Sustainable brand growth solutions can be achieved through Internet integration. Read posts on trends in business growth strategies from MakeBuzz.
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.
By Christopher Skinner
A white paper from Networked Insights reports that organizations are overspending by 30-80% on marketing initiatives, compared to the value they are getting in return.
I might be more inclined to believe such a statement if I felt confident they were measuring that returned value properly. But the truth is, that very few businesses understand the total true value of their online marketing efforts, so who's to say they are over or underspending.
In my experience, most companies are UNDERspending, especially on early phase online media, where the opportunity to increase customer reach and create brand really occurs.
This paper spends most of the time talking about social media and extracting as much as possible from the channel - using the channel to become more "efficient" by leveraging customer "conversations". Again, I take exception with the emphasis on efficiency here. It's not that I want budgets to increase without regard for profitability - I just want the focus of marketing, especially online, to shift from thinking about efficiency to thinking about how online can grow the business.
Instead of asking how we can rifle-target a subset of potential customers, why don't we ask "How can you reach and convert an optimal amount of customer - to increase your profit volume?" That's the question I've always asked, and I use a proven test-and-scale methodology to achieve that profitable reach for clients. That means we know how much we should be spending on each type of customer, and we test and refine that spend across select markets before we deploy on a wider scale. Presto! Growth + Efficiencies.
Because I don't have anything against being efficient, I just don't think we should sacrifice sustainable growth to achieve it.
By Christopher Skinner
RIM is using the Blackberry World 2012 conference to lure developers into creating an app ecosystem that can rival Apple and Android but this strategy will fail if the developers it attracts simply try to be like the popular crowd.
Many are saying that RIM licensing its platform and software signal the beginning of the end, but I think if RIM can play to it's core strengths and not be tempted to compete for the wrong attentions, they might make it through.
New CEO Thorsten Heins’ strategy keeps RIM’s integrated model intact while competing with its rivals on the app ecosystem; it will depend heavily on how many developers RIM can attract and how well these developers create something distinctly Blackberry.
Yes Blackberry is losing market share, but there is a growing trend inside the business community to keep personal and professional spheres separate; this is easier to maintain if demarcated by devices.
While RIM has lost the battle for the personal sphere almost before it began, if it remains true to its core strengths-- security and business-friendly usability-- it can entrench itself. In an increasingly populous and dangerous mobisphere, the mobile equivalent of an armored merchant’s caravan will be in demand more than ever.
RIM’s challenge, then, is to cultivate the energy and creativity of the developer community to create exciting apps, while at the same time giving these same developers the tools they need to channel that creativity toward RIM’s core strengths, thus creating an app ecosystem that is exciting and unique.
They also need to prevent security lapses and outages so as not to damage their reputation for security and reliability — this is what will differentiate RIM from its competitors.
Trying to be like the cool kids will only take much-needed focus away from these important tasks.
RIM, you will never be the beautiful princess in rainbow fairytale land. But you can be the knight that keeps the barbarians from entering the gates.