Case study PortfoliGen

 

What is a Case Study?

The key to a successful case study is a clear and concise problem that needs to be solved. The case should have enough information in it that students understand the problem, and enough relevant data that a solution can be formed.  Providing too little information may lead the student to look too far out of the box.  But providing too much data points the student into a single direction.  A good case is arranged in such a way that the reader is put in the same position as the writer was at when they first faced the problem.  You want the students to be challenged, and “experience” the same things you did when you started your process of finding a solution.

 

What should the students be focusing on? How should they be graded?

Because this is an MBA level elective class, we want the students to practice a mix of strategy and hands-on tactics.  An Excellent response will not just suggest a solution, but also include primary data collected by the student.  An Above Average response to the case will present a strategy that can be implemented, but not include any primary data that verifies the approach.  A Good response will include a strategy that would be technically sound, but may not be applicable to the current project.  A Fair response will use an appropriate framework, but not be strategically sound or possible to implement.  Anything below this should receive a grade of “Incomplete.

 

1. Situation Overview

In order to set some context, please briefly describe your company, the product you are discussing, the product’s position in the marketplace, and the team in charge of the product marketing.

Company Background

PortfolioGen is a startup founded in 2005 and it focus on the electric portfolio, which is a platform to present the best work of a teacher. The company have about ten employees and the business entity type is partnership.

Product Overview

PortfolioGen.com is the product we are discussing which stands for the company. It’s a free online portfolio platform that allows teachers, students and educators to create customized URL for their portfolio so that they can share, upload certifications, photos, documents, resume, demo lessons etc. Many users perceive our product as a cross between VisualCV and LinkedIn. It was developed by teachers and is user-friendly

Our product offers the following features for educators:

Ÿ   Free for all the functions you need to create a great looking portfolio website

Ÿ   Premium account is $3.99 for a month and $24.99 for a year

Ÿ   Easy and simple to use

Ÿ   Customized URL for each portfolio created

Ÿ   Streamline and reorganize users’ resume, academic reports, certification, example class, photos, videos and work-related links, etc.

Ÿ   Customized design and layout of users’ webpage

Market Positioning

We have positioned ourselves in the market as a free and user-friendly brand. In this case, we have planned our positioning in such a way that we distinguish our products from competing brands. Our positioning strategy is customer base so that it can give the best service more than what the customers expect.

Team

PortfolioGen is founded and developed by teachers. The company size is about 1-10 employees.

 

2. Specific Problem to be Solved

Please describe in detail the issue you either faced in the past, or are currently facing.  Please try to slot the problem into one of the following topic areas: Market Analysis, Positioning, Pricing, Distribution, Marketing Campaign Strategy, Public Relations, Community Management, Retention or Referral. Please include the budget or manpower restrictions you faced/are facing.

Problem Diagnosis

Since 2005, our service have attracted more than ten thousand users from 79 countries. This number is still relatively small compared to the huge market. In terms of our customer base, we found that there are only 111 likes on Facebook, 1786 followers on Twitter, 3 subscription on Youtube and 3 followers on Linkedin. Both quantity and quality of our customers stayed at a relatively low level compared to other major brands in the category.

Concerning the limited number of partners and subscription for our product, we need to strengthen our marketing strategy to raise people’s awareness and attract partnership and purchase. We specifically need to enhance our social media campaign to promote product branding and marketing.

Challenge and Restriction

Resources and funds constraints can be the major challenge we encounter to launch a new marketing campaign. As a startup, budget limit is one of the toughest decisions we will face. Even for present days, we don’t have any dollar for advertising.

At the same time, PortfolioGen will have to recruit more developers and marketing staff as well to deal with the expansion of business. At startup like us, we need stable and long-term employees who can fit our culture. So it may take longer time for us to find the right people.

 

3. Goals and Objectives

Please describe what primary goal you would like to achieve, i.e. Awareness, Evaluation, Trial, Purchase / Revenue, Retention, Referral (or other). Also, can you explain what how you would evaluate whether the solution was successful.

Goals: Raise Awareness, Increase Revenue and Introduce Referral

Ÿ   Raise Brand Awareness

Increase PortfolioGen’s presence in the market. Ensure our product gets the best visibility possible and ensures the quality of our product as well because positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendation will promote our brand with no cost. Our target is to reach 30 thousand users, 100 new partners, 5000 Facebook likes, 10 thousand twitter followers, 1000 Youtube subscriptions at the end the fiscal year.

Ÿ   Increase Revenue

Focus on product improvement to make the service different from our competitors. Enrich the premium functions and provides customers the best offer in the market. Our target is to reach a 25 percentage increase in annual premium users.

Ÿ   Introduce Referral

Create a referral marketing strategy. 1) Incentivize users and customers to tell their excellent experiences and stories on blogs, app stores and review websites. 2) Create a program/platform/tool that makes it easy for users to pass around the good word for PortfolioGen.

Measurement of Success

Ÿ   Awareness and Referral

1) Number of subscriptions, posts, reviews, stories on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr, LinkedIn Yahoo Answers, blogs and forum

2) Number of new and returning web site visitors and web site responders

3) Number of new referral customers and partners obtained and number of referrals made from existing customers and partners

Ÿ   Revenue:

1) Number of monthly and annual premium subscription per month

2) A ratio of the associated potential revenue compared

Objectives should be reevaluated and adjusted to ensure our goals are achieved on an ongoing basis. Increasing the level of activity or increasing number targets does not always result increasing in membership, partnership and revenue , so measurements and other data should be used as well.

 

4. Key Information and Data Points

Please provide any information here that is vital to developing a reasonable strategy.  This could include, but not be limited to, Pricing, Pricing Model, Adoption Rates, Margin, Market Size, Market Share, Cost per Acquisition, Cost per Lead, etc…

Ÿ   Our market share focuses on helping educators build up their careers and creating their personal branding. We are targeting the niche market to provide professional educators and employers a directly illustrated and easier channel to make a choice.

Ÿ   The cost will be generated mainly from marketing activities and human labor.

Costs from marketing activities will include non-price promotion, price promotion, awards for customers and partners’ recommendation, etc. Costs from labor will include existing and newly-recruited labor salaries, employee benefits, employee-related insurance and outsourcing labors.

Ÿ   The margin will be generated mainly from our users and customers. For costomers, the increasing number of premium numbers will account for one part of our revenue. For partners, the revenue will come from subscription partners, advertising companies and data consultants.

Ÿ   Offer different discounted price to meet different need of our customers. We suggest provide different types of subscription. For example we have a selection of daily trial, weekly, monthly, three month and annual use. We also suggest give teachers and institutes who wrote positive posts, blogs and give us useful suggestions a discounted rate for a year.

 

5. Other Information

Is there anything else you want the students to understand about your product, market, audience, company, team, history, campaign, budget, and have them include in their analysis?

Here are our major social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/portfoliogen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Portfoliogen

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOUbNWDh6rfzaJOd2hUeP0g

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/portfoliogen

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/portfoliogen/

Here are some blogger writing about our product:

http://cyber-kap.blogspot.com/2014/01/portfoliogen-classroom.html

http://misscrouch.edublogs.org/2013/07/04/portfoliogen-create-a-free-customized-teacher-portfolio-webpage-in-minutes/

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2014/01/portfoliogen-classroom-digital.html#.Ux41AD9dWN8

http://iranianforaryans.blogspot.com/2012/06/portfoliogen-free-online-portfolio.html

http://cffmv.blogspot.com/2012/11/featured-11212012-portfoliogen.html

http://learni.st/learnings/391846-portfoliogen-create-a-free-customized-teacher-portfolio

 

Questions?

Please contact Andy Boyer at 206.852.8567 or arboyer@uw.edu

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