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Emarketing

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Abstract

According to Beynon (2004), electronic business, commonly quoted as “E-business” is the set of all the activities of business by using information and communication technologies. Electronic business methods make corporates deal with their internal and external data processing systems more effectively and flexibly, cooperate more closely with suppliers and partners, and better meet the needs and expectations of their clients. Classified by market relationship, there are there models: business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).

As a small company providing consultancy services in life science, the best sales strategy for Evolution Bioscience is E-business. However, this company does not make full use of its official website and several social media accounts to develop its business.

This article describes Evolution Bioscience existing strengths and failing in using digital platforms such as its website and social media accounts first, and then, using SWOT and business models to analyse the company’s internal situation and via analysing the main social media to choose the suitable social media. Finally, according to the business models analysis, a recommendation mainly refers to B2B development is performed.

Current situation of Evolution Bioscience

EXISTING STRENGTHS

As Jukes and Zilling presented in 2012, the most important for a company in E-business age is establish an official website.
Evolution Bioscience has established its official website, which is http://www.evolution- bio.com/. In this official website, we will find that it has clear layout, and the details of the company features.

Web site design has six elements: objectives, content, visual design, structure and navigation, interactivity and functionality and overall experience (Webby Awards, 2012; Chaffey and Smith, 2008). The homepage of the Evolution Bioscience official website satisfy these elements. The analyses about the company’s official website will present as follow table:

Elements | Description | Objective | It is easy to find that this company is a consultancy business in life-science industry. | Content | It provides clear details of the company features and strengths. Besides, it gives the contact information in in prominent position. | Visual design | It has clear and clean layout | Structure and navigation | Its structure is consistent, intuitive and transparent. And navigation is classified in four items: home, about us, press releases, and contact us. It gets customers where they want to go quickly and offers easy access to the breadth and depth of the site's content. | Functionality | It loads quickly and the links to the social website account are at the top-right corner of the website. | Overall experience | Experiencing functionality |
Table 1: the official website design elements analysis

In addition, this company establishes its social media accounts to broadcast its business. The follow table is the current situation about the company’s social media accounts.

Social media | Accounts name | Twitter | Evolution Bioscience | Facebook | Evolution Bioscience | LinkedIn | No account | Google plus | Evolution Bioscience | Table2: current situation about the company’s social media accounts

THE FAILING

Generally, with the development of the information technology, company’s sales increased by online orders. And some new customers are visitors who come to site via direct- entry of the brand's URL or through a branded search (mostly the company name or some derivative) (Jukes and Zilling, 2012). However, the company has established its official website and several social media accounts, it does not make full use of it.

First, the contact information in the official website is invalid.

There are telephone and Email contact information in the company’s homepage. But, I failed to contact the company through the telephone and Email. The telephone: +44 (0) 141 428 2026 which is given in the official website cannot get through and I wrote mail to the company’s Email address: info@evolution-bio.com, the company did not reply.

Second, the links to the social media account in the official website are not live link.

There are twitter, Facebook and Link In link logos in the top right corner of the company’s official website. But when I tried to use it to the company’s social accounts, I failed. These links are invalid.

Third, the social media accounts do not have useful information for customers and have little fans.

Social media accounts | The number of followers | The number of issue information | Creation date | Twitter | 14 | 0 | No data | Facebook | 21 | 0 | 17 FEB, 2013 | LinkedIn | No account | No account | No account | Google plus | 4 | 0 | No data |

Table 3: Evolution Bioscience’s social media situation

From the table, we can find that although the company has several main social media accounts, the company does not make use of them. It just set up social profiles and did nothing.

Analysis of Evolution Bioscience

In the B2B business, prospect development and customer acquisition are two important items in improving the sales. In order to make clear prospect development and customer acquisition, we should analyse the internal and external business environment of Evolution Bioscience.

Internal analysis

The 2 x 2 business model matrix

Nature of Internet Use Supporting Enabling Virtual

Nature of the offering Evolution Bioscience | | | |

Physical

According to the above matrix, we can find that Evolution Bioscience is a consultancy company, its products is virtual. And its website is support for its sales not sell directly. Thus, implications of the 2 x 2 business model matrix is that the company should implement marketing through the media of Internet, E-Marketing.

SWOT analysis

Next, this article analyses the company’s SWOT.

Strengths (internal) | Weaknesses (internal) | (1) Strong knowledge support: it has the knowledge and experience to turn bioscience ideas into a commercial reality and from May 2012 to January 2013, it has professional press release per month.(2) High media exposure: from May 2012 to January 2013, it has professional press release per month.(3) Long history: it has more than 40 years experience in the Life Science Sector with a worldwide network. | (1) As a B2B company, it is lack of online broadcast(2) Lack of social media influence | Opportunities (external) | Threats (external) | (1) Huge amount of potential customers(2) Emerging industry(3) Development of information technology | (1) Intensive competence |

From the above table, we will find that Evolution Bioscience should focus on online presence for the future development too.

Business model

In the next analysis, this report will make a recommendation according to Teece’s business model (2010).

Segment the market

Create a value proposition for each segment

Design and implement mechanisms to capture value from each segment

Figure out and implement ‘isolating mechanisms’ to hinder or block imitation by competitors, and disintermediation by customers and suppliers

First, segment the market means customer segments. In the Evolution Bioscience’s official website, we can find that their clients include: * Early and late stage investors who require risk mitigation and return maximisation * The bioscience industry who require strategic and tactical market intelligence, in addition to new technologies for product development * Universities and healthcare organisations that require assessment of the commercial potential inherent in early stage innovations and IP * Government support bodies that require bioscience commercialisation development based on regional assets *
Thus, the company’s customer segments can be skimpily classified as: investors, bioscience industry developers, universities and healthcare organisations, government support bodies.

Second, create a value proposition for each segment. * Aim at the investors, the company’s value proposition is mitigate risk and maximize return. * For the bioscience industry, the value proposition is strategic market intelligence and new technologies for product development. * The value proposition target universities and healthcare organisations is assess the commercial potential of early stage innovations. * The value proposition for the government support bodies is create value based on regional assets.

Third, design and implement mechanisms to capture value from each customer segment. As a small company, its investment and budget is limit, it is hard for the company to design or advertise to capture value from each customer segment. Thus, the important advertise tools are social media and its official website.

Last, figure out and implement ‘isolating mechanisms’. In order to avoid imitation by competitors, the company should issue the unique information in

Based on the above analysis, we can create a business model as follow:

Key partners | Key activities | Value propositions | Customer relationships | Customer segments | Media companiesResearch organisationsSocial media site | Search potential customerRaise company’s popularityProvide useful suggestions | Mitigate risk and maximize returnNew technologies for product developmentAssess the commercial potentialCreate value | Assistance | InvestorsBioscience industry developers Universities and healthcare organisationsGovernment support bodies | | Key resources | | Channels | | | Research organisationsProfessional human resource | | Official websiteSocial mediaEmail | | Cost structure | Revenue streams | Employees Social media fee | Sales |

Table 4: Business Model (business model generation, 2013)

From the above business model, it is easy to find that the company should improve its official website and social media influence to increase its sales.

External analysis

Industry and competence analysis

Consulting industry has grown fast, with growth rates of the industry over 20% in the 1980s and 1990s. The consulting shrank during the beginning of 2000s, but grew steadily until the recent economic decline in 2009. There are three main kinds of consulting companies. Large, diversified corporates, Medium-sized and small size that have focused areas of consulting expertise in specific industries, functional areas, technologies, or regions of the world (Mahoney, 2010). As a small bioscience consultant company, Evolution Bioscience is hard to compete with large and diversified consulting firms, so it should attract small or emerging companies too. And the key points to attract these customers are the low price and professional suggestion.

Social media analysis

As the analysis above, the company should implement Internet promotion. The process is online exposure inquiry order. Thus, the most important step is how increase online exposure.

The simple way to increase exposure is advertisement, however, the company is a small company, and there is not a lot of money advertising for company. But as a B2B company, there are many free network platforms to utilize. And which network platforms should be chose?

Facebook

Facebook launched in February 2004, and has over 1 billion users by September 2012 (Dow, 2012). Before users enter the site, they must register. After the registration, the users can issue a personal profile and add other users as friends. And when they update their profile, they will receive automatic notifications. Additionally, users may take part in common-interest user groups, classified by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics. The site's users were limited by the founders to Harvard students at beginning, but were expanded to other colleges and now to anyone aged 13 and over (Carlson, 2010).

Picture 1: Audience demographics for Facebook.com (Alexa, 2013)

Twitter

Twitter was established in March 2006. And as of 2012, over 500 million users registered, generating more than 340 million tweets per day and dealing with more than 1.6 billion search queries daily (TechCrunch, 2012). Users can follow or be followed by other users, and they can create own tweets by words, pictures, or videos. Their followers may retweet or comment on the tweets. The key feature of twitter is “tweet”, quickly and timely. And its users include some celebrities and industry leaders.

Picture 2: Audience demographics for Twitter.com (Alexa, 2013)

LinkedIn

LinkedIn was created in May 2003, and as of January 2013, its users exceed 200 million (LinkedIn, 2013). And it is mainly used for professional networking. LinkedIn support the users find jobs, and companies list jobs. Additionally, people and business can create interest groups to discuss both professional and career issues. It access knowledge, insights and opportunities.

Picture 3: Audience demographics for LinkedIn.com (Alexa, 2013)

Google plus

Google plus was launched in June 2011, and as of December 2012, it has more than 500 million registered users (Google blog, 2013). Unlike other traditional social media which are generally approached through a single site, Google+ is a "social layer" consisting of not just a single website, but rather an synthetical "layer" which synthetize many of Google online functions.

Picture 4: Audience demographics for Google-plus.com (Alexa, 2013)

From the above analysis, we can present a table about the four main social media comparison as follow:

Social media | The number of users | Age | Browsing location | Facebook | Over 1 billion | 18-34 | Home and school | Twitter | Over 500 million | 18-24 | School | LinkedIn | Over 200 million | 35-64 | Work | Google Plus | Over 500 million | 18-24 | Home and school |

Table 5: Four main social media comparison Review the above business model and the social media comparison, a recommendation can be concluded.

Customer segment | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google Plus | Investors | | | ✓ | | Bioscience industry developers | | ✓ | ✓ | | Universities and healthcare organisations | ✓ | | ✓ | ✓ | Government support bodies | | ✓ | ✓ | |

Key activities | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google plus | Search potential customer | | | ✓ | | Raise company’s popularity | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | Provide useful suggestions | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ |

Thus, the company can increase social capital by systematically using social media to expand networks and, as a result, increase sales performance. We will make a detailed recommendation in the next part.

Recommendation

Based on the last part analysis, Evolution Bioscience as a small B2B company, the key point in its future development is online presence. And the aim of the online presence is increase its exposure to improve its offline sales. Thus, the strategy for the company is mainly below steps:

First, confirm the company’s position and improve the company’s official website.

In order to perform in the B2B sector, brand and brand influence cannot be underestimated (Business Research, 2006). The B2B market is already strongly affected by branding. For example, as a consultancy company, the key point is provide useful suggestion for customer and help its customer success. Thus the customer’s success is its success.

Assume the company’s position is “the customer’s success is our success”, the customer and the company will get closer, and increase the trust. Jukes and Zilling’s survey (2012) stands to reason that companies that rely on trust and relationships in order to build their own businesses have performed much better in the survey and be held in much higher esteem by their customers.
After confirming the company’s position, the official website should centre on it. As analysed in the existing strength above, the design of the company’s website based on the design elements. However, there are some parts need to improve. * Stand out the company’s feature: professional bioscience consultancy * Emphasize on the company’s advantages: professional technology, long history, rich experience, customer’s trust and low price * Focus on benefits * Supported by evidence: successful consultant cases
Thus, the specific details are:
1. Confirm company’s position: low price, professional suggestion and consider for customers.
2. Improve official website: design a consulting game that let visitors input own situation and give some simple advices automatically. This may attract the visitors’ attention and contact
3. The most important is display company’s address, phone number, email address and other information noticeably on website.
Second, build the company’s brand regarding to company’s culture through the social media. Choose one most suitable social media to manage and supplemented by other social media to increase online exposure. Acknowledge and use the differences among social media.

1.Throughout the analysis, the most suitable social media is LinkedIn. a) Create a LinkedIn account and choose a picture for the avatar. b) Content marketing: * Issue relevant information about bioscience or consultancy daily. * Issue employee, work environment information * Issue information by video, picture, game or beautiful word. c) The number of issue content should increase with the increased number of the forward and comment. d) Confirm the fixed issue time according to the customer’s habit (199it, 2013).

2.Facebook

Given the main users in Facebook is in university, the company’s Facebook account may issue relevant academic topic about bioscience and consultancy.

3.Twitter

Since there are some celebrities and industry leaders in Twitter, ask some of the company’s best customers to share their positive reviews in their own Twitter account, whether written or via picture. Third, confirm contact information valid. 1. Confirm the telephone is ready to go through. 2. Confirm the email will reply in time

Fourth, manage customer (including potential customer) information and interact with the customers (including potential customer). 1. Confirm the source of customer 2. Understand the customer 3. Extend greetings to customer on time

Last, analyse the official and social media data to adjust online strategy. 1. Record the number of website visitors 2. Record the number of followers, comments and tweets in each social media 3. Record the telephone and email. 4. Analyse the reason for increase or decrease.

Reference

Beynon-Davies, P. (2004), ‘Are you missing a B2B opportunity?’, Brand Strategy, vol. 206, pp. 44-46.

Jukes, T. and Zilling, S. (2012), ‘Optimizing B2B Online Strategies’, Multichannel Merchant, vol.8, pp. 20-22.

(http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas)

[O'Mahoney, J. (2010) Management Consulting. Oxford University Press])

("Facebook Tops Billion-User Mark". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones). October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.)
(Carlson, Nicholas (March 5, 2010). "At Last – The Full Story Of How Facebook Was Founded". Business Insider)

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/facebook.com#

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/analyst-twitter-passed-500m-users-in-june-2012-140m-of-them-in-us-jakarta-biggest-tweeting-city/

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/twitter.com#

(http://press.linkedin.com/about)

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/linkedin.com#

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/google-plus.com#

(http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/google-communities-and-photos.html)

http://www.199it.com/archives/95439.html

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