Conceptualising a business community and developing a go-to-market strategy to rejuvenate the brand of a financial-economic magazine.
|dc.description.abstract||Due to issues related to Trends’ current target audience (i.e., male and 45+), image, and churn rate (20%), the need for rejuvenation and a future strategy has never been greater. In this respect, the concept of a Trends Business Club has been put forward. Consequently, the primary objective of this report is to provide an answer to the question related to what a Trends Business Club should entail in order to acquire a younger, more feminine audience as well as to retain their current target audience (i.e., male, 45-64 years old). Moreover, we also examined if there is an interest in such a club, if there is a necessity to build or license a digital community platform and how all of this can be put into practice. As part of the secondary market research, we performed a competitor analysis (i.e., direct competitors, traditional and innovative business clubs, and online communities) as well as research regarding online community building. This has shown us that the aim for a Trends Business Club should be to launch as a smaller innovative business community and to ultimately become the biggest innovative business community in Belgium. Moreover, we found that there is no real benchmark that includes all the different elements a Trends Business Club aims to entail (i.e., education, inspiration, connection and member benefits). With respect to the practice of online community building, there are multiple benefits such as the fact that it boosts professional development. However, there are also certain challenges, especially concerning member engagement. A community manager is crucial in this respect. Furthermore, multiple elements have been listed that can tackle these challenges. As for the primary market research, a mixed method approach was chosen. First, qualitative interviews were conducted among fourteen interviewees (ten belonging to the new target audience, four to the current one). These findings show that, in general, there is a low brand awareness of both Trends magazine and other Trends products. Furthermore, all interviewees were interested in education, inspiration and connection with a focus on business. What’s more, inspiration was identified as the main reason to connect. Regarding connecting with a focus on leisure, the interest was considerably lower. In addition, people seem to prefer financial member benefits and a combination of online and offline connecting. Second, quantitative research by means of a survey was conducted. In total, 285 respondents filled in the survey, belonging to three different samples (i.e., Trends, Vlerick Alumni and convenience). The results support the fact that Trends has a rather low brand awareness, especially considering the younger target audience. Furthermore, by using a list of 33 possible activities, we identified in which type of activities people are most and least interested. For the full sample the top five most popular activities are related to inspiration and education, namely: inspiring company visits, keynote speakers, success and fail stories, webinars and online tools. The top five least favoured activities are related to leisure and benefits, namely: competitions related to charity, relaxing workshops, Trends sport clubs, discounts and competitions to win tickets for relaxing activities. Moreover, in general the respondents are interested in a Trends Business Club and/or know somebody who would be interested in such a concept. Concerning a possible division, the findings state that people who are more interested prefer an inclusive community. Additionally, two buyer personas that represent our target audiences were made based on the data. Next, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are the best social media channels to reach both target audiences. Lastly, a first indication of the willingness to pay was set at a price range between €100 and €200 (full sample). In sum, both the primary and secondary market research indicate that there is a business opportunity to launch a Trends Business Club. In addition, it can also be differentiated enough from other business clubs (traditional and innovative) and give the Trends brand a boost towards a younger, more game changing audience. Regarding the strategy, the main risks and benefits were identified as well as a forecast of the potential profit and loss which shows that the concept would be profitable in a good and realistic situation. Furthermore, as part of the differentiation, strategic exercises show that the Trends Business Club needs to adopt a customer-centric approach, focussing on the following brand values: game changing, innovative, inspirational and educational. Based on all the above mentioned, the concept of a Trends Business Club was further defined. The business community will entail 40 Trends Talk events, 10 big more exclusive events, monthly company visits, educational courses and content, the possibility to connect with like-minded people (online and offline) and member exclusive benefits. The marketing strategy elaborates on the target market (i.e., Flemish professionals) and buyer personas (i.e., Trends Tom and Young Yasmine). Next, the following value proposition was created: “To delight Flemish professionals who are looking for business inspiration, the Trends Business Club offers the opportunity to meet leading figures on a weekly basis, connect with like-minded people and educate yourself, to trigger the change masters of tomorrow to push their boundaries and create sustainable growth, that they prefer because of Trends’ experience, know-how and substantiated content.” In order to incentivise consumers to stay a member as well as to acquire new members through existing ones, a loyalty and referral programme were made. In addition, we also identified how we can reach and trigger consumers through a content and social media strategy. Moreover, the communication campaign consists of two phases (per target audience) and two communication flows. Regarding the current target audience, in phase one not much extra communication is needed, whereas in phase two these people will be notified that they have now become a member of a business community instead of a subscriber to a magazine. With respect to the new target audience, phase one will mainly consist of increasing brand awareness and triggering these consumers by offering an experience package. In phase two, the launch of the Trends Business Club will be communicated at a large scale by use of “Change the Game” ambassadors. In sum, this means that in a first phase there is no need to already develop a community platform as this phase is mainly aimed at increasing brand awareness among the new target audience. In addition, in order to give the management of Roularta Media Group a more complete overview of what a Trends Business Club entails, we already included a first insight regarding possible educational partnerships with the following institutions: University of Hasselt, Antwerp Management School, Vlerick Business School and Belgian Association of Marketing. Furthermore, a partnership concerning member benefits was already set up with Trends Business Information. Lastly, we looked at the necessity of implementing a community platform. In order to do so, we had several meetings with multiple digital agencies and we made a list with business requirements. Although no concrete timing and pricing could be given yet, the price range regarding the development of such a community platform would lie somewhere between €80.000 and €300.000. Finally, a clickable mock-up was made using Figma in order to make a possible Trends Business Club platform more tangible. In general, this study has helped to define and concretise the concept of a Trends Business Club. Notwithstanding its limitations, multiple useful insights were defined as well as a go-to-market strategy. Consequently, we can state that the launch of a Trends Business Club including a community platform would be profitable and relevant to sustain Trends’ future.|
|dc.description.sponsorship||Roularta Media Group (Trends)|
|dc.title||Conceptualising a business community and developing a go-to-market strategy to rejuvenate the brand of a financial-economic magazine.|
|vlerick.knowledgedomain||Marketing & Sales|
|vlerick.companyname||Roularta Media Group (Trends)|