Case study - Blue Sheep
Blue Sheep approached UWE Bristol for help with taking their new products to market and through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), UWE Bristol were able to provide some strategic marketing development assistance that helped to deliver a pre-tax profit of £482,000.
About Blue Sheep
Founded in 1986, Blue Sheep is a leading provider of marketing software, solutions and big data insights that provide businesses with the intelligence to drive multi-channel campaigns through the use of analytics, campaign management and social media monitoring.
Blue Sheep are also one of the few companies worldwide to be able to deliver large Single Customer View (SCV) databases, and provide a range of data hygiene, enhancement and segmentation services for businesses of all sizes.
KTP project objectives
Prior to the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), Blue Sheep offered customer segmentation and analysis services using a standardised package. For a number of years however, they had wished to bring the Intellectual Property (IP) associated with this standard package in-house and to enhance the depth of segmentation and insights gained. The end result and business case was to be able to take a new, more powerful tool to market.
Blue Sheep are renowned for producing innovative IT ideas, but had previously lacked the internal capability and manpower to fully exploit the economic and business advantages that these ideas could bring. To give them the time and capacity to bring these new ideas to market, it required strategic marketing development assistance which the KTP was able to provide.
UWE Bristol support
Expertise was provided through Bristol Business School, with additional input from experts in other areas of the University. Specific knowledge included economic and econometric techniques, market forecasting and modelling, marketing and segmentation, measurement of practical and financial benefits and writing academic and publicity material.
KTP in action
The KTP has delivered on its objectives, achieving delivery of client syndication, resulting in opportunities to significantly increase profit through new high margin products.
Blue Sheep has taken one new product to market, and has been able to demonstrate that a second product would have significant benefits for clients. It will take this to market in the near future.
The KTP associate has been able to automate analysis and reporting tasks both for standard products and bespoke client requirements. The automation has resulted in overall operational efficiencies, with clients typically taking three year contracts, reducing the likelihood of error and improving quality of service.
“The graduate’s skills have been applied to best advantage and their statistical abilities proved to be a persuasive tool in winning new business. The KTP has been a major factor in influencing the move to a smaller, more highly skilled team, creating a significant advantage over competitors.” Iain Lovatt, Executive Chairman
The KTP has allowed staff to become more consultative, and enhanced the product portfolio of services by allowing a greater depth of product and an understanding of how to interpret findings. This means Blue Sheep can offer clients robust advice, helping them to make better decisions and acquire more profitable customers without an increase in their marketing budgets and activity. The KTP associate has helped to increase the operation’s departmental analytical skills, resulting in:
- Better analytical capabilities to provide a greater depth of service
- Improved data modelling capabilities to provide more accurate results
- Greater reporting capabilities to provide an overspill resource to clients.
Each change will deliver an improved portfolio of services that the sales team will feel more confident to recommend to clients.
- The increase in annual pre-tax profit anticipated over the three-year timescale of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership is £482,000.
- Blue Sheep anticipate additional sales will be generated through the improved portfolio of services.
- The analytical, modelling and reporting capabilities will generate 100% profit before tax (PBT) - making this a significant percentage of sales turnover.
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