Developing a Macro Perspective About the Market
To monetize The Vault, Cameron needed a 360-degree understanding of the market. For example, he needed an objective analysis of supply and demand for such data analytics services and the competitive landscape.
While Cameron’s team can offer insights about individual customers, the information is often limited to one account or segment. Cameron needed to pull all the information together and create a macro perspective to inform big-picture decision-making.
Additionally, SPI needed to define the product from the customers’ perspectives to inform its marketing communication and positioning strategy.
Greg at CSG, who worked with Cameron to build The Vault, suggested that SPI partner with MBA student teams from Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University (JHU.) The school offers a Strategy Consulting Practicum, in which students work with businesses in a consulting capacity to gain real-world experience.
The practicum focuses on the formulation, analysis, and practical application of business strategy to help organizations evaluate market potential and understand the competitive landscape. Students use analytical techniques to diagnose competitive positions, identify strategic options, and provide data-driven recommendations to their clients.
Rick G. Milter, Ph.D., Faculty Lead for the Strategy Consulting Practicum at Carey Business School, has been a long-time advocate for project-based experiential learning where students and businesses can mutually benefit.
“A business school is a professional school and should provide opportunities for its students to get involved as professionals in the field,” said Milter.
“Imagine what would happen if our medical schools did not require students to spend time in hospitals. Not only can more be learned through such applied practice, but organizations can become healthier via engagement with students bringing fresh perspectives under the guidance of experienced faculty.”
As part of this consulting project, students from JHU helped SPI validate the idea of monetizing The Vault and identify market demands for such an analytics platform to inform the next steps. They also offered an objective perspective on how SPI could communicate the value of The Vault to its customers.
“I’m impressed by the level of research the JHU students performed and the diverse experience they brought to the table to address our challenges,” said Cameron.
“The JHU team helped us develop a roadmap based on in-depth insights. Now we have a clear strategic direction and a game plan to guide the execution. They understood what we needed and facilitated the process of getting there. The JHU partnership CSG recommended was a big win.”
This collaborative project helped Cameron and his team determine the current drivers and market profile of the target audience. The JHU team reviewed analysis assets (The Vault, KPIs, and reports) to address target market needs and external adoption. They also created a marketing strategy and a pricing strategy for The Vault based on competitive analysis and ROI modeling.