Tag Archives: Strategy&

Lifehacks

Why Your Marketing Strategies Suck (And How to Fix Them)

EntrepreneurFinesse.com - Good To Great Marketing Strategies

Who likes to be proven wrong?

Nobody wants to fail, especially not enthusiastic start-up entrepreneurs.

Often the best way to find out what works in marketing is to analyze what does not work.  In my business consulting firm I have helped many successful companies and some failures too. While there are many reasons for business failure, these marketing blunders are an all too common factor in startup demise. A great startup knows how to utilize technology in the best interests of the people in their company and their bottom line. For example, a local chiropractor would do well by positioning themselves on Google search with SEO (Get found online with Hari Menon Digital).

These are the worst marketing tactics I have observed small businesses use most often which result in money loss, weak sales and most critically the loss of the entrepreneur’s confidence and drive.

Learn from others entrepreneurs marketing mistakes and spare yourself a business failure.

EntrepreneurFinesse.com - Good To Great Marketing Strategies

Failing Marketing Strategies and How To Correct

More Is Better

Often called the “spray and pray” marketing program. The premise is that if you make ten sales presentations and nobody buys then you should make a hundred more of the same flawed sales presentation.  The concept is if you work extra hard success will naturally follow. However, doing more of the same failing activities will only bring you more business failure. People fall into this trap because working super hard gives them the perception of progress, but it is only an illusion.

 

How to Correct

Instead, after those ten bad sales presentations, take a step back and review the why’s of your failure. Be humble and open to learning the truth. Ask yourself these fact-finding questions:

  • Are these the wrong type of target customers for your product or service?
  • Is your presentation compelling enough demonstrating the benefits of purchase?
  • Do you need additional sales training,? Are you selling in the right manner, i.e., in person or online?

Time spent in this manner will yield valuable information to adjust your marketing strategy for greater success – while ultimately spending less time and energy for better results.

 

Word-of-Mouth

Some entrepreneurs wrongly think that because they are so excited about their product that the world will be too. Immediately when the world hears about their new product, they will beat a path to their door with money.  You think that if your Facebook followers, friends and family spread the word about your product, your cash register will start ringing.  Wishful thinking that almost never happens.

Today, everybody is so saturated with information and busy with their lives and activities that they will hardly notice that your new product has arrived in the marketplace. Also, your loving family and friends may not be your target customer, nor are influencers in your industry. Thus their support will generate no buzz.

 

How to Correct

Before your product launches, spend time creating a community of people, both online and off-line, which are your target customers and industry influencers that have active lines of communication the public.

Then at launch time hire marketing professionals and graphic artists to create compelling, funny, and share-worthy graphics, videos, and audio about your product. Share those interesting items with your newly-created community, and your influencer contacts to get the buzz started and make sales.

 

All I Need Are Ads

Many new entrepreneurs take this easy, but expensive, route of advertising online, on Facebook or Google, without any other marketing strategies to launch their products. After they had spent thousands of dollars and got little results, many are so discouraged and broke that they quit and close their company. Don’t let this happen to you.

Because major sites such as Facebook and Google have made it easy to set up ad campaigns, new entrepreneurs are led to believe that they have set it up correctly. That is very far from the truth. Many of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable online entrepreneurs that I know hire dedicated specialists to set up their advertising campaigns on these sites. Unless you are an online advertising professional, you will overspend and underachieve with these types of ad campaigns.

 

How to Correct

A far more effective marketing strategy is to connect via social media, search engines, forums and your website with your target customers groups, called “tribes.”  A great way to get started is with PlacementSEO. Your tribe is a group of your target customers with common interests and a desire for your new product. A particularly effective way to tap into your tribe is on Groups on Facebook and Linkedin.com 

Certainly, this process will take more time, legwork and effort, but less cash than clicking a few buttons and advertising. Beginning entrepreneurs need to conserve their cash as much as possible for those expenses that no amount of legwork will buy. For more information on how to find and connect with your Tribe, read, or listen to the MP3, the marketing guru Seth Godin’s book, Tribes – We need you to lead us.  

 

Entrepreneurs have some fun and get great startup ideas with this cool Business Idea Generator.

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Lifehacks

Supercharge Your Small Business with These 3 Strategies

Incorporate Social Media into your business strategy

Customers are more demanding than ever. As a small business owner, you need to be able to provide them with an exceedingly satisfying experience in every transaction. Add that to the fact that while they engage with you more frequently, they do so using multiple channels, which makes every single interaction as important as the last one. Every phone call, email, or any message becomes, in marketing jargon, a moment of truth, and this why you need to be reached easily regardless of time and location. If someone is performing a Google search and wants to find a specific product or service they can utilize the power of search engines to find exactly what they need (get found with Simple Tree). 

Several advances in technology have allowed businesses to deliver consistent and seamless experiences to customers. Find out how you can supercharge your business through proven strategies involving both emerging and matured technological solutions by reading further.

1. Incorporate Social Media into Your Business Process

Incorporate Social Media into your business strategy

There’s no denying that social media has come a long way. Average users can now make or break businesses by giving positive or scathing reviews, depending on their experience, wherever they may be around the globe. This is why including social media into your organizational processes can give you an edge. By knowing how to interact with your customers and target audience online, you can manage your reputation and avoid social media fiascos.

You can start by using social media listening tools like Hootsuite to get ideas about your audience and their pain points. Once you have a holistic understanding of your market and what their needs are, you can then start engaging with them more proactively.

2. Be Willing to Adopt the Cloud to Save Money

Why you should adopt the cloud to save money

The world has seen an increase in cloud computing adoption over the past few years. The technology has brought tremendous benefits especially for small businesses that are extremely particular about how they allocate their monetary resources in their operations due to limited funds. With the cloud, businesses can now store, manage, and process data in provider-maintained warehouses rather than invest in expensive premises-based IT infrastructure.

Growing companies and enterprises alike have taken advantage of cloud products and services from providers such as Salesforce, RingCentral, Lanair, and Dropbox for CRM, communications, and storage, respectively, in their business processes. The cloud computing boom has helped reduce costs and improve operational scalability and flexibility.

Even security is no longer a major concern these days because the more known cloud companies have improved upon their technology to reduce security incidents even further.

3. Take Advantage of the Increasingly Mobile Environment

We are living in an increasingly mobile environment

The mobile phone has brought perhaps the greatest cultural and economic impact among all technological advancements in the last few decades. Mobile phones have enabled individuals to connect to their contacts almost 24/7, and the same goes for businesses. For example, a barbershop in New Jersey can get found and reach their customers with ease through the use of business directories. Thanks to mobile phones and the power of search engines, apps and communication tools, business owners are able to reach out to their target market and existing customers with ease.

As such, small businesses should use the mobile revolution to their advantage. Incorporating mobility into one’s business can be done even with limited resources. One way is to communicate directly to customers using business SMS solutions or a general messaging platform that customers can have easy access to. Another way is to offer personalized mobile content such as apps to improve engagement.

Moreover, even employees can benefit from this increasingly mobile environment. With mobile devices, they no longer have to confine themselves to the office cubicle nor the eight-hour work shift. They can work anytime from any location (most likely subject to internal arrangements) and even choose the device they want to use for work. When they have these freedoms, they are empowered to work and become more productive.

Happy customers and happy employees can be good indicators that you’re on the right track.

Have anything to add to the discussion? Share your thoughts about supercharging your business via social media, the cloud, and mobile below.

Klaris Chua is a digital content marketer who has written many pieces on startups and small business communications. She used to be a reporter for a business newspaper but the conventional path of a writer didn’t appeal to her. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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Books

Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works Header

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do” – Michael Porter

Proctor & Gamble is one of the few unique companies in the world that has a shining portfolio of billion dollar businesses. Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works divulges the strategy and methods of top consumer brands such as Olay, Bounty, Swiffer, Febreze, Pampers, Gain, Gillette and more! This book is a consortium of simulations on how competing products battled it out for supremacy in the marketplace in various industries. Every entrepreneur and aspiring CEO should read this book to develop a rockstar strategy to stand out from mediocrity. 

A strategy is a coordinated and integrated set of five choices that uniquely meet a consumer’s needs, thereby creating competitive advantage and superior value for a business.

The Five Strategy Choices:

  1. A Winning Aspiration
  2. Where To Play
  3. How To Win
  4. Core Capabilities
  5. Management Systems

The core of these choices are Where To Play and How To Win. These two decisions are the basis of the trunk that make up the tree of your strategy. Playing To Win: How Strategy Works CoverThe company needs where and how choices in order to act. Without them, it can’t win. Without them, you are simply following the status quo. Remember: No How To Win choice is perfect or even appropriate for all Where To Play choices. 

A Winning Aspiration

An aspiration shared with employees is not enough. You must have an aspiration to win and a definition of what winning looks like. In order to reach the end goal, one must know what the end goal is. Strategy is deciding on a way to win and in order to win you must have a clear picture of what the final result should be. 

Where To Play

It makes sense to choose Where To Play channels that match your business systems to maximize your value output and reach your target demographic. Where To Play is generally presented within these choices:

  • Geography
  • Product Type
  • Consumer Segment
  • Distribution Channel
  • Vertical stage of production

How To Win

How To Win is tailored to the needs, wants and personality of the customer. All successful How To Win strategies take one of two approaches, cost leadership or differentiation. Both cost leadership and differentiation require the pursuit of distinctiveness. Formulating a better value equation for consumers in either of these areas is a great way to create a competitive advantage. 

Where To Play and How To Win choices should flow from and reinforce one another.

Core Capabilities

Playing to your strengths is using the competitive advantage implicitly built into the brand and its systems. For example, the acquisition of Gillette (probably the best case study in the book) meant that Proctor & Gamble could compete effectively not only in the men’s grooming category, but also create a distinct reinforced stronghold in the health & beauty market. The acquisition allowed P&G to foster an inflow of talent, ideas and brands. In return they reengineered those capabilities and activity systems to create a more efficient and effective multilevel strategy. Proctor & Gamble leveraged their own advantages – namely scale, pricing power, branding and existing relationships with suppliers – to bring even more value to the Gillette brand. 

Management Systems

Once the strategy is defined the challenge is to find a simple, clear and compelling way to communicate the strategy to the team. Management should understand the core principles of Where To Play and How To Win decisions. A team that works together to accomplish one goal can achieve massive results. It is essential to work collaboratively on strategy because all companies are social entities and are serving the needs of a diverse population. Incorporating a culture of strategy helps to ensure that ideas aren’t ignored or ridiculed.

Explicitly, it is better to think broadly and clearly so that the entire organization will know and understand.

Thinking Through Strategy

There are four critical dimensions of strategy choice: Industry, Customers, Relative Position and Competition. The strategy logic flow below simplifies strategy decision making and requires patience, imagination and teamwork.

Playing To Win Strategy Flow

Devising a strategy for your business is a complicated task and success is based on forces that may or may not act in the same direction. These five forces include: Bargaining power of suppliers, Bargaining power of buyers, Threat of substitute products or services, Threat of new entrants and Rivalry among existing competitors. 

Inversion, like in algebra, is oftentimes the key to solving a problem. Instead of asking people what they think is true about various options, ask them, “what would have to be true?” This encourages collaboration rather conflict and allows a team to work backwards from a solution. 

The 7 Steps For Successful Reverse Engineering

  1. Frame The Choice
  2. Generate Strategic Possibilities
  3. Specify Conditions
  4. Identify Barriers To Choice
  5. Design Valid Tests
  6. Conduct Tests
  7. Choose
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Authors: ,
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Year: 2013
ASIN: B00AJVJ1HI
ISBN: 142218739X

Are you just playing—or playing to win?Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of...

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About the Book
Are you just playing—or playing to win?

Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.

Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy—explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.

A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are:

• What is our winning aspiration?
• Where will we play?
• How will we win?
• What capabilities must we have in place to win?
• What management systems are required to support our choices?

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

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Books

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life Header

Change is inevitable. It naturally occurs in life wherever you are, whatever you do, whatever your status in life is, whether you are an employee or a businessman. Nevertheless, it depends upon the person how he deals with each change that comes in his way.

In the world, there are four types of people and that is deliberately addressed in the book entitled, Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. It is a phenomenal book with each page containing valuable and meaningful insights for entrepreneurs and employees alike with one simple goal: to find “Cheese”.

CHARACTERSWho Moved My Cheese Cover

The first scene encompasses the story of former classmates gathering around during a high school reunion to talk about their situations in life. Until one of their classmates, Michael, told them about the tale “Who Moved My Cheese?” which is actually the core story of the book.

There are four characters in the tale:

  • SNIFF: a mouse who sniffs out or detects change early so he is able to deal with it;
  • SCURRY: another mouse who scurries into action whenever there is a change. Hand-in-hand with Sniff, they venture out to find new “cheese” whenever they find out that there is a shortage of it;
  • HEM: a little person with almost an exact size of a mouse, but with a complex brain and human emotion who denies and defies change because of his fear that it will lead to something bad; and
  • HAW: another little person like Hem who knows how to laugh at his mistakes and adapt to the change when he sees that it will lead into something better.

The “Cheese”, on the other hand, is a representation of the opportunities or whatever we want to have in our life, such as a successful job, business, relationship, health, money, freedom, achievements, and material things, among others.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The tale focuses on the four characters, Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw, who were on a journey in the maze to find the cheese. Hem and Haw had finally found their stock of cheese in Cheese Station C where they found comfort and ease. They even lived near it and invited friends to the station to boast their triumph. Little did they know that their pile of cheese was being gradually reduced until one day, they got the shock of their lives when they went to Cheese Station C and found nothing.

Meanwhile, following their instincts, Sniff and Scurry never ceased to search for “New Cheese”. Whenever they found a supply of cheese, they monitor it every day to determine shortage.

Back to Hem and Haw, grief and denial followed after the incident. They couldn’t believe that their stock of cheese was gone. They keep on digging the walls of Cheese Station C as they believed that the cheese might just be there somewhere. That was what they did day after day until they became irritable. Haw finally realized the futility of what they’re doing. He learned to laugh at himself and told Hem that maybe it’s time that they search for a new cheese. However, Hem was skeptical and refused to get out of the station and told Haw that he can’t take his chances on the maze anymore and that he is already too old for that.

Haw then ventured out to the maze to look for a new cheese and found that he was happier than he thought he would be – better than the way things were when he was still in Cheese Station C. He was inspired by Sniff and Scurry’s mindset. Along the way, they realized so many things, positive ones, and wrote them on the wall. He found several pieces of chees on the maze and tried to give some to Hem when he came back, but Hem still declined to come with him.

Determined, Haw continued his quest until he finally found Cheese Station N where he found quite a large stock of different kinds of Cheese. He also found Sniff and Scurry at the station. This time, he already knew what to do. He monitored the pile of cheese every single day, recalled the things he learned in life, and reminded himself to always move with the “cheese”. Suddenly, a movement outside the Cheese Station N grew louder and louder. Haw could only hope that it was his friend Hem who realized that he should get out of his comfort zone, face his fears and follow the traces he left on the wall to also move with the cheese.

 

Here are the important points of the core story that are worth contemplating:

  • Take control of your life rather than the other way around.
  • Be patient. People usually start from little things to get ready when there’s a bigger opportunity coming.
  • Embracing change is not dependent on age. No matter how old you are, it is never too late for a change. Instead, open your mind and look on the positive side of things.
  • Face the challenges. Never fear them as they will take you to success. While taking several steps, you will find that the fear reduces and along the way, do not be discouraged to continue.
  • Always monitor your current situation. Always ask yourself: “Did some things change?” Be more alert and always anticipate change.
  • It’s better late to seize opportunities than never doing so.
  • If you feel discouraged, always ask yourself: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
  • When you are fearful, always think that “when you move beyond your fear, you feel free”.
  • Do not scare yourself as it would just make things worse.
  • Reflect and plan the steps that you should do in your life.
  • Always enjoy what you do, no matter how difficult it is.
  • Picture how you would like to see yourself realistically. The more you imagine, the more it becomes real and believable.
  • Think of what you gain instead of what you lose. A change would not lead to something worse, it could lead to something better.
  • Some people are afraid of something new, they still prefer their usual and traditional routine which makes it difficult for them to embrace change which continually and naturally occurs.
  • Taking a new direction will help you generate strength and vigor and you’ll find out that the goal is only part of the challenge.
  • What you are afraid of is not as bad as you thought it is, the fear you build inside is worse than the existing situation.
  • Do not deny the situation that has already taken place.
  • Helping other people is useless when they let fear and inflexibility consume them. Some people are very adamant and refuses to accept the changes.

Following the series of events in the story only proves that the saying, “Try and try until you succeed” as a matter-of-fact, is true after all!

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: G. P. Putman
Publication Year: 1998
ASIN: B004CR6AM4
ISBN: 0399144463

Who Moved My Cheese? takes the fear and anxiety out of managing the future and shows people a simple way to successfully deal with the changing times, providing them with a method for moving ahead with their work and lives safely and effectively.

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With Who Moved My Cheese? Dr. Spencer Johnson realizes the need for finding the language and tools to deal with change–an issue that makes all of us nervous and uncomfortable.
Most people are fearful of change because they don’t believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Spencer Johnson shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about change.

When the Y2K panic gripped the corporate realm before the new millenium, most work environments finally recognized the urgent need to get their computers and other business systems up to speed and able to deal with unprecedented change. And businesses realized that this was not enough: they needed to help people get ready, too.

Spencer Johnson has created his new book to do just that. The coauthor of the multimillion bestseller The One Minute Manager has written a deceptively simple story with a dramatically important message that can radically alter the way we cope with change. Who Moved My Cheese? allows for common themes to become topics for discussion and individual interpretation.

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Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

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