Leveraging Technology

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Leveraging Technology

  1. 1. Leveraging Technology Internet Marketing Plan Red Hare Consulting Christopher Ferry Allan Johnson David Koster Chukwuma Morah Myneco Taylor
  2. 2. LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY Internet Marketing Plan Dear Leveraging Technology, The Red Hare Consulting Group would like to extend its appreciation to Leveraging Technology for its time and cooperation in our didactic endeavors. Working with your firm has allowed us to synchronize our educational efforts in the marketing field while gaining exposure to the software and “implementation” consulting industry. As Leveraging Technology moves forward in this challenging market, we hope our analysis and suggestions will offer valuable assistance in the advancement of your firm’s mission and reach. Thank you again and we wish you well! Sincerely, Red Hare ConsultingLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTSPreface • Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 • Privacy Policy ……………………………………………………………………………………................. 6 • Team Purpose & Profiles . ………………………………………………………………………………… 7 • Team Code of Conduct . …………………………………………………………………………………… 9 • Previous Client Interactions . ……………………………………………………………………………. 10 • Assumptions …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11Section 1 – Where are we now? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 • Company Profile ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13 o Current Business Model ………………………………………………………………………. 14 • Target Market ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 • Customer Value Proposition …………………………………………………………………………….. 15 o Perception …………………………………………………………………………………………… 15 • Current Website Experience Map …………………………………………………………………….. 16 o Brochure Model …………………………………………………………………………………… 16 • Buyer Behavior Process ……………………………………………………………………………………. 17 • McKinsey’s 7S Model ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 • 7 C’s of Web Design & Quality ………………………………………………………………………….. 20 • Industry Audit ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 o Competition ………………………………………………………………………………………… 21 • SWOT Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23 o Applying SWOT To Overall Strategies ………………………………………………….. 24 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25Section 2 – Where do we want to be? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27 • Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27 Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • Desired Web Experience Map ………………………………………………………………………….. 28 • Customer Satisfaction Heuristic ……………………………………………………………………….. 29 • Overall Strategies (Themes) ……………………………………………………………………………… 30 • Gap Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31 o Ratings Defined …………………………………………………………………………………… 31 o Evaluating Strategies by Ratings …………………………………………………….…… 32 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33 2
  4. 4. Section 3 – How might we get there? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 • Description of Tactics ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 o Promotional Video ………………………………………………………………………………. 35 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 o Web Polls …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 o “Need Help” Tab ………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………….. 37 o Newsletter …………………………………………………………………………………………… 37 o Chamber of Commerce ……………………………………………………………………….. 38 o Legal Notices ……………………………………………………………………………............ 38 o Registration Process …………………………………………………………………………… 38 o Twitter ………………………………………………………………………..……………………… 39 o Search Engine Optimization …………………………………………………………………. 40 o Social Networking ………………………………………………………………………………. 40 o Second Life ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41 o Website Revamp …………………………………………………………………………………. 41 o Intern …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42 • Choice Criteria Chart ………………………………………………………………………………………… 43 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43 Section 4 – Which way is best? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 • Tactic Selection Rubric …………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 o Expected ROI ………………………………………………………………………………………. 45 o Implementation Time & Ease …………………………………………………………….. 45 o Implementer Interest ………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Ease of Maintenance .………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Risk Exposure ……………………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Useful Lifetime …………………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Dissolution Cost ………………………………………………………………………………….. 46Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting o Relative Simplicity ………………………………………………………………………………. 47 • Rubric Applied to Tactics …………………………………………………………………………………. 47 o Ranking Scale ……………………………………………………………………………………… 47 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………… 48 o Promotional Video …………………………………………………………………………….. 49 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………… 50 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51 o Web Polls …………………………………………………………………………………………… 52 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………. 53 o Social Networking ……………………………………………………………………………… 54 o Registration Processes ………………………………………………………………………. 55 o Newsletter ………………………………………………………………………………………… 56 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 57 3
  5. 5. Section 5 – How Do We Ensure Safe Arrival? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59 • Performance Standards Metric ……………………………………………………………………….. 60 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………….. 61 o Promotional Video ………………………………………………………………………………. 62 o Registration Process ……………………………………………………………………………. 62 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………… 62 o Newsletter ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 63 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63 o Website Revamp …………………………………………………………………………………. 63 o Social Networking ……………………………………………………………………………….. 63 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………….. 63 • Objective Timeline …………………………………………………………………………………………… 64 o 2009 Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………… 65 o 2010 Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………… 66 • Schedule of Implementation …………………………………………………………………………… 67 • Feedback Channels ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 69 • Return on Investment …………………………………………………………………………………….. 70 • Payback Period …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 71 • 7S Model ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72 • Contingency Plan ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 72 • Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 75Appendices • Appendix A – Further Reading ………………………………………………………………………….. 77 • Appendix B – References ………………………………………………………………………………….. 78 • Appendix C – Competitor Website Layouts ……………………………………………………… 79 • Appendix D – Competitor Registration Process ……………………………………………….. 81 • Appendix E – Successful Company Twitter Accounts ……………………………………….. 82 • Appendix F – Successful Newsletters ………………………………………………………………. 84 Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • Appendix G – LinkedIn Examples …………………………………………………………………….. 86 • Appendix H – Successful Blogs …………………………………………………………………………. 90 • Appendix I – Documentation from Client Meetings ……………………………………….. 92 • Appendix J – Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………. 93 4
  6. 6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report is structured around five questions: 1. Where are we now? 2. Where do we want to be? 3. How might we get there? 4. Which way(s) is/are best? 5. How do we ensure safe arrival? “Where are we now?” analyzes the current state of the organization, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information is used to take a snapshot of Leveraging Technology’s current business structure and position. “Where do we want to be?” describes the organizations objectives, reflecting the desired direction and positions. Objectives discussed throughout this analysis indicate Leveraging Technology’s current status and their desired status. “How might we get there?” lists the different tactics that are suggested for the organization. These tactics are discussed in detail and all relate to the objectives that were set in question two. At the end of the section is a choice criteria chart which explains the tactics best suited for Leveraging Technology according to the developed selection rubric. “Which way(s) is/are best?” describes each of the tactics according to their appropriateness and attractiveness according to the tactic selection rubric in response to the selected metrics selected for the choice criteria chart and discussed in at the end of question three. This section highlights recommended suggestions for the organization and explores possible steps that could be taken and some examples of each (discussed further in the appendix). “How do we ensure safe arrival?” explores the process the organization might use to ensure thatLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting tactics are implemented properly, pertain to the overall objectives of the report, and are benchmarked according to a timeline. The timelines and schedules provide a measurement that the objectives are being met. 5
  7. 7. PRIVACY POLICY The information contained in this report is for general guidance on matters of interest only. Theapplication and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changingnature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in information containedin this site. Accordingly, the information in this report is provided with the understanding that theauthors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professionaladvice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professionalaccounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this report hasbeen obtained from reliable sources, Red Hare Consulting is not responsible for any errors or omissions,or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this report is provided "asis", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use ofthis information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited towarranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will RedHare Consulting, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereofbe liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information inthis report or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of suchdamages. Certain links in this report connect to other Websites maintained by third parties over whomRed Hare Consulting has no control. Red Hare Consulting makes no representations as to the accuracy orany other aspect of information contained in these Websites. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 6
  8. 8. TEAM PURPOSE & PROFILES The aim of Red Hare Consulting is to produce an advisory document containing a market analysis and critically filtered recommendations for Leveraging Technology. These suggestions are intended to enhance Leveraging Technology’s Internet marketing approach, focusing on more effective, efficient, and measurable results. Allan Johnson Marketing axj4965@rit.edu LinkedIn.com/in/AllanJ (585) 889-8099 Allan is a senior Marketing major with a focus in entrepreneurship. Allan hopes to grow and contribute his abilities in communication, networking, and business development within private education, foreign business development, and/or business-to-business selling in the future. Christopher Ferry Marketing cgf7746@rit.edu (585) 820-3477 Chris is a junior Marketing major who has a strong interest in Advertising. After college he would like to become a Marketing consultant and eventually run his own firm. His hobbies include, lacrosse, snowboarding, and mountain biking.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Chukwuma Morah Industrial & Systems Engineering chukwumamorah@gmail.com (585) 301-0494 Twitter: ChuBoi // LinkedIn: Chukwuma Morah // www.chuboi.com Although “Chu” is enjoying his last year in college as an Industrial Engineer, his interests lie in the fields of marketing and advertising. His goal is to become a marketing executive for well-known company in the entertainment or video game industry. 7
  9. 9. David KosterNew Media Marketingdbk4253@rit.edu(631) 576-7219Twitter: davekoster David is a junior New Media Marketing major who is passionate about his field. His interests lienot only in marketing, but design and advertising as well. He hopes that his cross-departmental skills willallow him to become a brand manager at a major technology firm.Myneco TaylorInformation Technologymxt2340@rit.edu(312) 404-1041Twitter: mytaylor Myneco is a 5th year Information Technology student focusing in human factors with aconcentration in psychology. Myneco is excited to study abroad in Germany during the summer of 2009and return to pursue a career in Project Management. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 8
  10. 10. CODE OF CONDUCT The team agrees to adhere to the following standards: • PERFORMANCE_____________________________________________________________ Team members agree to maintain a professional work ethic that guarantees both diligence and timeliness. Each person is expected to attend meetings well prepared, completing work based on strict deadlines. These assignments must be carefully reviewed to ensure the utmost quality and acceptance by all members of the group. Socially, all members will treat one-another with respect. No manner of personal attacks is acceptable at any time. • ATTENDANCE_______________________________________________________________ All meetings require mandatory attendance from all members. Commitments to weekly times have been made and they are expected to be kept. Exceptions will only be made in severe cases. Being absent requires that the member in question still submit his/her work through other means so as not to negatively impact the group schedule. Other team members must be sure to provide a detailed report of anything that may have been missed by absentees. • ACCEPTANCE OF CRITICISM_____________________________________________________ Members must understand that work is being done for professional purposes and thus criticism is a reflection only on the project itself and not personal integrity. Complete honesty on all matters is expected at all times, be it harsh or supportive, as long as it remains constructive. Opinions must both be contributed and listened to by all parties. One person’s voice will never become more important than another. • REGULAR CONTACT TIME AND DAYS_______________________________________________ Meetings will take place weekly, on Wednesdays, at 6:00PM. Contact amongst members must remain constant, but reasonable. Communication should be kept to typical business hours, not extending into the deep night and early morning. Contact during normal hours is encouraged to be by meeting or telephone. If contact must be made during extreme hours, e-mail is preferred.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Signed, _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ Christopher Ferry Allan Johnson David Koster _____________________ _____________________ Chukwuma Morah Myneco Taylor 9
  11. 11. PREVIOUS CLIENT INTERACTIONS1st Meeting – December 16, 2008 7:30amDuring the first, meeting Leveraging Technology gave a detailed description of the firm’s current stateand vision for the future. Red Hare Consulting provided Leveraging Technology with a list of benefits inallowing us to develop the marketing plan and our individual areas of expertise. Leveraging Technologycontinued by explaining their method of obtaining customers through seminars and their IBMpartnership. While gathering the information on past methods used to attain Leveraging Technology’sgoals, we all brainstormed innovative ideas that may achieve those goals.2nd Meeting – January 14, 2009 12:00pmDuring the second meeting we presented Leveraging Technology with a recap of the previous meetingto assure accuracy of our analysis. Following was a list of recommendations for building an onlinepresence. Suggestions included tactics like implementing Google analytics or production/promotionalvideos. Each suggestion was accompanied by how it could be beneficial to Leveraging Technology andother companies that are using that exact tactic. Together, the tactics were narrowed down to mosteffective for further exploration.3rd Meeting – February 18, 2009 1:00pmDuring the last official meeting a telephone conference call was held to ensure that the Marketing Planwas on target with Leveraging Technology’s objectives for the project. Other preliminary questionswere revisited to guarantee that our proposed tactics and matrixes were still sustainable.E-mailThroughout the entire project there have been constant e-mails with Leveraging Technology to ensurevalidly of our meeting minutes. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 10
  12. 12. ASSUMPTIONS For the Internet marketing plan, Red Hare Consulting assumes: • The budget to be $8,000 for the implementation of the Internet marketing plan. • Leveraging Technology will take suggestions seriously and implement tactics to improve their online presence. • Change their focus to include both an online and offline presence. • The client is going to follow the suggested timeline to implementation. • Red Hare Consulting has made suggestions using strategies and tactics that are relevant to Leveraging Technology.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 11
  13. 13. Section 1 – Where are we now?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5Where are we now? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 12
  14. 14. Section 1 – Where are we now? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to explore Leveraging Technology’s current status in their industry. The various elements of this section provide critical feedback on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and possible threats that concern their organization. It is essential that this question is answered thoroughly in order to provide an appropriate analysis that can be used to structure the rest of the internet marketing plan. By correctly identifying the firm’s current position, Red Hare Consulting was able to formulate suggestions that will improve the current online status of Leveraging Technology. The elements that are explored throughout this section are: • A current company profile that explores the current business models being used by Leveraging Technology. • McKinsey’s 7 S model • The 7 C’s of web design and quality • Industry Audit • An analysis of Leveraging Technology’s current competition • Current website experience map • SWOT Analysis COMPANY PROFILE Leveraging Technology, an IBM Premier Business Partner, is a technology consulting company that is a proven leader in integration and design projects for a vast array of complex business issues and a variety of clients. Experience in various technologies and understanding how to leverage clients for business results continues to be the driving force behind their success, and more importantly, the success of each of their clients. They are able to integrate the implementation of business criticalLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting services and their use of IBM software to help their clients become more efficient. This is a direct result to their knowledge and expertise in the rapidly changing field of technology. Leveraging Technology prides themselves on working closely with their clients in order to build long lasting relationships that turn many clients into repeat customers. With this mentality, they have been able to create many positive relationships with their clients that have turned into successful results for both their clients and Leveraging Technology. 13
  15. 15. Section 1 – Where are we now?Current Business Models Identifying Leveraging Technology’s current business models will allow for more effective andcustomized suggestions through identification of revenue streams and value proposition assessment.Broker Leveraging Technology’s business model hinges on two approaches: the broker andcustomization/consultancy models. The broker model is utilized in selling IBM software, which serves asa platform to supply consulting services with the customization/consultancy model. Some revenue isgenerated from the broker model in selling software; the greatest revenues are generated fromconsulting services. Therefore, the customization/consultancy model serves as the primary model forLeveraging Technology and the broker model is secondary.Customization When dealing with a large variety of clients, there is a high level of customization that takesplace with each project due to the different needs of each client. Customization enables each client tofeel as if they have a high level of importance to Leveraging Technology. By providing a consultancyservice to their clients, it is important that Leveraging Technology develop brand loyalty, and a strongreputation in their industry so that clients are able to see the value gained by doing business with them.This is evident with most of their clients who feel as if they are gaining added value by doing businesswith Leveraging Technology.Consultancy Being that Leveraging Technology relies strongly on their partnership with IBM, the sales ofsoftware opens the door for the implementation of consultancy. The sale of software allows LeveragingTechnology to form a relationship with the customer by helping the customer install the software and bymaintaining the software. This is where Leveraging Technology generates the majority of their revenuebecause they then form a long-term relationship in which they perform many other tasks for the client.TARGET MARKET Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Leveraging Technology services mid to small size businesses in upstate NY, thus very largebusiness or those outside of the upstate NY area are not targeted. Since customer retention is so high,the firms customer base in generally growing slowly but steadily. Therefore, positioning for this targetmarket should include business organizations within the upstate NY region. The small to mid-size businesses in upstate NY are considered Leveraging Technology’s primarytarget. Their secondary target market would include those small to mid-size businesses outside ofupstate NY and larger businesses in upstate NY. The current market for small to mid-sized businesses inNew York is very large, which will allow for the expansion of Leveraging Technology’s current customerbase. The unmet needs for the current client base consists of, the inability to communicate withLeveraging Technology on a consistent basis (i.e. feedback, blogging, and other networking devices), 14
  16. 16. Section 1 – Where are we now? access to information through the internet is little to none, and unable to be quickly informed on new forms of technology that can help their business become more efficient. In order to make up for the clients unmet needs, Leveraging Technology has made an attempt to create a high level of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is important to Leveraging Technology because the majority of their business is done with repeat customers. This is achieved through building strong relationships with their customers. By building these relationships, their customers feel that Leveraging Technology is concerned with the success of their business, which generally leads to the return of that customer for other projects. Building strong relationships with their customers is something Leveraging Technology prides itself on because it has become something that that has made a top priority to accomplishes. CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION Customer Value can be defined as the difference between what a customer gets from a product, and what he or she has to give in order to get it. The value for Leveraging Technologys clients comes from the implementation consulting they receive for IBM software available for purchase. The software is valuable to customers because it allows them to operate more effectively, simply, and/or efficiently. The consulting adds value through an understanding of the technologies and their useful functions and features. The relational and thorough manner of Leveraging Technologys highly competent consulting serves as their main competitive advantage. This is reflected by their extremely high customer retention rates. The competitive position can remain constant. However, the competitive position should be communicated in the most effective manner possible to help attract clients with a proficient and professional company image. Perception There are no organizational reviews conducted on Leveraging Technology as a business.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Websites such as vault.com, jobvent.com, glassdoor.com and salary.com are dedicated to providing organizational information such as insider information on top employers and education programs, job search advice, salary info, job listings, employee message boards and surveys. By providing information to these websites, Leveraging Technology will be able to build better brand recognition and also a good reputation that would come along with good reviews. Also, the upstate NY chamber of commerce, and the better business bureau of upstate NY all have no record on Leveraging Technology. 15
  17. 17. Section 1 – Where are we now?CURRENT WEBSITE EXPERIENCE MAP Homepage Consulting Support Software Sign-In Overview Services Case Studies Certifications Training Contact The current Leveraging Technology website is very basic; it serves as an online brochure.The home page is linked to four separate pages: “Consulting”, “Support”, “Software”, and “Sign-In”.The Consulting page provides a brief overview of the company, the services they offer, links toprevious case studies, certifications, the company’s training services, and their contact information. Leveraging Technology’s website currently uses the brochure model to inform consumersBrochure Modelabout their consulting and software services. Presently, this is limited in its breadth, providing onlya brief overview of each category and what they may entail. This does not include any sort of Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingextensive company profile, proof of accomplishments, or dynamic interaction points. 16
  18. 18. Section 1 – Where are we now? BUYER BEHAVIOR PROCESS The buyer behavior process consists of a five-step process that describes purchasing behavior of customers. The steps that are included in the process are: need recognition, Information search, evaluate alternatives, purchase of the product, and post purchase behavior. The need recognition that is formed with Leveraging Technology’s clients comes from two main areas. The first is the attendance of the different seminars that Leveraging Technology conducts. When customers are able to see what technology is available for their businesses to become more efficient, they need to implement the software arises. The other is through need recognition when business activities are not as efficient as expected. This then leads to the need for outside help to increase the level of efficiency. The next step is information search. This is the area where Leveraging Technology lacks the most resources. When there is need recognition, where does the potential client go to find information? This is where a revamped website that provides all necessary information will help clients begin to gain answers to their questions. Rather than having to attend seminars, clients can search for information on the website, and during the seminars Leveraging Technology is able to refer them to their website for more information. The evaluation of alternatives becomes important when clients are searching for services and software because they want to get the most benefits for the least amount of money. Leveraging Technology can differentiate themselves from the competition by offering preliminary suggestions to clients on their website before contact is made. This will provide the client with the chance to see what they will be getting for their money. Another useful tool is this stage is the use of case studies, which show the prior services Leveraging Technology has performed for past clients. When purchase of the product is made, Leveraging Technology must be able to fully understand the needs of the client and meet those needs by implementing strategies that will benefit the client’s current state. This will lead to developing a good reputation with clients who may refer services to other businesses.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Post purchase behavior is probably the stage where Leveraging Technology is performing the best. They are able to build long term relationships that generally bring clients back to be repeat customers. However, there is much to be done, such as, the ability for clients to leave feedback for suggestions, updated information on different technology advances that may help clients, and an increase in post purchase communication, which may be done in the form of follow up emails and with other communication devices such as Twitter or Blogs. 17
  19. 19. Section 1 – Where are we now?MCKINSEY’S 7S MODEL1 F IGURE 1: T HE M C K INSEY S 7S M ODEL McKinseys 7S model is used to organize a company in an effective way. Management usesthis to determine the way in which the business operates. It is important to understand that each Sis independent, and that over time their importance could change depending on the situation. Thethree Ss along the top of the diagram (Strategy, Structure, and Systems) are also considered thehard Ss because they are the main focus of the organizations goals. The four Ss that make up thebottom of the diagram (Shared Values, Skills, Staff, and Style) are also considered the soft Ssbecause they relate more to the cultural environment of the organization and are generally lessfocused upon overall. The three Ss along the top of the diagram (Strategy, Structure, and Systems) are also Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingconsidered the hard Ss because they are the main focus of the organizations goals. The four Ss thatmake up the bottom of the diagram (Shared Values, Skills, Staff, and Style) are also considered thesoft Ss because they relate more to the cultural environment of the organization and are generallyless focused upon overall.1The 7S McKinsey Model. Building Brands.http://www.buildingbrands.com/didyouknow/14_7s_mckinsey_model.php [Accessed 20Feb 2009] 18
  20. 20. Section 1 – Where are we now? Strategy is “the direction and scope of the company over the long term.” Leveraging Technology’s Internet strategy is to display an image of the company to try and solidify their • company image to potential clients. Structure is “the basic organization of the company, its departments, reporting lines, areas of expertise, and responsibility, and how they inter-relate.” The firm’s online structure is • built according to the brochure model, based on the strategy of promoting Leveraging Technology’s image. Staff is “the companys people resources and how they are developed, trained, and motivated.” A very capable staff serves as the primary source of value generation, since • consulting services, in the customization/consulting model, are the main source of significant earnings. Skills are “the capabilities and competencies that exist within the company.” Leveraging Technologys skills allow for effective implementation assistance with customers within a • range of technological fields. Shared Values are “the values and beliefs of the company.” Ultimately they guide employees towards the same valued behavior. To provide long-term relationships by • helping customers solve technological problems and implement this improvements. Style is “the leadership approach of top management and the companys overall operating approach.” A clear, professional style is portrayed to communicate Leveraging Technology’s • goals and abilities. Systems are “the formal and informal procedures that govern everyday activity, covering everything from management information systems, through to the systems at the point of • contact with the customer.” Daily activities in the company systems include preparation and presentation at seminars used to attract clients.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 19
  21. 21. Section 1 – Where are we now?7C’S OF WEB DESIGN & QUALITY Context - Possessing a modern design that is simple and clean, the site is appealing to the eye. The interface built into the main design is also simple, but subsections lack both • substance and clarity of navigation. Over-simplicity may be an issue due to the lack of sections within a single page. This may cause either overflow of information in certain sections or missing information entirely. Content - Provided content is strictly informational and limited almost entirely to description of services. There are brief sections dedicated to case studies and company • information, although all case studies are not written from the perspective of the customer and thus lack impact, and the company information is strictly a list of accreditations and limited contact information. Community - As it stands, the Leveraging Technology website lacks any sense of community entirely. There are no interactive sections to be found, and the only provided • contact points are a single phone number and email address. Further, there are no external sources of community associated with Leveraging Technology via sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Customization - Leveraging Technologys website is static in nature and will not adapt to the user currently viewing it. This can be contributed to lacking a protocol that can identify • different users in the first place such as a registration or Google Analytics. Communication - The website does not convey any sort of message well, if at all. Considering the lacking interface and limited content, there is no unified vision that is • apparent from every page. Connection - Leveraging Technologys website unfortunately stands alone in terms of its Internet presence. There is no sort of associated social network or association that • customers can become a part of to strengthen their bond with either Leveraging Technology as a company or its employees. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Commerce - While the website lists software products and services that Leveraging Technology provides, there is no means to purchase them online. This, however, may be • irrelevant due to the personal interaction that is required for each transaction, whether it be consulting or software. 20
  22. 22. Section 1 – Where are we now? INDUSTRY AUDIT Consulting clients demand information system implementation assistance along with high-level business advice in order to make their business more efficient. Organizations such as Leveraging Technology provide assistance with the implementation of software and new technology to help clients become more efficient. As the consulting business model has adapted over the years, which now offers both business strategy consulting and IT consulting expertise to private sector and government clients, these consultancy organizations must also adapt to meet the standards that are set by the rapidly developing technological environment. Moreover, software firms have moved into the consulting field to capture some of the enormous new demand for design, implementation and management of all sorts of technology-based business information. Leveraging Technology merges both the software and technology consultancy together in order to meet the technological needs of many businesses. Competition: The competition that exists for Leveraging Technology falls under two categories, software and services. These competitors are leaders in the field of technology and all mostly represent where Leveraging Technology would like to eventually be. Below, each competitor’s website is broken down into the strengths and weaknesses. These can then be evaluated to choose the appropriate solutions for Software: the Leveraging Technology website. CDW Strengths - The CDW website allows users to select different options that best represent their status, such as; home office, small business, medium to large business, and other sectors of business. This then breaks down the information on the site to better fit the needs of the user. The site is also filled with information on new technology and software that has recently been released, and also allows users to sign in to an account in which they are able to access information that pertains to the user, and also allows them to buy software online. There is a tab that lists everything they offer the customer, and under each category, there is an in depth description of each service offered.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Weaknesses - CDW’s website is very cluttered. Although they have a lot of information to offer, the presentation of the information is scattered. The home page contains so much material that it could cause the user to feel overwhelmed. Dell Strengths - Dell is an award winner in their industry. Their website allows users to select a path that customizes the information displayed. The website is also updated frequently with new information that entices users to return for updates on the latest news. The information displayed is very easy to read, so that everyone is able to understand it. Dell’s website also provides explanations for things that may be confusing to certain users; such as when talking about different software that they sell, Dell simplifies the description so that it is not confusing to anyone. 21
  23. 23. Section 1 – Where are we now? Weaknesses - There appears to be only a couple weaknesses when exploring the website. Themost obvious weakness is the feedback tab that is not clearly placed for people to find. This is importantbecause people generally like to leave feedback when they are satisfied or unsatisfied and thereforecausing frustration when they are unable to.Sirius Strengths - Sirius’ website is very well put together. They offer a lot of accessible informationright on their homepage, and it is clearly labeled, which makes it easy to read. They offer the chance tosign up to receive their online newsletter. This is a way for them to receive information about thewebsite users, which allows them to profile their clients. Other noticeable strengths include, “Did YouKnow?” tabs and a recent news tab which allows them to draw attention to certain topics and increasethe time spent on the website. The last strength is that they have links to all their other forms ofcontact, such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Weaknesses - The noticeable weaknesses on the website are that there is no access to userfeedback, and there does not appear to be recent updates to the page. By creating a Blog or weeklyupdates, users are able to feel that there is actually someone communicating with them and that thewebsite is more than an informative brochure.Services:IBM Strengths - IBM is a world leader in their business solutions. The first thing that stands out ontheir website is the home page’s the catchy headlines. They provide information on the latesttechnology that is making many businesses more efficient. This is a way for new clients to see what IBMis doing with their current clients. Leveraging Technology is able to do this with their current use oftechnology and would potentially lead to the conversion of more clients. Weaknesses - There does not appear to be any noticeable weaknesses to their website. The onlything that appears to be missing is the use of Twitter and other social network links on their website. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingProlifics Strengths - Prolifics lists their case studies right on their home page. This is useful for searchengine optimization, which enables users to get information quickly without having to search. They alsolist upcoming seminars on their home page, with the information on what is going to be talked about atthe seminar. Both of these tactics create interest in users and therefore add to increased time on thesite. Customer testimonials are listed at the bottom of the page for another feedback resource. Weaknesses - The page takes a long time to load. There is too much flash therefore causingloading time to increase. 22
  24. 24. Section 1 – Where are we now? SWOT ANALYSISLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting The purpose of a SWOT Analysis is to identify the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities in the current market, and threats that might prevent the company from achieving their goals. The SWOT analysis helps the Red Hare team construct ways for the Leveraging Technology to use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses, take advantage of their opportunities, and minimize the effect of external threats. Strengths Aside from offering unique solutions to make businesses run more efficiently, Leveraging Technology’s true strength lies in their customer service. Their customer retention rate is very impressive and most clients are more than willing to acquire their services more than once. The services they offer are personalized for each client, which helps build a friendly relationship between the two parties. The members of the LT team are considered experts in their respective fields based on their skill sets. 23
  25. 25. Section 1 – Where are we now?Weaknesses The company’s main weakness is its ineffective website, which lacks detail and does notproperly convey the full potential of the Leveraging Technology brand. The LT brand itself is notoptimized for search engines and isn’t easily recognized on the Internet. The LT team is unaware of anydirect competitors in their current market, which could lead to a false sense of security. Lastly, the firm’sclient base is relatively small; they interact with only 2-3 clients each year. Therefore, losing a singleclient can have a severe effect on the firm’s revenue streamOpportunities In order to improve brand awareness the company can utilize online social networks to attractnew customers and keep current clients coming back to their website. A redesigned website thatintegrates breakthrough technology and different types of social media (i.e. blogs and flash video) canalso achieve similar results.Threats An unexpected threat to Leveraging Technology is the supplier of its software solutions, IBM.Since Leveraging Technology was initially unaware of direct competitors they were vulnerable tounsuspected competition in the market. During the current unhealthy economic climate companies arecutting down on costs. Therefore potential customers might not be able to afford LeveragingTechnology’s services.Applying SWOT to Overall Strategies Web Presence – Leveraging Technology has an incredible brand that represents smart andthorough work with a personal touch. The company is confident in their ability to reinvent their clientsthrough proven expertise, and while this claim may be bold, it is entirely justified by their incrediblecustomer satisfaction and retention rates. LT already possesses the tools necessary to create a strikingvalue proposition; they merely need to transition their real world practices onto the web. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Customer Feedback – As highlighted by LT’s exceptional retention rates, the company hascreated a proven formula for customer satisfaction. The most core component of this satisfaction istheir ability as consultants to work with the customer, not for them. Consulting from LeveragingTechnology is typically only the start of a very long sales cycle that the customers themselves are heavilyengrained in. To transition this type of experience onto the internet requires extensive feedbackchannels that allow both existing and potential customers to learn more about Leveraging Technologyand its employees. Customer Conversion – The main purpose of any business is to make money. LeveragingTechnology will gain the most benefit from a new web presence when they can use it to convert randomconsumers into paying customers. Relying on consistent customer retention, while proven successful, is 24
  26. 26. Section 1 – Where are we now? inherently a weakness due to how large of an effect that a single lost client can make. Therefore, for Leveraging Technology to grow in an increasingly digital age means they must use their website as a new channel for finding customers. Web Quality – What remains the grounding reminder when developing a new web presence such as this is how difficult it can be to ensure execution goes smoothly and each piece of the solution does as it is intended. If the tools necessary for providing a quality web experience do not function as intended then everything else is virtually pointless. Because of Leveraging Technology’s inexperience with web based initiatives and their general unawareness of competitors and target markets it will be naturally difficult to know what will work as intended. Thus it is imperative that each piece of the new web experience is extensively evaluated on an ongoing basis. If one piece is not functioning as intended, it may need to be revamped or removed entirely. The experience as a whole must be monitored regularly to ensure it is providing the extension of the Leveraging Technology brand that the company expected. CONCLUSION The information that has been collected throughout this section is used to structure the other four questions: Where do we want to be? How might we get there? Which way is best?, and How do we ensure safe arrival? The snapshot that is taken with the use of “Where are we now?” will allow Leveraging Technology to see how the tactics explored in further sections will be used to move them into where the want to be by illustrating the transitions that need to be taken into account.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 25
  27. 27. Section 2 – Where do we want to be?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5Where do we want to be? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 26
  28. 28. Section 2 – Where do we want to be? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to determine desirable positions for Leveraging Technology within its market. This will help us answer the question, "Where do we want to be?” Objectives meeting the "SMART" criteria (Specific, Measurable, Agreeable, Realistic, and Time-specific) can then be derived and benchmarked for future effectiveness assessment. OBJECTIVES • Gain 2 new consulting clients via online connections by December 2010. Since clients have traditionally been located through seminars and other in-person channels, gaining 2 new clients through online portals will break the ice for Leveraging Technologys online strategy. In the future, many (if not most) clients could be located through these online channels since businesses are increasingly utilizing online sources to find and create connections for their business networks. A large portion of the target market could be missed if such channels are not established and the competence of the technology implementation consulting team would appear less capable (since web presences reflect technological ability). • Increase weekly web traffic by 50% within the first 6 months of site redesign and 5% each year after that time. Increasing the rate of web traffic could greatly increase Leveraging Technologys chances of attracting and servicing new clients who are searching for consultants in the upstate NY region. This traffic could also come from customers leaving feedback and making comments (a vital aspect of a virtual presence). This would help Leveraging Technology pin-point areas of their services which clients feel are lacking. In identifying these lacking elements, services could be greatly improved toLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting meet the needs and wants of both present and future clients, and this improvement of quality would result in greater customer satisfaction; the foundation for Leveraging Technologys strategy with long-term customer relationships. • Establish online feedback channels with at least 100 connections to unique clients by the end of 2009. These online feedback channels would allow Leveraging Technology to keep closer relationships with clients. Trends and opinions could be more quickly detected. This would allow Leveraging Technology make more informed, timely, and effective decisions for their clients and even allow for first-mover advantages in some instances. This would also improve the quality of services delivered and customer satisfaction as a result. 27
  29. 29. Section 2 – Where do we want to be?• Receive 20 unique pieces of written feedback (at least 100 words each) different clients by the end of 2009. This initial gathering of feedback would serve as the starting point for Leveraging Technology to build a well-functioning feedback system. Testimonials (positive reviews) could also be displayed to improve the companys image and attract new clients and build confidence with existing customers.DESIRED WEB EXPERIENCE MAP Homepage Company Twitter Feed Overview Need Help Tab Log-In Tab Consulting Software Community About Us Overview Overview Blog Company Profile Employee Profiles Contact Registration Sign- Accomplishments Products Promotional Video Telephone up Testimonials Services Certifications Email LinkedIn Profile Twitter Feed This site map suggests a general navigation system for the finished website upon Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingimplementation of suggested strategies and tactics. It expands on the existing brochure model by addingmore pertinent information plus dynamic interaction points. This adds to the homepage to create amore fluid interface and personal design. Further, there is more relationship driven information such asemployee profiles, an expanded contact list, and a blog that is tied to registration system. 28
  30. 30. Section 2 – Where do we want to be? CUSTOMER SATISFACTION HEURISTIC Customer Loyalty Customer Satisfaction Website Feeling of Quality Community System Quality Intuitive Relevent Registration Consistent 3rd Party Reliability Content Design Information Security Updates Contact Points Informative Customer Complete Trust in LinkedIn Content Sensitive Content Experience Reliabale Twitter Testimonials Employee Credentials Company Certification Establishing customer satisfaction through a brochure model based website must rely primarily on content. This includes both traditional and interactive content. Traditional content consists of any information that is intended to educate the customer of company services, benefits, and relevant assets. This must include not only an explanation as to how the services work, but why they are beneficial to customers. Benefits can be proven by use of previous customer testimonials and introducing the staff and their qualifications. Ultimately these benefits mustLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting help convince the customer to trust the company. Interactive content consists of community based, dynamic information that speaks not only to the customer’s mind, but also to their emotions. Examples include mediums that generally possess two- way communication features such as a blog, or social network. This type of content is ever evolving and must be consistently updated to remain relevant. Further, this information is often customer specific and requires a registration process which demands secure systems to manage all of it. 29
  31. 31. Section 2 – Where do we want to be?OVERALL STRATEGIES (THEMES) The present themes within these objectives reflect their underlying strategies. There are fourprimary strategies or themes around which these objectives are constructed:Web QualityLeveraging Technologys web quality should reflect the firms professional expertise and leave afavorable impression with viewers. Web quality will greatly increase the number of unique (SEO) andreturning visitors, thus tying to the increased web traffic objectiveWeb PresenceA distinctly progressive and professional web body/presence would help capture and retail customermind-share while establishing online access to a diverse group of contacts. This strategy is also linked tothe increased web traffic objective as well as the unique links objective.Feedback ChannelsA thorough and comprehensive understanding of the customer bases wants and needs will helpLeveraging Technology to customize and improve their value propositions accordingly. Effectivefeedback channels play a vital role in this process and correlate with the objective for gleaning pieces offeedback.Customer ConversionSuccessful conversion of "lookers" (who are exposed to Leveraging Technologys online presence), into"bookers" (who actually pay for the firms services) is an essential function of a complete web marketingstrategy. This strategy correlates to the successful online customer conversion objective. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 30
  32. 32. Section 2 – Where do we want to be? GAP ANALYSIS Gap Analysis Themes 1 2 3 4 Web Presence • X Feedback Channels • X Customer Conversion • X Website Quality • X The purpose of a gap analysis is to compare the current performance of the website to the desired performance that Red Hare Consulting wishes to achieve. The scale ranges from 1 to 4, 1 being ‘ineffective’ and 4 being ‘very effective’. The major functions of the website are being evaluated, including web presence, feedback channels, converting website visitors into customers, and website quality. Those aspects with the widest gap are the aspects that Leveraging Technology should pay the most attention to, as the wider a gap is, the more a function is not providing its expected returns. Ratings Defined 1 – Ineffective. A rating of 1 or “ineffective” suggests that there is no return being seen from the perspective of major functions whatsoever. Core processes are either being executed ineffectively or the processes are entirely nonexistent.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 2 – Somewhat Effective. A rating of 2 or “somewhat effective” suggests that returns are being seen, but they are minimal at best. Processes are likely being implemented poorly or they are not appropriately tailored to the desired major functions of the website. 3 – Effective. A rating of 3 or “effective” suggests that major functions of the website are being well- executed and sufficient returns are being seen. This, however, means there will be room for improvement and that processes are not effective as they could be. 4 – Very Effective. A rating of 4 or “very effective” suggests that major functions are almost perfectly executed and related processes are providing the largest return possible. Improvements beyond this point are almost entirely maintenance related. 31
  33. 33. Section 2 – Where do we want to be?Evaluating Strategies by Ratings – “Where are we now?” Web presence – Leveraging Technology’s website lacks any sort of substantive message that cangenerate any sort of significant awareness on the web. The company is not capturing mindsharebecause it fails to provide any value to both existing and potential customers. Further, there is no eco-system that surrounds the website by which customers can become familiar with the brand in the firstplace, either through third party experiences or the website itself. Feedback channels – Leveraging Technology’s website currently only allows information to flowin a single direction. Customers have no means by which to express their satisfaction or dissatisfactionwith the company’s web presence. As a consulting firm, working with the customer, not just for them, isan important part of the long-term sales nature of the business. Customer conversion – Leveraging Technology’s website provides no means for randomconsumers to become paying customers. Processes must be put in place to create cause for thecustomer to contact the company and learn more about what Leveraging Technology can do for them. Website Quality – Leveraging Technology’s website, from a purely technical standpoint, islacking severely. While the aesthetic design is simple and appealing, the function of the website isunclear and its navigation is confusing. A lack of quality content is the major cause of this.Evaluating Strategies by Ratings – “Where do we want to be?” Web Presence – For Leveraging Technology to succeed with any sort of Internet based strategy;it must capture mindshare and create brand awareness. Creating significant customer value and amessage that relays how they can receive that value through Leveraging Technology can only do this. Onthe Internet, “Rochester Technology Consulting” and Leveraging Technology should be almostsynonymous. Channels that reach customers looking for this type of service must be tapped and byproxy convey the Leveraging Technology value proposition at all possible occurrences. Feedback Channels – The nature of business consultation requires a long-term sales cycle thatcreates a mutually beneficial relationship. This cannot be achieved if information is only flowing in onedirection. Customers should feel they can express their opinion on Leveraging Technology at any givenmoment, and should thus be able to do so through always on, Internet enabled mediums to satisfy theirneeds. Not unlike the real world, the firm and the customer must work together to reach their desiredresults, and the Leveraging Technology website should exemplify this through a mix of channels that Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultinginclude interactive and social media. Customer Conversion – Leveraging Technology, after establishing a web presence, should beable convince customers to learn more about what the company can do for them by promoting contactpoints. Be it through social network or a traditional phone call, random consumers, should they findLeveraging Technology’s value proposition appealing, must be able to start the processes of establishingthemselves as a client. Every piece of the website should encourage a sense of urgency, persuading thecustomer that not only can they do more with their business, but Leveraging Technology is the firm thatcan help make it happen. Website Quality – In order to establish a worthwhile web presence that consumers areinterested in exploring at all, it must first be technically capable of bringing in those consumers in thefirst place. The website should be easily found by means of search engine optimization and socialnetworks, and upon arriving at the website it should be clear as to how a consumer should navigate it. If 32
  34. 34. Section 2 – Where do we want to be? the website itself is technically lacking then consumers will not consider listening to a value proposition. The website must be enjoyable to interact with, while at the same time providing all the functions consumers would expect to receive from it. CONCLUSION In order to move Leveraging Technology from its current position within their industry to the desired positions, plausible tactics must be explored and scrutinized. The following sections explore and discriminate between possible tactics that could be executed to move Leveraging Technology across the gap from current to desired positions.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 33
  35. 35. Section 3 – How might we get there?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5How might we get there? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 34

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