About Accelerate Associates

Philippa Bevan  

Philippa Bevan

Philippa Bevan has over fifteen years commercial and public sector experience in marketing, market research and product management spanning the education, laboratory, medical device, technology transfer and packaging industries. Philippa has a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology and is a Chartered Marketer.

Published in Case Studies

Diplopia, more often referred to as double vision, is a common complaint with an estimated 850,000 people suffering from the condition in the U.S.A in 2017.

The symptoms of the disease vary as do its causes but one of the main treatments for the condition is to occlude the vision in one eye. Patching allows for greater visual acuity resulting in less strain on the affected eye making tasks such as reading and watching television easier.

The challenge

An inventor of a novel occlusion product, wished to commission a piece of research to verify the market potential for the innovation. In addition, the research needed to focus on the identification of a suitable brand name which could be trademarked and where the website domain was still available.

The Staffordshire based company  was also interested in research to guide their marketing strategy including; route to market information, the identification of appropriate advertising channels, packaging design and recommended suppliers for packaging and website development.

The approach

Accelerate undertook primary research in the form of an online survey to determine how and where members of the general public would search for eye-patches, terminology used by customers wishing to occlude the vision in one eye, product features and benefits rated most highly by potential customers and a reaction to test a selection of potential brand names.

The results of the online survey were used to direct a keyword analysis, the outcome of which was used to plan content for an ecommerce website, direct search engine optimisation and form the basis of a digital marketing plan.

Results

The information supplied by respondents of the online survey as to which words they would use to search for a product to occlude the vision in one eye, together with the test selection of potential brand names, was used to formulate a selection of brand names. The names were designed to reflect the nature of the product and have the potential to become a registered trademark and website domain.

From the selection of potential brand names, the inventor selected the one which was most popular with survey respondents and is now in the process of registering it as a trademark and website domain.

Accelerate also recommended providers of packaging, design and web development and delivered an appraisal of relevant shelf pack designs and pricing.

Published in News

Take Part in our Food Supplements Survey to win an Amazon Echo!

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If you use food supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies or sports nutrition products and are interested in getting your views and opinions heard, then please take part in our Food Supplements Survey.

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We'll only use your email address for the purpose of administering the Free Prize Draw which takes place at 4.30pm on 29th June 2018.

You may read our privacy notice here.

Published in Marketing

As consumers, we have all witnessed the transformation of the B2C market through the use of digital technologies. Selling direct to customers has enabled retailers to tap into specific market segments through understanding their customers better as well as creating efficiencies in their supply chain and entering into overseas markets.

Some of these trends are now filtering through to the B2B market, with manufacturers expanding their online trading presence. However, just as in the consumer market, success requires flexibility and agility as well as a significant change in mindset.

In B2B transactions, a business is purchasing the goods and/or services of another business; the decision making process can be complex and the purchase decision may involved a number of people.

The types of digital infrastructure  now used in B2B e-commerce range from basic, entry level product catalogue sites with good search engine provision, through to operators who use artificial intelligence to guide visitors through their buying process. As B2B e-commerce sites increase in complexity, we would expect to see features such as tutorials, videos and comparisons with leading competitors.

Being able to access support quickly and easily is a rising star in the B2B sector. For example, by providing an online chat service. Personalisation of the customer experience is also gaining popularity in the B2B market. Providing facilities to fully customise requirements - from size and colour to where and when the product needs to be delivered are all tactics that can provide a competitive edge. For example, packaging web sites may provide a visualisation of a product featuring your required logo and colour. 

If you are at the start of your e-commerce journey, some key steps to consider include: 

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - make sure that your products can be found by internet searching
  • Personalising the experience - whether that is by providing customer specific pricing, product listings etc.
  • Integration with database (ERP) systems for stock checking, payment options.
Published in Marketing

An ideal storytelling tool, videos are recognised widely as the platform to use to engage with key audiences.

Communication is changing

We are now seeing a generational shift in how we interact with computers and phone screens. Communication is increasingly becoming more visual, using animated avatars, images, live-streaming and social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Starting the conversation

Video combines the use of visuals, music and words to help develop stronger relationships between brands and their audience. They can also perform a wide variety of functions from being educational through to inspirational. Perfect for digital campaigns, videos can be cut for use on Instagram or snapchat; they can be a one-off piece or part of a series of short videos that forms the basis of a conversation with your audience.

Where to use video

Videos work well pretty much anywhere - whether embedded on your website, featured in your blog, shared in emails, or hosted on YouTube. Better still, they do not have to be big budget productions either. Good quality, simple customer testimonials can convey a powerful message. In the medical technology market, patient stories can be emotive.

Supporting the sales process

For companies looking to re-position themselves in a new market segment, a slick video can help open up interest from new markets. Educational videos that explain solutions to customer problems can generate interest whereas clear demonstration videos can be used to identify stronger prospects. Testimonials and customer stories help to close the deal.

The key thing to remember is to treat video exactly the same as you would if devising a marketing campaign; research and understand your audience, define the story you want to tell and try to produce something that does not overtly come across as "marketing".

Published in Marketing

Appointing a distributor can provide valuable access to a market - whether a specific segment or geography as they will have well developed sales channels and customer networks.

In the medical product market, distributors can be broadly categorised as either general distributors or specialist distributors.

General distributors tend to have own label products that they sell alongside branded lines, whereas specialist distributors may focus on a clinical specialty or geography and tend to have a more focused product offering.

Accelerate Associates has conducted studies to identify distribution partners for clients and has provided marketing support to clients and their distribution partners.

It is fair to say that the manufacturer-distributor relationship can be difficult as manufacturers can exert little control over their brand once a distributor has purchased stock of a product and distributors can feel like the poor relation to in-house sales teams. If distributors do not feel supported, it is unsurprising that they will naturally focus efforts on selling products where there is more support and the sales process may be easier.

Drawing on personal experience of appointing and working alongside distributors, the closer the relationship, the more fruitful it is likely to be for both parties. Certainly, treating distributors as an extension of your sales team is advisable to optimise sales effort.

Strategies for successful distributor relations can include:

  • Good distributor selection - YOU appoint your distributors so select them with care. Try to find specialist distributors that focus on markets that are relevant for your business, interview them in detail to determine the size of their sales force, marketing opportunities (such as inclusion of your products in their catalogue or their online store). Also, define territories, agree expectations and targets and agree to underake an annual review.
  • Product training - train your distributor sales team as if they were you own. Your distributor is likely to be selling many other brands so well-educated sales people will bring your product to the forefront of their sales effort.
  • Promotional activity - remember that your products will be competing for attention against other brands carried by your distributor. Activities to generate leads to pass to distributors will help to keep distributors engaged and focussed on your product(s).
  • Communication - keep your distributor up to date with the latest developments within your business and share relevant product information from new applications to user case studies.
  • Marketing - distributors need customers to request a brand. Often distributors are sales orientated businesses that may have less focus or resource in marketing. Supporting your distributor with appropriate literature, web site or brochure copy is recommended. This has the added bonus of supporting your distributor whilst also controlling what is published about your brand in their marketing communications channels. Depending on your specific market, the amount of control you can exert over the use of your brand may vary from none at all through to complete conformance with your requirements so branding is something to discuss with any potential distributor.

If you are looking for new distributors or would like to better support your current distributor network, talk to Accelerate.

Partnerships & Affiliations

MRS
Chartered Marketeer
MediLink
MDA
 
 

About.

Founded in 2007, Accelerate Associates is a specialist business-to-business marketing agency providing marketing and market research for science and medical technologies... More...

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Suite D, Reward House
Diamond Way, Stone Business Park 
Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0SD

Phone: 01785 747 102

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