Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Brave New Business World!

“Build from what the customer wants to buy, not what you do well.”

“Always work backwards from where you want to be, not forward to where you want to go.”

“Successfully sell your offering before it is finalized – when it’s just barely useful – and get customer feedback.”

“You are in the relationship business. Build what customers think is worth having. The product is merely the method to build marketable relationships with customers.”

Marketing words of wisdom from serial entrepreneur Tony Grass, currently founder & President of a new kind of service that help clients find customers worth having – e-Market Intelligence – at last evening’s NYTECH event on “Long-Range Planning for the Successful Sale of a Company.”

Excellent insights were also provided by moderator, Paul Ellis, principal of the Paul Ellis Law Group, and co-founder of NYTECH, and his knowledgeable panelists, all focused on today’s new new exit environment and the importance of building towards an exit from the company’s early days in order to assure a smooth process when the time comes.

What factors build value in the last couple of years before exit? The two most important:
• Reputation, credentials, brand – the brand will be worth 30% of the exit value.
• Recurring revenue – based on distribution for product sales and on recurring need for services from delivering a unique bottom line advantage to B2B customers, “enjoyable value” to B2C customers.

I was especially struck by just how different today’s exit environment has become.

  • The traditional discounted cash flow (DCF) value is not that useful anymore because of accelerated change. Today a lot of value derives from possibilities a company’s assets can lead to in time – the future use potential.
  • Even the traditional structured auction is no longer typical because the same technology has different uses and values for different buyers. It’s all about the individual value proposition.

And because the environment is getting more and more complex, professional advisors have grown enormously in importance – investments bankers familiar with complexities of a company’s industry as well as accountants and attorneys specialized in specific areas of relevance. (Say goodbye to your husband’s best friend who’s a generalist lawyer!)
To begin at the beginning today means knowing the end game from the outset. As the Cheshire cat said to Alice, where you want to go depends a good deal on where you want to get to. If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which way you go.

The New Advertising: Frictionless Sharing

By Eleanor Haas

Privacy – “the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively,” according to Wikipedia” – has become a marketable commodity for millions of consumers, it seems.  Given the right “value exchange,” these people can cheerfully accept “frictionless sharing” – automated distribution by marketers to their social networks of their personal information and online activities

What’s the right kind of value exchange   That depends on the individual.  It can, for example, be as simple as a sense of self-esteem, coupons or a 4Square badge.

It’s typically all ok to the people involved as long as the process is transparent, and they know who’s doing the distribution and trust them.  Some consumers actually interact with brand pages on social networks, in effect, broadcasting their endorsement of the brand to whomever.

What are the chances of legislation or FTC regulation?  Probably zero.  Technology is growing too fast for legislators or regulators to keep up with it.  Ultimately, the market self-corrects anyhow.  All marketing benefits from frictionless sharing depend on relevant targeting and willing users.

These were my principal takeaways from this morning’s Gotham Media Ventures discussion at Frankfurt Kurnit by Daniel Berkowitz, of 360i; Jordan Franklin, of Clickable; Marc Hayem, of MicroStrategy; Kathy Leake, of Local Response, and Brett Martin of Sonar.  Terri Seligman, of Frankfurt Kurnit, was moderator.

 

Branding: It’s the Muscle in Marketing

By Eleanor Haas

“In the end there
is no brand until the clients recognize it after it has been marketed.” So said
a dear friend as we debated start-up priorities.  To him, branding appears to be fluff and of
no consequence to a start-up.  But even friends
as smart as this one can be wrong.  In
this case, my friend has confused brand image with the branding process.

He’s
absolutely right that brand image exists solely in customer minds, the result
of repeated experiences with the brand, and marketing is generally key to
building brand awareness, if not brand preference.

But there can
be no effective marketing until you’ve laid the strategic base for it with
branding.

Marketing consists
of techniques and tactics that drive sales.  Branding is the business strategy that grows out of the art of differentiating your
business, your product or service in a compelling way.  It’s the strategic process that gives
direction to marketing and makes differentiation actionable.  Without differentiation you’re just a
commodity with no choice but to sell on price.

“Think Different” epitomizes
the branding strategy that enabled a computer hardware company to turn its
reputation around by differentiating it from dozens of competitors.  Establishing a brand image as an innovator
and supporting that with one innovative product after the other turned Apple’s
business around beginning in 1997.  The
ad slogan would be no more than clever words without the brand strategy behind
it. 

Blue Ribbon
Sports was just another athletic shoe company until it developed the branding
strategy that made it the company we know of as Nike today.  Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, and
that was the image the company used to differentiate its products – first, by
naming its first shoe design Nike, then changing the company name to Nike and,
soon after, beginning to sponsor professional athletes.  Marketing led to the great “Just Do It” ad
slogan in 1988 and the rest is history.

Cadabra, one
of the early online bookstores, designed a strategy of diversification,
choosing to symbolize its vision with the name of the world’s largest river,
Amazon, and then living up to that name to become the country’s largest
retailer.

So, think different – just do
it – become the biggest, the best or both by differentiating your business with
the right brand strategy and then implementing this with effective marketing.

Ten New Marketing Rules

By Eleanor Haas

New Marketing

1.     
Goal is to build relationships

 2.     
Segment customers by needs & interests or
behavior

 3.     
Market through a continuing conversation that
can become viral

 4.     
Messaging is a peer exchange

 5.     
Products are differentiated by brand and brand
stories

 6.     
Brand value grows out of delivery of the brand
promise and customer experience excellence

 7.     
Marketers and customers interact as peers in the
same space

 8.    
Use online gated communities to understand the market

 9.   
Speak honestly in a human voice, be substantive
and deliver content directly to customers that they will value

 10. Develop sales through engagement.

Old Marketing

1.       
Goal is to push product

 2.     
Segment customers by demographics

 3.     
Market through campaigns

 4.      Marketer
commands and controls channels and content

5.      Products
are differentiated by features

 6.     
Marketer defines brand value in terms of name
recognition and brand recall

 7.     
Marketers and customers are on two sides of an
impenetrable barrier

8.     
Focus groups

9.     
Proclaim through ad and PR intermediaries

10.  Push product in ads
and email