THE MARKETING CATCH-22 DILEMMA
Nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. consumers would use ‘smart-reordering’ services where intelligent sensors in the home pre-empt when a product, such as laundry detergent, is running low and automatically re-orders it on their behalf. Another 36 percent use digital assistants. While the vast majority (89 percent) are satisfied with the experience, 40 percent say it can feel slightly creepy when technology starts to correctly interpret and anticipate their needs.
Hyper-relevance is the next wave of growth for companies operating in consumer industries, but it cannot be achieved without engendering digital trust. To pivot to hyper-relevance, companies should consider:
The B2B selling space is increasingly complex sales process, and changing buyer expectations present new challenges for B2B sales teams. In order to remain competitive and hit revenue goals, it is imperative that sales teams understands the shifting landscape, the factors that influence buyer behavior, and steps they can take to more effectively sell to the 21st-century B2B buyer. Let's start with the five factors that influence the B2B buyer behavior.
To see continued success, sales reps must adapt to better serve the needs of the modern buyer by understanding buyer personas, adding value to the conversation, and engaging buyers early on in the purchase process with relevant content. Learn more about these five factors at the Salesforce blog.
CAN IT BE BUILT VS SHOULD IT BE BUILT
Many established businesses spend several months building and perfecting new products in their pipeline without ever showing the product or its early prototype to prospective customers. When the products are eventually launched they fail to attract interest from the market. Upon post-mortem (pun-intended), it is often discovered that the market feedback was never incorporated while developing the product.
YOU CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE
Most businesses operate in an ever-changing environment. Thus, investing time and effort on formulating detailed business plans with uncontrollable assumptions would not be the most efficient use of company resources. Unless building a spaceship to transport critical payload, established businesses should take a cue from lean start-ups who do not rely on a step-by-step plan. Instead, they formulate a milestone-based plan and adopt hypothesis driven experimentation and validated learnings for course correction until they reach those business milestones.
DON’T COLLECT DATA FOR THE SAKE OF COLLECTING DATA
We have all been guilty of this one. Spending hours gathering data from multiple sources and creating reports to share with our team – simply because that’s what everyone else does. However, if the data does not accurately reflect the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the business then the resulting intelligence may be meaningless and waste of company resources. For example, analyzing total impressions of company social media profiles may not be as critical as analyzing number of product demonstrations performed by sales associate against actual sales.
STEP OUTSIDE THE CUBE - TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Even after investing resources on data collection, analysis and jaw-dropping dashboards - you still need to meet with customers to understand them and their pain points. Following up after customer complaints can not only reduce attrition rates, but can also be a source for product and process improvement. For example, your customers may share insights about new ways of using the product that the engineers may have overlooked. No matter how large or successful your company may be, it exists because of your customers.
Many books and best-practices have been professed about value-creating & waste eliminating lean management techniques that can be deployed at an organization, department and even at the product level. My thoughts in this article were influenced by the production philosophy pioneered by Taiichi Ohno, considered as the father of the Toyota’s lean production system, Eric Ries, consultant and author of The Lean Startup, and James Womack, management expert and co-author of Lean Thinking.
Feel free to share your experiences and other best practices with me (and others) by posting your comments.
Please feel free to share your tips and suggestions with me and other readers by posting your comments.
What were some other trends and techniques that did not work for you? Feel free to share your thoughts.
There's an apocryphal story of a guy who went for his final interview for a senior post at Coca-Cola. During dinner, he ordered a Pepsi. He didn't get the job (no surprises there).
Most packaged goods companies would kill to be the only product on the shelf, to own the category in a given store. Yet, not only do authors get along, they spend time and energy talking-up each other's books.
Can you imagine Bill Gates giving a generous review of Apple's new operating system (OS) or Tim Cook writing a positive blurb about the Samsung Galaxy S5? And yet, the authors do it all the time! To read more about this unique perspective, check out this article written by Seth Godin.
I had observed that some of the industries I had previously worked, have had a high turnover rate resulting in a constant influx of new team mates entering and exiting different phases of the projects. With these high-knowledge professionals transitioning the Organizational Intelligence (OI) acquired during the projects/operational activities is lost with their departure. However, most businesses do not have a planned knowledge transfer process resulting in a loss of OI.
This makes me ponder - how should businesses prepare for these unplanned exits? I read this article that shares a few great ideas to retain OI. For more details check it out: http://linkd.in/1xS8AAS
The history of the word “entrepreneurship” is fascinating and scholars have indeed parsed its meaning. I will spare you the results, and instead share the definition formulated by Professor Howard Stevenson, i.e. the godfather of entrepreneurship studies at Harvard Business School. He says, "...Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled..." - Read this on a thought provoking article by Harvard Business Review. For full details check out: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/01/what-is-entrepreneurship/
Read this interesting article on Forbes the other day by Peter Drucker, who is considered by many as the father of business consulting and it made me ponder. Peter made a profound observation, " ...because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business...”
Quite an interesting article. Check it out here: http://www.forbes.com/2006/06/30/jack-trout-on-marketing-cx_jt_0703drucker.html
One of the critical skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur is the ability to talk about the product in an effective and engaging manner. I have been there myself and learnt a lot through my mistakes. So, here are a few pointers to keep in mind for your next big presentation:
Was the above helpful? Do you have additional tips? If so, please feel free to share.
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