Corporate and Business Unit Strategy
Financial & Information Services Practice
Easton’s Financial & Information Services Practice helps corporations and financial institutions identify, build, and manage businesses in which information, communications links, and data systems management are critical sources of competitive advantage. Such businesses include information intensive financial services (such as credit cards and other payment products, consumer and commercial lending, currency and securities trading) and a variety of database publishing and distribution businesses. All are characterized by high margins, short product life cycles, substantial product development investment requirements, and dynamic technological environment. Our consulting practice to these businesses has several foci:
- Corporate Development and Acquisitions. We help lead overall corporate development programs or evaluate specific acquisitions and new business proposals. This work is increasingly international in scope, involving expansion by offshore organizations into U.S. markets and globalization of services and products offered by U.S.-based companies.
- Business Strategy. We develop and help to implement business unit strategies. These assignments are typically complex, involving work that is both external (exhaustive market analysis and customer needs assessment) as well as internal to the client (assessments of competitive cost positions and key sources of comparative advantage). In dynamic services businesses, the result of its work is often a fundamental redefinition by clients of what business they are in.
- Competitive Analysis. We help clients understand their current competitive positions and those of their competitors from a cost, market, and product perspective. By projecting how their positions may change under various technological and operating cost scenarios, clients can anticipate and implement rapid changes in strategy in response to changing market conditions.
- New Product Evaluations. These assignments assess the market size, penetration potential, and overall feasibility of new information or financial services. The understanding we help develop of evolving market requirements, competitive product offerings, and likely competitive responses often leads to substantive changes in plans for the product’s features, pricing, and promotion.
- Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service Organization. We improve the performance of those parts of organizations having direct contact with customers. The objective: improving the clients’ share of their served markets. We have helped reorganize sales and customer service departments in ways that have increased sales force productivity and improved customer satisfaction.
Recent engagements have included:
- Developed the co-branding business proposition for leading credit card association, including the underlying economics and alliance strategies for key merchant categories.
- Strategic plan for card products division of top ten bank: result: a ten fold increase in mail solicitations, dramatic portfolio growth.
- Review of opportunities and acquisition candidates in marketing information industry for leading international publisher and information company.
- Evaluation for bank card issuer of alliance opportunities with American Express.
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