Beatrice was completing her second semester of her MBA in Marketing. She was having a particularly difficult time with a case study analysis that her professor had assigned. And as a result, her grades weren’t up to the mark either.
Marketing case studies are a fairly common type of assignment that students need to prepare frequently. Like most assignments, writing effective case studies involve a process. You need to get acquainted with the process to make sure the paper turns out perfect. Thus, presented below are some steps suggested by the eminent academic experts on preparing impeccable case studies.
Step 1: Decide on the case study method
Irrespective of the case study method you’re employing, the purpose is to thoroughly assess a situation (or “case”) that could point to various factors or information otherwise overlooked or unknown. These can be written about businesses or even individuals. Furthermore, these can be written on more abstract things, like practices or programs.
For instance, In the case of marketing or management case study, you may use the illustrative method to highlight the issues faced by a client and how the services solved them.
Step 2: Find a suitable topic for your case study
Once you’ve chosen an angle to focus on, you need to select what your research will be about and where it’ll be based on. In this case, think about what have you talked about in class. Also, consider if you’ve come up with questions when reading.
Begin your research at the library and/or on the Internet to find out about a specific problem. Once you’ve focused your search on a particular problem, learn much about it from a variety of sources. Look up information in journals, books, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc.
Step 3: Select participants to interview and draft questions
Choose the participants that you’ll interview to include in your case study. You can talk to experts in a particular field or consumers that have used a service or product that’s the subject of the study.
Consider if you’ll interview an individual or group of individuals to serve as examples in your case study. It’ll probably be ideal for participants to gather as a group and share their insights collectively. Find as many resources as possible about your case study subjects to ensure that the interviews will result in procuring the most useful information.
Prepare a list of interview questions and choose how you’ll conduct your study. This can be through in-person group interviews, personal interviews, or even emails that will work.
Step 4: Accumulate all the data you’ve collected
Accumulate all applicable details, which may include documents, archival records, and observations. Keep all of your data organised in the same place to have easy access to details and materials while writing the case study. For instance, If you’re asked to prepare an Adidas case study, you need to gather the right details and keep them organised.
But then, you can’t incorporate everything. So, think about how you can sort through the details, edit the excess, and organise it so that the situation is comprehensible to your readers. Before you can do all this, you have to keep all the details together where you can see it and evaluate what’s going on.
Step 5: Present the problem in few sentences
As you go through the data you’ve collected, think about how you can present the data in a thesis-like statement. Consider the patterns your subjects brought to light.
This will enable you to focus on what detail is the most important. You’ll receive plenty of details from participants that should be included, but most of them are for supporting the central idea.
Step 6: Draft your case study paper
Develop your case study using the data gathered throughout the research, interview and analysis processes.
Make sure to incorporate at least four sections in your case study. There should a clear introduction, background details explaining why the case study was prepared, elaborate on the findings and a conclusion that clearly highlights all the major areas of the case study.
Step 7: Add relevant references and additional details
Just like in the case of any other type of academic document, you need to cite your sources here as well. That’s why you gathered credible resources in the first place. And if you have any details that connect with the study but would have disrupted the flow of the body, you can add the details here.
Your case study may include terms that would be difficult for other cultures to understand, so you add a note in the section of your paper about those terms.
Step 8: Add or remove information
As you continue working on your case study, you’ll find that that it may move into a different tangent that you didn’t otherwise expect. If this happens, you can add or remove details. You may notice that the information you once thought useful is no longer, or vice versa.
Read your case study section by section, but also as a whole. If you can’t find a proper place for information, include it in the appendix.
Step 9: Edit and proofread the paper
Now that your paper is complete check your paper for minute revisions. As always, rectify grammar, punctuation and spelling errors, but also look out for flow and transition in the sentences. Check if everything is presented as effortlessly as possible or not.
Have another person proofread your paper as well. Your mind may become oblivious to the errors it has seen multiple times during the writing process. Another set of eyes may also find content that has been left open-ended or is otherwise confusing.
Like Beatrice, we hope you have found some clarity on the case study writing process. These ideas recommended by academic experts will always help you produce a flawless case study.