Competitive Edge
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Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
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FI.co: Checklist: 10 Rules for a Great Startup Idea

FI.co: Checklist: 10 Rules for a Great Startup Idea | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Even though it's trendy in startups to say that ideas mean nothing and execution means everything, the reality is much less binary and much more nuanced. For example, even the world’s best entrepreneur with incredible execution will fail if their idea is fundamentally flawed, or if their market is too small.

Adeo Ressi, the Founder & CEO of the Founder Institute, preaches a list of "10 Rules to a Great Startup Idea"; an infographic of which was previously featured on Business Insider in an article by Megan Rose Dickey. This list provides a great starting point for people who want to evaluate their startup ideas at the very first stage. 

What we have found is that if an early-stage founder can check off the ten items below, they have a solid foundation by which to start a company. You are absolutely not assured success if you can check off these items (nor are you assured failure if you can’t), but your chances of success are much, much higher if you can. 

See the infographic below, and scroll down further for a full explanation. To see the infographic and article click on image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great #infographic and #article.

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9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic

9 Ways To Get Customers (Without Spending Any Money) - #infographic | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Are you wondering how to get more customers and grow your business without spending a lot of money? Then wonder no more!

Neil Patel of QuickSprout has put together this excellent infographic, filled with 9 tactics that you should be leveraging to acquire more customers.

Blogger and YouTuber outreach:

Reach out to bloggers and give free products in exchange for reviews. Dave Horn from ForWebsiteOwners.com was able to get 1 (normal) month worth of traffic in 2 days using the strategy of building relationships with influencers to share his content.

Reach out to your existing network:

Reach out to friends, family, co-workers, and social media connections and ask if they need your product.

If you provide a service, work for free:

Neil Patel was able to get exposure and generate lots of business through outlets such as TechCrunch and Gawker Media by providing them with free services in exchange for testimonials, PR and backlinks. make sure you provide services to those who can either refer business to you or have a huge network for target clients. See more, click on the infographic.





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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear


Via malek
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent tactics to make new sales and find new clients, for free.

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How Data Can Be a Competitive Weapon in Your Content Marketing | Oracle Marketing Cloud

How Data Can Be a Competitive Weapon in Your Content Marketing | Oracle Marketing Cloud | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

We’re competing for YOUR attention. Each day, you make a countless number of decisions related to content. Which song do you play on your iPhone? Which link do you click in your Twitter feed? Which article do you read at NYTimes.com?

The answers may be: Bruno Mars, a Buzzfeed article and a feature on abalone divers. Your decisions determine the outcome of numerous mini-competitions. With such strong competitive forces at play, how can we possibly get YOUR attention?

We can write about best practices, how to’s and market overviews, but all that hard work results in a “finished product” that’s not much different from other vendors in our space. To you, they all look the same. So what’s the answer? How can we create content that resonates with YOU?

3. The Answer is: Data, Data, and DATA
Whether it’s from surveys or customers, data that you collect, manage and analyze is unique and valuable. Data is a form of content that your competition cannot copy. It helps you gain awareness, drive conversations and garner trust.

Earlier this year, DNN authored a research report. The report was titled “Marketing Got Complicated: Challenges (and Opportunities) for Marketers at Mid-Sized Companies.”

This was a successful content marketing campaign for us: we created a wealth of content that generated awareness, inbound traffic, mentions on social media and earned media coverage. In the remainder of this post, I’ll share tips on how to do a similar campaign.

1. Ensure Relevancy to Your Target Audience
Our average customer is a marketer at a mid-sized company. We knew that providing useful, persona-based research would be relevant. It’s kind of like saying, “Want to reach mountain biking enthusiasts? Then perform research on mountain bikers.” We heard from a lot of mid-sized company marketers who told us how useful the report was.

2. Ensure You’re Not Duplicating Existing Research

For our next study, we considered doing research on how marketers use content across the stages of the sales cycle. Then we received an email invitation from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. They are doing similar research - it’s actually their fifth annual study.

Because our survey would be too similar to their’s, we decided to hold off. So search for existing (or upcoming) research that’s similar to yours. Pursue new and unique angles, because that helps you stand out from the crowd.

3. Consider Desired Outcomes Ahead of Time
While you’d never want to influence research outcomes, you ought to think about desired results. Surprising results can generate attention. In our research, 79% of marketing executives say it's a challenge to get (and hold) the attention of target customers.

The high percentage surprised some of us and it generated a lot of discussion online. In addition, results can identify contradictions that instruct readers on actions they should take (e.g. 80% of marketers rate measurement as highly important, yet only 40% have deployed web analytics: time to deploy web analytics).

4. Don’t Just Report. Recommend Solutions, Too
If all we did was present a series of charts to marketers at mid-sized companies, they’d probably read the report and yawn. Instead, we provided recommendations related to each of the findings. This made the content more useful and helped us build trust with our readers.

5. Create Many Varieties of Related Content
Your data provides the seeds. Plant those seeds to make a hundred flowers bloom. Using our research report as the seed, the additional content we generated included:

  • Blog posts on our website
  • Contributed blog posts on third party sites
  • LinkedIn posts
  • A live webinar featuring a panel of marketing experts
  • A SlideShare of the webinar
  • The on-demand recording of the webinar
  • A detailed blog summary of the webinar
  • An infographic highlighting some of the key data points
  • Blog posts featuring the expert panel from the webinar

As you can see, we used the unique insights provided by the research to create multiple flavors of content. If each piece of content reaches a different reader, then you’ve dramatically extended the reach of your campaign.

It’s fairly easy to write your next blog post or author your next eBook. Providing data-driven content is more challenging. However, it can create outsized returns. You should continue to publish blog posts and eBooks, but if that’s all that you do, your competition may be eating your lunch. Make data your secret weapon to win your competitors’ dinner and dessert.

For more best practice insight on using data to support your content, check out how the Oracle Marketing Cloud content team turned a research report into a complete integrated marketing program.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Dennis Shiao, Director of Content Marketing at DNN. Dennis is a contributing author to the book “42 Rules of Product Marketing” and is Editor of the DNN blog. Follow Dennis on Twitter @dshiao. 



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Via denbro, massimo facchinetti, marsancor, Jesús Hernández
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denbro's curator insight, August 21, 2014 4:18 PM

Good article that points out how to use content effectively. If each piece of content reaches a different reader, then you’ve dramatically extended the reach of your campaign.

It’s fairly easy to write your next blog post or author your next eBook. Providing data-driven content is more challenging. However, it can create outsized returns. You should continue to publish blog posts and eBooks, but if that’s all that you do, your competition may be eating your lunch. Make data your secret weapon to win your competitors’ dinner and dessert.

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5 Pillars of Visual Marketing Plus Some Free Tools

5 Pillars of Visual Marketing Plus Some Free Tools | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Visual marketing can be broken down into 5 pillars, and knowing them will help you to establish a plan to increase visibility and generate brand loyalty.

Visual marketing is one of those buzz terms circulating a lot lately. With the way the Internet itself has changed over time, that is to be expected. Users have a certain expectation that you have to meet, and a lot of it has to do with the visuals associated with the content you create. You are trying to engage people around the world with a universal language, one done through images rather than the standards of text.

Able to evoke emotional responses and long lasting associations, visual marketing is a crucial element to any strategy in branding today. Failing to meet this standard could be disastrous, and possibly lead to a lot of work with no payoff.

Isn’t that every company’s nightmare?

Visual marketing can be broken down into five pillars, and knowing them will help you to establish a better plan to increase visibility and generate brand loyalty.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent information from Ann Smarty from 'My Blog Guest'.

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These Posters Will Show You How Famous Start-Ups Were Conceived

These Posters Will Show You How Famous Start-Ups Were Conceived | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Start it up already!

Every great idea comes from a dream and all our dreams can come true,  only if we have the courage to pursue them. This goes for everything in life, including start-ups and business ideas. They all start the same way, from a scratch, but only some make it to the top. 

These posters by information designer Anna Vital will tell you what it takes to be on the top. Read more, click image or title.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great collection of #infographics #posters around #startups, from 'Why', to  'When did they leave school?', to 'How to', and several examples of successful startups.

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Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic)

Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These easy tips will help you zero in on the task at hand -- so pay attention!

Just because you’re not doing work right now doesn’t mean there’s no work to be done. I’ll bet you’re just about to get started on that work right after you read this. Well… you do have to return that phone call first, but then you’ll do work. Oh wait… but isn’t it someone’s birthday today? You’ll just check Facebook and make sure you’re not being so incredibly rude by not wishing your friend (read: that acquaintance that you very rarely talk to) a happy birthday. It’ll only take three minutes and then, you swear, you’ll take care of work.

Sound familiar? If procrastination and a lack of focus are problems for you, check out the infographic below by Anna Vital, information designer at Funders and Founders. These 11 tricks to help you get your focus on, if you can pay attention long enough to remember them. Some Cliff’s notes: Classical music and pets are helpful, a cluttered desk and an uncomfortable chair are not.

Check out the rest of the advice and get to work.

See the infographic here.



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"With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business.
I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality."
Prem K. Kapani
CEO


Via Oliver Durrer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good tips to get focused.

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Four Ways Technology Is Changing How People Learn [Infographic]

Four Ways Technology Is Changing How People Learn [Infographic] | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

"Today, more than ever before, technology plays an important role in society. It is changing and will continue to change every aspect of how we live. It is changing the way we communicate, the way we do business, how we learn and teach, and even it’s changing the way our brains work."

Click on the infographic to make it big and read the full article.


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Via Beth Dichter
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Being online and staying competitive is a constant process of learning, integrating new technologies, updating, researching.

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, February 22, 2014 7:05 AM

This infographic provides four key points about e-learning. When you click through to the post you will find detailed descriptions for each of the four ways technology is changing how people learn.

* What does it mean to move from individual to collaborative learning?

* What is this shift from passive to active or brain based learning?
* Technology and differentiated instruction - how does technology assist with this?  (Please note one paragraph is duplicated in this section.)

* Multitasking - Does it work?

The infographic is very simple and it worth reading the text (which is above the inforgraphic when you click through).

Miloš Bajčetić's curator insight, February 23, 2014 10:08 AM

"However, its proven that under most conditions, the brain cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. It can happen only when the two tasks are both very simple and when they don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources"

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Manners Matter Online (Infographic)

Manners Matter Online  (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Find out more about the do's and don'ts on online manners. For more information about internet issues visit Knowthenet today.


To see the full infograph, click on the title or image...


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Via Beth Dichter
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent guidelines to go by. The internet is such a reflection of what goes on in the human mind, from bright and genius ideas and behavior, to dark and stupid. I'd rather be on the bright side.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 24, 2013 5:46 PM

Manners do matter.

Cindy Powell's curator insight, April 10, 2014 2:09 PM

From Infographic...and Informational Text TCC 4-5

This is a graphic example for the article, but the site is a cybersafety site in the UK and has lots of information for parents about online safety for their children. It also tests their knowledge.

Rachael Johnston's curator insight, October 20, 2014 10:53 PM

It is important to build your own brand and to promote yourself positively. You want to be polite to other users and make sure you have nothing on your profile that could be damaging to your reputation. This includes swear words, inappropriate or rude comments, and pictures and videos of drinking or drugs.  This is really important for graduating students who, most likely, need to go through and delete pictures that have been tagged in one Facebook

Make sure you give credit to others if you share something of theirs. Also make sure you are writing your own posts and not just sharing others. However, make sure you are posting valuable and relevant information. Listen and think before you write and make sure you are using proper english. 

It is okay to have debates on social netowrks with other users, everybody has the right ti voice their opinion, but don't let things get too personal or nasty. 

It is also essential to understand that there are also hings to be very careful of when using social networks. For one, people are not always who they seem. You should also make sure you do not assume a false identity. It is important to keep some kind of professionalism, but don't change yourself or hide who you really are. 

You must also make sure you are abiding by the rules of the network and report others who dont. 

Last but certainly not least, be very careful about who you share things with. There are certain places to share certain things. For example, you may post something bout your personal life in your Facebook status, but it is not appropriate to do so on your LinkedIn profile. Do not share pictures and videos with strangers, you never know how they will use these.