Business Strategy and Management Principles. Marketing Strategy of a Visual Commerce Startup

Seminar Paper, 2018

26 Pages, Grade: very good


Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1 - Executive Summary
Company Description
Legal Structure, Regulations, and Intellectual Property Rights
Target Market and Competition
Strategy Business Model
Product and Services
Competitive Advantage
Growth Strategy
Human Resources
Marketing and Sales
Financial Summary
Research & Development and Technology

Chapter 2 – Marketing Research Paper
Social Media Marketing
Influencer Marketing
Event Marketing
Search Engine Marketing
Email Marketing



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D


This paper gives an executive summary and a generated marketing strategy of the visual commerce startup that is called Virtual Glutton (VG). The executive summary incorporates a brief overview of the company, its legal structure, its target market, its business model, its human resources, its marketing and sales, its financial summary, its technology as well as its research and development (R&D). It is initiated to use as a pitch desk. The research about the marketing strategy describes instruments using the example of Virtual Glutton to explain how to build a superior strategy and how to increase the number of customers.

Keywords: Virtual Glutton, visual commerce, marketing

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


The power of social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat opens the door for all different kinds of service and business intelligence companies which will use the data from these channels to generate output. In addition, social media is sellable and can contribute a large percentage to a business’ revenue (Driver, 2018). In 2016, VG did a proof of concept. The following year, it was developing its service. In 2018, it concentrates on the expansion in Europe.

Chapter 1 - Executive Summary

Company Description

VG is a visual commerce company that stimulates the need for evaluating customer data from social media channels based on their sights and transforms it to create an impact on the customers. The data is accessible through VG’s website or app. The company was founded in 2016 by a German-Indian couple. Its head office with ten employees is located in Manhattan, New York, and has a business operations, sales & marketing (incl. customer service), and IT department. The company currently operates in the United States and Europe, with a total revenue of $180,000 in both markets in 2017. Furthermore, the company has raised $2 million from fundraising and will open a branch office in London in the fall of this year.

VG’s mission is, “[t]o provide people with the visual content that they deserve,” and its vision is “[t]o analyze what us visible surrounded.” The company’s values are defined through characteristics such as passion, respect, motivation, creativity, and open-mindedness.

The business' goal is to establish the company through its exceptional customer service in combination with its analysis results.

Legal Structure, Regulations, and Intellectual Property Rights

VG is a limited liability company. Federal and Government regulations are in process in the United States. The European Union is going to implement a General Data Protection Regulation in the next month.

VG is a trademarked name in the state of New York (see Appendix A for brand logo). The company is filing patents on its virtual reality analysis software.

Target Market and Competition

The visual commerce industry in the United States is fragmented. The revenue was estimated at over $100 million in 2017 and had been projected to be $215 million this year. There are three main competitors with a similar service like VG. Currently, its market share is small, but it is rapidly growing (Wormser, Y., 2017).

The visual commerce industry in Europe is an embryonic industry with only a couple of competitors, but it is also expanding. The company’s market share is not determinable yet based on the fact the market includes a different customer based on their respective region (Zahra Media Group, 2017).

The three main competitors in the American market are Dash Hudson1, Curalate2, and Olapic3. The main competitor in Europe is Photoslurp4.

Strategy Business Model

VG has developed a visual commerce analysis software that is based on artificial intelligence and data analytics. It can analyze images, videos, campaigns, likes, followers, hashtags, etc. across all visual marketing channels. From there, it can give recommendations or formulate marketing strategies as well as brand strategies for their customers.

Customers. VG’s primary customers consist of startups from different industries such as fashion, travel, health, furniture, and food. Most of the startup customers are from the United States, and they tend to expand their business through social media channels. They know how important social media and the generated customers are for their businesses, so they use the recommended strategy to enlarge their businesses and get in touch with their target groups as well as increase brand awareness.

The European customer segment is different to the American and consists of individuals, well-established companies, as well as influencers and bloggers. The individuals, influencers, and bloggers want to refine their strategies to catch more attention as well as blow up their businesses. The well-established business have discovered the potential of social media at a very late time and want to accelerate through VG's strategies and catch up to the market leaders.

Product and Services. The Product is the transformation of social media data into data that drives traffic to customers’ website, increases brand awareness, turns visitors into shoppers, and increases conversation rates.

VG offers these services:

- 24/7 customer service hotline
- each business has its own advisor
- customer relationship management
- brand management
- marketing and brand strategy consulting
- social media management and consulting
- data analysis
- custom service based on a customer needs
- test software

Pricing. There is a $1,500 monthly rate that gives the customer the opportunity to test the service. Besides, there is a bi-yearly contract for $8,000 and a yearly contract for $15,000. The service can be bought via VG’s website or app. So far, there is only an online distribution channel.

Competitive Advantage. The company has the following competitive advantages through its differentiation strategy:

- Customer manager who advise customers through the whole analyzation process and works as a support for their strategy formulations
- Customers can customize their services, e.g., only focus on videos and images on Instagram or only hashtags on Twitter
- Real-time data delivery in a simple and easily understandable design on our app or on the customer account on our website
- Creates strategies and recommendations for future activities on the internet e.g., which colors and shapes should be used on Instagram photos
- Additional services for startups-in-their-first-hour and just-about-to-start professionals: formulation of a brand and marketing strategy
- Additional services: insight view of competitors in the customers’ industries
- Future service: working on a software that can be used in virtual reality

All services are ready to be offered to clients, pending approval of contracts. The team is still improving the visual analysis software based on customer feedback.

Growth Strategy. It will open a branch office in London in the fall of this year. VG is leaning towards the broad differentiation strategy based on 1) its presence in the United States and Europe and its wide range of customers that comes along with those two markets and 2) wide range of customizable product options. Furthermore, there are competitive forces in this industry that should not be underestimated as substitutes, the bargaining powers of buyers and new competitors.

Human Resources

The firm does not have a human resources division yet. It belongs to the business operation department. The company employs ten employees in Manhattan, New York. It will open a branch office in London in the fall of this year. There are a graphic designer and an accountant who work as consultants (see Appendix B for the current staff, their salaries, their type of jobs, and who will hire at the branch office in London)

Marketing and Sales

VG’s marketing strategy is based on the customer target groups as well as on the competitor structure in its industry. The American customer segment focuses on startups as well as on the three main competitors as well as their activities. The company’s strategic advantage is the focus on one specific target group and its low-cost model. VG does a multi-channel marketing strategy; it uses mainly the social media and online marketing channels (see Appendix C for marketing strategy).

The marketing strategy for the European market takes place through online and social media marketing channels. As soon as the London office is open, there will be an implementation of a European event marketing strategy.

The company’s sales division is supported by the marketing activities drives the revenue of the business. The sales are generated through the above-listed marketing channels, trainings by sales consultants, as well as direct emails to potential startups. The sales processes consist of the following steps 1) initiate email by VG 2) first meeting between VG and startup 3) identifying startup’s needs and requirements 4) VG creates an individual presentation for the startup 5) second meeting to finalize the needs 6) deal closure (on a monthly/bi-yearly/yearly basis).

Financial Summary

Since the VG is expanding its business and earned $180,000 through sales in the last two years and fund raised $2 M to cover its expenses, software development as well as R&D in virtual reality. The goal for the next fundraising round is $3 M. The company wants to persuade the investors by showing the revenue and customer acquisition performance in the past as well as its plans for the future and show a first prototype of the virtual reality software. Investing in the company brings equity to the investors (see Appendix D for a monthly sales plan, the break- even-point as well as the costs that need be covered).

Research & Development and Technology

VG is working on a software that can be used in virtual reality programs. The technology the company works with is mainly for its website, app, and presentation. The website and app are hosted by GitHub and maintained by the IT specialist. The generated data from the customers are analyzed on Excel and saved at Microsoft Azure Cloud. The team works with MacBooks. The presentation for customers are created with The goal is to develop software as little as possible and rent the major part of it.


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Business Strategy and Management Principles. Marketing Strategy of a Visual Commerce Startup
very good
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ISBN (eBook)
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business, strategy, management, principles, marketing, visual, commerce, startup
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Friederike Berg (Author), 2018, Business Strategy and Management Principles. Marketing Strategy of a Visual Commerce Startup, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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