The strategic review we conducted with the managing director showed that product development was not a cost-effective option– it already offered the full suite of tests. Nor was market development – testing services are naturally geographically limited. We recommended that the company focus on growing penetration and market share in its home market. That meant growing awareness of the client’s brand and offering among the target audiences.
We surveyed its customers past, present and potential to determine what they wanted. They wanted accurate results, delivered in a timely fashion. The wanted a culture of responsiveness: scientists to talk to their scientists; depth of knowledge; understanding of the business issues because, typically, big decisions rode on the test results.
Juggle that a bit and you get Accuracy, Responsiveness, Timeliness or ART.
How to communicate in an interesting and sustainable fashion that the laboratory valued Accuracy, Responsiveness and Timeliness?
Answering the Challenge
Taking up the ART idea, we developed a scholarship programme that could be used for advertising and publicity as well as for public relations purposes. The laboratory ran a competition among third year students at the city’s art school each year.
The prize for the winning student was a substantial final year scholarship. The company got a stream of prizes:
- Publicity in national media each year around the competition
- Visual material for an on-going advertising campaign
- The award of the prize gave the company a public relations opportunity each year
The ART idea was a fount of interest-generation. Everyone could enjoy the artwork. Even customers who were not art aficionados were fascinated by the artists’ technical prowess and materials knowledge. The events provided an enjoyable meet and greet opportunity. The company’s awareness rose significantly. Its sales and market share grew. The company was acquired by a large international testing company.
Simon O’Keeffe – Marketing & Sales Advisory
Simon is part of the Beacon Initiative, Grow Programme Virtual Management Team, which can assist qualifying SME’s to grow through the provision of management expertise that may not be accessible to them currently