How to write a business case study

If you are an in-house marketer, you may think, you’ll never have to write a business case study, so what’s the point of reading this?

Let me tell you, you are wrong!

Remember the time you went to a conference and came back all psyched up about testing Pinterest as a channel? Or the time you heard about this amazing social listening tool that you would love to use?

How are you going to convince your boss to let you run ads on Pinterest or to purchase this amazing tool?

The best way is to run a small test, get your hands on a free trial of your favorite tool and use the (hopefully) positive results to sell your idea.

Elements of a business case study

A business case study is really about story telling. It’s a story about a problem your company or organization faces and the solutions identified in the context of a real-world situation.

The case study addresses the pain points and successful approaches to solve for them.

A case study should be well-written, easily digestible, and straight to the point.

In the above context, the following elements should be part of any written case study:

1. Lead with a snapshot of your results

  • Show the most convincing result first, such as x% growth in sales

2. Explain the business challenge

  • What is the business problem you are trying to solve for?
  • What are the pain points?

3. Solution

  • Tell a story about the solution.
  • How is the solution addressing the pain points?
  • Were other solutions considered? Why weren’t they used/tested?

4. Results

  • Show your analysis / data that is relevant to the problem statement.
  • How do the data points prove that the solution used eliminates the pain points?
  • Be clear and concise.

5. Recommendations

Finish the business case study with a recommendation.

Going back to our examples at the beginning, show what a Pinterest campaign could look like, what the outcome could be based on the data in the case study and how much investment is needed. For the social listening tool example, use the data in your case study to show how the benefits of the tool outweigh its cost.

Once the case study is written up, have another cup of joe’s.