Many businesses, particularly in the software and hardware space, have been selling to specific customer segments and enterprise buyers for years. As they reconfigure their products and services to offer more flexible consumption options, it presents an opportunity to sell to other customers they may not have actively served in the past. For example, large enterprise information technology (IT) vendors are accustomed to selling multi-million dollar software implementations to corporate IT departments of major corporations. Now, with the move to flexible consumption, customers can pay as they go for cloud-based services; they no longer need to shell out large amounts of money up front for licenses and on-premise installations or upgrades. They can create on-line accounts and sign up for specific services without the need for major vendor involvement.
This creates a far broader universe of potential clients for solution providers. For instance, a pay-as-you-go model fits within the smaller budgets of business-unit IT departments, and increasingly these groups are making purchase decisions about software that meets their specific needs. Small-to-medium-sized businesses are also within reach. With the simple self-service, no-touch model that characterizes flexibly consumed cloud solutions, providers can sell more cost effectively to these smaller customers.
From augmented and virtual reality to blockchain, emerging technologies offer the government new avenues for providing services, engaging employees, and serving citizens.
Mobile, social, cloud, analytics, and the business of IT—these macro forces are behind many of the digital technologies that are fueling innovation today. As these technologies advance, so do expectations around user experience, process transparency, and instantaneous access to information. In addition, augmented reality, the internet of things, robotics, and quantum computing are reshaping every corner of organizations by transforming business as usual.
In public sector organizations, defining “business as usual” can be challenging. Government agencies are broad and complex, with priorities and processes that differ markedly from those of their smaller, leaner, for-profit counterparts. The emerging technology trends that are disrupting the status quo in business will also drive change throughout the public sector, but in very different ways.
Despite clear indications that insider attacks are on the rise, most organizations remain ill-equipped to prevent them. And even though the potential costs of mitigating such attacks can be staggering, the majority of companies don't appear to be allocating additional resources to address the problem. Such are the findings of a recent survey of 500 cyber-security professionals in the "Insider Threat Spotlight Report,” co-sponsored by behavior analytics and monitoring vendor Veriato and other organizations. No longer can organizations afford to take a passive approach to insider threats: The survey findings make it clear that they need to invest in efforts to prevent such attacks. "Your organization is, and will be, compromised by insiders, and to prevent attacks, you need to have some controls in place that are specifically focused on the insider," said Mike Tierney, CEO of Veriato. "Trust is a strategy for failure." Tierney said that companies need to train employees on what data they can share or take with them outside the network, and ensure that departments are working together to detect and prevent attacks
Values and belief in one's work, teams, and in building a culture of creativity and excellence, can lead to extraordinary things... and life. There are many lessons in leadership, quality of thought and courage of action we can draw from the difficult moment.
Anyone who's ever started anything that became any good knows how it can take three years to make a product work. This is commitment.
The most remarkable among the many observations Catmull makes about Steve Jobs is his consistent focus on the problem itself rather than making the people the issue. And how, over time, he learned to become more articulate and observant of people's feelings... learning to read the room.
Genuine, authentically great leaders possess character. The word itself comes from a Latin root meaning “engraved.” In other words, a person’s character, etched with care and concern, shows their true worth. A character gouged or hacked out with recklessness might turn out wonderfully, but it might turn out to be a pile of rubble. The thing about character is it can’t be dressed up or cosmetically improved into something good. It must be intrinsically strong and positive. There are 6 key elements of character, which we’ll consider in turn:
Courage is intrinsic to character. Genuine, noble, spontaneous self-sacrificial concern for the defenseless is true courage and not fanaticism. Courage doesn’t mean feeling fearless, but being willing to act out of conviction. A person can feel fearless, but sometimes act cowardly. Similarly, I have worked with executives who behave with incredible courage despite being fearful.
It’s also important not to confuse heroism and courage. Acts of heroism occur every day that are acts of impulse rather than character. True character has consistency. We have all learned of “heroes” in whatever field (athletics, politics, business) who ultimately have feet of clay. Controversy, financial ruin, and criminal charges can follow heroism. Courage isn’t just bravery at a single point in time, but a catalytic agent that underpins every virtue in the face of crisis.
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows Democrats and Republicans differ greatly on their perception of the value of higher education in the nation's positive forward movement. A majority of Republicans (45%) say that higher education has a negative effect on the country, while 72% of Democrats believe colleges and universities have a positive impact. The disparity in impact perspective was the second highest in the survey, behind the differences of opinion on the impact of the national media. Dive Insight: It is possible for citizens with two different ideologies to be correct at the same time. For people with a liberal perspective, it is correct to believe that higher education and its role in creating wealth, prosperity and independent thinking is helpful to the nation's fortunes. For conservatives, the increasing student loan debt, politics and widening opportunity gap in higher education are legitimate reasons to feel negatively about the industry.
For both sides, much of the perspective may be shaped by the current administration, and prospects for the next candidate to occupy the White House. But even with those variables, college leaders should view this information as a chance to gain further insight into the minds of their future donors, customers, sports fans, vendors and community members.
A shocking number of the software applications acquired by companies are considered "waste," meaning they go unused for one or more months at a time—and sometimes longer, according to recent research published by 1E. The accompanying report, "Software Usage and Waste Report 2016," defines software waste as any piece of software that has been deployed to a desktop but is not being used. Such practices cost businesses millions of dollars a year. The report states that software waste "is immensely costly. Indeed, a single enterprise of a few thousand seats will likely be wasting millions of dollars on this area of IT. … In addition, for the first time, [our research reveals] the applications that are the most widely deployed among the survey's participating businesses, the applications most likely to go unused, and [those that cost] businesses the most money because of high levels of deployment and waste." The research is based on an analysis of an estimated 4.6 million machines from nearly 150 companies in the United States and the United Kingdom
Platform companies are playing an entirely different game with a new set of rules, requiring them to do more than alter their technology approach. Instead, it mandates companies to run their business off of different economic principles. There are three rules that underpin the Platform Economy which can help companies better understand how to maximize its copious opportunities:
*Network Effects/Two-Sided Market: When two user groups (typically, producer and consumer) generate network value for each other, there are mutual benefits that generate demand-side economies of scale. The network effects of platforms, with more connected users and transactions, drive value creation and scale.
*Distribution Power Law: Platform business models that enable scale allow others to generate profits in the “long tail” of the distribution curve, avoiding diminishing returns associated with traditional (linear) value chain models.
*Asymmetric Growth and Competition: The demand of a core market is driven through complementary markets, which are often subsidized (or free) to users and which often cross industry lines. Asymmetric competition exists when two companies go after market opportunities with very different approaches and resources.
The Platform Economy represents a decisive economic shift–from supply-side to demand-side economies of scale. This results in companies creating value by tapping into resources and capacity that they don’t have to own. Apple, for example, has mastered demand-side economies of scale with the iOS App Store. Launched in 2008, the iOS App Store is an ecosystem of nearly 380,000 developers that created 1.5 million applications that have been downloaded more than 100 billion times. They have generated $33 billion in sales by the end of Apple’s fiscal year 2015. Based on Apple’s 70/30 split with developers, the App Store has generated $10 billion for the company, enabling Apple to harvest the resources of the ecosystem–resources it does not need to own.
Whether a company “owns” a platform ecosystem or is plugging into another’s, what matters is having both a platform strategy and the business expertise to exploit it. Progress starts with a clear understanding of which parts of the business are prime for adaptation to platform business models, along with those that are most vulnerable to unforeseen attacks from other platforms.
To survive and thrive in today’s digital economy, companies must master the strategic use of digital technologies to build successful platform business models. Their business’ future depends on it.
The thing is, stories have power. If they're meaningful, they can touch something deep inside of us. We carry them long after we're done reading. They materialize at random moments, ghosts of another reality that's just one step sideways from the one we inhabit.
Our challenge as marketers, particularly on the B2B side, is that we live in a world powered by stats and facts instead of stories. Our prospects want hard data proving our products and services will be worth their investment. They're hungry for stats that point to broader industry trends. They want quantifiable ideas they can use to support their business objectives.
So it's no mystery that data visualization has taken off in a big way in the content marketing community, since people tend to be visual learners. But how does that mesh with storytelling?
I'll let you in on a little secret. The key to great data visualization isn't a pretty design or clever concept: it's a great story. And it's actually pretty easy to tell a compelling story backed by stats and facts.
Marketing Strategy - Today's most progressive marketers understand that the path to purchase and brand loyalty is paved by gaining a detailed understanding of the customer journey and embracing multichannel marketing.
The recreational cannabis industry holds lessons for building brands in an industry with negative associations.
A recent article in Lift, a cannabis news magazine, entitled “Cannabis Brand Wars” shed some light on the challenges of building a brand in a stigmatised or “underground” product category such as recreational cannabis. While recreational cannabis use may have become legal in several U.S. states (e.g. Colorado and Washington), and Canada may be considering the legalisation of recreational cannabis use, the product still carries negative associations and the image of recreational cannabis users is negative.
As such, building successful mainstream brands in this category and indeed moving the whole category mainstream poses special challenges.
This reminded me of parallels with the country-of-origin effect and a case I wrote several years ago on building the LG brand in the U.S. – the parallel between the cannabis industry and the LG brand at the time of its introduction in the U.S. in 2002 is that both are victims of negative stereotyping – Korean products were broadly perceived as second rate in the U.S. at the time, and LG, as a Korean brand, had to overcome this,
There are two truths about major gifts, and if they are embraced, you will be successful: Leadership has to welcome participating fully in major gift fundraising. This means the CEO, executive director, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer—whatever C you have in your organization—as well as the board. You, as the head of development or major gifts, have to lead them. Richard and I have sat with development directors across the country, listening to them lament about how their CEOs don’t like to ask for money or even want to talk to donors. They tell us how there is no culture of philanthropy; all the responsibility is on them to raise money from major donors. On the flip side, we also have sat across the table from many CEOs who are so frustrated with their development teams because “They don’t use me enough in talking to donors.” Or, “I just wish they would tell me what I have to do because I’m too busy to worry about this everyday.” Both of these types of problems really require the development director to take two courses of action: leadership and action.
Blockchain, the technology backbone behind bitcoin, has the potential to serve as an alternative to the current infrastructure necessary to create institutionalized trust. The distributed public ledger protocol can serve as a trusted intermediary, verifying transactions and providing confidence to all involved parties. While blockchain efforts are still in the early stages, some financial services institutions are already working toward using the technology to transform long-standing business processes.
Establishing Trust in Real Time
With 16 million clients worldwide and operations in 36 countries, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) executes large numbers of cross-border payment transactions each day, including bank-to-bank, business-to-business, and peer-to-peer remittances.¹
The traditional processes used throughout the banking industry to execute such transactions can be cumbersome, often involving multiple intermediaries, customer fees, and lengthy reconciliation tasks.² Recognizing an opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs, two years ago RBC began looking for technologies that could help it develop a new approach to cross-border transactions.
Why are marketers, despite the wealth of information at their fingertips, struggling to understand their audiences?
The problem partially stems from the numerous promotional platforms and reporting tools marketers rely on. Promoting the brand through various channels can make it difficult to understand what's working for whom, not to mention to fully understand customers across channels, platforms, and devices.
Another factor is other departments within the organization, such as sales and e-commerce, that also affect the buyer journey.
If you don't know how other departments affect your customers' decisions to make purchases, then you can't claim to have a holistic view.
But mostly, marketers struggle because a customer's journey usually doesn't involve one sole brand touchpoint. Most people go through about six to eight touchpoints before deciding to purchase. Between hearing about a product and deciding to buy it, customers could compare prices or read reviews on multiple sites. You can't put blinders on them and steer them toward checkout.
The big misperception: Conflict arises from miscommunication
No matter what the problem, people tend to blame it on poor communication. However, contrary to popular claims, miscommunication is not the biggest source of conflict in organizations. Ironic as it may seem, the biggest source of conflict is clearly communicated information and ideas that stimulate a values conflict. Clashing values that don’t get explored or resolved are the culprits behind most conflicts. To begin developing a language of values, begin by understanding ends and means values.
Distinguishing between ends and means values is not only helpful for understanding your own values, but also for discovering the source of most values dilemmas and conflicts. Let’s say that you and your spouse both have a value to raise honest children. This is an end value -- it describes the future outcome or final state that you desire for yourself or others. You and your spouse agreeing on the end value of raising honest children is a good thing. But end values do not dictate means values. A means value describes the way you want to go about achieving an end value—it is your belief about the best way to bring your end value to fruition.
Five Below associates recently completed the first values survey, which allows employees to rate their bosses on how well those leaders demonstrate Five Below's values and behaviors. More than 70 percent of the targeted audience completed the survey. Functional teams are reviewing the data to outline successes, action plans, and follow up items. Anderson says, “The only way we can maintain our unique, customer-driven culture is to define it, model it, and measure it as we grow." Don’t leave your team or department or company culture to chance. The proven path to a purposeful, positive, productive culture is to be specific about both performance and values then hold everyone accountable for both, every day. How well defined are your company’s values? Are they observable, tangible, and measurable -- as much so as performance metrics?
“Your products are great, but your competitor gives me what I’m looking for,” the client replied. As they talked, the CEO realized that closing this deal — and other deals — didn’t come down only to product price, quality, features, or sales capabilities. The competitor spoke the language of the customer. Its salespeople knew how to anticipate the customer’s needs, work closely with its leaders, and come up with solutions to problems that hadn’t even been voiced yet. The CEO now saw that his company lacked one key ingredient necessary to deliver what its clients needed most: a deliberate, well-designed, and perceptive customer strategy.
This real-life scenario is all too familiar. The conventional approach to gaining customers, which was based on picking a segment of purchasers to target and developing products for that segment, is no longer enough. A customer strategy goes further: It is the articulation of the distinctive value and experience your company will deliver to a chosen set of customers over three to five years, along with the offerings, channels, operating model, and capabilities you will need. Earlier in 2016 a team of researchers and advisors from the customer strategy practice at Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group, conducted a global survey of 161 executives, and the findings indicated that having a customer strategy was high in importance. More than 80 percent of the respondents said their investment in customer strategy during the next three to five years would be equal to or greater than the amount invested this year.
A well-designed customer strategy will coordinate many different functions, skills, and practices. For example, it should encompass data analytics; go-to-market and channel choices; and the delivery of products, services, and experiences.
Have you ever fantasized about being your own boss—cutting the chord to full-time employment to embrace the life of a contractor? If you follow through with such plans, you may find that taking the hired-gun route isn't always what it's cracked up to be, according to a recent survey from Deloitte. In fact, most of the contractors surveyed said they wouldn't choose to work independently in the future, and only a minority reported that they are very satisfied with the experience. Many of them miss the steady paycheck of a full-time job, as well as the other benefits of full-time work, such as health insurance, training and mentorship. They also find it difficult to understand and connect to a company's internal culture when working in the gig economy. The takeaway: Given that full-time employees are now enjoying more flexible arrangements at the office, there's less incentive to take the plunge as a contractor. "Today's workforce wants the ability to choose how they work—full-time or contract work," said Mike Preston, chief talent officer at Deloitte. "Regardless of what they choose, they crave a holistic experience that combines good compensation and benefits with a focus on well-being and career development." Nearly 4,000 professionals who work or have worked as independent contractors, along with those working full-time jobs, took part in the research.
The 4 Key Areas of Enterprise IT Renewal *Ensuring the proper strategy for an evolving flexible technology landscape is critical. Companies must have a strategy that is designed to address issues that face companies today, including how quickly requests can be assessed, how decisions are made within the business and how IT aligns to business objectives.
*Cloud technology enables companies to build for scale. Cloud infrastructure and technology gives companies flexibility, which is how you build value in your technology delivery team. Technology, especially cloud applications, must align the overall shareholder and business vision and objectives in order to drive measurable improvements.
*In order to maximize the ROI of new and emerging technology platforms and ecosystems a company must have a clear vision and communicate the purpose of these changes to the entire organization. Doing this properly will shape the future and invent the next wave of cutting-edge business solutions.
*Companies that focus on implementations at a “constant speed” simply cannot keep pace with demand. Whereas companies that understand that it is now necessary to innovate at multiple speeds, and take advantage of business opportunities as they arise in the market, will succeed.
When enterprise architecture and cloud governance architectures are properly implemented and viewed holistically, executives can look beyond cost containment to full business collaboration with IT. Alignment between business and IT will encourage a more holistic path towards innovation and growth by offering a more agile, focused and flexible IT strategy.
In the hopes that other nonprofit leaders don’t get caught in Amy’s predicament, here’s a quick three-step process for calculating the financial value of your time as a social change expert, based on the financial value your organization assigns to your time.
Determine Your Annual Cost: Take your annual salary and add the monetary value of your annual benefits (healthcare contribution, social security contribution, etc.). Typically benefits are calculated at an additional 25% of your salary. So, if your annual salary is $85,000 you would multiply that by 1.25 to get the total of your salary plus your annual benefits: $85,000 x 1.25 = $106,250.
Determine Your Hourly Cost: Then, divide that salary + benefits number by the average number of working hours in a full-time position (so 52 weeks a year at 40 hours per week is 2,080 hours per year). I know you probably work more than 2,080 hours in a year, but this is just a general full-time number of hours. So, in this example, your hourly rate would be $106,250 / 2,080 = $51.08. Or $51 per hour, just to make it easy.
Determine Your Hourly Value: If you are feeling bold, you can add a profit margin to this number, just as anyone who is paid to offer their expertise (lawyer, consultant, doctor) does. The idea here is that if someone pays you $51 for an hour of your expertise, you are only breaking even. But if you actually want to make a bit of profit that you can plow back into your organization, you could add in a little margin. So perhaps you round up to $65 per hour.
Marketers gave the most credit for their success to two factors—doing a better job with content creation (85% of B2B content marketers cited it) and developing or adjusting their content marketing strategy (72%).
The news wasn't all rosy, though. For example, although 72% of B2B marketers are more focused on building long-term relationships than on getting quick results from their content marketing, only half agree that their leadership team gives them ample time to produce content marketing results.
We'll be teasing out more information from the latest research in the coming months. But for now, here are more highlights from the report:
22% of B2B marketers say their organization's overall content marketing approach is extremely or very successful (that 22% constitute this year's "top performers"). 63% of B2B marketers say their organizations are extremely or very committed to content marketing (that's compared with 91% of top performers). 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy (compared with 61% of top performers). 72% of B2B marketers measure content marketing ROI (compared with 88% of top performers). 68% of B2B marketers agree that their organization is realistic about what content marketing can achieve (compared with 91% of top performers).
Flat pricing can represent a win-win for customers and firms.
During a recent overseas trip, as soon as I stepped into a taxi, the driver offered to quote me a fixed price for travelling to my destination instead of using the meter. The driver clearly knew more than me about the route and the road conditions that day, and there was a good chance that this information asymmetry would allow him to profit by charging more than the expected cost of this trip. I was nevertheless drawn to the fixed price and accepted his offer. I suspected that many customers also prefer to pay a flat price. A survey that I conducted later confirmed that the preference for flat fares is pervasive. Yet this pricing approach is not as common as I believe it should be.
Flat pricing –paying a pre-agreed price no matter how much you consume – offers predictability and relief from the common meter-running annoyance. It eliminates the challenge of resisting staring at the taxi meter in spite of being fully aware that gazing at it will not make it move any slower nor make the ride any more pleasant. Consider how painful it would be to pay a per-minute fee for conversations with your lawyer, including the really bad joke he told you.
Another benefit of flat pricing is that once you’ve paid, you can think of everything you consume as “free.” Customers love the sense of receiving something for nothing. Unrestricted consumption adds to the appeal – liberty feels great.
The alternative to flat pricing, better known as usage-based pricing, is the meter-based pricing that taxis usually rely on, for example. With this common approach customers pay for what they consume – no more, no less. Utility companies typically charge by the unit, hospitals by the number of days you stay and the medical procedures involved, and lawyers and other professional service providers typically charge by the hour.
Listening is at the heart of helping. It should be considered your Home Base. When you are not sure what to say, first listen. Then, reflect back what you are hearing and as needed, ask questions.
Beginning coaches often rely too much on asking questions. So do more experienced coaches. I often tell practitioners we have two ears and one mouth. Therefore, we should be listening twice as much as we speak.
Many coaching traditions advocate for as much as 80% listening, especially in the initial sessions. The bottom line is to listen more and talk less. Many people think they are good listeners, but because we live in such a fast-paced world, it is easy to be a summarizer or a person who draws conclusions and diagnoses too quickly. Remember, this is not part of the coaching job description.
Because they are so passionate about serving their clients well, coaches can be easily distracted searching for the next question. A mistake of many new coaches is that they move to solution-finding too quickly. Again, coaching is never about “fixing” but we all have to check in with ourselves when that desire to “make it all better” and provide value for our clients shows up – and it will – from time to time.
Good listening is like slow cooking. That is the rhythm. What needs to be mastered is the Art of Active Listening. This means listening not only to what is being said, but to what is not being said. To listen between the lines… for the feelings, the unsaid thoughts, fears, and desires. This is the place from which the best questions will arise.
Although there are numerous key performance indicators (KPIs) that any CMO can use to measure social success, the following four are the most surefire for telling whether you're executing a successful social strategy:
Content engagement levels Consumer sentiment Consumer market insights Business impact on non-marketing departments Content Engagement
Content engagement is a great way to evaluate whether you are actually reaching consumers with the blogs, case studies, and bespoke branded content you are amplifying on social.
It's a noisy world, especially when trying to gain share of mind and voice on social media, and most people don't care about most of the content you or I, or anyone else, publishes. So one way to check the effectiveness of your content is by measuring social engagement.
Simply look back at historical data around previous engagement. Did you run content around a similar topic or scope last year? If so, you can do a comparative analysis between past and current content, measuring the number of shares, untagged mentions or links, and social interactions that occurred during both efforts.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.