A B2B industrial company recently created a new business unit focused on providing end-to-end energy solutions. The North American universities vertical, previously not a focus, caught the eye of the strategy team due to the size of university operations, their drive for safety and productivity, the strong growth of universities and the generally progressive attitude of many university decision-makers.
The strategy team needed a business case to convince senior management to invest in focused growth in a new target vertical. The client asked EMM Group to assess the opportunity size of the universities market and establish the basis for investment, including the recommendation of a go-to-market strategy and establishing a business case for entry.
EMM Group's solution approach
EMM Group’s approach contained 4 key elements including assessing the market size and potential, generating customer insights, understanding competitive insights, and developing a GTM recommendation and business case.
1) Market sizing:
To determine the market size and growth potential EMM looked at several sources of information including Federal energy consumption statistics, key research studies, and voice of the customer primary research to build a model which calculated the over-all estimated energy market spend, estimated savings potential, and the revenue size of the individual solution opportunities.
The model also project growth rates based on the underlying growth of the student population and the estimated growth of university square footage.
2) Customer insights:
Customer insights were generated from 1 hour deep-dive interviews with key decision-makers at Universities, energy service companies, and key specifiers. The customer interviews specifically addressed the answers to the following questions:
- How do energy initiatives fit within overall university priorities?
- What are the university’s approach and prioritization for energy-saving initiatives?
- What are the customer needs-based segments and what are their differentiated needs? How is their decision-making different?
- Which are the most likely segments to adopt this new end-to-end solution?
- What is the buying process for universities and who are the key stakeholders?
- What are the purchase barriers?
By answering these key questions, EMM was able to identify the best customers to target for early adoption, the solutions and messaging that would be most compelling and the key stakeholders who should be approached as part of the decision-making process.
3) Competitive insights:
EMM also conducted a competitive review to identify the competitive landscape, to understand who the key competitors are and what their offerings are, and our client’s ability to compete.
The competitive assessment identified top-of-mind solution providers and established the credibility of our client in the universities vertical. It also determined areas of potential unique differentiation for our client’s end to end solution.
4) Recommendation and business case:
EMM completed the engagement by combining the findings from the market sizing insights, the customer insights, and the competitive insights to develop a recommendation for successful market entry and projected business case for the client.
The recommendations assessed the current value proposition and suggested modifications to better align with target needs, suggested a communication and messaging plan, a localized service support plan and a detailed activation plan.
Because there were significant barriers to adoption identified in this case, EMM recommended entering the market with a pilot project which would focus on 1 customer segment in 1 region of the United States. This enabled a focus on building out the end-to-end solution to better align with specific universities needs and better build a service model which can support a localized need.
The client is in the process of building out that pilot infrastructure for an expected launch in late 2017.
Interested in learning more?
We hope you found this case study valuable! If you're interested in learning more about how EMM Group can help you assess the potential of a new market or develop a go-to-market strategy to meet your business needs, contact BrennaNeal@emmgroup.net or .