The Ibbaka team is pumped about getting chosen for the 2019 Ready to Rocket list for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Rocket Builders began publishing its Ready to Rocket list back in 2003, right after the ‘tech wreck.’ The goal was to call out the potential of BC’s innovation economy and show that despite the hard times there was a lot of potential and that there were companies out there delivering on that potential. Over the years it has become the best indicator of the vigour of the innovation sector.
The Ready to Rocket list is actually many lists. There are the Ready to Rocket companies and the Emerging Rockets. Ready to Rocket companies have proof of their value and are on a growth curve. In the modern lingo, they have offer-market fit and have begun to scale. Emerging Rockets are companies with the potential to grow rapidly because they are surfing on important trends, have a compelling technology and strong leadership. Ibbaka’s partner company TeamFit is an Emerging Rocket (but wait, TeamFit has a series of major product launches coming in 2019 that should launch it into orbit).
The ICT list is just one part of Ready to Rocket. There are also lists for Agri-Food, Digital Health, Life Science, and Cleantech. Together, they give a complete picture of what is happening across the province.
You may be surprised to see Ibbaka on the ICT list. Many people think of us as a consulting company. Yes, consulting is how we deliver our services, but that is a packaging choice we have made. Under the covers we are a data and technology company. Ibbaka will solve your pricing problems and align your pricing with your goals to drive performance. We don’t do this by tweaking your price levels or estimating your customer’s willingness to pay. Ibbaka goes deep into the structure of your market. The foundation of our work is market segmentation.
A meaningful market segment is a group of potential customers who get value in the same way and who buy in the same way.
Ibbaka designs pricing models for specific target market segments. The market segments where you have an unfair advantage and deliver real and sustainable value to your customers (Value to Customer or V2C is one of our most important analytic tools). How do we build these segmentations?
Ibbaka takes in a lot of different data to discover market segmentations. This is too much data for an unaided human to process and find patterns within. This is where our technology comes in. Some of the data that feeds our market segmentation studies are …
CRM data (the richer the better)
Interviews coded for value drivers (see the note on value drivers below)
Market surveys that we conduct with our clients to discover and validate value drivers and uncover different customer buying processes
Market scans where we ingest many websites and documents to find the value drivers (see the theme around buying process)
Social media scans (where we are also looking for value drivers)
Our analytics platform pulls together all this data and maps it to our growing database of value drivers. It looks for clusters using a variety of different algorithms. Everything from basic K-Means to fancier approaches adapted from social network analysis (this was one of our most important discoveries in 2018, that the social network analysis algorithms we had been using for other purposes could help cluster market segmentation data and reveal meaningful patterns). When we first started using this in early 2018, Rashaqa Rahman (whose own blog posts you can find here) commented:
I thought this was going to save us time, but what it really lets us do is to ask better questions and explore the data in new ways to find insights that we could not see before.
For those who are interested in the details, the platform is built on Ruby on Rails and uses R to program its analytics.
What is a value driver? A value driver describes how a customer gets value from your solution. Value drivers come in two big categories, emotional and economic. Both are important to market segmentation and pricing model design. If you are not thinking about both of these then you need to be. Under the hood, Ibbaka is building a rich library of value drivers with the connections to how different stakeholders respond to them.
In 2019 we are adding another layer to our technology. Many companies want to have some sense of the outcomes of a change in pricing before committing. Pricing touches on many different parts of commercial and operating model. Any change in pricing carries uncertainty with it. But one does not need to make these decisions blind. Modern models of causality (see Judea Pearl) combined with classic Monte Carlo analysis can help us explore the outcomes of price changes and see the range of possible outcomes.
We initially thought we could use existing platforms to build and explore Monte Carlo models, but after exploring a few we found them to be too general and not really designed for our needs. So we have begun to add causal exploration and Monte Carlo modelling to our technology stack. This work is in its very early stages, but it is already giving our clients important insights and leading to changes in pricing and go-to-market strategies.
We are proud to be on the Ready to Rocket list. But even more important is the contribution we want to make to the other companies on the list! Understanding your market, your differentiation, how you create value and who you create it for, these are what guide successful innovation. Going deep into these questions using a grounded methodology built into an intelligent analytics platform is what Ibbaka offers. Getting your pricing right and connecting your pricing to your differentiated value can be the critical difference between successful innovation and sputtering out in the market.