Updated: Aug 24
Written by Can Cömertoğlu
Westminster Business Consultants was established as the first Junior Enterprise in a UK university. Since its establishment in 1995, it has been providing a wide range of services to corporates, SMEs and a variety of clients working in different sectors. These services including management consultancy, strategic consultancy and legal consultancy that are based around quality, flexibility and being cost effective as stated fairly in the company’s key motto.
Being formed, administered and operated by students is one of the key strengths WBC has in an international scope as reflected through its employees from across the world. This creates an opportunity for the company to hold a diverse and wide vision. This is a key strength especially in today’s world where technology has helped develop a borderless business world.
In a global aspect, a business in any location can market its services and products to a diverse group of target audience from different cultures and geographies with different motivations as potential customers. WBC’s international structure with its award winning international background, in this sense, is an asset for its potential customers to gain an insight on any potential markets that they wish to enter.
‘Learning-by-doing’ is the phrase that best explains how WBC operates. As stated earlier, being a student run business, its employees work on a voluntary-basis rather than financial motivations. This makes WBC special, as its entire workforce has an ambition for gaining an actual industry insight and complimenting their academic studies with insider experience. The ambitious environment among WBC employees encourages them to work cooperatively to make the company excel in the business their operating in and deliver its finest work.
Moreover, the company aims to prove that a student-run business is nothing less than a normal profit-making company. WBC has 95% client satisfaction rate overall (WBC, 2018) which proves that as a student-run business it has already gained industry recognition in the market.
WBC’s Competitive Advantage
As mentioned in its motto and as a result of its voluntary-basis operational structure, WBC provides cost effective, and professional services to its clients. This is considerably important in the competitive market of consultancy. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are 99% of all businesses in the United Kingdom, with 5.7 million businesses. In Zaqr’s report (as cited in: Gough, 2018), it is stated that nearly half of the small enterprises avoid hiring external consultancy services because of their costs.
Additionally, an estimated million of the SME’s say that using consultancy services don’t add value and their cost does not create a positive impact. This, obviously, creates a competitive advantage for WBC in the consultancy market, leading to wider opportunities to attract more SMEs as clients with their low-cost consultancy services. Having a track record for professional consultancy to SMEs across the world, this competitive advantage can be further marketed to potential customers across wider geographies.
Opportunities for Wider Markets
It is undeniable that new technologies and their affordability are changing and re-shaping businesses and how they operate. To respond to these changes new ways of marketing have been emerging, one of which is inbound marketing.
Previously, traditional marketing techniques were preferred which were intrusive as they were interruptive in their nature such as TV advertising. The main goal of traditional marketing was to “inform the customers to secure their interest on the company and its products or services; help them decide to purchase and finally to create loyal customers of a brand.”
In brief, it focused rather on pushing a message out via interrupting the audience experience. However, with the emergence of new communication technologies this classic notion of marketing has started to change.
The emerging inbound marketing, unlike traditional marketing mostly aims at finding the ‘potential client’ with an interest in doing business with you. Therefore it’s more targeted and focused. Most importantly, the company is not ‘pushing’ their content to get attention and interrupt the audience but rather promotes its activities on the internet, which allows the customers to find what they are looking for. Potential customers follow their interested issues on the internet, which leads them to the source of the message (Świeczak, 2014). Furthermore, inbound marketing is deeply implemented into the daily technologies used, thus the potential customers are reached via prioritized use of Social Media tools (Opreana and Vinerean, 2015).
This year WBC has decided to implement an inbound marketing approach. This means, the company will not chase ‘potential clients’ but rather will aim to reach to potential clients by promoting WBC and how it operates through digital media. This would mean a more effective digital presence for the company. For this, it needs to create a synergy and effective communication across all departments from Business Development to Human Resources; from Event Management to Marketing, as all departments will have a role in terms of both increasing the brand awareness and enhancing its reputation.
However, it will be fair to state that marketing department will have a greater role to collect information from all departments and turned them into effective digital content. The team will be responsible with coming up with the right and creative tools and effective messages to demonstrate the competitive advantage and strength of WBC to its potential customers.
WBC, operating as a consultancy firm serving mainly SMEs, has a great market opportunity, mainly due to its competitive advantage of having cost-effective services. Furthermore its new inbound marketing strategy creates the ground for utilising new ways of marketing its services to potential customers. The digital marketing will play a key role in establishing this market penetration for which there will be a need to create effective content with effective messages.
One example for such effective content can be video interviews with its current and past clients through which they will talk about their experience with WBC, give professional feedback on the different services they have purchased and how it created an impact on their business. As part of its inbound marketing approach, these videos can then be turned into a social media campaign widely promoting WBC. These can help potential clients associate themselves with the video interviewee and help recognise and appreciate the cost effective but impactful services of WBC.
For digital reach, effective tools should be integrated into a wider marketing plan to support the strategic vision of WBC and help the company reach its business objectives. This will also mean an integrated and coherent working dynamic of the marketing department with all other departments of the company, leading to a timely and creative promotion of WBC.
Wbc-uk.com. (2018). Westminster Business Consultants – Junior Enterprise. [online] Available at: https://wbc-uk.com [Accessed 11 Dec. 2018].
Świeczak, W. (2014). Inbound marketing as an integral part of the marketing strategy of a modern enterprise. [online] 12(2). Available at: http://minib.pl/en/inbound-marketing-as-an-integral-part-of-the-marketing-strategy-of-modern-enterprise/ [Accessed 13 Dec. 2018].
OPREANA, A. and VINEREAN, S. (2015). A New Development in Online Marketing: Introducing Digital Inbound Marketing. Expert Journal of Marketing, [online] 3(1), pp.29-34. Available at: http://marketing.expertjournals.com/23446773-305/ [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018].
Gough, O. (2018). UK SMEs spend £60 billion per year accessing expert consultants. [online] Small Business. Available at: https://smallbusiness.co.uk/uk-smes-expert-consultants-2538135/ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].