Case Studies: Strategic Planning

Strategic Plan Development

Case: Growth strategy for a regional bank

SITUATION

After initial success strengthening the capital base and addressing regulatory concerns, a bank’s newly appointed management was ready to turn its attention to growth. Lack of board consensus on strategic direction, however, proved to be a big barrier to progress.

our approachOur Approach

Transom analyzed the bank’s existing capabilities and conducted market research across customer segments, channels, and products to identify and quantify key strategic opportunities. This work led to a strategy ideation session that aimed to align board members and executives on which opportunities to pursue and resulted in a three-year strategic and capital plan focused on high-priority initiatives.

our impactImpact

The three-year plan received approval from the management committee, board members, key investors, and regulators. Consistent with the plan, the bank has already launched two new offerings targeting an additional segment, achieved multiple acqui-hires to source talent for an emerging platform, and entered a new strategic geography.

Value Proposition and Brand Positioning

Case: Refining the value proposition for adjacent offerings from a for-profit university

SITUATION

A private equity-owned, for-profit university sought to expand its offerings beyond a niche, campus-based program. Management had preliminarily identified corporate training and bootcamp-style accelerated learning as high priority opportunities. However, it sought an external view of the attractiveness of these adjacencies and needed insight on what program designs would yield the greatest chances for success.

our approachOur Approach

Transom combined secondary market research, financial modeling, a quantitative survey, and qualitative interviews with both prospective end-customers and subject matter experts to size each opportunity and to recommend a winning program design.  To refine the value proposition for each offering, we defined format, business model and pricing, content categories and modularity, and points of differentiation vis-à-vis competitor offerings.

our impactImpact

Implementation of two new programs currently in progress.  Initial market feedback indicates that both offerings will be significantly differentiated in the marketplace.

Customer Segmentation Development and Prioritization

Case: Unlocking new market opportunities

SITUATION

An international property-casualty carrier had a strong position among high net worth brokers and clients in a specific national market, but wished to expand into the mass affluent segment. Previous efforts to do so had failed to account for the unique needs of this group. The client sought guidance on which sub-segments of the affluent market to target and with which value proposition, product set, and distribution tactics.

our approachOur Approach

We initially laid a foundation for the understanding of the mass affluent segment by deploying a quantitative survey, conducting interview with prospects and the brokers that serve them, and analyzing the attributes of mass affluent customers already in the client’s book of business.  We facilitated a series of executive discussions to prioritize sub-segments of the market and to craft value propositions for each prioritized group.  These decisions informed a strategic plan for the mass affluent initiative and a series of product, service, distribution, and marketing work-streams that enabled market entry.

our impactImpact

Within the first year, milestones have included numerous agency appointments to improve relevant broker distribution, launch of a bespoke product set for mass affluent clients, partnerships with key centers of influence, and refined advertising collateral with messages attuned to the needs of prioritized sub-segments.

Channel and Geographic Expansion

Case: Location analytics for a national bank

SITUATION

A national bank planned to expand organically into additional states to supplement a successful multi-year M&A growth strategy. The bank’s head of retail and corporate real estate team were tasked with network expansion, but had limited data to support decision-making.

our approachOur Approach

Transom built a robust database with over 500 data points per zip code, indexing socio-demographic, socioeconomic, business, and competitor dynamics; performed a correlation analysis to determine key drivers of branch success; and built a zip code-level scoring model and location analytics tool to prioritize de novo branch locations.

our impactImpact

The work resulted in a four-year rollout plan for de novo branch locations.  Deposit, asset, and loan volumes have significantly exceeded targets and historical branch growth rates, leading management to declare a “100% success rate” for new branch openings.

Case: New distribution opportunities for an annuities provider

SITUATION

A leading manufacturer of annuities wished to diversify its distribution efforts, which traditionally depended heavily on independent agents and the bank channel. Potential channels to be evaluated included, e.g., broker dealers, partnerships with property-casualty carriers, and digital distribution.

our approachOur Approach

We evaluated 11 potential distribution expansions in terms of both attractiveness and ability to win.  Attractiveness was determined by considering market size, growth rate, and profitability, while the client’s ability to win was a function of proximity to existing capabilities, channel complexity, and competitive intensity.  We also provided project management and business development support to launch three new distribution initiatives.

our impactImpact

Client has successfully entered three new distribution channels, generating immediate premium impact and significantly diversifying its distribution strategy.

New and Adjacent Opportunities

Case: Exploring additional products and services for an insurance carrier

SITUATION

The head of brokerage operations for a leading insurance carrier aimed to provide its sizable agency force with additional products and services to sell beyond the carrier’s core property-casualty and life insurance lines of business. Ideas under consideration included offerings within specialty P&C, investments, banking, credit, and financial advisory.

our approachOur Approach

We identified nearly fifty potential new products and services, and evaluated their attractiveness using market size, margin, and growth variables. We then interviewed agents and internal stakeholders to evaluate the carrier’s appetite for these products and its ability to sell them. Inputs from these evaluations fed into a scoring model that delivered a shortlist of prioritized offerings to be explored in-depth.  We also built a financial model to forecast the revenue and profit contribution of new offerings for both the enterprise and its agents, developed an implementation plan and formal budget request, and facilitated business development discussions to kick-start the sourcing of new products.

our impactImpact

The carrier has launched five major product offerings that are generating risk-free income for the enterprise, enhancing agent economics, and improving agent retention.

Digital Capabilities

Case: Defining the digital roadmap for growth

SITUATION

A regional insurance carrier had an aging service model, with limited online self-service and quoting capabilities. Additionally, problematic IT infrastructure produced delays and errors, creating challenges for the agent force. The carrier had limited capital availability and would have to ruthlessly prioritize among potential digital initiatives.

our approachOur Approach

We identified pain points in the customer and agent journeys by conducting focus groups with customers in three cities and interviewing over 50 agents, executives and employees. We proposed a set of digital initiatives to address these pain points, facilitated discussions with both business and IT personnel to define specs and requirements, and conducted cost-benefit and feasibility assessments to inform the prioritization of new digital capabilities.

our impactImpact

Drove enterprise consensus on a three-year roadmap for the development of digital capabilities that the carrier is now executing.  The roadmap is aligned to budget constraints and addresses the highest priority capabilities required to address both customer and agent pain points.

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