly by including accessibility features like closed captioning and expandable text.
  • Include a list of products that were used in the project to guide potential customers.

“NetApp” by Evisort 

Evisort's case study on “ NetApp ” stands out for its informative and compelling approach. The study begins with a client-centric overview of NetApp, strategically directing attention to the client rather than the company or team involved.

The case study incorporates client quotes and explores NetApp’s challenges during COVID-19. Evisort showcases its value as a client partner by showing how its services supported NetApp through difficult times. 

  • Provide an overview of the company in the client’s words, and put focus on the customer. 
  • Highlight how your services can help clients during challenging times.
  • Make your case study accessible by providing it in various formats.

“Red Sox Season Campaign,” by CTP Boston

The “ Red Sox Season Campaign ” showcases a perfect blend of different media, such as video, text, and images. Upon visiting the page, the video plays automatically, there are videos of Red Sox players, their images, and print ads that can be enlarged with a click.

The page features an intuitive design and invites viewers to appreciate CTP's well-rounded campaign for Boston's beloved baseball team. There’s also a CTA that prompts viewers to learn how CTP can create a similar campaign for their brand.

Some key points to take away from the “Red Sox Season Campaign”: 

  • Including a variety of media such as video, images, and text can make your case study more engaging and compelling.
  • Include a call-to-action at the end of your study that encourages viewers to take the next step towards becoming a customer or prospect.

“Airbnb + Zendesk” by Zendesk

The case study by Zendesk, titled “ Airbnb + Zendesk : Building a powerful solution together,” showcases a true partnership between Airbnb and Zendesk. 

The article begins with an intriguing opening statement, “Halfway around the globe is a place to stay with your name on it. At least for a weekend,” and uses stunning images of beautiful Airbnb locations to captivate readers.

Instead of solely highlighting Zendesk's product, the case study is crafted to tell a good story and highlight Airbnb's service in detail. This strategy makes the case study more authentic and relatable.

Some key points to take away from this case study are:

  • Use client's offerings' images rather than just screenshots of your own product or service.
  • To begin the case study, it is recommended to include a distinct CTA. For instance, Zendesk presents two alternatives, namely to initiate a trial or seek a solution.

“Influencer Marketing” by Trend and WarbyParker

The case study "Influencer Marketing" by Trend and Warby Parker highlights the potential of influencer content marketing, even when working with a limited budget. 

The “Wearing Warby” campaign involved influencers wearing Warby Parker glasses during their daily activities, providing a glimpse of the brand's products in use. 

This strategy enhanced the brand's relatability with influencers' followers. While not detailing specific tactics, the case study effectively illustrates the impact of third-person case studies in showcasing campaign results.

Key points to take away from this case study are:

  • Influencer marketing can be effective even with a limited budget.
  • Showcasing products being used in everyday life can make a brand more approachable and relatable.
  • Third-person case studies can be useful in highlighting the success of a campaign.

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Marketing Case Study Example

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Tips to Write a Good Case Study

Here are some note-worthy tips to craft a winning case study 

  • Define the purpose of the case study This will help you to focus on the most important aspects of the case. The case study objective helps to ensure that your finished product is concise and to the point.
  • Choose a real-life example. One of the best ways to write a successful case study is to choose a real-life example. This will give your readers a chance to see how the concepts apply in a real-world setting.
  • Keep it brief. This means that you should only include information that is directly relevant to your topic and avoid adding unnecessary details.
  • Use strong evidence. To make your case study convincing, you will need to use strong evidence. This can include statistics, data from research studies, or quotes from experts in the field.
  • Edit and proofread your work. Before you submit your case study, be sure to edit and proofread your work carefully. This will help to ensure that there are no errors and that your paper is clear and concise.

There you go!

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Case Study

How to Write a Case Conceptualization: 10 Examples (+ PDF)

Case Conceptualization Examples

Such understanding can be developed by reading relevant records, meeting with clients face to face, and using assessments such as a mental status examination.

As you proceed, you are forming a guiding concept of who this client is, how they became who they are, and where their personal journey might be heading.

Such a guiding concept, which will shape any needed interventions, is called a case conceptualization, and we will examine various examples in this article.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into positive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

What is a case conceptualization or formulation, 4 things to include in your case formulation, a helpful example & model, 3 samples of case formulations, 6 templates and worksheets for counselors, relevant resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message.

In psychology and related fields, a case conceptualization summarizes the key facts and findings from an evaluation to provide guidance for recommendations.

This is typically the evaluation of an individual, although you can extend the concept of case conceptualization to summarizing findings about a group or organization.

Based on the case conceptualization, recommendations can be made to improve a client’s self-care , mental status, job performance, etc (Sperry & Sperry, 2020).

Case Formulation

  • Summary of the client’s identifying information, referral questions, and timeline of important events or factors in their life . A timeline can be especially helpful in understanding how the client’s strengths and limitations have evolved.
  • Statement of the client’s core strengths . Identifying core strengths in the client’s life should help guide any recommendations, including how strengths might be used to offset limitations.
  • Statement concerning a client’s limitations or weaknesses . This will also help guide any recommendations. If a weakness is worth mentioning in a case conceptualization, it is worth writing a recommendation about it.

Note: As with mental status examinations , observations in this context concerning weaknesses are not value judgments, about whether the client is a good person, etc. The observations are clinical judgments meant to guide recommendations.

  • A summary of how the strengths, limitations, and other key information about a client inform diagnosis and prognosis .

You should briefly clarify how you arrived at a given diagnosis. For example, why do you believe a personality disorder is primary, rather than a major depressive disorder?

Many clinicians provide diagnoses in formal psychiatric terms, per the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Some clinicians will state a diagnosis in less formal terms that do not coincide exactly with ICD-10 or DSM-5 codes. What is arguably more important is that a diagnostic impression, formal or not, gives a clear sense of who the person is and the support they need to reach their goals.

Prognosis is a forecast about whether the client’s condition can be expected to improve, worsen, or remain stable. Prognosis can be difficult, as it often depends on unforeseeable factors. However, this should not keep you from offering a conservative opinion on a client’s expected course, provided treatment recommendations are followed.

case study goals examples

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Based on the pointers for writing a case conceptualization above, an example for summarizing an adolescent case (in this instance, a counseling case for relieving depression and improving social skills) might read as follows.

Background and referral information

This is a 15-year-old Haitian–American youth, referred by his mother for concerns about self-isolation, depression, and poor social skills. He reportedly moved with his mother to the United States three years ago.

He reportedly misses his life and friends in Haiti. The mother states he has had difficulty adjusting socially in the United States, especially with peers. He has become increasingly self-isolating, appears sad and irritable, and has started to refuse to go to school.

His mother is very supportive and aware of his emotional–behavioral needs. The youth has been enrolled in a social skills group at school and has attended three sessions, with some reported benefit. He is agreeable to start individual counseling. He reportedly does well in school academically when he applies himself.

Limitations

Behavioral form completed by his mother shows elevated depression scale (T score = 80). There is a milder elevation on the inattention scale (T score = 60), which suggests depression is more acute than inattention and might drive it.

He is also elevated on a scale measuring social skills and involvement (T score = 65). Here too, it is reasonable to assume that depression is driving social isolation and difficulty relating to peers, especially since while living in Haiti, he was reportedly quite social with peers.

Diagnostic impressions, treatment guidance, prognosis

This youth’s history, presentation on interview, and results of emotional–behavioral forms suggest some difficulty with depression, likely contributing to social isolation. As he has no prior reported history of depression, this is most likely a reaction to missing his former home and difficulty adjusting to his new school and peers.

Treatments should include individual counseling with an evidence-based approach such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). His counselor should consider emotional processing and social skills building as well.

Prognosis is favorable, with anticipated benefit apparent within 12 sessions of CBT.

How to write a case conceptualization: An outline

The following outline is necessarily general. It can be modified as needed, with points excluded or added, depending on the case.

  • Client’s gender, age, level of education, vocational status, marital status
  • Referred by whom, why, and for what type of service (e.g., testing, counseling, coaching)
  • In the spirit of strengths-based assessment, consider listing the client’s strengths first, before any limitations.
  • Consider the full range of positive factors supporting the client.
  • Physical health
  • Family support
  • Financial resources
  • Capacity to work
  • Resilience or other positive personality traits
  • Emotional stability
  • Cognitive strengths, per history and testing
  • The client’s limitations or relative weaknesses should be described in a way that highlights those most needing attention or treatment.
  • Medical conditions affecting daily functioning
  • Lack of family or other social support
  • Limited financial resources
  • Inability to find or hold suitable employment
  • Substance abuse or dependence
  • Proneness to interpersonal conflict
  • Emotional–behavioral problems, including anxious or depressive symptoms
  • Cognitive deficits, per history and testing
  • Diagnoses that are warranted can be given in either DSM-5 or ICD-10 terms.
  • There can be more than one diagnosis given. If that’s the case, consider describing these in terms of primary diagnosis, secondary diagnosis, etc.
  • The primary diagnosis should best encompass the client’s key symptoms or traits, best explain their behavior, or most need treatment.
  • Take care to avoid over-assigning multiple and potentially overlapping diagnoses.

When writing a case conceptualization, always keep in mind the timeline of significant events or factors in the examinee’s life.

  • Decide which events or factors are significant enough to include in a case conceptualization.
  • When these points are placed in a timeline, they help you understand how the person has evolved to become who they are now.
  • A good timeline can also help you understand which factors in a person’s life might be causative for others. For example, if a person has suffered a frontal head injury in the past year, this might help explain their changeable moods, presence of depressive disorder, etc.

Case Formulation Samples

Sample #1: Conceptualization for CBT case

This is a 35-year-old Caucasian man referred by his physician for treatment of generalized anxiety.

Strengths/supports in his case include willingness to engage in treatment, high average intelligence per recent cognitive testing, supportive family, and regular physical exercise (running).

Limiting factors include relatively low stress coping skills, frequent migraines (likely stress related), and relative social isolation (partly due to some anxiety about social skills).

The client’s presentation on interview and review of medical/psychiatric records show a history of chronic worry, including frequent worries about his wife’s health and his finances. He meets criteria for DSM-5 generalized anxiety disorder. He has also described occasional panic-type episodes, which do not currently meet full criteria for panic disorder but could develop into such without preventive therapy.

Treatments should include CBT for generalized anxiety, including keeping a worry journal; regular assessment of anxiety levels with Penn State Worry Questionnaire and/or Beck Anxiety Inventory; cognitive restructuring around negative beliefs that reinforce anxiety; and practice of relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing .

Prognosis is good, given the evidence for efficacy of CBT for anxiety disorders generally (Hofmann, Asnaani, Vonk, Sawyer, & Fang, 2012).

Sample #2: Conceptualization for DBT case

This 51-year-old Haitian–American woman is self-referred for depressive symptoms, including reported moods of “rage,” “sadness,” and “emptiness.” She says that many of her difficulties involve family, friends, and coworkers who regularly “disrespect” her and “plot against her behind her back.”

Her current psychiatrist has diagnosed her with personality disorder with borderline features, but she doubts the accuracy of this diagnosis.

Strengths/supports include a willingness to engage in treatment, highly developed and marketable computer programming skills, and engagement in leisure activities such as playing backgammon with friends.

Limiting factors include low stress coping skills, mild difficulties with attention and recent memory (likely due in part to depressive affect), and a tendency to self-medicate with alcohol when feeling depressed.

The client’s presentation on interview, review of medical/psychiatric records, and results of MMPI-2 personality inventory corroborate her psychiatrist’s diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.

The diagnosis is supported by a longstanding history of unstable identity, volatile personal relationships with fear of being abandoned, feelings of emptiness, reactive depressive disorder with suicidal gestures, and lack of insight into interpersonal difficulties that have resulted in her often stressed and depressive state.

Treatments should emphasize a DBT group that her psychiatrist has encouraged her to attend but to which she has not yet gone. There should also be regular individual counseling emphasizing DBT skills including mindfulness or present moment focus, building interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. There should be a counseling element for limiting alcohol use. Cognitive exercises are also recommended.

Of note, DBT is the only evidence-based treatment for borderline personality disorder (May, Richardi, & Barth, 2016). Prognosis is guardedly optimistic, provided she engages in both group and individual DBT treatments on a weekly basis, and these treatments continue without interruption for at least three months, with refresher sessions as needed.

Sample #3: Conceptualization in a family therapy case

This 45-year-old African-American woman was initially referred for individual therapy for “rapid mood swings” and a tendency to become embroiled in family conflicts. Several sessions of family therapy also appear indicated, and her psychiatrist concurs.

The client’s husband (50 years old) and son (25 years old, living with parents) were interviewed separately and together. When interviewed separately, her husband and son each indicated the client’s alcohol intake was “out of control,” and that she was consuming about six alcoholic beverages throughout the day, sometimes more.

Her husband and son each said the client was often too tired for household duties by the evening and often had rapid shifts in mood from happy to angry to “crying in her room.”

On individual interview, the client stated that her husband and son were each drinking about as much as she, that neither ever offered to help her with household duties, and that her son appeared unable to keep a job, which left him home most of the day, making demands on her for meals, etc.

On interview with the three family members, each acknowledged that the instances above were occurring at home, although father and son tended to blame most of the problems, including son’s difficulty maintaining employment, on the client and her drinking.

Strengths/supports in the family include a willingness of each member to engage in family sessions, awareness of supportive resources such as assistance for son’s job search, and a willingness by all to examine and reduce alcohol use by all family members as needed.

Limiting factors in this case include apparent tendency of all household members to drink to some excess, lack of insight by one or more family members as to how alcohol consumption is contributing to communication and other problems in the household, and a tendency by husband and son to make this client the family scapegoat.

The family dynamic can be conceptualized in this case through a DBT lens.

From this perspective, problems develop within the family when the environment is experienced by one or more members as invalidating and unsupportive. DBT skills with a nonjudgmental focus, active listening to others, reflecting each other’s feelings, and tolerance of distress in the moment should help to develop an environment that supports all family members and facilitates effective communication.

It appears that all family members in this case would benefit from engaging in the above DBT skills, to support and communicate with one another.

Prognosis is guardedly optimistic if family will engage in therapy with DBT elements for at least six sessions (with refresher sessions as needed).

Introduction to case conceptualization – Thomas Field

The following worksheets can be used for case conceptualization and planning.

  • Case Conceptualization Worksheet: Individual Counseling helps counselors develop a case conceptualization for individual clients.
  • Case Conceptualization Worksheet: Couples Counseling helps counselors develop a case conceptualization for couples.
  • Case Conceptualization Worksheet: Family Counseling helps counselors develop a case conceptualization for families.
  • Case Conceptualization and Action Plan: Individual Counseling helps clients facilitate conceptualization of their own case, at approximately six weeks into counseling and thereafter at appropriate intervals.
  • Case Conceptualization and Action Plan: Couples Counseling helps couples facilitate conceptualization of their own case, at approximately six weeks into counseling and thereafter at appropriate intervals.
  • Case Conceptualization and Action Plan: Family Counseling helps families facilitate conceptualization of their own case, at approximately six weeks into counseling and thereafter at appropriate intervals.

case study goals examples

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These 17 Positive CBT & Cognitive Therapy Exercises [PDF] include our top-rated, ready-made templates for helping others develop more helpful thoughts and behaviors in response to challenges, while broadening the scope of traditional CBT.

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The following resources can be found in the Positive Psychology Toolkit© , and their full versions can be accessed by a subscription.

Analyzing Strengths Use in Different Life Domains can help clients understand their notable strengths and which strengths can be used to more advantage in new contexts.

Family Strength Spotting is another relevant resource. Each family member fills out a worksheet detailing notable strengths of other family members. In reviewing all worksheets, each family member can gain a greater appreciation for other members’ strengths, note common or unique strengths, and determine how best to use these combined strengths to achieve family goals.

Four Front Assessment is another resource designed to help counselors conceptualize a case based on a client’s personal and environmental strengths and weaknesses. The idea behind this tool is that environmental factors in the broad sense, such as a supportive/unsupportive family, are too often overlooked in conceptualizing a case.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others through CBT, check out this collection of 17 validated positive CBT tools for practitioners. Use them to help others overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings and develop more positive behaviors.

In helping professions, success in working with clients depends first and foremost on how well you understand them.

This understanding is crystallized in a case conceptualization.

Case conceptualization helps answer key questions. Who is this client? How did they become who they are? What supports do they need to reach their goals?

The conceptualization itself depends on gathering all pertinent data on a given case, through record review, interview, behavioral observation, questionnaires completed by the client, etc.

Once the data is assembled, the counselor, coach, or other involved professional can focus on enumerating the client’s strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.

It is also often helpful to put the client’s strengths and limitations in a timeline so you can see how they have evolved and which factors might have contributed to the emergence of others.

Based on this in-depth understanding of the client, you can then tailor specific recommendations for enhancing their strengths, overcoming their weaknesses, and reaching their particular goals.

We hope you have enjoyed this discussion of how to conceptualize cases in the helping professions and that you will find some tools for doing so useful.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free .

  • Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research , 36 (5), 427–440.
  • May, J. M., Richardi, T. M., & Barth, K. S. (2016). Dialectical behavior therapy as treatment for borderline personality disorder. The Mental Health Clinician , 6 (2), 62–67.
  • Sperry, L., & Sperry, J. (2020).  Case conceptualization: Mastering this competency with ease and confidence . Routledge.

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Strategic Plan Examples: Case Studies and Free Strategic Planning Template

By Anthony Taylor - May 29, 2023

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As you prepare for your strategic planning process, it's important to explore relevant strategic plan examples for inspiration.

In today's competitive business landscape, a well-defined strategic plan holds immense significance. Whether you're a private company, municipal government, or nonprofit entity, strategic planning is essential for achieving goals and gaining a competitive edge. By understanding the strategic planning process, you can gain valuable insights to develop an effective growth roadmap for your organization.

In this blog, we will delve into real-life examples of strategic plans that have proven successful. These examples encompass a wide range of organizations, from Credit Unions that have implemented SME Strategy's Aligned Strategy process to the Largest Bank in Israel. By examining these cases, we can gain a deeper understanding of strategic planning and extract relevant insights that can be applied to your organization.

  • Strategic Plan Example (Global Financial Services Firm)
  • Strategic Plan Example (Joint Strategic Plan)
  • Strategic Plan Example: (Government Agency)
  • Strategic Plan Example (Multinational Corporation)
  • Strategic Plan Example: (Public Company)
  • Strategic Plan Example (Non Profit)
  • Strategic Plan Example: (Small Nonprofit)
  • Strategic Plan example: (Municipal Government)
  • Strategic Plan Example: (Environmental Start-up)  

When analyzing strategic plan examples, it is crucial to recognize that a strategic plan goes beyond being a mere document. It should encapsulate your organization's mission and vision comprehensively while also being actionable. Your strategic plan needs to be tailored to your organization's specific circumstances, including factors such as size, industry, budget, and personnel. Simply replicating someone else's plan will not suffice.

Have you ever invested significant time and resources into creating a plan, only to witness its failure during execution? We believe that a successful strategic plan extends beyond being a static document. It necessitates meticulous follow-through, execution, documentation, and continuous learning. It serves as the foundation upon which your future plans are built.

It is important to note that a company's success is not solely determined by the plan itself, but rather by how effectively it is executed. Our intention is to highlight the diverse roles that a company's mission, vision, and values play across different organizations, whether they are large corporations or smaller nonprofits.

Strategic plans can vary in terms of their review cycles, which can range from annual evaluations to multi-year periods. There is no one-size-fits-all example of a strategic plan, as each organization possesses unique needs and circumstances that must be taken into account.

Strategic planning is an essential process for organizations of all sizes and types. It assists in setting a clear direction, defining goals, and effectively allocating resources. To gain an understanding of how strategic plans are crafted, we will explore a range of examples, including those from private companies, nonprofit organizations, and government entities.

Throughout this exploration, we will highlight various frameworks and systems employed by profit-driven and nonprofit organizations alike, providing valuable insights to help you determine the most suitable approach for your own organization.

Watch: Examples of Strategic Plans from Real-Life Organizations 

Strategic Plan Example  - The Bank Hapoalim Vision:  To be a leading global financial services firm, with its core in Israel, focused on its clients and working to enhance their financial freedom.

Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel's largest banks with 8,383 branches across 5 different countries as of 2022, has recently provided insights into its latest strategic plan. The plan highlights four distinct strategic priorities:

  • Continued leadership in corporate banking and capital markets
  • Adaptation of the retail banking operating model
  • Resource optimization and greater productivity
  • Differentiating and influential innovation

Check out their strategic plan here: Strategic Plan (2022-2026)

We talked to Tagil Green, the Chief Strategy Officer at Bank Hapoalim, where we delved into various aspects of their strategic planning process. We discussed the bank's strategic planning timeline, the collaborative work they engaged in with McKinsey, and the crucial steps taken to secure buy-in and ensure successful implementation of the strategy throughout the organization. In our conversation, Tagil Green emphasized the understanding that there is no universal template for strategic plans. While many companies typically allocate one, two, or three days for strategic planning meetings during an offsite, Bank Hapoalim recognized the significance of their size and complexity. As a result, their strategic plan took a comprehensive year-long effort to develop. How did a Large Global Organization like Bank Hapoalim decide on what strategic planning timeline to follow?

"How long do you want to plan? Some said, let's think a decade ahead. Some said it's irrelevant. Let's talk about two years ahead. And we kind of negotiated into the like, five years ahead for five years and said, Okay, that's good enough, because some of the complexity and the range depends on the field that you work for. So for banking in Israel, four or five years ahead, is good enough. "  Tagil Green, Chief Strategy Officer, Bank Hapoalim 

Another important aspect you need to consider when doing strategic planning is stakeholder engagement, We asked Tagil her thoughts and how they conducted stakeholder engagement with a large employee base.

Listen to the Full Conversation with Tagil:

Strategic Planning and Execution: Insights from the Chief Strategy Officer of Israel's Leading Bank

Strategic Plan Example: Region 16 and DEED (Joint Strategic Plan)

Mission Statement: We engage state, regional, tribal, school, and community partners to improve the quality and equity of education for each student by providing evidence-based services and supports.

In this strategic plan example, we'll explore how Region 16 and DEED, two government-operated Educational Centers with hundreds of employees, aligned their strategic plans using SME Strategy's approach . Despite facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic, these organizations sought to find common ground and ensure alignment on their mission, vision, and values, regardless of their circumstances.

Both teams adopted the Aligned Strategy method, which involved a three day onsite strategic planning session facilitated by a strategic planning facilitator . Together, they developed a comprehensive 29-page strategic plan outlining three distinct strategic priorities, each with its own objectives and strategic goals. Through critical conversations, they crafted a clear three year vision, defined their core customer group as part of their mission, refined their organizational values and behaviors, and prioritized their areas of focus.

After their offsite facilitation, they aligned around three key areas of focus:

  • Effective Communication, both internally and externally.
  • Streamlining Processes to enhance efficiency.
  • Developing Effective Relationships and Partnerships for mutual success.

By accomplishing their goals within these strategic priorities, the teams from Region 16 and DEED aim to make progress towards their envisioned future.

To read the full review of the aligned strategy process click here

Download Now Starting your strategic planning process soon? Get our free Strategic Planning Template

Strategic Plan Example: (Government Agency) - The City of Duluth Workforce Development Board

What they do:

The Duluth Workforce Development Board identifies and aligns workforce development strategies to meet the needs of Duluth area employers and job seekers through comprehensive and coordinated systems.

An engaged and diverse workforce, where all individuals, regardless of background, have or are on a path to meaningful employment and a family sustaining wage, and all employers are able to fill jobs in demand.

The City of Duluth provides an insightful example of a strategic plan focused on regional coordination to address workforce needs in various industry sectors and occupations. With multiple stakeholders involved, engaging and aligning them becomes crucial. This comprehensive plan, spanning 82 pages, tackles strategic priorities and initiatives at both the state and local levels.

What sets this plan apart is its thorough outline of the implementation process. It covers everything from high-level strategies to specific meetings between different boards and organizations. Emphasizing communication, coordination, and connectivity, the plan ensures the complete execution of its objectives. It promotes regular monthly partner meetings, committee gatherings, and collaboration among diverse groups. The plan also emphasizes the importance of proper documentation and accountability throughout the entire process.

By providing a clear roadmap, the City of Duluth's strategic plan effectively addresses workforce needs while fostering effective stakeholder engagement . It serves as a valuable example of how a comprehensive plan can guide actions, facilitate communication, and ensure accountability for successful implementation.

Read this strategic plan example here: Strategic Plan (2021-2024)

Strategic Plan Example: McDonald's (Multinational Corporation)

McDonald's provides a great strategic plan example specifically designed for private companies. Their "Velocity Growth Plan" covers a span of three years from 2017 to 2020, offering a high-level strategic direction. While the plan doesn't delve into specific implementation details, it focuses on delivering an overview that appeals to investors and aligns the staff. The plan underscores McDonald's commitment to long-term growth and addressing important environmental and societal challenges. It also highlights the CEO's leadership in revitalizing the company and the active oversight provided by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors plays a crucial role in actively overseeing McDonald's strategy. They engage in discussions about the Velocity Growth Plan during board meetings, hold annual strategy sessions, and maintain continuous monitoring of the company's operations in response to the ever-changing business landscape.

The McDonald's strategic plan revolved around three core pillars:

  • Retention: Strengthening and expanding areas of strength, such as breakfast and family occasions.
  • Regain: Focusing on food quality, convenience, and value to win back lost customers.
  • Convert: Emphasizing coffee and other snack offerings to attract casual customers.

These pillars guide McDonald's through three initiatives, driving growth and maximizing benefits for customers in the shortest time possible.

Read the strategic plan example of Mcdonlald's Velocity growth plan (2017-2020)

Strategic Plan Example: Nike (Public Company)

Nike's mission statement is “ to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world .”  

Nike, as a publicly traded company, has developed a robust global growth strategy outlined in its strategic plan. Spanning a five-year period from 2021 to 2025, this plan encompasses 29 strategic targets that reflect Nike's strong commitment to People, Planet, and Pay. Each priority is meticulously defined, accompanied by tangible actions and measurable metrics. This meticulous approach ensures transparency and alignment across the organization.

The strategic plan of Nike establishes clear objectives, including the promotion of pay equity, a focus on education and professional development, and the fostering of business diversity and inclusion. By prioritizing these areas, Nike aims to provide guidance and support to its diverse workforce, fostering an environment that values and empowers its employees.

Read Nike's strategic plan here

Related Content: Strategic Planning Process (What is it?)

The Cost of Developing a Strategic Plan (3 Tiers)

Strategic Plan Example (Non Profit) - Alternatives Federal Credit Union

Mission: To help build and protect wealth for people with diverse identities who have been historically marginalized by the financial industry, especially those with low wealth or identifying as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.

AFCU partnered with SME Strategy in 2021 to develop a three year strategic plan. As a non-profit organization, AFCU recognized the importance of strategic planning to align its team and operational components. The focus was on key elements such as Vision, Mission, Values, Priorities, Goals, and Actions, as well as effective communication, clear responsibilities, and progress tracking.

In line with the Aligned Strategy approach, AFCU developed three strategic priorities to unite its team and drive progress towards their vision for 2024. Alongside strategic planning, AFCU has implemented a comprehensive strategy implementation plan to ensure the effective execution of their strategies.

Here's an overview of AFCU's 2024 Team Vision and strategic priorities: Aligned Team Vision 2024:

To fulfill our mission, enhance efficiency, and establish sustainable community development approaches, our efforts will revolve around the following priorities: Strategic Priorities:

Improving internal communication: Enhancing communication channels and practices within AFCU to foster collaboration and information sharing among team members.

Improving organizational performance: Implementing strategies to enhance AFCU's overall performance, including processes, systems, and resource utilization.

Creating standard operating procedures: Developing standardized procedures and protocols to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and ensure consistency across AFCU's activities.

By focusing on these strategic priorities, AFCU aims to strengthen its capacity to effectively achieve its mission and bring about lasting change in its community. Watch the AFCU case study below:

Watch the Full Strategic Plan Example Case Study with the VP and Chief Strategy Officer of AFCU

Strategic Plan Example: (Small Nonprofit) - The Hunger Project 

Mission: To end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.

The Hunger Project, a small nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, offers a prime example of a concise and effective three-year strategic plan. This plan encompasses the organization's vision, mission, theory of change, and strategic priorities. Emphasizing simplicity and clarity, The Hunger Project's plan outlines crucial actions and measurements required to achieve its goals. Spanning 16 pages, this comprehensive document enables stakeholders to grasp the organization's direction and intended impact. It centers around three overarching strategic goals, each accompanied by its own set of objectives and indicators: deepening impact, mainstreaming impact, and scaling up operations.

Read their strategic plan here  

Strategic Plan example: (Municipal Government)- New York City Economic Development Plan 

The New York City Economic Development Plan is a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan tailored for a municipal government. Spanning 68 pages, this plan underwent an extensive planning process with input from multiple stakeholders. 

This plan focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities present in the region. Through a SWOT analysis, this plan highlights the organization's problems, the city's strengths, and the opportunities and threats it has identified. These include New York's diverse population, significant wealth disparities, and high demand for public infrastructure and services.

The strategic plan was designed to provide a holistic overview that encompasses the interests of a diverse and large group of business, labor, and community leaders. It aimed to identify the shared values that united its five boroughs and define how local objectives align with the interests of greater New York State. The result was a unified vision for the future of New York City, accompanied by a clear set of actions required to achieve shared goals.

Because of its diverse stakeholder list including; council members, local government officials, and elected representatives, with significant input from the public, their strategic plan took 4 months to develop. 

Read it's 5 year strategic plan example here

Strategic Plan Example: Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy provides a strategic plan that prioritizes visual appeal and simplicity. Despite being in its second year of operation, this strategic plan example effectively conveys the organization's mission and values to its Board of Directors. The company also conducts thorough analyses of the electric utility industry and anticipates major challenges in the coming years. Additionally, it highlights various social initiatives aimed at promoting community, environmental, and economic benefits that align with customer expectations.

"This plan recognizes the goals we intend to accomplish and highlights strategies and tactics we will employ to achieve these goals. The purpose of this plan is to ensure transparency in our operations and to provide a clear direction to staff about which strategies and tactics we will employ to achieve our goals. It is a living document that can guide our work with clarity and yet has the flexibility to respond to changing environments as we embark on this journey." Girish Balachandran CEO, Silicon Valley Clean Energy

This strategic plan example offers flexibility in terms of timeline. It lays out strategic initiatives for both a three-year and five-year period, extending all the way to 2030. The plan places emphasis on specific steps and targets to be accomplished between 2021 and 2025, followed by goals for the subsequent period of 2025 to 2030. While this plan doesn't go into exhaustive detail about implementation steps, meeting schedules, or monitoring mechanisms, it effectively communicates the organization's priorities and desired long term outcomes. Read its strategic plan example here

By studying these strategic plan examples, you can create a strategic plan that aligns with your organization's goals, communicates effectively, and guides decision-making and resource allocation. Strategic planning approaches differ among various types of organizations.

Private Companies: Private companies like McDonald's and Nike approach strategic planning differently from public companies due to competitive market dynamics. McDonald's provides a high-level overview of its strategic plan in its investor overview.

Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, like The Hunger Project, develop strategic plans tailored to their unique missions and stakeholders. The Hunger Project's plan presents a simple yet effective structure with a clear vision, mission, theory of change, strategic priorities, and action items with measurable outcomes.

Government Entities: Government entities, such as the New York City Development Board, often produce longer, comprehensive strategic plans to guide regional or state development. These plans include implementation plans, stakeholder engagement, performance measures, and priority projects.

When creating a strategic plan for your organization, consider the following key points:

Strategic Priorities: Define clear strategic priorities that are easy to communicate and understand.

Stakeholder Engagement: Ensure your plan addresses the needs and interests of your stakeholders.

Measurements: Include relevant measurements and KPIs, primarily for internal use, to track, monitor and report your progress effectively.

Conciseness vs. Thoroughness: Adapt the level of detail in your plan based on the size of your organization and the number of stakeholders involved.

By learning from these examples, you can see that developing a strategic plan should be a process that fits your organization, effectively communicates your goals, and provides guidance for decision-making and resource allocation. Remember that strategic planning is an ongoing process that requires regular review and adjustment to stay relevant and effective.

Need assistance in maximizing the impact of your strategic planning? Learn how our facilitators can lead you through a proven process, ensuring effectiveness, maintaining focus, and fostering team alignment.

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case study goals examples

Home » Blog » 11 Leadership SMART Goal Examples

11 Leadership SMART Goal Examples

July 08, 2024 by cynthia orduña.

Table of Contents

If you want to help your employees to start reaching their aspirations, using the SMART goals method is a wise approach. Setting goals requires careful planning and intentionality, rather than rushing in without a strategy.

The SMART goal-setting method is effective for laying a solid foundation to reach personal goals, business objectives, and professional development milestones. It’s an especially effective tool for developing both your existing leaders and employees with leadership potential.

Although this method requires some time and effort, looking at detailed leadership SMART goals examples can provide inspiration to help your teams begin. Use these examples and step-by-step instructions as a starting point to help write SMART goals for leadership and employees.

What Is a SMART Goal?

A SMART goal is a well-defined objective that is designed to be clear and attainable. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific: The goal should be clear and specific, so that anyone involved can understand what is to be achieved.
  • Measurable: The goal should have criteria for measuring progress and success, so you can track progress and stay motivated.
  • Achievable: The goal should be realistic and attainable, taking into account available resources and constraints.
  • Relevant: The goal should matter to you and align with other relevant objectives or larger goals.
  • Time-bound: The goal should have a clear deadline or timeframe, creating a sense of urgency and prompting timely action.

Why Should You Use SMART Goals at Work?

Using SMART goals at work provides numerous benefits that enhance leadership skills , productivity, clarity, and motivation within the workplace. The specificity of SMART goals clearly defines what is expected, removing ambiguity and providing a clear direction for employees. By narrowing down to specific objectives, employees can concentrate their efforts on what truly matters, avoiding distractions and ensuring that their work is aligned with the company’s priorities.

Specific and Measurable Goals

Measurable goals enable employees and managers to track progress and assess whether objectives are being met. This transparency in tracking success not only boosts accountability, but also helps identify areas that need improvement. Having clear metrics makes it easier to hold individuals and teams accountable for their performance.

Achievable Goals

Setting achievable goals ensures that employees are not overwhelmed and that the goals are within their capabilities and available resources. Realistic planning helps in maintaining a balance between challenging employees and setting them up for success. This approach boosts confidence as employees see themselves making progress and achieving targets, which in turn motivates them to maintain or even increase their performance levels.

Relevant Goals

Relevant goals ensure that the individual’s work contributes to the broader organizational objectives, creating a sense of purpose and alignment. By prioritizing tasks that have the most significant impact on the organization’s success, employees are more engaged and motivated to perform well. This alignment between personal and organizational goals helps in creating a cohesive work environment where everyone is working towards a common goal.

Time-Bound Goals

Time-bound goals create a sense of urgency, motivating employees to act promptly and ensuring that tasks are completed on schedule. Clear deadlines improve overall efficiency and help in planning and resource allocation. Having a timeline also facilitates regular progress reviews, allowing for timely feedback and adjustments as necessary.

Overall, implementing SMART goals at work helps create a structured and efficient work environment for employees and their leadership. Through fostering clarity, accountability, and alignment, SMART goals are a powerful tool for enhancing workplace productivity and effectiveness.

Click below to learn how our Careerminds leadership coaching and career development programs can help train your employees on techniques like SMART goal-setting to unlock their full potential and achieve organizational success.

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How Do You Set Leadership SMART Goals?

Setting SMART goals for leadership involves a structured process to ensure the goals are clear, achievable, and aligned with the broader objectives of the organization. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set leadership SMART goals:

Step 1: Reflect on Organizational Goals and Leadership Needs

  • Align your leadership goals with the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives.
  • Assess areas where leadership improvements can have the most impact, such as team morale, productivity, communication, or strategic planning .

Example: Organizational goal of improving staff communication to increase productivity.

Step 2: Define the Specific Goal

  • Define what exactly you want to achieve. Avoid vague statements.
  • Narrow down to a specific area that needs improvement or development.

Example: Improve team communication by establishing a weekly team meeting.

Step 3: Make the Goal Measurable

  • Decide how you will measure progress and success.
  • Use numbers, percentages, or other concrete units of measurement.

Example: Increase the frequency of team meetings from bi-monthly to weekly and achieve 90 percent attendance from all team members over the next three months.

Step 4: Ensure the Goal Is Achievable

  • Consider the resources you have and any potential obstacles.
  • Ensure the goal is challenging but attainable.

Example: Schedule and conduct weekly team meetings, provide training on effective meeting practices, and use a collaborative agenda to keep meetings productive.

Step 5: Make the Goal Relevant

  • Ensure the goal supports overall organizational goals and addresses critical leadership needs.
  • Focus on goals that will make a significant positive impact on the team or organization.

Example: Improving team communication will enhance collaboration, reduce misunderstandings, and lead to more effective project execution, supporting the company’s goal of increasing productivity.

Step 6: Set a Time-Bound Deadline

  • Define by when you want to achieve the goal.
  • Set intermediate deadlines to track progress.

Example: Start the weekly team meetings by the beginning of the next quarter and achieve the desired attendance rate within three months.

Step 7: Write the SMART Goal Statement

  • Combine all elements into a clear, concise statement.

SMART goal example: Improve team communication by establishing weekly team meetings starting from the next quarter, achieving 90 percent attendance from all team members within three months. Conduct training on effective meeting practices and use a collaborative agenda to enhance productivity and support the company’s goal of increasing overall productivity.

Step 8: Monitor and Adjust as Needed

  • Regularly review the progress towards the goal.
  • Adjust the plan as necessary based on feedback and changing circumstances.

Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Managers

Here are several examples of SMART goals tailored for managers, focusing on different aspects of leadership:

1. Improve Team Morale

  • Specific: Implement a series of team-building activities to improve team morale.
  • Measurable: Achieve a 20 percent increase in team morale scores on the annual employee satisfaction survey.
  • Achievable: Organize monthly team-building activities, provide training on effective communication, and recognize individual and team achievements.
  • Relevant: Enhanced team morale aligns with the company’s goal of creating a positive work environment.
  • Time-bound: Complete the implementation of team-building activities within the next 12 months and measure the impact through the next annual employee satisfaction survey.

SMART goal: Organize monthly team-building activities and provide communication training to achieve a 20 percent increase in team morale scores on the annual employee satisfaction survey within the next 12 months.

2. Increase Team Productivity

  • Specific: Increase team productivity by improving project management processes.
  • Measurable: Increase the number of projects completed on time by 30 percent.
  • Achievable: Implement a new project management software, provide training for all team members, and establish weekly project review meetings.
  • Relevant: Improved project management processes will contribute to the company’s goal of enhancing overall efficiency.
  • Time-bound: Complete the implementation and training within the first two months and achieve the productivity increase within six months.

SMART goal: Implement a new project management software and conduct weekly project review meetings to increase the number of projects completed on time by 30 percent within the next six months.

3. Enhance Communication Skills

  • Specific: Improve personal communication skills through targeted training.
  • Measurable: Complete three communication workshops and receive a 90 percent positive feedback rating from team members on communication effectiveness.
  • Achievable: Attend workshops, practice new skills in team meetings, and solicit feedback through anonymous surveys.
  • Relevant: Enhanced communication skills will improve team dynamics and project outcomes, aligning with the company’s leadership development goals .
  • Time-bound: Complete the workshops and achieve the feedback rating within six months.

SMART goal: Complete three communication workshops and receive a 90 percent positive feedback rating on communication effectiveness from team member surveys within six months.

4. Develop Talent Within the Team

  • Specific: Implement a mentorship program to develop team members’ skills and career growth.
  • Measurable: Pair each team member with a mentor and achieve a 25 percent increase in internal promotions.
  • Achievable: Establish the program, match mentors with mentees based on skills and career goals, and conduct quarterly progress reviews.
  • Relevant: Developing internal talent supports the company’s succession planning and employee retention strategies.
  • Time-bound: Launch the mentorship program within three months and achieve the promotion increase within one year.

SMART goal: Implement a mentorship program within three months, pair each team member with a mentor, and achieve a 25 percent increase in internal promotions within one year.

5. Improve Customer Satisfaction

  • Specific: Enhance customer satisfaction by improving the team’s customer service skills.
  • Measurable: Increase customer satisfaction scores by 15 percent.
  • Achievable: Provide customer service training, set up a system for regular feedback from customers, and review and respond to feedback monthly.
  • Relevant: Improving customer satisfaction aligns with the company’s goal of maintaining high customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Time-bound: Complete training within three months and achieve the satisfaction score increase within nine months.

SMART goal: Provide customer service training and set up a feedback system to increase customer satisfaction scores by 15 percent within the next nine months.

These leadership SMART goals examples demonstrate how managers can set SMART goals to improve various aspects of their leadership, thereby enhancing team performance and contributing to organizational success.

Leadership SMART Goals Examples for Employees

Here are several examples of SMART goals tailored for employees , focusing on different aspects of leadership and personal development:

1. Enhance Leadership Skills

  • Specific: Complete a leadership development course to improve leadership skills.
  • Measurable: Successfully complete the course and receive a certification.
  • Achievable: Enroll in an online leadership development course and dedicate three hours per week to study.
  • Relevant: Improving leadership skills will prepare for future leadership roles and contribute to team success.
  • Time-bound: Complete the course and obtain the certification within six months.

SMART goal: Enroll in an online leadership development course , dedicate three hours per week to study, and obtain certification within six months.

2. Improve Time Management

  • Specific: Implement a new time management strategy to enhance productivity.
  • Measurable: Increase productivity by completing tasks 20 percent faster.
  • Achievable: Use a time management app, create daily task lists, and prioritize tasks according to importance and deadlines.
  • Relevant: Improved time management will lead to better performance and efficiency, supporting team and company goals.
  • Time-bound: Implement the strategy and achieve the productivity increase within three months.

SMART goal: Use a time management app, create daily task lists, and prioritize tasks to increase productivity by completing tasks 20 percent faster within the next three months.

3. Develop Public Speaking Skills

  • Specific: Improve public speaking skills by attending workshops and practicing regularly.
  • Measurable: Deliver three presentations with a 95 percent positive feedback score.
  • Achievable: Attend a public speaking workshop, join a local Toastmasters club, and practice presentations monthly.
  • Relevant: Enhanced public speaking skills will improve communication and confidence in leadership roles.
  • Time-bound: Attend workshops and deliver three presentations with positive feedback within six months.

SMART goal: Attend a public speaking workshop, join a local Toastmasters club, and deliver three presentations with a 95 percent positive feedback score within six months.

4. Increase Technical Proficiency

  • Specific: Gain proficiency in a new software tool used by the team.
  • Measurable: Complete an advanced training course and apply the skills in two projects. 
  • Achievable: Enroll in the training course and allocate five hours per week for practice.
  • Relevant: Mastering the software will enhance job performance and contribute to the team’s efficiency.
  • Time-bound: Complete the training and apply the skills in two projects within four months.

SMART goal: Enroll in an advanced training course for the software, allocate five hours per week for practice, and apply the skills in two projects within four months.

5. Improve Team Collaboration

  • Specific: Foster better team collaboration by implementing regular check-ins and feedback sessions.
  • Measurable: Achieve a 15 percent increase in team collaboration scores on the quarterly employee survey.
  • Achievable: Schedule bi-weekly check-in meetings and set up a feedback system for continuous improvement.
  • Relevant: Enhanced collaboration will lead to improved team performance and project outcomes.
  • Time-bound: Implement check-ins and feedback sessions and achieve the collaboration score increase within six months.

SMART goal: Schedule bi-weekly check-in meetings and set up a feedback system to achieve a 15 percent increase in team collaboration scores on the quarterly employee survey within six months.

6. Expand Professional Network

  • Specific: Expand your professional network by attending industry events and connecting with peers.
  • Measurable: Attend three industry events and connect with at least ten new professionals.
  • Achievable: Research and register for relevant events, and actively engage with attendees through networking opportunities.
  • Relevant: Building a strong professional network can provide career opportunities and industry insights.
  • Time-bound: Attend three events and connect with ten new professionals within six months.

SMART goal: Research and register for three industry events and connect with at least ten new professionals within the next six months.

These leadership SMART goals examples illustrate how employees can set SMART goals to develop their leadership abilities , improve their performance, and contribute more effectively to their teams and organizations.

Leadership SMART Goals: Key Takeaways

Implementing SMART goals in the workplace is a strategic approach to help employees achieve their aspirations and drive overall organizational success. This method provides a structured framework that ensures goals are clear, attainable, and aligned with broader objectives. By carefully planning and setting goals like the above leadership SMART goals examples, employees can focus their efforts effectively, track their progress, and stay motivated. 

Here are the key takeaways:

  • SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • SMART goals eliminate ambiguity by providing clear and precise objectives, helping employees and managers focus their efforts on what truly matters.
  • Leadership SMART goals ensure that individual and team objectives are aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities, fostering a cohesive work environment.
  • Setting leadership SMART goals supports personal and professional growth by providing clear pathways for skill enhancement and career advancement.
  • Use the leadership SMART goals examples provided above as inspiration for SMART goals for your managers and employees.

If you’re interested in learning more about our leadership coaching and development services, click below to connect with our experts and see if Careerminds is the right fit for your organization.

Cynthia Orduña

Cynthia Orduña

Cynthia Orduña is a Career and Business Coach with a background in recruiting, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has helped 50+ companies around the world hire and retain talent in cities like LA, SF, NY, Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney, and London. She has also coached over 300 people, from entry to senior levels, in developing their one-of-a-kind career paths, Her work has been featured in publications such as Business Insider, The Balance Careers, The Zoe Report, and more. To learn more you can connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn.

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