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Limitations of rational choice in luxury clothing

Online marketing strategy for Evolution Bioscience

eMarketing Strategy Anna Morgan-Thomas 2nd Semester 26th February 2013

Loredana Bleiziffer MSc International Strategic Marketing Student-ID: 2045873 Email: 2045873B@student.gla.ac.uk

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Illustration 1: Business Model of Evolution Bioscience ............................................................ 2 Illustration 2: Customer groups of Evolution Bioscience ......................................................... 3 Illustration 3: Questions B2B customers ask when evaluating a website ................................ 8

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Evaluation of current online presence of Evolution Bioscience ................................. 5 Table 2: Objectives for the online marketing strategy of Evolution Bioscience....................... 7 Table 3: Suggestions for modifications of the website of Evolution Bioscience ...................... 9 Table 4: Online presence of Evolution Bioscience compared to competitors .......................15 Table 5: Evaluation of options for online presence of Evolution Bioscience .........................16

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.

Future online strategy for Evolution Bioscience ........................................................ 1 1. Introduction ......................................................................................................... 1 2. Evolution Bioscience: the company ..................................................................... 1 2.1. Business Model............................................................................................. 1 2.2. Customers..................................................................................................... 2 2.3. Competitors .................................................................................................. 4 3. Evolution Bioscience: current online presence .................................................... 5 4. Objectives............................................................................................................. 7 5. Evolution Bioscience: future online marketing strategy ...................................... 8 6. Conclusion .......................................................................................................... 13

II.

Appendices .......................................................................................................14 A. Unstructured interview with Nick Verner .......................................................... 14 B. Analysis of online presence and evaluation of online applications .................. 15

III.

Reference List ...................................................................................................19

I. Future online strategy for Evolution Bioscience

1. Introduction This report aims at developing an online marketing strategy for Evolution Bioscience through evaluation of online marketing applications and their utility for the company whilst ensuring fit with the target audience and the set objectives. The focus is put on establishing an online presence for the company. Firstly, the companys business model, customer base and competitors will be looked at more closely. Secondly, the current online presence of Evolution Bioscience will be analysed which will be completed by the setting of objectives for its future online presence. In the last step, a proposal for the future online marketing strategy will be outlined. No paid online advertising or search engine optimisation (SEO) will be incorporated. Establishing an online presence requires up-to-date information. That is why mainly online articles of reputable platforms, including Forbes (Forbes.com, LLC, 2013) and Social Media Today (Social Media Today LLC, 2012) as well as blogs of marketing experts of the last two years were used. An interview with a representative of Evolution Bioscience was conducted in order to gather relevant company information.

2. Evolution Bioscience: the company 2.1. Business model Evolution Bioscience is a Glasgow-based B2B consultancy in the bioscience industry. Its business model is focused on evaluating and promoting businesses which need funding for new technological ideas. The evaluation process includes estimating the value of the business, the expected demand for and the feasibility of the idea, the expected ROI and the capital necessary. If the business seems feasible, Evolution Bioscience develops a business plan and promotes the business to potential investors. So in this case, the

consultancy is an intermediary from which two parties profit from. Besides its business analysis, planning and promotion activities it also offers consulting services to universities and governments. A full representation of the business model can be found below (Illustration 1).

Illustration 1: Business Model of Evolution Bioscience (Appendix A; Business Model Foundry, 2011; Au Capital, 2011; Isis Innovation Ltd, na)

2.2. Customers The customer base of Evolution Bioscience consists of two general groups: investors, who want to invest in businesses with new technologies in the bioscience industry and capital seekers in the bioscience industry who developed new technologies and look for funding (Evolution Bioscience Ltd, 2012). Illustration 2 on the next page illustrates both customer groups. They can be split into the same subgroups (excluding governments), whereas the investors are located globally and the capital seekers are usually based in the UK.

Illustration 2: Customer groups of Evolution Bioscience (inspired by Isis Innovation Ltd, na)

Due to lack of information when it comes to customer characteristics, a general approach needs to be used. The target audience for B2B companies is often smaller than for B2C companies. This comes from the fact that B2B companies usually have less, but bigger customers which stay with the company long-term. Due to that, personal relationships are very important (Hague and Harrison, 2013; Jayawardhane, 2011). B2B buyers do buy into relationships built in reliability, trust and personality, as B2C buyers buy on emotion. (Smith and Zook, 2011, p. 93) The decision making process of those is rational and includes different parties, depending on the size of the business. This paper will focus on the capital seekers as target audience as they are the paying customers. The only difference between them is the size and the fact that they are privately held or public which might influence the number and the interests of the parties involved in the buying process (Hague and Harrison, 2013). This doesnt give enough reason to build different segments. When examining their online behaviour, one the one side, this segment uses the internet to develop and maintain business relationships, especially through LinkedIn (Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011a). On the other side, they use the internet extensively for gathering information about and evaluating potential businesses to work with. They use

online sources, including corporate websites, blogs and Google (Himanen, 2011, p. 48), whereas corporate websites are perceived to be the most important decision factor (Chaffey, 2012). They will take a lot of time to rationally evaluate the company regarding their online presence and will choose the business(es) that they can imagine having a long-term relationship with. For that, they use different online applications in different customer relationship stages and put emphasis on different criteria. Chapter 5 will further examine those.

2.3. Competitors The competitor research was focused on life science consultancies based in the UK1 as the relevant target audience for this report are the capital seekers which were said to be mainly based in the UK. The research considered consultancies of different sizes. The competitors found are: IMS Consulting Group (IMS Health Incorporated, 2013) Pivotal Scientific Ltd (na) Life Sciences Consultancy (na) Alacrita Consulting (Alacrita LLP, 2009-2013)

The competitors will be analysed by their online presence in chapter 5 in order to make suggestions for improvements for the online presence of Evolution Bioscience.

or having a subsidiary in the UK

3. Evolution Bioscience: Current online presence

Table 1: Evaluation of current online presence of Evolution Bioscience (Morgan-Thomas, 2013b; Incredible Art Department, na; Evolution Bioscience Ltd, 2012)

reason: they link to sites that dont exist

The only online tool the company is currently using is a corporate website (Evolution Bioscience Ltd, 2012). Table 1 on the previous page is a summary of the website analysis conducted by the author. When being in an industry which is characterised by a high complexity, it is important to make the business model of the company shine through clearly. However, the content of the website is scarce and confusing and with that not useful. Businesses which are searching for potential companies to buy services from are likely to look for other companies. Overall, it doesnt become clear what the company wants to achieve with its website. The website looks professional and with that reflects a favourable positioning for the company. However, chapter 2.2 stated that B2B markets are characterised by a close relationship between both businesses. That is why it is important to provide detailed contact information to page visitors, which is currently missing. Additionally, a website in general is not very interactive, meaning that it doesnt create a conversation between the company and its target audience because it only sends out information. A website therefore is not enough for an online presence for the company. The websites current score when using the Hubspot Marketing Grader (2013a) is 31 out of 100. The low score is based on a missing blog, a low number of pages on the website, no social network presence3 and no inbound links. When comparing the companys score to the ones of its competitors, Evolution Bioscience is in the lower end. Overall, companies that use social networks and blogs have a much higher score, e.g. Pivotal Scientific (2013b) and IMS Consulting Group (2013c).

Facebook page which is accidently listed doesnt belong to the company; score should therefore be much lower

4. Objectives The objectives shown in Table 2 below were set to be the main objectives of Evolution Bioscience when developing the online marketing strategy. The objectives, again, focus on capital seekers as the target audience. Also, the objectives are very general due to lack of information available from the company.

Table 2: Objectives for the online marketing strategy of Evolution Bioscience (Michaelidou, Theofania Siamagka and Christodoulides, 2011; Chaffey, 2012)

The overall objective is to increase the sales, which is achieved by meeting the other objectives. Objective 1 focuses on communicating messages in order to (MorganThomas, 2013c): 1. Generate leads 2. Turn leads into prospective customers 3. Turn prospective customers into customers Objective 2 is about using online marketing in order to keep existing customers engaged with the company. Trying to make Evolution Bioscience a market leader is unreasonable. What the company could aim at, though, is to become a though leader and with that to strengthen its market position, which is what objective 3 focuses on.

also helps with target audience investors

5. Evolution Bioscience: Future online marketing strategy There are many different opinions about which online applications fit B2B companies most. When taking in the results of the Hubspot Marketing Grader (see chapter 3) and the insights gained by the online application analyses conducted (see Appendix B), it becomes clear that modifying the website and creating a LinkedIn company page as well as a blog would be the ideal way to build an online presence for the company. Table 2 on page 7 has already incorporated these recommendations and shows which online applications best to choose for which stage of the customer relationship. Website A study conducted in 2012 by Smart Insights, an online platform giving advice to marketers and business managers, showed that a companys website is the number one decision making point for B2B customers (Chaffey, 2012) and introduced questions to ask when developing a B2B website (see Illustration 3 below).

Illustration 3: Questions B2B customers ask when evaluating a website (Chaffey, 2012)

This paper will take the websites of Pivotal Scientific (2013b) and IMS Consulting Group (2013c) as a benchmark for Evolution Bioscience as they seem to incorporate all relevant content, provide a good structure and layout and show a high user-friendliness.

Table 3: Suggestions for modifications of the website of Evolution Bioscience (elaboration of author; Banda, 2013)

Table 3 above summarises the proposals for modification of the website. The first objective of the website is to increase awareness amongst potential customers who are looking for and evaluating service companies to buy services from. When considering the customer analysis in chapter 2.2, the website therefore has to provide comprehensive information about the company itself and its services. Additionally, it needs to build trust and credibility. This is done through content marketing (Monfore,

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2011), ergo providing content that represents the company and is relevant for the target audience. Primarily, the website has to provide further information about the company history, its mission and goals. Next, an our partners and our clients section needs to be included which lists the partners and clients as well as provides real case examples and/or positive reviews of existing partners and clients (Banda, 2013). Another way to build trust and credibility is to show the industry expertise of the company, which is also what objective 3 focuses on. The website already lists press releases, which should be made downloadable in order to decrease the effort for the page visitor. Another option is to publish white papers, similar to Alacrita Consulting (Alacrita LLP, 2009-2013). According to MM Copywriting, white papers are a high influence factor for many businesses when making purchase decisions (Monfore, 2011). They demonstrate the competence and expertise of the company. If the company lacks the resources to create white papers itself it could also list white papers written by others and concentrate on the blog more. In B2B markets, both businesses have contact through many touch points, which includes a high level of personal contact (Hollyoake, 2009; Appendix A). That is why the contact information should include names, positions and pictures. A call now button should also be included which enables page visitors to call directly via Skype. After optimization of the website, the company should think about creating a mobile version of the website that can be accessed through mobile phones and tablets (Banda, 2013) as those become more and more important for B2B content marketing (Milne, 2013).

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LinkedIn LinkedIn is the platform for business relations. A company page on LinkedIn can help to provide information for new customers, create awareness and initiate a first contact. For existing customers it is a good way to keep engaged with the company which can deepen the relationship between both businesses. Therefore it is a useful online application for all customer relationship stages. All competitors of Evolution Bioscience have a LinkedIn company (LinkedIn Corporation, 2013a; LinkedIn Corporation, 2013b; LinkedIn Corporation, 2013c). According to Alexa.com (Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011a), 5.3 per cent of page visitors are from the UK, which comes right after the US and India. Most page visitors of LinkedIn.com access the page from work, are predominantly aged between 35 and 64 and went to graduate school. Assuming that the businesses defined as the target audience (see chapter 2.2) can be broken down to individuals, employees of these businesses seem to fit into this profile. The benefit of using this existing social platform is that the content can be created for free and updated without much effort. The company could get an existing employee to develop and monitor the company page (Casserly, 2013), who can use guides from LinkedIn itself or from social media experts (e.g. LinkedIn Corporation, 2012; Gunelius, 2013; Totka, 2013). For this online application, it is again about creating content that is relevant and usable. Thus, the page should include a short company profile, a description of the services offered and relevant contact information (Banda, 2013). Additionally to that, the company should publish its press releases and white papers. Not only does it show that the company is willing to share knowledge. LinkedIn

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members can also easily share them, which increases traffic to the site (Banda, 2013). What gives site visitors further value is that they can view the profiles of all employees, can directly contact and even connect with them. As these employee profiles represent the company (Greenberg, 2010, p. 317), the company should ask all employees to create a full profile and link it to the company page.

Blog The study conducted by Smart Insights also showed that blogs have a high influence as a marketing channel for B2B companies as they show that the company is staying up-to-date
with industry developments (Chaffey, 2012) and is willing to share knowledge. Existing

customers will use the blog in order to keep up-to-date about the work of the company and new technologies, but will also see it as an affirmation to continue to work with the company, which strengthens the position of the company as a thought leader in the market (objective 3). The content of the blog should be original and not a copy of the content of press releases or white papers. What is important is to blog regularly, e.g. every month (Banda, 2013). The company can create a free blog on WordPress (Automattic Inc, na) which can be customized so it fits the companys corporate design. A blog might look like a one-way medium but it can also start conversations via the comment section. Best is to find a hand full of employees who blog under their own name in order to make the blog more personal and trustworthy. Another option would be to have a freelancer blog for the company. Looking at other B2B companies can help to figure out how to create relevant content (e.g. from Keaney Anderson, 2012).

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Overall: monitoring and optimizing All online applications used should be monitored regularly and their effectiveness should be measured. The company can use Hubspots Marketing Grader to evaluate the performance of the website on a monthly basis. The LinkedIn page and the blog will help to increase traffic to the website (De Pelsmacker, Geuens and Van den Bergh, 2007, p. 496). Free social media optimization tools available online help to evaluate the effectiveness of the company page on LinkedIn as well as the blog (e.g. Bercovitz, 2012). Also, blog comments and emails on LinkedIn need to be replied to regularly.

6. Conclusion When it comes to using the selected online applications for marketing, a high engagement from the company is necessary to really make use of their advantages. Only in this way an experience can be created that the target audience benefits from and which in the end meets the set objectives. What using the Hubspot Marketing Grader has shown is that having an online presence alone is not enough. The company has to know why they choose certain online applications, what they want to achieve with them and how to use them effectively. This report aimed at providing a guideline for all these issues by outlining an online marketing strategy for the company that fits its business model, customer base and incorporates insights gained from competitors. The ideal online strategy that arose for the company is to optimize its corporate website and to start using blogs and LinkedIn as a social network.

II . Appendices

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Appendix A: Unstructured interview with Nick Verner, Recruitment Director in representation of Frank Rinaldi, Owner and Director of Evolution Bioscience Date and Time: 07/02/12, 2.30 - 3.00 pm Place: 163 Bath Street, Glasgow Participants: Loredana Bleiziffer, Stefanie Kotschenreuther, Nick Verner Notes made: UK based agency with offices all over the world Evolution Bioscience brings investors together with companies with new technologies who need funding Evolution Bioscience analyses if the new technology is a viable business, calculates the expected ROI and promotes the ideas to investors Investors: AU capital, universities, hospitals, companies most of them stand in a long-term relationship with Evolution Bioscience; established number of investors Capital seekers: companies (small and large) = customers of Evolution Bioscience Work together with ISIS Oxford by evaluating investment opportunities for them Twitter is a social online platform that could be used, but it is too time-intensive and requires high involvement; Facebook is only suitable for recruitment, not for business 10 per cent of new customers of Evolution Bioscience contact Evolution Bioscience through website; communication primarily through email and phone (new and existing customers) Capital seekers are located in the UK, investors come from around the world

based on if consultancy has a company page

Table 4: Online presence of Evolution Bioscience compared to competitors (Facebook, 2013; Twitter, 2013; LinkedIn Corporation, 2013; Google,

2013; Evolution Bioscience Ltd, 2012; IMS Health Incorporated, 2013; Pivotal Scientific Ltd, na; Life Sciences Consultancy, na; Alacrita LLP, 2009-

Appendix B: Analysis of online presence and evaluation of online applications

or news page with articles by the consultancy itself

2013)

This analysis was based on the information available online. Mistakes cannot be ruled out.

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Table 5: Evaluation of options for online presence of Evolution Bioscience (Banda, 2013; Casserly, 2013; MorganThomas, 2013c; Junghenn, 2012; Koch, 2011; Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011a; Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011b; Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011c)

Table 4 is the result of an analysis conducted about the online presence of Evolution Bioscience and its competitors, whereas Table 5 lists the opportunities and risks of a selected number of online applications for Evolution Bioscience. When looking at Table 4, one can see that all analysed consultancies focus firstly on an own website and secondly on a LinkedIn page. A possible strategy for the consultancy is to be present on platforms competitors are not currently present on. Facebook and Google+ werent used by any of the consultancies. This can derive from the common opinion that those social platforms offer (..) a social experience not a business

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experience. (Junghenn, 2012) and thus are more suitable for private social life than building, developing and maintaining business relationships (Koch, 2011). Thus, these social platforms seem not to be suitable for an online presence for Evolution Bioscience. Using Google+ though, has the advantage that content created on Google+ is shown in search results of Google and can thus lead to free SEO (Johnson, 2012; Shorr, 2012). The aim of this report, however, is to create a first online presence for the company. SEO would be the next step. Another social platform no competitor is currently using is YouTube. One of the major issues for Evolution Bioscience is to make its business model easier to understand for potential customers, which is something many B2B companies struggle with (Hut and Speh, 2013, p. 335). A YouTube channel would be a good way to publish a video explaining the services of the company as it can incorporate animations rather than just simple pictures and text. Besides, studies have shown that B2B target audiences prefer videos over text and that videos help to engage with the target audience better than other media (Crimson Consulting Group, 2011). An example of a successful B2B application is Ciscos YouTube channel (Cisco, 2013). A YouTube channel consisting of only one video, however, wouldnt be sufficient and there are no reasons for further videos at present. The consultancy, however, should think about including an image film on its website. According to Nick Verner (see Appendix A), it is not reasonable for Evolution Bioscience to create a Twitter account as it necessitates the consultancy to highly involve and to post very regularly, which is time-intensive. Also, the analysis of the online presence of

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its competitors has shown that even if consultancies show a high involvement, it might not help to achieve many followers. Pivotal Scientific for instance has 174 followers (Twitter, Inc, 2013) and Alacrita Consulting has 130 followers from which a high number are competitors who in this way try to track the activities of the company. Many say that Twitter is the perfect online platform for B2B companies (e.g. Murphy, 2013) as it creates a lot more leads7 than other online platforms. However, when consulting Alexa.com (Alexa Internet, Inc, 2011c) one can see that the target audience of Twitter doesnt fit to the target audience of Evolution Bioscience which makes it inefficient for use. The only usable online applications remaining for the company are a corporate website, a LinkedIn company page and a blog.

potential sales contacts

III. Reference List

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