In de onderstaande management summary vindt u de strekking van het onderzoek dat is uitgevoerd tijdens de onderzoekstage. Het onderzoek is uitgevoerd in opdracht van Fontys Academy for Creative Industries en DamesDraaienDoor ten behoeve van afronding van de afstudeerfase. Het onderzoek richt zich op Duitse evenementen- en artiestenbureaus gericht op corporate events. De twee hoofdonderwerpen in het onderzoek zijn positionering en het zakelijke beslissingsproces.
This study is commissioned by DamesDraaienDoor and Fontys Academy for Creative Industries and its subject is a positioning strategy for the German event and artist market aiming at corporate events by defining the organizational buying process. DamesDraaienDoor is an all-female DJ and artist agency that solely works with women, based on three pillars: Beauty, Brains & Professional. The agency mainly focuses on the business market, performing at corporate events. One of the main concepts the agency executes is called DutchDanceDivas. With this concept arose the wish to expand internationally. In The Netherlands the agency is highly successful. Now aiming for the German market, the agency realizes that it has no knowledge on this market, which makes taking a strategic position a hit for darkness. The target audience is event and artist agencies in the German market, focussing on corporate events. These agencies vary in size and the market is open to new agencies at any time. DamesDraaienDoor finds it interesting to explore how the process of choosing artists for corporate events in this market works, allowing a clear insight in the organizational buying behaviour of these agencies as a basis for strategic positioning.
The practical aim of this study is to claim a strategic position in the German market for corporate events. To accomplish this goal the following research question is answered by means of desk and field research: What are the phases of the organizational buying behaviour process, used by German event and artist agencies, in choosing an artist for corporate events?
To answer this question a qualitative research method is used. Prior to doing so, some definitions are given to concepts by means of literature review. The term corporate events in this study means a gathering aiming at employees, clients, business partners or potential clients. The size of these events differs, depending on the size of the company and its network.
Extensive desk research is conducted into the concept of positioning. Positioning in this study means finding a place in the market by using core qualities, relevancy and differentiation. The concept of ‘Inside-Out’ thinking in positioning is extensively studied by exploring theories by Kim and Mauborgne, the Blue Ocean Strategy (2004), Sinek, the Golden Circle (2010) and Riezebos and Van der Grinten, MDC model (2011). These three theories, alongside the Means-End Chain (Gutman, 1982) are used to form a conceptual model for ‘Inside-Out’ positioning. Desk research is done on organizational buying behaviour. Organizational buying behaviour is a transaction between business, starting with problem recognition and concluding with an evaluation (Johnston, W.J., Lewin, J.E., 1996). After the desk research, qualitative field research is conducted by means of in-depth interviews. In order to get all information needed, the laddering technique is of good help alongside asking for good and bad examples. Because the ‘why’ question is being continuously asked, underlying drivers and values can be determined. The interviews are analysed through three steps: open coding, axial coding and conceptual model.
The results of this study are that positioning using ‘Inside-Out’ thinking is most relevant for positioning a service in the market for corporate events. The German market for corporate events is strongly hierarchical and the process is highly intense with many moments of contact and many people involved. Whereas bigger agencies are competing on high quality for low prices; quality, behaviour, custom work and personal contact are key to small agencies. DamesDraaienDoor stands for quality, appearance, custom work and personal contact. With booking new artists comes a level of perceived risk, because the process is intense, complex and time pressured. Once the agencies see quality, the risk is being reduced, but in practice, this often means booking a new artist does not happen. Small agencies feel the ‘Country-of-Origin’ effect can be of help to reduce perceived risk because it serves as a perceived quality label.
The conclusions arose an advice that includes recommendations, a concept and a communication strategy. A recommendation is that DamesDraaienDoor communicates the values of quality, all-female stage appearance, custom work and personal contact to meet up to the core qualities of small agencies. This can be achieved by strengthening the existing concept DamesDraaienDoor in three stages: sleeping concept, awakening concept and the living concept (Crucq-Toffolo, G. & Knitel, S., 2013)
Finally, another recommendation is to implement a communication strategy with the use of the ‘Country-of-Origin’ effect. A perceived quality label that connects the perceived high-quality of Dutch musicians and the well-known Dance music genre to the Dutch origin of the concept. The credibility of the quality needs to be proven in live formation, but the gap is closed by using a perceived quality label to reduce the initial perceived risk when small agencies are being offered to work with a new artist.