PASSION CONNECT; TURNING PASSION INTO PROFIT 17
Table of Contents Introduction 3 Approach and methodology 5 Monetization Strategy 6 Porter’s five forces – Passion Connect business environment 8 Financial plan 9 Operation 12 Marketing 13 Human Resources 17 Conclusion 18 References 19
In India, most parents wanted their children to study and work more in fields such as medicine and engineering, and that sorts of things, and less in fields such as art and music, so most of them, although were successful in their careers and fields, they were dissatisfied and were in pain and anxious. Therefore, in 2013, Passion Connect was founded to help people achieve better feelings about their jobs. Kittu, one of the founders of Passion Connect, found out from his work experience with other companies in previous years that he could help Indian young people get into the job market that they interested in more. In 2014, Deva joined the team, so the founders of Passion Connect initially began a psychometric test to identify people’s Passion. In addition to identifying users’ Passions, they wanted to expand their platform to identify several products and Expand user Passions. In 2015, the company joined JUIC, and with their help, it was able to provide entrepreneurship services, training programs, and … In the first three years of its establishment, the company grew exponentially, and the founders each managed their specialized division, and a 12-member team worked on the team. However, they realized that to continue working and expanding their business, they needed to earn money and capital. The company needed to attract investors to accelerate its work and work more efficiently. Despite attracting 40,000 users, it has not yet grown enough to gain the necessary credibility. In 2017, Karthik Kittu and his colleagues sought ways and strategies to implement the first step of attracting investors.
The Indian government has quickly helped entrepreneurs start start-ups by setting up systems that allow people to register and verify by using smartphones. Bangalore is one of the most important cities in the field of start-ups and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs usually have several ways to raise capital. One of the most basic ways is to get a loan from those around them or find a personal investor. In venture capital, the first step is round A and then B and C. Although VC’s main focus was on beginner start-ups, Indian investors were more interested in investing in highly skilled jobs with more than five years of experience, and this was a huge contrast in this country.
In 2016, investors realized that they should not invest in companies that do not have their business models and only implement other business models in India.
So, Passion Connect realized that instead of focusing on users, it should look for ways to demonstrate the potential for increased revenue and have a clear strategy for making a profit.
The Passion Connect had an executable platform on PC and mobile that could help users in three steps. The first step was to identify users’ Passion by using psychometric tests, articles, questions, and so on. In the second stage, by sharing the Passions with those around and the people who were successful in their work and Passions. In the third step, by accessing the mentors and creating support and helping users achieve the goals through the platform’s available facilities.
The Passion Connect was in contact with local social groups, using the Passion Buddy ecosystem, which helped to share users’ Passions based on location.
The company had two options and strategies for earning revenue that needed to be evaluated (B2B and B2C). The company considered, through individuals and B2C strategy, directly and indirectly through methods such as sharing access, e-commerce store, mentorship market place, advertising display, supported content, transaction fees at events and registrations, and so on. However, whether the strategy was the best option, and how? Moreover, how to do it should be considered?
Since 2013, Passion Connect has been able to attract users organically. One main reason that users from all over the country to start using it is because it is free. A sudden application of monetization approaches will confuse and repel the users who have been using it for years.
Availability of Passion connect in diverse geographical areas in India (urban and rural) make it unfeasible to go for a universal single monetization policy. One of the main reasons for this is that the disposable income varies significantly based on the location(urban or rural) in India. Successful firms always have used several options of monetization thereby the users have the freedom to choose the most suitable one that they feel comfortable (Raugust, 2011). Marketing digital platform like Passion Connect has to be done diligently without making the customers angry or treating them unfairly. For instance, during a promotion one set of customers should not be using Passion Connect services free while others are paying for it.
Right Time to Monetize
Normally prior monetization the business model has to be validated and a considerable audience has to be built. Since Passion Connect has passed this stage with 3000 daily active logins it can be identified that as a product Passion Connect has entered the growth phase. Before it is too late with the entrance of competitors minimizing the returns that Passion Connect could reap, the company should monetize the service as soon as possible leading to the market.
The most important factor when deciding on the approach to monetization is the vision of the company. The goal of increasing the revenue and generating final profits should align with Passion Connect’s vision of being the one-stop place for the Indian Passion seeker to identify and pursue their Passion.
Considering these factors following the monetization strategy is suggested,
Passion Connect monetization strategy will comprise a combination of Business to business and business to customer approaches. The strategy will be implemented
Freemium model + Mentorship marketplace –
The boundary that determines what is free and what is paid –
· Signing up and discussions ( “Identify and Live” ) with peers will be still free.
· Premium features will begin from the middle of the “Nurture” step. 30 minutes of cumulative mentorship time will be free, after 2 hours the users will have to choose a package that suits their requirement.
Business to Business(B2B)
Passion Connect has good potential in monetizing through Partnerships with other organizations. After its users accurately find their Passion, these other organizations will be able to help them to build on it. But Passion Connect has to evaluate and monitor them as a responsible business before and after directing its users to these third-party companies. Verification of the reputation of the particular company has to be done and it should be visible to the user which organizations are verified. This can be done by providing a verified batch to third party organizations.
Monetization in with other organizations can be done through charging a percentage fee on each subscription that the particular organization gets through Passion Connect.
As mentioned, the monetization strategy will be executed in three stages to avoid confusing the users. The second stage will be well-targeted advertising through algorithms. One main valuable resource of Passion connect is the user data. Not only the private demographic information, but Passion Connect also possess a deep interest in the users. Since the users are urged to find their true Passion the companies will be willing to pay a premium price for targeted advertising as the likelihood of these advertisements becoming leads and then to actual sales is very high.
Passion Connect will avoid sponsor content as this will tarnish the brand also it can result in practices that might not align with the vision of the company. The main reason would be as soon as the user community sense that the content and the guidelines that Passion Connect publish are driven by the profit motive, not by the genuine need to help people the trust they keep on the platform will be low.
|Threat of entry||The threat of market entrance is high because of the following reasons:
· The favorable regulatory environment, reducing bureaucratic obstacles and supporting plan for start-ups (allocating budget to startups (25 billion))
· The nature of the business requires less start-up capital
|Bargaining power of buyers||The buyers have low bargaining power because there are not many competitors for Passion Connect, and also the switching cost to the buyers is also high because the mentors and the content that Passion Connect provides to the users are highly differentiated and unique. Also, as we have suggested above when Passion Connect initialized to standardize its mentors with its militarization policies, the users will have the opportunity to get the certified mentors.|
|Threat of substitutes||The threat of substitutes is low because of the nature of the business that Passion Connect is in after users are familiarized with the platform and get connected with mentors, finding a close substitute that caters to the same need is difficult. Also, the scope that a single mentor can deliver is also low.|
|Bargaining power of suppliers||This factor can be considered as moderate because although there is less number of companies that engage in this business, the mentors have the ability to switch between each firm without any difficulty as the switching cost is very low. Other organizations and institutes like universities that need to partner with Passion Connect have low bargaining power because Passion Connect has a competitive advantage because of the valuable data that it possesses about its users’ Passion.|
|Intensity of rivalry||The rivalry is considered to be low because although there is a huge number of people who are waiting to find their Passion, there are very few firms helping them to find it. Also, if we consider the individual mentors as competitors to Passion Connect, the capacity and caliber that an individual mentor can provide are negligible compared to what Passion Connect can deliver.|
In order to get acceptance from the investors, it is mandatory to have a solid financial plan. Until now Passion Connect has been a platform that helps people to find their Passion through publishing guiding content and directing them to individual or organizational mentors. When monetizing this business model it is important that the firm clearly know what are the costs and how the revenue will be generating.
|Passion Connect Cost structure|
|Annual/Fixed costs||Rate $||Qty/Hrs||Total|
|Website & app monetization set up||110||10||1,100|
|Other overhead costs||10,000|
|Website and App maintenance||110||12||1,320|
|5 Freelancer writter||4,500||5||22,500|
|Total Annual cost||263,920|
Following is how it is estimated to be the Passion Connect revenue that will be structured. In the beginning, it is expected that 15% of their users will sign up for the premium package. The introductory premium price for an annual subscription will be at 19$ per year.
|Passion connect revenue structure|
|Premium subscriptions (15% users)||174,000|
|Total Annual Profit||110,080|
It is important that Passion connect is measuring the success of this strategy suggested. For this we can use key performance indicators as follows, The Return on investment funnel described below will provide Passion Connect financial guidelines for the business.
Return on investment funnel
The operation has a critical role in the loss and profit of each company and can impact on profitability, sales, and brand equity of Passion connect. In other words, the operation of Passion connect should be optimized in a way that is aligned with Passion Connect’s monetization strategies. In Passion connect the operations will include:
1- Identification and relation of Passions through psychometric tests, orchestrate articles
2- Enable your Passion by sharing it with professionals who have made a made a career from their Passion
3- Enabling users to live their Passion by providing access to mentors and promoting structured activities, mentor meetings, and internship possibilities
So, to make operations aligned with Passion Connect’s monetization strategies, users must be informed of the benefits of premium features of platforms. some recommendations will be provided as follows:
1- writers will have to be advised to write articles that encourage users to get into premium packages
2- Mentors need to be standardized to provide the same quality that Passion connect promises to their customers. It means that every user who gets the 30 minutes of cumulative mentorship should receive the same quality as premium users receive.
Recommended Marketing Strategies for how the Passion connects start-up can promote its digital platform to increase revenue:
In marketing, defining segmentation and target market is a decisive factor for running any promotion and advertisement. Let’s review the segmentation and target market of the Passion connect:
Segmentation and target market:
· All people have a burning Passion and want to pursue their careers.
· All people want to turn their Passion into reality and need a mentor
· Expert people, specialists, mentors, and experienced people
Secondly, from the marketing aspect, marketing strategies should be based on the income level of users who can afford our offers. For example, targeting low-income people to buy a premium option would be a waste of time and money as they cannot afford it.
Household monthly income
Salary Explorer. (n.d.). Average salary in India 2017 -2020 https://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=100&loctype=1
By looking at the above illustration, we can estimate the average household income per month in India, which is between 16,900 Indian rupees and 143,000 Indian rupees. Now promotion and marketing tactics can be more accurate by knowing the income level of each segment.
After gathering precise data about the selected target market, it’s time for the marketing strategies to increase revenue by offering different packages for different people. Some marketing strategies will be provided in the following:
Promoting Free services and products of the platform: promotion for attracting new users should not be stopped as these users can be converted to premium users later. Persuading people who are using free services to buy premium features is the next step. Focusing on the increase in the traffic of platform and attracting new users, some approaches are recommended:
1-Holding several workshops and events frequently in schools, universities, and different exhibitions to attract new people
2- Designing compelling incentives for university professors and experts to join the platform
3- Covering more Passion areas
4- Designing a referral program for people who introduce the platform to their friends
5- Sharing the successful story of users who could turn their Passion to reality on social media like Facebook and Instagram to motivate people
6- Sharing Advice of top-notch mentors on social media to strengthen the credibility of Platform
7- Giving free subscription to influential people on social media for introducing the platform to their fans
8- Philanthropize poor people and make their dream into reality
9- Making a good relationship with city and government to get subsidy for advertising on town billboards
Promotion of premium services and products and how to convert free users to premium users:
1- Designing compelling features for a premium package such as educational courses, business tools, educational games
2- Designing a motivational online club for premium users; people who are using premium packages can join the private online club to frequently get motivated by seeing many Passionate and like-minded people.
3- Publish contents of a premium package using social media, people can see the excellence of this package
4- Educating university professors, instructors and experts about the benefits of the premium package; then they can introduce these benefits to their students
5- Educating employers who want their employees to be updated about different subjects of business. Then these employers encourage their employers to buy a premium package and use educational courses. Information Technology
The IT department and personnel are tasked with a lot of duty when it comes to dealing with the IT department’s activities and business growth. During the analysis stage, IT personnel should work on ensuring that they meet their client expectations. This gets achieved by the team members understanding the clients’ expectations, how to reach them, how to attract them, and which platform to use (Odom et al., 2020). In the analysis, most deliverable gets broken down, and the direction of the business gets identified. IT teams are responsible for installation, monitoring, responding, and providing technical support in most companies.
In the case study, one would recommend that the IT department identify the necessary technology where the Passion connects could apply and adopt smartphones to reaches potential clients. Moreover, the IT department can get to find ways in which it can utilize the technology development fund provided by the government. Additionally, the company can create an online platform like a website and mobile applications that would help clients to discover and connect with their Passions. In the company, relating to one’s desire can be utilized by connecting the mobile app with online blogs, videos, and tests as facilitated by the IT team.
The IT team should ensure that the freelancers and online members are individuals that cannot cause harm to other members inside the platform. Besides that, the IT team should look for strategies that can monetize their business and attract new customers—utilizing sites like Facebook to look for the large population in the country and sell out their policies (Monique, 2020). Moreover, the IT department should ensure that the new features added to the system are user friendly and do stress the users.
On the other hand, the HR specialist has the duty of interviewing, recruiting, and screening employees and the necessary staff. Moreover, the individuals handle the relationship between a company and the clients. Furthermore, the HR team helps decide the monetary and payroll that the users will provide to the system for them to utilize. Thus, the team plans, coordinates, and directs all the administrative functions of the company. HR may focus on consulting with the management for strategic planning through linking the management with employees and clients. Before they accept any individual in the platform, they should ensure that individuals have scrutiny for the applicants and should always ensure they resolve and bad image of the company.
In the case study for the Passion connect, one would recommend that the HR team come up with a suitable model that would help them gain profit without losing on its clients. The freemium model should be such that it accommodates the existing client without the capital to move to a premium while ensuring they offer services that attract a client to the premium package. Furthermore, the HR department should ensure that the market place has quality mentors, advisors, and instructors, and the advice provided to the potential individuals is recommendable. Organizations should always ensure they capitalize on advertising on the platform. Since they have a large user, they can sell banners that can get embedded on the site’s sidebars and home pages. Besides that, the HR can get involved in hiring and attracting the right people to help maintain good selection ratio (Monique, 2020). Lastly, one would recommend that HR should always ensure that there is no bullying at the site since, in the resent areas, there have gotten increased bulling to victim personnel and workstations. HR managers tend to act as leaders and motivators of the organization’s mission and goals. Thus they should mentor and organize the organization the company to facilitate success and continued growth.
Incorporating a revenue model is clearly critical for the continuation of Passion Connect unless they have to move to a nonprofit model. But when monetizing their business model the main factor to emphasize is to avoid compromising on Vision. Also aligning the functional strategies of the company from each division including finance, Human resource, marketing is important for the success of the monetization strategy.
We suggest that having regular meetings following an initial meeting with all employees to clarify their roles in this monetization approach and how new changes will be introduced to the business model such as the approach to content writing. Also, new divisions will be introduced such as marketing with monetization. Incorporating the recruits to the company culture will also be a challenge that Passion Connect has to overcome. Overall as we discussed in the report the main goal of Passion connect will be to establish the monetization strategy while keeping the current healthy growth momentum.
Odom, S. L., Hall, L. J., & Steinbrenner, J. R. (2020). Implementation of Science Research and Special Education.
Monique Tuin, (2020). Passion connect Turning Passion Ivey Publishing.
Raugust, K. (2011). Turning digital into dollars: Engage! Expo outlines monetization strategies for digital content. 10, pp. 4-6. Retrieved 05 30, 2020, from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=4cd74e1a-6c06-40b2-ab3c-878a6c1f95f0%40sessionmgr103 Salary Explorer. (n.d.). The average salary in India 2017 -2020 https://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=100&loctype=1
Developement of the Passion connect monetization project
Promoting the new Passion Connect platform
Users start recognizing the benefits of premium features
Word spread of the about the premium features and some isers start asking more information
Users start using paid features
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