Sustainable brand growth solutions can be achieved through Internet integration. Read posts on trends in business growth strategies from MakeBuzz.
By Christopher Skinner
I found this a good perspective on how a framework for disruptive business innovation can live alongside the current business model – as long as there are measures in place to prevent the dilution of either agenda until the the old evolves into the new.
In this short interview, Saul Kaplan, founder & chief catalyst at the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) discusses things board members need to do to ensure business innovation. Much of his commentary was a reiteration of Clayton Christensen's ideas, specifically:
Business models don't last as long as they used to, therefore businesses need to be constantly thinking ahead to design future business models (ones that will eventually disrupt the current model.) This echoes Christensen's sentiments exactly.
Kaplan recognizes that improving the current business model and investing in the creation of a new model are very different exercises: one is focused on the shorter term, the other on the long term sustainability of the company. Therefore, the board should set up a separate board committee for innovation. This way, the innovation agenda doesn't get "incremental" to support the current model by falling into the hands of the "line managers."
Where as Christensen generally discusses the need for an entirely separate entity, Kaplan argues that the board can control both agendas under one roof — and keep the CEO and executive team focused on both – with just a separate committee within the board.
This is an interesting proposal and very appealing; I only wish Kaplan had brought real-world examples of this to the table, rather than pure theory.
By Christopher Skinner
I had the pleasure of presenting as keynote speaker at Google's ThinkFinance event this past Tuesday. For those of you who did not attend the title of my presentation was "Digital Measurement is Broken: Let's Fix It". During the hour, I spoke about the concepts and case studies that have helped form a different framework for media planning and measurement. One that I hope will become the new standard.
Our framework helps business seek out maximum profit volume, on a market-by market basis. Profit by volume is the ultimate measure of efficiency – and the ultimate measure of growth. For too long, our marketing objectives have been disconnected from this fundamental business goal.
It's my hope that speaking at events like ThinkFinance will help spread the word that another way is not only possible but we've been doing it successfully for years!
Here are some of the highlights from the presentation, according to the response I received from the audience:
The Customer Journey is Like Dating You wouldn't walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them on a trip to Paris would you? You'd probably start with coffee, followed by dinner and then a romantic getaway. The same warming up is needed with your potential customers. When you regale them with offer-driven media alone, you're essentially skipping right to Paris -- and this doesn't bode well for your positive response rate.
Think of Your Business Like a Lawn And the blades of grass are your profits. When you're watering and fertilizing, you're making the grass grow- that's your branding. When you're mowing- that's your Direct Response. Your lawn needs both these efforts to grow it's greenest and it's best. By the same token, a healthy marketing strategy is made up of Branding and Direct Response efforts in perfect balance.
Stop Looking Over the Back of the Boat When you use only rear-facing data (past sales data for example) to make decisions about your business, you're essentially looking over the back of the boat to determine which direction to head in. Data layers are everywhere— data about your potential customers, where they live and what they do. Use these layers to create prediction about further profitability.
Pay Attention to Real Social Circles When you sit in a busy restaurant, what do you see? People talking. According to this study 93% of word of mouth activity still happens offline. Those offline conversations affect online activity and total purchasing behavior and vice versa. So how do you get people talking? Similar people tend to cluster together in geo-graphic areas; if you concentrate media in those areas, you can start an influential conversation.
Your Brand Search Terms are Not a Gift from God That's right, you have to create demand for these terms. And how do you do this? More and more, the answer is, "Online." We cannot continue to rely on traditional media to create our brands when we live in a world where media is the screen. We need to engage in digital branding efforts like early Awareness phase search terms, display and video that connects with consumer (as opposed to just selling a product). With the right framework, these branding efforts become a measurable, and ultimately profitable part of your marketing strategy.
For those of you who did attend, I'd love to hear from you – what resonated with you? What questions do you still have? Reach out here.
By Christopher Skinner
This article on short term profits vs. long term survival reminds me of a comments I've made over the past few years (here and here).
The gist is this: you need both, but when push comes to shove, you've got to put long-term sustainability over the lure of immediate benefit. Because the steps you take to do so will work towards achieving both goals.
The article contrasts the reasons behind why entrepreneurs and corporate execs think differently when it comes to long-term success vs near-term profits: "Entrepreneurs think like owners. Their survival instinct is wired directly into their gut.They don’t want their baby to die.” whereas "Executives are often hired guns, focused on maximizing [return], with no incentive to think about what happens [further down the road]."
A little bit of caring, the author seems to argue, goes a long way.
On the marketing and sales side of things, that means investing in your brand and working towards customer loyalty. It suggests a different framework for measurement and goals, accepting perhaps lower margins (ROI) in the hopes of building reach and marketshare (volume) over the long-term.
In an environment where quick-thinking and quick-acting are critical, it's hard to take a moment to ask what efforts will help build something that lasts - to resist the lower hanging fruit of immediate profitability. But as the article points out, honing that survival instinct can help on both fronts.