Recently I took part in a 2 week long case challenge hosted by a management consultancy company in Stockholm. Working in groups, participants were divided based on universities with me (and Reuben from this class!) being placed together with two other engineering students from Uppsala University. With six groups of students in total, and three companies participating, each company had two groups working separately on their case.

The task that was presented to us was (in true management consultancy fashion) to propose initiatives that would enable a fully circular value chain within the studied company. During the case, we had regular discussions with employees in leadership positions at the studied company, in addition to a group mentor, with whom we could inquire about our focus areas, existing/planned efforts within sustainability and other related questions about their work etc. This was essential to our work, and having an experienced mentor during the process helped us considerably in dividing our problem as well as how we should structure the initiatives and our presentation. 

In actually tackling this problem, we began with holistically studying the company’s value chain and their current work in order to truly understand what they do and what processes are employed. Following this, we drew up their current value chain (taking extra care as to mapping out material/energy flow in & out) and studied this alongside illustrations of fully circular value chains to identify what areas needed changing. Subsequently we looked at these focus areas and discussed possible initiatives and projects that could improve upon these. After that we researched individually in order to establish the viability of these initiatives as well as tweaking them to better suit existing opportunities in the focus markets. Having all of this, we created a presentation highlighting how we reached our focus areas, what the most essential themes of these were, and our identified initiatives and enablers. We also identified several KPI for each initiative, a necessity in order to track progress and see the degree of success for the initiatives. The presentation of our studies and initiatives were done to a jury with company representatives and to the other groups.

This was an immensely learningful experience for me, as it was the first time I participated in a real case challenge, let alone one of this size and on an actual company with a current problem. Besides learning about problem solving methodologies and case work, I think that my main takeaway is effective teamwork and how to combine knowledge in different areas. It was also interesting to see how our proposed goals and initiatives were continuously iterated as our understanding of the market, company, existing challenges as well as possible solutions grew. Lastly, it was exciting to gain an understanding of how business focused problem solving practically works in terms of what you’re expected to produce (e.g. concrete recommended initiatives and necessary enablers etc.)

Addressing the relevancy to this course, I think there are several ways this ties into entrepreneurship and startups. To begin with, problem solving skills are highly relevant within entrepreneurship, and having to make decisions within areas where one might not be an expert is expected. Presumably, these problems are commonly very nuanced and multifaceted. This case also made me realize that while you can’t be an expert at everything, often you still can (and have to) make educated assumptions to build upon, while still being ready to change these assumptions if new information arises. Finally, and related to what Serdar has said in previous lectures, our work really highlighted the importance and possibilities of utilizing friends and connections when solving problems! Someone you know might work in a relevant area and could help you out on a 5 min phone call. In our case, once we started asking around we were surprised to learn that everyone in our group had several connections to people working with sustainability, and we used these connections to ask questions and understand our problem as well as possible solutions better. Even if they work in a different area, solutions may often be transferable and applicable on your own problem.

I hope you found this insightful, thank you for reading!

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I participated in an event at a company that mainly operates within the niche of digital management consultancy. In less ambiguous terms, this means that they primarily help companies grow their digital presence as well as their online sales success. Practically, this includes work such as UI/UX tweaks to increase conversion rates and order volume, SEO, increasing the amount of visitors through Google Ads and similar services, etc. 

This particular event was centered around digital growth strategies and providing a general overview of the primary areas within that. While this perhaps isn’t strictly within the realms of startup and entrepreneurship, I thought that I’d share a summary of what was presented as developing these skills and understanding the area better may still be highly relevant and applicable when trying to develop and grow a small company or startup dependent on an online presence. Within this text I’ve bolded some key words, highlighting their significance within a digital growth strategy.

To begin with, a digital growth strategy is commonly divided into smaller and more tangible parts by describing transactions through a simple equation:

Offering + Traffic + Conversion = Transactions

The three first parts make up the main topics that I’ve written about below. By choosing to improve one, or several, of these, the transaction volume should increase, meaning higher revenue. 


The most essential part of a company’s offering is developing a well-thought out value proposition. A value proposition should be a statement summarizing why a customer should choose your product or service, instead of that of a competitor. Initial development of a value proposition can be through an outside-in view, where potential customers are first identified, then their needs are mapped to support a hypothesis on how to create value by addressing these customer needs. By using an inside-out view instead, the analysis is inverted and starts with value creation.

Following this, customer groups should be segmented based on common attributes that define a need for a different type of customer-company relationship. It should also be known what customer group is the most important, as well as if other stakeholders need to be adressed. 

The information from this customer mapping process should then be used to identify how your company creates value by addressing the customer needs. In markets with heavy competition, core value drivers and differentiating aspects should also be thought-out in order to coordinate these with the correct customer groups.

The single most important point of the offering and above paragraphs is making sure that the company’s value offering is aligned with actual customer needs.

Traffic Acquisition

Traffic can be divided into two main categories, organic or paid. Organic traffic is composed of people visiting the site through non-paid sources, e.g. a “normal” Google search or visiting the website url directly. Paid traffic contains website traffic from paid sources such as ads, or placements on other websites. 

Increasing the organic traffic is usually done through what’s referred to as SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Primarily, SEO focuses on improving the actual website content, the foundation and UX, as well as external links. Some perks of using SEO is that it usually brings good ROI as well as organic traffic being the majority of web traffic. 

The customer journey is usually divided into four stages, with the primary internal goals below.

  1. See
  • Create brand awareness, create broad and emotional connection
  1. Think
  • Engage and drive relevant traffic
  1. Do
  • Generate action and profit (conversions)
  1. Care
  • Re-engage customers (create loyalty)

When tasked with improving this part of the digital experience within a project, this company usually work in the order of:

  1. Current state analysis
    1. Define a starting point using available metrics
  2. Identify improvement areas
    1. Simultaneously, identify quick wins that can be implemented immediately
  3. Formulate a tactical growth plan
  4. Implementation support

In the beginning, work also centers around the key question “How can client X increase traffic and conversions through channel Y?”.

Finally, it’s important to note that using marketing channels can be divided into push or pull activities, depending on the platform and type of ad.

  • Push marketing
    • Try to create an interest in your brand/product
    • E.g. platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook etc.
  • Pull marketing
    • Try to “catch” customers that are already interested in your product/a similar one
    • E.g. specific search terms ads (Google, Yahoo, etc.), customized embedded ads.


This company usually works with another company that specializes in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) that usually assists in projects needing this type of work. Basically, they focus on tracking digital footprints in order to investigate customer behaviour and where they “bounce” (choose to exit the website), convert, and do other things of interest. Using this data they detail a funnel from how a potentially interested person leads to a fulfilled order, identify which part has the highest bounce rate, and then start addressing that specific section of the website responsible. 

The data supporting their analysis usually stems from Google Analytics, click maps, scroll maps, user session replays, etc. Sometimes, exit intent polls are implemented on a website in order to ask users bouncing how their experience could’ve been improved.

A final thing mentioned on this part was that Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion can be used very effectively when implemented in website design and CRO. These principles may seem basic and somewhat obvious, but actually implementing them in a skillful way commonly yields highly noticeable results in terms of increasing conversion rates.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures from this event due to me sitting somewhat far back in the room.

I hope you found my post insightful, thank you for reading!