Dash Case Analysis

Synopsis of the Case Study

Answer Dash, launched in 2012, is an online customer support solution that providesa point and clicks interface that allows any website to quickly and easily provide real-time assistance. The company solved the issue of having to delve deeper into support pages searching for detailed answers and specific products by creating software that created a first-line, self-service customer approach (Ofekand Jeffrey, 2016). Early users of the product attest to its capability in terms of the significant reduction in customer support costs as users were able to find the answers without having to type or contacting a customer support representative and also increased revenue as information required to complete an online purchase was readily available. However, by 2014, the company had managed to retain only four paying customers and was also struggling to acquire new clients. The directors, Dr. Jacob Wobbrock and Dr. Andrew Ko were concerned with the business going concerned, thus the need for revisiting their go to market strategy.

Environmental Analysis

Strengths

  • Customer-oriented.
  • Presence of an analytics dashboard for comparison through the A/B testing tool.

Weaknesses

  • Inefficient pricing strategy; Three tier pricing strategy is high, large price gaps.
  • Inefficiency in identifying a target market segment.

 

 

Opportunities

  • The growing market for self-reliant web and mobile options as opposed to customer agent conversations.
  • Entry into new markets.

Threats

  • Established firms in the industry; Zen Desk and Desk.com

Problem Statement

The startup company is having difficulties transitioning the benefits of the software into potential buyers, mainly due to its inability to pitch the right customers.

Development of alternatives

  1. Development of a target market segment to direct resources to a niche market as opposed to a generalized market.
  2. Shift focus to selling to enterprises. The company should implement a strategy where the software is only sold to companies with resources to ensure profitability in terms of subscription.
  3. Embrace a customer-focused relationship to build rapport with potential buyers instead of pursuing all leads.

Evaluation of Alternatives

  1. The development of a target market ensures the company increases its economic value. The company targets both e-commerce and software as a service segment, thus should choose one niche market that has the highest attractiveness as a customer. This increases the chances of influencing the companies to pay a subscription to the service thereby increasing its market potential.
  2. Answer dash shift to big corporation is purely an economic decision since larger firms bring in more investments due to its increased traffic of users. The company charges for the software are based on per-user click thus the higher the number of users the greater the economic value.
  3. The company used referrals as a promotion strategy which did not translate to clients (Ofek and Jeffrey, 2016). The purpose of a shift to a relation focused style is based on the need to increase its clientele. Business to business relations is critical as they lead to more referrals. However, there are no guarantees that building rapport with the business translates to increased profitability regarding revenue.

Recommendation

Answer Dash should implement a market segmentation approach in its promotion strategy. The ideal market would be the software as a service market due to the importance of customer satisfaction. The market segment also registered increased revenue compared to the e-commerce segment. The approach is economically viable due to its high annual growth rate that ensures more clients for Answer Dash.

Conclusion

Answer Dash’s conceptualization of market entry is based on solving a recurrent issue regarding finding the right answers on a company’s web services. However, the company failed to capitalize on the innovative product due to issues related to marketing. Marketing is an essential tool in business as it ensures visibility of the product thus increasing the number of prospective users.

 

 

Reference

Ofek, Elie, and Jeffrey D. Shulman. “AnswerDash.” Harvard Business School Case 516-106, June 2016. (Revised August 2017.)

 

 

 

 

 

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