iTRACK project aims at delivering beyond state of the art solutions for helping humanitarian aid agencies complete their mission while keeping their personnel, vehicles and assets safe. Under that perspective, iTRACK system will include novel approaches and methodologies based on the expertise and technologies of each partner. Thus, an iterative methodology was selected for gathering insights for the Humanitarian Needs market, based mainly on two phases: desk research and field observation. Regarding the first, an extensive desk research including literature review and analysis was made in order to gain the first insights in the issue. During the second phase of the work, insights were gathered from industrial partners, including project partners and key personnel working for partnering NGOs. Field observation and all the requirements that have accrued in WP2 were used in order to find out the main points of the market and proceed with the design of the technology foresight.
Following this work from previous Work Packages, this report gathers and analyzes all the data available so far and delivers a depiction of what the potential customers need from iTRACK in the Humanitarian Aid Safety and Security. Analyzing the Pains and Gains of a humanitarian NGO, it is evident that humanitarian actors, despite their operational differences, could largely benefit by an application like iTRACK as it addresses the most important challenges that they face.
Since iTRACK is developed to help specifically organizations that operate in insecure environments, the features that it includes could easily find application in other industries that share certain needs with the humanitarian aid industry like the Asset Management Systems Market, the Personnel Tracking Systems Market, the Maritime Security Market, and the Insurance Market. These industries are generally growing and could largely benefit by iTRACK’s capabilities.
In order to lay out the best positioning strategy for iTRACK, this report briefly summarizes the current competition in the Humanitarian Aid Safety and Security ICT market, that where identified and analyzed in previous deliverables. As such there are number of ICT solutions that offer a large array of services. What is clear however is that very few offer 360° solutions comparable to iTRACK’s.
It is also important to address the various external, environmental factors that would affect iTRACK’s application. Performing a PEST analysis, the most important Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors, that help or hinder iTRACK, were identified. From a Political perspective, there is a big challenge in the variation and complexity of the different legal frameworks under which iTRACK will operate. On the other hand, advanced countries seem to commit more to helping those in need and as a result aiding the humanitarian aid sector, as is evident by the Sustainable Development Goals. Following the 2007 economic crisis, the global economy is slowly recovering but is still vulnerable to shocks. Socially, the massive global use of social media makes for a very good opportunity for iTRACK. Communities both in the advanced and the developing world are more connected than ever creating large amounts of data that can help enhance iTRACK’s capabilities. Finally, technological readiness is at an all-time high, with large penetration of ICT globally, and the existence of mobile networks even in the least advanced countries. The use of 3rd party APIs however could present a challenge for iTRACK.
Building on this work, and making use of iTRACK’s SWOT analysis, this report proceeds with laying out an initial market positioning strategy. iTRACK can position itself in the humanitarian aid market with a Broad Cost Leadership Strategy. While its capabilities and features would allow it to be a market leader, the iTRACK project must aggressively promote its competitive advantage as it enters a market with established competitors. Compared to the competition however, iTRACK is one of the most versatile solutions that is also a full-fledged Decision Support System.
While the marketing strategy depends on the broader exploitation strategy, this report also provides an initial analysis of the marketing mix that iTRACK must have, based on the 7Ps of Marketing model1. As such, iTRACK has a strong product that it must promote heavily and aggressively. Online promotion is helpful but the use of direct channels is also required. Finally, since its competitive advantage comes in part from the knowledge and research into the sector, it would be beneficial in the long run if R&D continues to update the application.
The analysis that has taken place in this and in previous deliverables coupled with the creation of a BMC pinpoints that while iTRACK has a very strong value proposition and exceptional key partners it currently lacks a strong revenue plan that will help quickly make up for the costs undertaken.
All the different models and methods used, helped pinpoint three distinct exploitation avenues for the project as a whole: Commercial, Social, and Academic. Commercial exploitation has to do with the actual selling and generating of profits from the iTRACK solution. The social side has to do more with how this project can help local communities and act as an amplifier for democratization and free speech. Finally, the academic exploitation addresses the large possibilities for furthering academic research that iTRACK creates, whether that is in the form of papers, lectures, or case-studies.
To conclude this deliverable suggests that next steps should be to further research the alternative industries that iTRACK can enter and proceed with forming a complete marketing strategy followed by an exploitation approach that will take into consideration all the three avenues identified in this report.