Innovation and enterprise blog

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05 August 2019

Follow JRPass' Director through the Innovating for Growth programme: Creating a Marketing Strategy

Each quarter, we pick 18 high-growth businesses to take part in our Innovating for Growth: Scale-ups programme, where businesses receive £10,000 worth of tailored and bespoke business support and advice. Not only do businesses gain three months of guidance, they also receive automatic membership to our Growth Club and their own Relationship Manager.

This quarter, we’re following Haroun, Director of JRPass, a train travel company for those exploring Japan by rail. Haroun will talk us through each session as he progresses through the programme to get the successes and challenges of what it’s like to run a growing businesses. You can see Haroun's last post about brand archetypes here. Today, he talks us through what it's like to flip the focus from your values to those of your customers....

Last week, during our Innovating for Growth journey, we started on branding which, as we mentioned, is about positioning, assessing your values and what you want to communicate about the company itself. This week we took part in the workshop on marketing. In marketing the spotlight is turned 180 degrees. Suddenly, it is about your customers, who they are and how you reach them. We discussed how you connect with your customers, convey your value proposition, and which channels are most suitable for which purpose. For this task it helps to define your market; the overall size and how much of that is within reach with your current business model. In the previous blog we mentioned seeing your business through character archetypes, this time we ran through an exercise on defining your customer personalities. For JRPass, we decided on three just a starting point for analysis:

 - 'Helga in a Hurry'  - She is a twenty-something business analyst from Frankfurt. She is time poor, and wants an invigorating escape from their normal day-to-day life. She wants an efficient online experience with lots of advice. She will buy a 2 week ticket, possibly with a Wi-Fi add-on. She does a lot of research and may find us using via word-of-mouth, a forum or search.

- 'Mary Millennial' - Student from Middle America. Cost aware and wants freedom and flexibility. She is looking for unique experiences and moments to share on Instagram. She will buy the cheapest ticket possible. She may find us via social media recommendations.

- 'Teddy Bear Todd' - He is a family guy from Manchester. Works as an Insurance Manager. Looking for a hassle-free buy that he has full confidence in, because he is taking his family. He wants a stress-free experience and preferably a one-stop-shop for his travel so may buy Wi-Fi and other services such as meet and greet. He will look for first class tickets to have more space, and would be reachable via pay-per-click e.g. Google AdWords.

It’s another entertaining and seemingly abstract exercise but it helps you focus on how to target your various customer segments and have the best chances of gaining a positive response.  It also helps move the conversation away from your technical offering and benefits and towards what your customer wants to, and should, feel after experiencing the purchasing journey with you. Because of this it really makes you respectful of you customer and focused on them. You can see the cards we used in this exercise in the photo below (forgive my scrawls!)

Pic from Haroun - p3

Remember applications for our next round of Innovating for Growth are open now. If you want to follow Haroun and take part in the programme, click here to read more. 

The next entry of Haroun's diary, on product innovation, is available to read now at this link