DNA Ancestry Services - Validity & Future Development

DNA Ancestry Services - Validity & Future Development

Presented by: Abdus Anwar, Jack Kang, Caitlin Azzalini, Marta Haniszewski, Anthony Mazzulli and Areeb Khan


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing is a rapidly growing industry in which companies analyze single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and, amongst other services, provide customers with ethnicity and ancestry information. Some firms offer additional subscription and pay-as-you go features, including family tree information and relative-finding software. The rapid growth in this industry is accompanied by equally rapid change, as firms in this sector are shifting focus to health care. Emerging strategies include leveraging large customer DNA databases to negotiate highly lucrative research contracts with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Through analysis of Ancestry.com customer complaints, current advertising strategies, and survey data, RiboTech has identified minority populations in North America as an untapped market. Customer complaints revealed that current products are not fully satisfying this market’s needs. Current advertising strategies are heavily biased toward white North Americans of European ancestry. Survey data demonstrates that minority populations are less aware of genetic ancestry products, but are more willing to buy.

Considering these factors as well as the industry trajectory, RiboTech proposes a financially feasible multi-channel marketing approach.  The marketing approach includes exploiting highly-targeted and results-based social media advertising to increase efficacy and mitigate risk. The proposed plan is expected to boost kit and subscription sales in the short-term. In the long-term, the plan will increase the value Ancestry.com’s DNA database, positioning it well as the industry shifts toward health care.