Category Archives: Case Study

The Case for Case Studies

In a recent blog, I touted the virtues of the old-fashioned press release as a valued marketing communications tool.   Now I’m using this forum to make the case for another traditional stand-by: the old-school case study.

Any good marketing pro will tell you storytelling is at the heart of any successful campaign and, for interested customers or prospects, few tales are more compelling than those that demonstrate how your product or service helped solve a problem or meet a challenge.

Versatility is another benefit.  Not only do case studies make good editorial fodder for the trade magazines that serve your industry, they can also stretch your marketing investment through use in advertising, as fresh web and social media content to drive SEO, as trade show literature or leave-behinds for your sales staff, as topics for webinars, or to add substance to a sales presentation.

Looking for ways to stay in touch with a top prospect?  Package your printed case study with a personal note and drop it in the mail.  In today’s blizzard of e-mail, it’s a good way to get attention and keep your business top of mind.

Does your company still use case studies?  If so, tell us how and why they work for you.  Check back with us soon for tips on how to produce a good one.

Social Media Case Study: Pleotint

 The Challenge
Pleotint, a window glazing company from Michigan who manufactures an adaptive window technology, called Suntuitive interlayer, wanted to launch an integrated social media campaign designed to grow their online audience, both on social media and their website, to ultimately drive new business for the company.

The Strategy
To increase Pleotint’s exposure on social media, we created a multi-platform campaign strategy, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and a blog on Pleotint’s website. The content strategy was to position Pleotint as an expert not only in windows and glazings, but also in green building and energy efficiency, to target Pleotint’s potential customer base of architects and green builders. We also utilized Facebook advertising to get the most out of our Facebook campaign and drive traffic to both the Facebook page and the website.

Pleotint's Facebook Page

Pleotint’s Facebook Page

The Results
During the 2013 campaign, from the launch on October 1 through the end of the year.

Over 1000% increase in Facebook fans
14% increase in Twitter followers
Increased web traffic

Direct Response Case Study: Solarphire® Glass by PPG for Solar Modules

Objective: In 2012, PPG Industries’ Solar Performance Group introduced Solarphire® glass, a highly transmissive glass developed expressly to enhance the energy efficiency of solar modules. To successfully market the product, PPG sought to promote its benefits to research and development directors for solar module manufacturers.  Market research showed that these individuals – who were the primary component specifiers – largely regarded glass as a commodity material.

Strategy:  PPG worked with design firm Vance Wright Adams and Yearick-Millea to develop a direct mail campaign targeted to these highly influential component specifiers.  The goal was to erase the perception of glass-as-a-commodity-item by demonstrating that Solarphire glass had the potential to dramatically improve the performance of solar modules due to their exceptional solar transmittance.

In addition to the direct mail piece, PPG invested significant time in developing a highly targeted mailing list. Internal marketers compiled a list of the top 50 U.S. solar module manufacturers and personally contacted each company to get the exact names, titles and contact information for targeted recipients.

Solution: The direct mail piece featured a glass ruler, fabricated from Solarphire glass, embedded and mailed in a custom-sized, high-end jewelry box.  Each ruler was etched with the name of the targeted recipient and accompanied by a letter from a sales executive from the PPG Solar Performance Group.  The letter asked only that the recipient accept his follow-up phone call.  Teaser copy was included with the ruler to pique interest in Solarphire glass by hinting at its benefits and by directing the recipient to a dedicated micro-site at

Solar mailer - final

Results: PPG saw a return-on-investment of more than 930 to 1 on the direct mail campaign.  Sixty-three percent (63%) of the target individuals took PPG’s follow-up call and agreed to a meeting.  The mailer, which was executed for about $7,500, netted six new accounts for the PPG Solar Performance Group, generating more than $7 million in new business.

In addition, the campaign won a national Award of Excellence in the category of direct response marketing from the Business Marketing Association (BMA).

Social Media Case Study: Breathe Pennsylvania

The Challenge:
In the spring of 2013, Breathe Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization that helps residents of southwestern Pennsylvania achieve and maintain optimal lung health through education, prevention, awareness and direct services, underwent a full rebrand. The rebrand included a name change from Healthy Lungs Pennsylvania to Breathe Pennsylvania, new logo design and the launch of a brand new website. With the help of Yearick-Millea, Breathe Pennsylvania decided to leverage social media to promote both the new brand and awareness of their existing programs and services to a wider, online audience.

The Audience:
Breathe Pennsylvania’s primary target audience consists of men and women, ages 21 and over, in the Pittsburgh-metro area. This area is made up of 10 counties including: Lawrence, Beaver, Washington, Greene, Butler, Allegheny, Armstrong, Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana. The men and women targeted may suffer from a form of lung disease or have family members who suffer from lung diseases including asthma, COPD and tuberculosis.

The Strategy:
In an effort to reach the largest number of potential audience members possible, we proposed an integrated social media campaign that included Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr and a blog on The key strategy behind this social media campaign was to grow Breathe Pennsylvania’s online audience while promoting awareness of existing programs and services that had been offered by the organization to the residents of southwestern PA under the Healthy Lungs Pennsylvania name.

bpa case studyTo do this, we implemented a content strategy that included a mix of clinical information on lung diseases like asthma, COPD and tuberculosis as well as information specific to Breathe Pennsylvania’s extensive programming and service options. In addition to this content strategy, we also implemented a Facebook advertising campaign that was designed to increase the Facebook audience size while also driving traffic to*.

The Results:
The social media campaign launched on June 1, 2013. Since its inception, the strategy has expanded to include sharing general health and wellness information in the form of Weekly Wellness Tips and interaction with like organizations through Facebook shares, retweets/mentions on Twitter and +1s on Google+. As a result, the online audience has continued to grow steadily and engage with the different types of content.

Results by the numbers (June 1, 2013 – November 1, 2013):

  • 1,000 new Facebook fans
  • 83.2k reach (unique people, fans and non-fans, who saw content posted on Facebook)
  • 9% average engagement rate per post on Facebook (ratio of engaged users to reach)
  • 56 new Twitter followers
  • 22 mentions on Twitter
  • 28 retweets on Twitter
  • 42% influence rate on Twitter
  • Social media has resulted in 52 visits to* and 335 page views.

* did not launch until October, 2013.