In a business climate characterized by uncertainty surrounding commodity prices and trade agreements, business owners are often reluctant to spend time and money on projects with uncertain returns. The GO B2B Challenge is a marketing case competition to consider the best way to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to invest in productivity and innovation systems.
Productivity work such as assessments, training and implementation projects often do not have known ROI’s until the work has progressed substantially. This contrasts with investment in facilities and equipment whose capabilities can be quantified in advance. However, with larger risks often come larger returns.
Once a company culture shifts towards continuous improvement, return on productivity improvement projects is often higher, with lower risk and lower cost than other investments. To further complicate matters, many business owners have the misconceptions that productivity methodologies do not apply to their company or industry. Messaging the benefits of productivity investment to these owners was the challenge this case competition sought to answer.
The competition was open to Western Canadian post-secondary students and had two rounds. In the first round, students submitted an initial proposal and from those submissions the top ten finalist teams were chosen by a panel of judges. The second round involved each finalist team developing and presenting a full marketing plan to the judges and competing for First, Second and Third place prizes of $20,000, $12,000 and $7,500 respectively.
The finals event was hosted by NAIT in their Center for Applied Technology. The first place team was Brock Andony and Jordan Sinclair from University of Saskatchewan and the Second place team was Frank Jia from UBC and third place was Sam Wong and Kristy deClark from UBC.
First Place Team
Brock Andony and Jordan Sinclair
University of Saskatchewan
Second Place Team
University of British Columbia
Third Place Team
Sam Wong & Kristy DeClark
University of British Columbia
The student’s solutions to the problem presented were insightful, professional and valuable. The GO Productivity staff were able to sit in on the presentations and were inspired and motivated by the apparent hard work done by the students to research and carefully consider different alternatives.
The winning teams impressed the judges with very clear and resounding methods and solutions such as bolstering existing traditional networking approaches with a talented marketing director but also going beyond the GO staff’s individual networks and getting digital tools in place to multiply efforts automatically. With a wider audience and reach, they recommended designing a stream-lined customer experience that would make the final decision to invest easier. The solutions were pitched with exact and researched outcomes such as improving market qualified leads to 300 per month and 15 new clients per month which is a 300% improvement target after 3 years of implementation with an expected ROI of 1.5 years.
The GO Productivity team plan to take in the student’s marketing plans, the results of the competition, as they begin and continue to develop their 2019-onwards marketing plan. Already the experience of hosting a case competition has inspired and moved the GO Productivity staff to start making changes and bolster their existing partnerships and networking plans. GO Productivity would like to thank the NAIT team for hosting, all the students who participated and a special thank you to the judges; Jordan Iverson, Catherine Keill, Bryan Kneller and Punneta McBryan.
To learn more about GO Productivity, visit our website at goproductivity.ca