Riku Salminen

by Riku Salminen

on February 27, 2020

GetJenny Invests in US Market Research for Growth Potential

Global expansion plays an important role for any startup ready to scale up. However, expansion is always risky, especially when planning to enter the lucrative US market. At GetJenny, we continually invest in research, and as part of that initiative, participated in the Global Access Program (GAP) organized by UCLA last year. The objective was to study the opportunities and different entry strategies available to GetJenny for entering the US market.

Riku Salimnen, Miikka Haavisto and the GAP team studying customer service chatbots for GetJenny from UCLA

GetJenny and GAP team after the final presentation in Los Angeles.

About the GAP Program

GAP brings teams of talented professionals from around the world together to work with selected technology companies. The MBA students involved in the program invest thousands of hours in research with a singular goal: find if the company is ready to enter and what are the growth opportunities in the United States market that take a company to its next level of development.

Focusing on new-market entry, GAP helps non-US companies with their US launch. The program selects a team of five MBA students to work closely with the company’s top management. The students coordinate to research, analyse and consult stakeholders of the company, as they develop new strategies for growth. This provides significant value over traditional consulting alternatives.

The team develops and delivers an investment-grade strategic plan including comprehensive competitive analyses, market pricings and specific market launch strategies.

What we Learned

The US economy accounts for a quarter of the world’s GDP. It’s significant home market consists of over six million companies serving 265 million consumers.

The US chatbot market was valued at approximately $350M (2018) and is projected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 27% through 2024. Market growth is influenced by advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the prevalence of messaging as a preferred communication, and the rising demand for consumer self-service options.

Map of the USA with names of states replaced for countries with similar GDPs, source AEI.

States in the USA renamed to countries with similar GDPs. Source: AEI

Despite the obvious benefits of chatbots, the GAP students identified key challenges in the market through research interviews:

  • customer education of what chatbots actually do
  • importance of brand familiarity for businesses looking to adopt a new technology
  • overall level of sophistication required for chatbots to meet consumer expectations for personalized customer service experiences

Thanks to their extensive research, at GetJenny we learned valuable insights about the US market; how important it is to choose primary target segments carefully, and the initial investment required for market entry.

The GAP team’s research also gave us practical recommendations about changes and improvements to make before entering the US market. These recommendations included improvements to GetJenny’s product offering by adding features that US customers have expressed strong demand for, and how to alter our marketing messaging to address the needs and wants of decision makers.

Chatbot adoption rate in customer service is influenced by the technology’s ability to successfully process key aspects of customer service success. The following four chatbot abilities were rated most important for US customers:

  1. understand the customer’s transactions history with the company,
  2. provide personalized responses to each customer regardless of whether the query is an FAQ
  3. understand the customer’s context
  4. lead end users through an augmented dialogue to clarify intent

Working with the MBA students was both inspiring and rewarding. We were really pleased to see how well the GAP program combined the academic assets with pragmatic research. We started with a list of hypotheses that resulted in a high quality report with tailored analyses, concrete recommendations and alternative strategies on how to enter the U.S. market. We look forward to seeing where this will bring us next! 😊

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