Issue date: 25 October 2011
A joint project between Blue Sheep, a marketing data company based in Cheltenham, and UWE's Bristol Business School has been classed as 'Outstanding' by the funders, the Technology Strategy Board.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was originally established with Blue Sheep by Professor Alan Tapp and has resulted in significant benefits for both company and UWE Bristol.
Lee Price, who graduated from UWE Bristol with a first class degree in Statistics, and gained an MSc in Biometry from the University of Reading, used advanced marketing and statistical modelling methodologies to develop the company's prototype predictive market segmentation product. Working with senior lecturer in business and management Simon Jones from the Bristol Business School (BBS), he developed the theory for client syndication, and created a theoretical quantitative algorithm, which was then tested on existing client data and piloted with Blue Sheep key customers. The resultant tool has enabled the company to significantly increase profit through new high margin products which help clients to maximise their marketing spend and acquire more profitable customers.
Lee has developed his commercial knowledge through the KTP, achieving the Institute of Direct Marketing Diploma in Direct and Interactive Marketing and the Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management. He says, “My role as KTP Associate with UWE Bristol and Blue Sheep has given me a fantastic opportunity to put my qualifications to use in a challenging and rewarding project. I really appreciate the support I receive from senior academics at UWE, they are vital in making the project a success and helping to relieve some of the pressure during the difficult stages of the project.
“In addition, the generous training budget provided by the KTP allows me to purchase all the materials I need and to continue my professional development by attending professional courses, conferences and seminars. The experience, knowledge and additional skills gained during the project will be hugely beneficial for my future. It is difficult to imagine another job where I would be able to add so much to my CV in just 2 years.”
Iain Lovatt, Executive Chairman of Blue Sheep said, “The Associate's skills have been applied to best advantage and his statistical abilities proved to be a persuasive tool in winning business. The increased stability has put the company in a stronger position due to more predictable income streams. The KTP has been a major factor in influencing this change of direction and the move to a smaller, more highly skilled team, creating a significant advantage over competitors.”
The KTP has also proved extremely valuable to academic staff and students. The knowledge gained has had a direct impact upon BBS's teaching and research. It has influenced teaching on three Management and Marketing modules, two at postgraduate level and one at undergraduate level, and provided a teaching case study which was included in Business-to-Business Marketing, by Ross Brennan, Louise Canning and Raymond McDowell (BBS), the latest edition in the Advanced Marketing Series published by Sage. Segmentation analysis techniques developed within the KTP have also been applied to other research and consultancy projects.
Blue Sheep and UWE Bristol have just been awarded a second KTP to develop an innovative range of cloud-based continuous data processing services. Supported by a grant of £75,000 from the Technology Strategy Board, the KTP will be led by Professor Richard McClatchey and Dr Saad Liaquat of UWE's Computer Science and Creative Technologies department, and has appointed a UWE PhD student as a KTP Associate.