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How to write a case study

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A marketing case study consists of putting yourself in a situation by analyzing a market, a product or a company, in order to present your study as a convincing report intended for your hierarchy, offering recommendations for actions.

Generally speaking, the quality of your case study will depend on its clarity and consistency, the quality of the analysis, your ability to make decisions, justify them and convince the reader of them.

There are five main steps in a marketing case study:

  • external and internal analysis, followed by a diagnosis
  • the announcement of the problem
  • definition of objectives
  • the choice of a strategy
  • the marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion)

Analysis and diagnosis

This phase allows us to understand the market situation, the product and the company in its competitive environment, and highlight the elements on which the recommendation phase will be based.

The elements to address in your analysis are the following:

  • External analysis: the market, its growth, its forecasts, the main market, the generic market, the competition, their offer, their products, their targets, demand, the different consumer segments, their growth prospects, the social environment, legal, technological, etc.
  • Internal analysis: the company, its human resources, its research and development, its finances, its current marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion), its market share by product and by segment, purchase intentions, reputation, etc.
  • The diagnosis is presented in the form of two tables: environmental opportunities/threats (identified by the external analysis) and the company's strengths/weaknesses (highlighted by the internal analysis).
  • Feel free to structure your analysis by topic, present your data in the form of tables or histograms, and use short sentences to be precise and concise.

The problem

The problem must, in the form of a question, identify the major problem facing the company. The correct definition of the problem will depend on the consistency of the following three parts. Here are a few examples:

"How will Chupa Chups be able to maintain its position in the children's segment while developing in the 15-year-old and over segment, who consume few lollypops? "

"How will Jordans be able to consolidate and develop its positions in the adult cereals market when the growth engine of this market is the health/slimming segment, a segment in which it is absent? "

"How can Dop be allowed to rejuvenate its brand image and take advantage of the strong growth in the conditioner market, especially for children?"


Goals

This step allows you to express the goals you want to achieve. The objectives must be global, concern growth, profitability, and the conquest of market share. A goal should be measurable, realistically quantified, and dated.


The strategy

Be careful not to confuse strategy with the means of action that serve the strategy. After having answered the question "where are we" at the conclusion of the analysis, then "where do we want to go" through the objectives, the strategy allows us to answer "how are we going to get there?". The method consists of thinking by product, detailing the strategy for each existing product, as well as for any new products you want to launch. It includes three elements: the target (the targeted consumer segments), the positioning (what differentiates your product from the competition, how your customers perceive it), and the sources of volume (the market shares that you expect to recover from the competition), competition (or on your existing products).


The marketing mix

It is only at this stage that the actions to achieve the objectives will be detailed. They must be presented in a structured, precise, concise and coherent manner, and come from reliable information.

The marketing mix is commonly defined as the search for the best combination of the "4Ps": product, price, place and promotion. It is then necessary to detail these 4Ps by justifying the following elements:

  • Product: quality, characteristics, style, brand, packaging, size, guarantees, after-sales service, etc.
  • Price: rates, discounts, rebates, payment terms, credit granted, guarantees, etc.
  • Place: distribution channels, retailers, delivery method, sales techniques, storage, merchandising, etc.
  • Promotion: advertising, sales promotion, public relations, press, salesforce, sponsorship, etc.

The purpose of a marketing case study is to obtain the agreement of your hierarchy during a new product launch or a change in marketing strategy. So, be as clear as possible, and ensure consistency between each of your parts.

Do not hesitate to support your study with diagrams, histograms, and summary tables, in order to offer synthetic information to your reader. Finally, it is imperative that you state all the bibliographic resources that have enabled you to carry out your case study. Indeed, your data must be dated and verifiable, this contributes to the professionalism of your work.



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