Business Issue 

A successful 12-year-old company was the recognized leader in providing integrated digital marketing and communications services to the pharmaceutical industry. While its services were profitable, the company had reached a revenue plateau and rising costs began to hurt its overall profitability. The company’s President wanted to identify new opportunities that both leveraged their internal competencies and targeted their current customer base. She also wanted to build upon their recent introductions of two knowledge-based offerings.

The company’s President chose Iknow to drive the identification of new product and service offerings. Several internal attempts to develop new opportunities had been undertaken, but management was never convinced that the right opportunities had been identified. The President selected Iknow because of its management consulting capabilities in business strategy, market research, and competitive intelligence, as well as its significant expertise in both the knowledge management field and the pharmaceutical industry.

Approach 

Iknow conducted a growth strategy assignment for the company. The project involved identifying and evaluating the most promising growth opportunities. Internally, Iknow conducted a series of interviews and workshops with the company’s executive team to understand their business needs, collect their ideas on new offerings, understand their acceptable range of potential options, and gauge their risk profiles. The internal assessment also identified the company’s core skills and competencies to help support the identification of related diversification options. In parallel, Iknow developed evaluation criteria for comparing and prioritizing the options. Externally, Iknow studied industry trends, interviewed a variety of thought leaders, and researched the company’s competitors to identify new opportunities.

Thirty-one potential new offerings were identified during the assignment. The opportunities included delivering synthesized industry content in both text and video formats, creating and selling a knowledge management portal and software tool suite within the industry, developing on-line education centers that could be integrated into their customers’ websites, providing data mining and market research services, and developing a platform for distance learning courses.

During a series of workshops with the executive team, the options were prioritized and the top three opportunities were selected for implementation. Iknow further refined the options and prepared detailed cost estimates to support the business cases.

Results 

The management team fully embraced the three opportunities and used Iknow’s detailed descriptions to seek outside funding.