World's First Money Market Quotation Service
The company was a NYSE-listed $1 billion vendor of real-time financial information with a monopoly position providing domestic money market quotations via a worldwide electronic communications network. AT&T’s divestiture and deregulation of financial markets threatened to erode the 50% pretax profit margins the firm had enjoyed since 1978. The company embarked on a crash program of new product development, including an OEM arrangement with the manufacturer of a wireless device operating on FM sub-carrier.
Launch a wireless money market quotation service in the firm's largest market, Manhattan, on a expedited basis. The OEM manufacturing contract was valued at $2.4 million and included onerous time and volume targets to preserve exclusive marketing rights.
Launched the first wireless money market quotation service, managing a 20 person in-house team. Working with chief engineer, stretched contract terms to incorporate all measurements for effective beta testing, allowing accelerated launch schedule. Identified target segment, structured pricing, sales commission, lease terms, security codes, distribution, maintenance and customer service programs. Selected and registered trade name, defined required user and internal documentation, developed promotional materials, conducted sales training, organized and managed introductory events.
Wireless Trading Network, China
The client is a privately funded, development stage venture which has acquired a license from China's dominant wireless carrier to offer wireless financial and m-commerce services over a virtual private network on a nationwide basis.
Create a business to implement the license including: formation of an offshore structure and implementation of an RTO; development of competitive analysis, market research, positioning, business model, marketing strategy and business plan; identification and selection of wireless executives, CFO, suppliers, strategic partners, board members and prospective investors.
Firm opened in Beijing and Hong Kong in April 2001. TMI identified and recruited CFO with international expertise to create offshore structure and financial model, and manage RTO. Commissioned and managed custom demand research confirming wireless financial trading as the sweet spot in the wireless market in China. Identified and engaged global leader in wireless trading software as supplier for initial financial wireless service offering. Negotiated terms of carrier contract with Chinese partners in Beijing, including network design and operation criteria, performance and service requirements, billing, collection, customer access and support procedures. Created a business model utilizing billing and collection by third party, minimizing invoicing and accounts receivable while maximizing cash flow.
The client is a profitable, 30 year old, closely held $35 million annual sales service bureau in the telecommunications billing and customer care market.
Re-structure the firm to permit billing, OSS and customer care for high-speed data, Internet access, e-commerce and wireless services, including development of competitive analysis, market research, positioning, business model, marketing strategy and business plan to support a CLEC/DLEC division and recommendation of the personnel, IT and financial changes needed to implement plan.
Firm introduced new positioning at Ascent (TRA) in November 2000. TMI conducted 12 hours of in-depth interviews with existing customers to understand company strengths and weaknesses and customer requirements. Assessed third party vertical market data and competitive positioning, identifying in-depth knowledge of ILEC compliance and regulatory procedures as critical success factor. Re-positioned company as an expert in transactions-based billing suitable for high growth markets, a proven performer with excellent back-up systems, a history of customers with multi-year contract renewals, a track record of low un-collectibles and expertise in ILEC compliance and procedures. Initial implementation resulted in retention of several customers with growing CLECs, increased customer service staff, accelerated technical training, recast project management and systems procedures and new financial accounts tracking contribution by customer function.
Non-Intrusive Telecommunications Testing System
The client was a five year old, US-based assembler and marketer of telecommunications test and control systems. Although it pioneered the corporate end user market for non-intrusive, "on-the-fly"desktop systems and held a patent protecting its switch interface method, the firm had been unable to capitalize on its early lead.
During the six month period centered on the initial public offering, TMI's principal functioned as senior marketing officer for the client. In a cash-short environment and without staff, the objectives were to create a high visibility platform for the offering, structure a marketing program and support a new VP Sales with corporate network management background but limited sales experience.
- Developed and implemented a trade press and investor publicity program, including the IPO roadshow. (The IPO was a sellout, including the underwriter's allotment).
- Designed and implemented a lead generation program which in a 3 month period produced a 400% increase in qualified end user leads, tripled sales and resulted in the firm's first profitable quarter.
- Defined and established a customer service function, identifying several recurring product reliability problems for engineering. Instituted monthly customer training classes, a proactive calling program and factory installation of systems.
- Organized and implemented the firm's first user groups, 4 trade shows and a visit by the state governor.
- Developed marketing strategy and budget, competitive data bank, sales aids, new product literature, field sales and distributor support materials.
World's First Voice Messaging Service Bureau
The client was the world's first voice messaging service bureau. Sales to Fortune 500 customers were generating cash flow, but no profit. Multiple programs to reach target mid-sized companies had failed. With venture backers growing anxious and a national switching network to amortize, the client needed rapid improvement in prospect identification, lead qualification and applications selling techniques.
- Identify improved applications selling techniques through assessment of current customer satisfaction;
- Improve lead qualification through better understanding of prospective customers business communications issues;
- Develop better prospect identification methods through evaluation of low usage and discontinued accounts.
- Identified and implemented 6 new applications selling concepts, 4 new lead qualification techniques and 2 new prospect identification methods.
- A new advertising and publicity campaign was developed incorporating testimonials and success stories to capitalize on the extraordinarily high degree of customer satisfaction revealed in TMI focus groups.
- An 800 number was added to increase key prospect response to promotional programs.
- An existing trial program was eliminated, improving cash flow and stimulating new customer usage.
- Profitability was quickly attained and the firm sold within a year to a Bell operating company.