Recently, we discussed the idea of ‘The Case Study’. The Case Study, as a concept, seems so fundamental it’s almost not worth discussing. But this is exactly why we chose to.
When you look at case studies (if you do…do you?), why are you looking? Are you searching for successful results to justify your own campaign? Creative inspiration? Or something else altogether?
Most marketing teams have a set of case studies to refer to in new business meetings or awards showcases and a lot of case studies set out to highlight what a company does – to help promote the marketing department. In this sense, the focus is likely more on the creativity and results, than the ideology and process behind the execution – the case study is a promotion piece. So, does a case study represent ‘who we are and what we do’ or ‘what we do and how we do it’?
An interesting point was raised by our Director, Fran, asking: is a case study about campaign creativity or marketing principles?
We collectively agreed that, at best, it’s about both. A case study serves the same essential purpose as a user review – to vouch for the reputation of a brand. The reputation, as the brand presents it, can then be more creatively or strategically focused but it will always include both.
And up came the famous adage, dividing the audience into ‘Show-Me people and Tell-Me people’. The intent of the case study comes from the brand behind it – it is going to be just something to talk about? Or look at? Or is it a learning tool to showcase the thought process behind the execution?